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Grievance Overview

General Resource Guide: Complaint Resolution
Senate member? The Committee on Privilege and Tenure (P&T) receives grievances from Senate members.
What is a grievance?

A grievance is complaint that your rights or privileges as faculty member have been violated. A grievance seeks an administrative remedy. While others may be involved in the circumstances that resulted in a violation of your rights, it is not aimed at charging others with wrongdoing.

NOTE: If you are also reporting a Title IX (sexual violence or sexual harassment) or discrimination complaint, follow this link:

Who can file a grievance?

Academic Senate faculty may file a grievance with the Committee on Privilege and Tenure (P&T).
Students may file a grading or evaluation grievance with P&T.
For other grievance processes, see Conflict Resolution Resources [forthcoming]

I am an Academic Senate member. How do I file a grievance?

If you have a concern that your rights and privileges may have been violated, you may want to first ask for a consultation with one of the panel of advisors on the Grievance Advisory Committee (GAC). If you are ready to file a grievance with P&T, use the form linked below.


You may use either version. Be sure to save to your own computer and follow the instructions for submitting. These will not save online.

What can I expect from a grievance?

The goal of a grievance is to seek an "administrative remedy" and "promote a resolution of the controversy between the grievant and the administrative officer, officers, or other persons concerned." Your grievance should include what administrative remedies you seek and an explanation how the remedies will restore a right or privilege.

What happens after I file a grievance?

This is a brief summary only. Please see Bylaw 335 for more detail.

  1. The P&T Committee will first review your written grievance to determine whether you have a prima facie case, meaning that the Committee concludes that the allegations as stated in your written grievance, if true, would constitute a violation of your rights and privileges as a faculty member. 
  2. If the P&T Committee determines you have a prima facie case, P&T may take one or more of the following actions:
    - conduct a preliminary review of the evidence to determine whether there is sufficient reason to believe that one or more of your rights or privileges may have been violated
    - provide you with an opportunity to discuss your allegations with the Committee, either orally or in writing
    - request files and documents under the control of the administration, including your personnel files and confidential documents contained therein
    - give the administrator with authority to offer a remedy notice of the grievance and an opportunity to respond
    - may also ask other persons involved in the events that gave rise to the grievance, including the department chair, to appear before or provide information to the Committee
  3. If the Committee determines that you have made out a prima facie case of violation of a right or privilege, and that there is sufficient reason to believe that your rights and privileges may have been violated, the Committee will formally advise the Chancellor's designee of the grievance and the prima facie determination. P&T will then formally promote a resolution of the controversy between the you and the administrators or other individuals involved.
  4.  P&T may propose a negotiated resolution or mediation.
  5. If your grievance is not resolved, P&T will appoint a hearing committee to conduct a formal hearing. In a formal hearing you, the grievant, will have the "burden burden of proving the validity of the grievance by a preponderance of the evidence." (The Administration pays the cost of the hearing, but you bear your own cost for representation.)
  6. If the hearing committee finds you have proved the validity of the grievance, they will forward that finding and their recommended resolution to the Chancellor.

Administrative Remedy

An action by administrators that aims to restore and/or protect an individual's professional rights.

Committee on Privilege and Tenure

The Committee Privilege and Tenure (P&T) members are appointed by the Academic Senate. P&T has the authority to review Academic Senate grievances and make recommendations to the administration.

P&T is also responsible for appointing Hearing Committee members for formal hearings (disciplinary hearings (Bylaw 336); grievance hearings (Bylaw 335); and involuntary leave hearings (Bylaw 337)


The individual filing the charge.

Preponderance of evidence

More likely than not.

Prima Facie

If everything in the grievance is true, it would constitute a violation of professional rights and privileges

Professional Rights and Privileges

Professional rights are those that preserve conditions "hospitable to the pursuit" of "teaching, learning, research, and public
The Faculty Code of Conduct, Part I gives examples of these conditions.

Professional rights also include the right to procedures that comply the applicable University policies and Senate bylaws and the right for the personnel decision to be based only on permissible criteria.

Sufficient Reason

When a prima facie case has  enough evidence to believe that a right or privilege might have been violated. Sufficient reason does not constitute a finding that rights have been violated, but that they may have been violated.