4.1 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure
4.2 Statement on Professional Ethics
4.3 Dismissal and Suspension without Pay
4.4 Faculty Grievances not Arising from APT Decisions
4.1 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure
It is understood that academic freedom includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the rights to engage in free inquiry and exchange of ideas, to present controversial material relevant to a course of instruction, to publish or disseminate controversial material or information, and to perform research in controversial areas. Members of the faculty are citizens, members of a learned profession, and stewards of this educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline. As scholars, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances.
In further confirmation of these principles, both the faculty and the Board of Trustees have adopted the University of Chicago’s Statement on Academic Freedom.
Adopted by the Faculty, September 16, 2008. Amended by the Faculty, March 3, 2023.
Tenured faculty members have permanent or continuous tenure. In accordance with AAUP guidelines and College policies, their employment may be terminated only due to cause, program termination, or financial exigency.
Termination for cause of a continuous appointment, or the dismissal for cause of a teacher previous to the expiration of a term appointment, will be addressed through the College’s disciplinary procedures. Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency or program elimination should be demonstrably bona fide.
4.2 Statement on Professional Ethics
The College recognizes the importance of upholding the highest ethical standards. Accordingly, the College endorses the following statement, which is adapted from the Statement on Professional Ethics issued by the American Association of University Professors:
Professors recognize that their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and state the truth as they see it. To this end they devote their energies to developing their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may pursue subsidiary interests, these interests should never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides. They make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student, avoiding any exploitation, harassment, or discrimination. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from students, and they protect students’ academic freedom.
As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. They do not discriminate against or harass colleagues; rather, they respect and defend the free inquiry of their associates. In the exchange of ideas, professors show due respect for the opinions of others. They acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. They accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although they observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon programs at the institution and give due notice of their intentions.
As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. They measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression that they are speaking or acting on behalf of their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
Professors are also expected to apply all of these standards in their conduct toward staff and other employees of CMC.
Endorsed by the Faculty March 11, 2008
4.3 Dismissal and Suspension without Pay
4.3.1 Grounds for Dismissal and Suspension without Pay for Cause
“Adequate cause” for dismissal or suspension without pay will be one or more of the following:
- A persistent pattern of teaching incompetence as it is understood in the AAUP document entitled Termination and Discipline (2004) and associated case law.
- A very serious instance or very serious pattern of misconduct in the following areas:
- Research misconduct, including but not limited to plagiarism and academic fraud (see e.g. Faculty Handbook Section 6.5 , Section 6.6 , and Section 6.9 );
- Neglect of professional duties, including but not limited to failure to meet teaching obligations (see e.g. Faculty Handbook Chapter 5 );
- Preventing or obstructing teaching or research or any other lawful function of the College, including but not limited to physical disruption of classrooms, offices, or labs;
- Personal misconduct that is directly and substantially related to the fitness of a faculty member as a teacher and/or a researcher. Examples may include but are not limited to physical violence, embezzlement or misappropriation of funds, the dealing of illegal drugs, the destruction of property, or violation of established standards of ethical conduct such as abusive or exploitative conduct toward students, colleagues, or staff (see e.g. Faculty Handbook Section 10.3 , Section 10.6 , Section 10.7 , Section 10.10 , Section 10.13 , Section 10.14 ).
“Incompetence” or “misconduct” shall not be construed in a way that threatens faculty members in their legal rights and in the legitimate exercise of academic freedom, including the expression of dissenting or unpopular opinions.
Approved by the Faculty May 13, 2008
4.3.2 Procedures for Dismissal and Suspension without Pay for Cause
22.214.171.124 Background and Scope
The procedures provided herein are invoked when the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty formally charges a faculty member with incompetence or misconduct that falls within the College’s definition of “adequate cause” as that term is defined in the College’s Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and in circumstances in which the alleged incompetence or misconduct is serious enough to warrant a sanction of suspension without pay or dismissal from the College; provided, however, that cases involving alleged research misconduct shall be governed by the College’s Policy on Research Misconduct (See Faculty Handbook Section 6.9) .
The following procedures apply to members of the Faculty employed in the varying ranks defined in Faculty Ranks.
The College’s Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure applies. No faculty member may be dismissed or suspended without pay for statements protected by CMC’s Statement on Academic Freedom.
The College’s process for dismissal or suspension without pay of a faculty member is confidential, with the following possible exceptions: 1. The accused faculty member may request an open hearing; or 2. The accused faculty member may authorize the disclosure of any findings of the Hearing Board or the written statement by the President that overturns the recommendation of the Hearing Board.
126.96.36.199 Initiating the Disciplinary Process and Informal Resolution
Charges will be brought on behalf of the College by the Dean of the Faculty following whatever investigation the Dean deems reasonably appropriate to determine the facts, except that numerical teaching evaluations may never serve as the sole evidence supporting a charge of incompetence.
In the case of a conflict of interest preventing the Dean from acting, an Associate Dean of the Faculty will act in the Dean’s place.
When charges are to be brought against a faculty member, they must be preceded by discussions between the Dean (or Associate Dean herein out) and the faculty member in an attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter up to and including the faculty member’s resignation at which point the matter will be considered closed.
At any time during the process, as reasonable and appropriate, the Dean of the Faculty may consult with the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Executive Committee on the facts of the matter and on an appropriate resolution including possible sanctions.
At any time during the process, the Dean of the Faculty and the faculty member may resolve the matter by mutual agreement (with the approval of the President).
If the faculty member charged wishes to contest the charges or if the parties are unable to resolve the matter by mutual agreement, the Dean of the Faculty will prepare a written statement of the charges and the proposed disciplinary action, which will be presented to the faculty member who will have the opportunity to provide a written response to them.
Matters involving potential suspension without pay or dismissal shall be resolved pursuant to Section 188.8.131.52 below. Matters requiring the emergency suspension with pay of a faculty member shall be handled pursuant to Section 184.108.40.206 below.
220.127.116.11 Procedures in Matters involving Sanctions of Dismissal or Suspension Without Pay
If the Dean of the Faculty believes the specific charges warrant dismissal or suspension of the faculty member for cause, and the informal resolution process has not resulted in a resolution, the Dean shall provide the faculty member with a written statement of the formal charges and the faculty member’s right to a formal hearing before a Faculty Hearing Board.
The Faculty Hearing Board (the Hearing Board) will consist of five members of the Appointment, Promotions, and Tenure Committee of the Faculty (APT Committee) chosen by lot with five additional members chosen as alternates by lot. In hearings involving Full Professors, only Full Professors serving on the APT Committee are eligible to serve on the Faculty Hearing Board. If there are fewer than ten Full Professors serving on APT, the alternates may be chosen at large from the faculty (tenured with the rank of Full Professor) by lot from the remaining members of APT Committee. The Faculty member may require the replacement of up to five members of the Hearing Board prior to the hearing to be replaced by the alternates as determined by lot. Next, the Dean of the Faculty may require the replacement of up to two members of the Hearing Board by alternates. At any point after the initial selection, there must be at least two alternates available. If new alternates are needed, they will be selected by lot from among the remaining members of the APT Committee of appropriate rank.
Once it is finally constituted, the Hearing Board shall elect a chair from among its members who shall convene all meetings and direct the proceedings. The Hearing Board shall establish its own rules and procedures not otherwise specified in this document. The Hearing Board may hold pre-hearing meetings including ones with the parties to define and clarify issues, provide for the exchange of information and documentation, and to accomplish other objectives to ensure that the hearing is fair, effective, and expeditious.
In such time as specified by the Hearing Board, the faculty member has the right to provide the Hearing Board with a written statement setting forth the defenses proposed, any factual allegations that are in dispute, and any additional factual matters to which the faculty member wishes to draw attention.
The Dean of the Faculty or a designee shall bring the charges before the Hearing Board. The Dean and the Faculty member may have an advisor or counsel present at the hearing but they may not participate. The Dean, the faculty member, and the Hearing Board may call witnesses and may question witnesses. Written testimony from witnesses will be accepted if they are unable to be present and if the accused faculty member will have an opportunity, either in person or by telephone or videoconference, to question the witnesses. The administration of the College will assist the Hearing Board in securing the presence of witnesses and securing documents and other evidence needed for the hearing. In hearings involving dismissals for incompetence, testimony will include that of qualified faculty members from this or other institutions of higher education. The Hearing Board shall not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence, and may admit such evidence as it deems of value in determining the issues involved. Throughout the proceedings, all those involved should keep in mind that the procedures are those of a college and not a court of law, and therefore should seek to avoid an excessively legalistic approach. An official recording of the hearing shall be made and will be provided to the Dean of the College, the Faculty member, the Hearing Board, the President of the College, and the Board of Trustees as needed.
The hearing shall be closed unless the accused faculty member requests it to be open. The Dean of the Faculty or a designee shall make the case for dismissal for cause or suspension, and the faculty member shall make the case in defense against these charges. The Hearing Board shall set the time limits for the hearing and for the oral arguments. The Hearing Board may determine whether additional hearings are needed prior to making a final recommendation on the matter.
The Hearing Board shall make a recommendation in confidence on the basis of the hearing and all relevant materials as to whether sufficient cause exists for dismissal or suspension without pay. The Hearing Board shall make its recommendation with the understanding that the burden of proof rests with the Dean of the Faculty to establish a case by a standard of clear and convincing evidence. A recommendation for dismissal or suspension without pay requires at least a 4-1 majority of the Hearing Board. In that instance, the Hearing Board shall submit its findings as to sufficient cause and its recommendation as to sanctions in writing to the President, the Dean of the Faculty, and the faculty member. Otherwise, the Hearing Board shall report to the President that there were not at least four members who found sufficient cause to recommend dismissal or suspension without pay.
The President shall review the recommendation of the Hearing Board and the hearing record. In addition, the Dean of the Faculty and the faculty member shall have the opportunity to submit a written statement to the President outlining any asserted grounds for reversal or reconsideration of the Hearing Board’s recommendation. If the Hearing Board recommends neither dismissal nor suspension without pay and the President concurs, the case is considered closed. If either the Hearing Board or the President recommends dismissal or suspension without pay, both recommendations shall be forwarded concurrently to the Board of Trustees along with all pertinent records of the proceedings. If the President’s recommendation differs from that of the Hearing Board, the President shall state in writing the reasons.
The Board of Trustees shall review the recommendations of the Hearing Board and the President along with all pertinent records of the proceedings. Prior to the Board’s decision, the faculty member may submit a written statement to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. If the Board of Trustees’ decision differs from the recommendation of the Hearing Board, the case will be resubmitted to the Hearing Board for reconsideration along with a written statement of the Board of Trustees’ questions and/or objections. The Hearing Board will then reconsider the case in light of the Board of Trustees’ questions and/or objections, hold additional hearings if needed, receive any new evidence, and either render a new recommendation or state the reasons for its reaffirmation of the earlier recommendation. Once the Board of Trustees receives and reviews the reconsidered recommendation of the Hearing Board, it will render a final decision.
18.104.22.168 Emergency Suspension with Pay Pending Final Determination
An emergency suspension with pay of the faculty member may be ordered by the Dean of the Faculty until a final determination of the matter is reached by the College. An emergency suspension with pay will be based on a determination by the Dean of the Faculty and/or the President that serious harm to the faculty member, to others in the community, or to the educational program would ensue from continuation of the faculty member’s duties and or presence on campus. Such a suspension is not intended for disciplinary purposes, but is instead intended to facilitate a proper handling of the investigation and to minimize risks to the College. When practicable, the Dean should consult with the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Executive Committee on the propriety, length, and other conditions of the emergency suspension.
22.214.171.124 Miscellaneous Provisions
Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, time provisions are approximate; the President, Dean of the Faculty, Hearing Board, or Executive Committee may allow for additional time as appropriate in particular circumstances.
Approved by the Faculty September 16, 2008 and October 24, 2008
4.4 Faculty Grievances not Arising from APT Decisions
Procedures for student, staff, and faculty grievances against faculty members, and for faculty grievances against academic administrators
Claremont McKenna College (“College”) adopts policies designed to serve the educational function of the College, to protect academic freedom and academic due process, to protect the health and safety of individuals, to promote responsible social interaction within the college community, and to maintain a hospitable and productive working environment. To help implement these goals, this document describes grounds and procedures for Student, Staff, and Faculty grievances against Faculty members and for Faculty grievances against Administrators and/or Administrative Entities within the College.
B. Covered parties
These procedures are open (1) to Students, Staff, and Faculty to seek redress or remedy for grievances arising from actions by Faculty members and (2) to Faculty members to seek redress or remedy for grievances arising from actions by Administrators and/or Administrative Entities within the College.
C. Covered grievances
Except as indicated below, covered individuals may use these procedures to seek redress and/or remedy for (1) violations of policies or procedures published in the Faculty Handbook (including, but not limited to, violations of academic freedom and academic due process), (2) violations of other established College policies or procedures, and (3) violations of federal or state law (including, but not limited to, discrimination). Grievances not covered by these procedures include:
- Grievances arising from appointment, promotion, and tenure actions and decisions. These grievances come under the APT Appeals Procedures.
- Grievances arising from grade disputes covered by the procedures of the Academic Standards Committee. Grievances that allege the challenged grade is the result of discrimination or retaliation in violation of federal or state law are not covered by the procedures of the Academic Standards Committee but instead are covered by these procedures.
- Other grievances explicitly assigned elsewhere.
Administrative Entity. An administrative unit within Claremont McKenna College, including but not limited to an academic department, college committee, or administrative office. In cases where a grievance is brought against an Administrative Entity, the chair of that department or committee, or the head of the administrative office, serves as the Respondent on behalf of the Administrative Entity.
Administrator. Any member of the administration of Claremont McKenna College.
Appellant. Either the Complainant or Respondent who files an appeal.
Complainant. The person or persons who file a complaint.
Dean of the Faculty (DOF). The Dean of the Faculty or the Dean’s designee.
Faculty. Any member of the Faculty of Claremont McKenna College, or anyone teaching a Claremont McKenna College course.
President. The President of the College or the President’s designee.
Respondent. The person, persons, or Administrative Entity against whom a complaint is filed.
Staff. All exempt and non-exempt staff employees, including all administrators.
Student. Anyone currently enrolled as a full-time or part-time student at Claremont McKenna College or enrolled in a class at Claremont McKenna College.
E. Conflicts of Interest and Designees
Individuals charged with implementing this grievance policy may know the parties to a grievance action, they may know other members of the college community who provide information bearing on the resolution of the grievance, and they may have a general prior knowledge of the grievance. Acquaintance with the parties or others involved and general knowledge of the grievance do not in themselves constitute conflicts of interest, for the grievance policy presumes that the individuals implementing the policy will conscientiously discharge their duties, acting in good faith. Direct involvement, including but not limited to involvement as an immediate party, a third party (e.g. as a witness), or as a participant in rendering a decision related to the grievance, does constitute a conflict of interest. Persons charged with implementing these policies must exercise their good judgment in declaring conflicts of interest where the conflicts may not be immediately apparent.
In the event any members of the Administration Committee declare that they have a conflict of interest in the case, those members shall recuse themselves from service on the Review Panel (see Section G below).
In the event that the DOF declares that the DOF’s Office has a conflict of interest in the case, or for other good reason, the DOF shall designate a tenured Faculty member who has no conflict of interest to perform the functions assigned herein to the DOF. The designee must be mutually acceptable to both the Complainant and the Respondent. If either the Complainant or the Respondent does not accept the person designated by the DOF, the DOF shall convene the Review Panel and the Committee shall select from outside its membership a tenured Faculty member with no conflict of interest to perform the functions assigned herein to the DOF. The Review Panel does not need to solicit approval of the designee from either the Complainant or the Respondent. The DOF will notify in writing the Complainant and the Respondent of the designee. Within 10 days of receipt of the written notification of the designee, the decision of the Review Panel can be appealed in writing to the President by the Complainant or the Respondent. The President shall render a decision within 10 days of receiving the written appeal and send written notice of the decision to the parties and the Review Panel within 5 days thereafter.
In cases where the President declares that the President’s Office has a conflict of interest or where, for other good reason, the President wishes to designate another person to fill the functions assigned herein to the President, another person shall serve in the President’s place.
In cases where the President has a conflict of interest that is apparent prior to the beginning of the hearing process, the DOF shall perform the functions assigned herein to the President, unless the DOF also has a conflict of interest. If the DOF has a conflict of interest, the choice of the President’s designee shall be made by the President from the panel of retired judges used in Conduct Board hearings. If the DOF has no conflict of interest and serves as the President’s designee, the DOF shall convene the Review Panel, which shall select from outside its membership a tenured Faculty member with no conflict of interest to perform the functions assigned herein to the DOF.
In cases where a conflict of interest on the part of the President is not apparent prior to the beginning of the hearing process, but where it is revealed either in the hearing process or during the progress of the case after the beginning of the hearing process that the President has a conflict of interest, the President shall designate another person (other than the DOF) to perform the functions assigned herein to the President. This person shall be mutually acceptable to the Complainant and the Respondent. If the President finds no one mutually acceptable to the Complainant and the Respondent, the choice shall be made by the President from the panel of retired judges used in Conduct Board hearings.
In instances where there exists good reason other than a conflict of interest, the President may designate another person who has no conflict of interest to perform the functions assigned herein to the President.
Subject to applicable law, all filings, records of proceedings, decisions, and, in case of appeal, dispositions on appeal, shall be disclosed only to the Complainant, the Respondent, the DOF, the Dean of Students (when a Student is involved), the Director of Human Resources, the President, the Board of Trustees, and as necessary to implement remedies. The Complainant and the Respondent will be notified in writing that all documents will generally be disclosed to the other party during the grievance process. In individual cases, the Review Panel, the DOF, or the President may, for good reason, impose additional restraints on release of information related to the proceedings. The College will endeavor to maintain confidentiality of any information obtained during both the informal and formal resolution procedures. However, subject to applicable law, there may be instances when information must be disclosed in order to conduct a thorough and fair investigation. Accordingly, the College cannot guarantee complete confidentiality.
G. Review Panel
Except as indicated in the following sub-paragraph 3, the Review Panel shall consist of the elected tenured Faculty members of the Claremont McKenna College Administration Committee as provided in the Faculty Handbook.
Any members of the Administration Committee who have a direct conflict of interest in a grievance action, shall recuse themselves from the Review Panel. If, because of recusals, or otherwise, the Faculty membership of the Review Panel falls below 5 in number, the remaining Faculty members, in consultation with the DOF, shall add additional tenured member(s) of the Faculty to bring the Review Panel membership up to 5. The Review Panel shall select its Chair, who need not be the chair of the Administration Committee. The Chair shall have the right to vote.
When the grievance arises from a Staff complaint against a Faculty member, 1 senior or administrative staff member shall be added to the Review Panel as a voting member, as designated by the Director of Human Resources. The Staff member must be acceptable to both the Complainant and the Respondent. If not so acceptable, and no mutually agreed Staff member can be agreed upon by the Complainant and the Respondent, the President shall then select the Staff member.
H. Time limits
Complainants have 1 year to initiate the informal or formal grievance process from the time they become aware of the action, inaction or decision in question. However, prompt initiation of the grievance process is strongly urged, because facts often become more difficult to establish as times passes after an action, lack of action or decision has occurred. For good cause, the President or the DOF shall have the discretion to extend any of the time limits described in these procedures except as to the required President’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees provided in Section J-4.3 below.
I. Procedures: Informal Resolution
In cases alleging discrimination, including sexual or other unlawful harassment, a Complainant may proceed directly to the Formal Resolution Procedures. In all other cases, a Complainant must attempt informal resolution of a grievance before filing a formal grievance. The Complainant may first use either the informal oral option or the informal written option, as described below.
1. Informal Oral Option
The Complainant shall orally notify the DOF of the grievance, identifying (a) the action or decision complained about, (b) relevant grounds as set forth above in Section C, “Covered Grievances,” and (c) the requested remedy. The DOF shall orally notify the Respondent of the grievance, including the action, inaction, or decision complained about, the grounds, and the requested remedy. The DOF shall attempt to devise a solution satisfactory to both parties (which attempt may include a meeting with the Complainant and the Respondent together), and, if successful, shall record the solution in writing, with copies to each party. If a mutually satisfactory solution is not reached within 14 days of the Complainant’s original notification to the Dean, the Complainant may proceed to the informal written option, or may proceed directly to file a formal complaint within an additional 14 days.
2. Informal Written Option
The Complainant shall give the DOF and the Respondent a written statement detailing the grievance. The statement must identify (a) the action, inaction or decision complained about, (b) the relevant grounds as set forth above in Section C, “Covered Grievances,” and (c) the requested remedy. The Respondent shall respond in writing, within 7 days of receipt of the Complainant’s written statement to both the DOF and the Complainant. The DOF shall attempt to devise a solution satisfactory to both parties, and, if successful, shall record the solution in writing, with copies to each party. If a mutually satisfactory solution is not reached within 14 days of the DOF’s receipt of the Complainant’s initial written statement, the Complainant may proceed to file a formal grievance within an additional 14 days.
J. Procedures: Formal Resolution
Except when the Complainant claims discrimination, including sexual or other unlawful harassment, the Complainant must first use the Informal Resolution process described above. If the Informal Resolution process produces no mutually satisfactory solution and the Complainant wishes to proceed further, the Complainant must file a complaint (as described below) in a timely fashion which shall be no later than 14 days after the conclusion of the informal resolution process. If the Complainant claims discrimination, including sexual or other unlawful harassment, the Complainant may proceed directly to the provision in Section J-2, below.
To initiate a formal grievance, the Complainant shall file a written request for a hearing (the complaint) with the DOF, who shall within 5 days of receipt, forward it to the Review Panel.
The complaint shall include this information:
- A detailed description of the activity or action, inaction or decision complained about.
- A specification of the covered grievance under which the complaint arises. (See Section C above)
- The requested remedy (to be included only in those cases where the Complainant requests remedial action other than, or in addition to, a penalty).
- Any available and relevant written or other documentation. (However, failure to include written or other documentation with the complaint does not preclude later submission of such material.)
The DOF shall, within 5 days of receiving the complaint, provide the Review Panel with all relevant material from the informal process that is in the DOF’s possession, including all written filings and decisions.
The DOF shall, within 5 days of receiving the complaint notify the Respondent of the complaint and shall concurrently provide the Complainant and the Respondent with copies of all material forwarded to the Review Panel.
3. Hearing and Assignment of Penalty and/or Remedy
Within 14 days of the time the DOF receives the complaint, the Dean, in consultation with the chair of the Administration Committee or the chair’s designee, shall convene initial meeting of the Review Panel (described in Section G above). At its initial meeting, the Review Panel shall randomly select 5 of its faculty members to act as voting members and 2 of its faculty members to serve as alternates with respect to the deliberation process described in section J-3.7 below. (On a grievance arising from a staff complaint against a faculty member the staff person appointed to Section G-3 is an additional voting member of the Review Panel.) Irrespective of the cause, in the event that the number of voting members are or become even in number, then the first and second alternates respectively will serve as additional voting members as may be required to have the voting members be odd in number.
If, after reviewing all documents submitted, at least 2 members of the Review Panel agree that the grievance is not frivolous, the Committee shall grant a hearing to the Complainant, shall develop a tentative schedule for the grievance process, and shall establish any necessary internal procedures. If the Review Panel decides that the grievance is frivolous, the Committee shall, within 2 days after so convening, inform the Complainant in writing of the basis for its determination, and that the Complainant may appeal to the President under the Appeals process described below.
The Review Panel shall complete the hearing process within 21 days of the Committee’s initial meeting, excluding breaks in the College calendar. The Review Panel shall allow the Complainant and the Respondent reasonably sufficient time to prepare for the formal hearing(s).
The Review Panel’s hearings shall be closed, and the Review Panel shall keep a taped or other verbatim record of all sessions or portions of sessions in which it receives oral evidence (but not of its deliberations). This record or a copy of it shall be made available to the Complainant and the Respondent.
The Complainant and the Respondent may each choose an individual employee of Claremont McKenna College to accompany them. In cases where a student is involved, the student may choose to be accompanied by an individual who may or may not be an employee of the College. Because this is not a criminal investigation or hearing, legal counsel will not be permitted at the hearing, except in cases in which any party to the grievance faces potential criminal charges or if required by applicable law. In such cases an attorney will only be permitted in a non-participatory advisory role for each involved Complainant and Respondent. The Complainant and the Respondent shall each be permitted to make statements to the Review Panel. The Complainant and the Respondent shall have the right to question each other as well as all witnesses.
The Review Panel may ask for statements from other parties and for relevant College records. It is the responsibility of the Review Panel to reasonably ensure that all relevant evidence is available and considered at the hearing.
Upon completion of the hearing, the voting members of the Review Panel, as selected pursuant to Section J-3.1, shall complete the consideration of the grievance in closed session without the parties present and shall reach decisions by majority vote. It shall deliver to the DOF a written report of its findings within 10 days of the completion of the hearing process as provided in Section J-3.3 and, if appropriate, its recommendations for a penalty and/or other remedy, if any, or dismissal of the complaint. These findings and recommendations shall also be reported to the Complainant, the Respondent, the Director of Human Resources and the Dean of Students (when a Student is involved).
The Review Panel’s recommendations of penalty and/or remedy to the DOF are only advisory.
The DOF shall review the record of the Review Panel’s proceedings, findings and recommendation, and after consideration of the Review Panel’s recommendation regarding the penalty and/or other remedy, if any, or dismissal of the complaint the DOF shall determine what penalty, if any, will be levied and/or what other remedy, if any, is appropriate or if the complaint should be dismissed.
The DOF shall notify relevant parties and explain the decision in writing within 10 days of receiving the Review Panel’s findings and recommendations. Notification shall be by sending a copy of the decision to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Review Panel for the review of each and any comments. Comments by either the Complainant, Respondent, or Review Panel must be made within 10 days of the DOF’s notification. The DOF shall also concurrently notify the President by submitting a copy of the decision to the President in cases deemed to be automatically appealed as provided in Section J-4 below.
The DOF may modify the decision within 10 days of receiving the comments mentioned in Section J-3.10 above. If the Dean does not modify the penalty and/or remedy, if any, or dismiss the complaint, the Dean shall promptly forward these comments to the President in the event the decision is appealed. If the Dean does modify the penalty and/or remedy, if any, or dismiss the complaint, then the Dean shall again be bound by the notification procedures set forth in Section J-3.10 above.
Either the Respondent or the Complainant may appeal to the President the appropriateness of the Review Panel’s findings and/or the decision reached by the DOF, or a designee. (For grounds for appeal, see below.)
All penalties, other remedies or dismissals which require action by the Board of Trustees, are deemed to have been automatically appealed to the President even if neither the Respondent nor the Complainant files a petition for appeal. Both parties will be notified if a penalty and/or remedy, if any, or complaint dismissal will be automatically appealed within 10 days of the DOF’s decision.
To request a review, an Appellant (either the Respondent or the Complainant) must submit a written petition to the President within 5 days after the DOF issues the decision. The petition must state and explain the grounds for appeal. The President shall, within 5 days of receipt, forward a copy of the petition to the other party. (For grounds of appeal, see Section J-4.4 below.)
If an appeal is filed with the President, the President shall request and promptly receive from the DOF the full record of the grievance proceedings prior to the appeal.
Within 5 days of receiving the Appellant’s petition, the President shall communicate in writing to the Complainant, the Respondent, the DOF and the Review Panel the President’s decision on whether to hear the appeal.
Within 15 days of receiving the Appellant’s petition, or within 15 days of the decision of the DOF in a case that is automatically appealed, the President shall in writing notify the Complainant, the Respondent, the DOF, the Director of Human Resources, the Dean of Students (if a Student was involved), and the Review Panel of the President’s decision or of the date when the decision is expected (which shall not normally exceed 15 days after the President’s such notification).
In all appeals, the President may accept or reject the Review Panel’s original findings and may approve or disapprove the decision by the DOF. In addition, as provided in Section J-4.4.3 the President may dismiss the case for lack of substantial evidence. In the event that an appeal, or any issue on appeal, is brought to the President more than once, the President shall have the authority to approve, disapprove, dismiss, or modify the decision. If the President’s decision, in whole or in part, requires the approval of the Board of Trustees, the President may only, and shall, recommend approval or disapproval of the DOF’s decision. The complaint must be brought to the Board of Trustees, or the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, at its next meeting but not more than 45 days after the President’s decision.
Grounds for Appeal (available to either the Respondent or the Complainant), and Additional Options for Presidential Disposition of Appeals.
The President shall dispose of all appeals by rendering a written decision within the time prescribed above.
Improper dismissal before hearing. The Appellant may claim that the Review Panel improperly dismissed the case as frivolous before hearing it. If the President accepts this claim, the President may return the case to the Review Panel for a hearing within 30 days thereafter.
Lack of substantial evidence. The Appellant may claim that the Review Panel’s findings were not supported by substantial evidence. If the President accepts this claim and the Committee’s findings were against the Respondent, the President may act under the President’s general authority and modify such part of the decision so not supported or dismiss the case. If the President accepts this claim and the Committee’s findings were against the Complainant, the President will send the claim back to the Review Panel with direction to, within 30 days, reconsider the matter and to submit its reconsidered recommendation to the DOF.
New evidence. The Appellant may claim that new evidence is available. The President shall determine whether such new evidence is germane to the case, and whether the evidence could reasonably have led to different findings and/or a different decision. If the President accepts these claims, the President may, as appropriate, refer the case back to the Review Panel for a new hearing within 30 days and a new decision by the DOF.
Bias. The Appellant may claim that the Committee was biased, suffered from conflicts of interest, or showed malice. If the President accepts this claim, the President may: refer the case back to a differently constituted hearing panel designated by the President for a new hearing in accordance with the time provisions above. If the President orders a new hearing, the President shall, within 10 days, select a new hearing panel of 5 members, drawn from the tenured members of the Faculty.
Arbitrary penalty and/or remedy. The Appellant may claim that the penalty or remedy imposed was not appropriate to fit the circumstances of the case. If the President accepts this claim, the President shall refer the case back to the DOF for a new decision on the penalty and/or remedy within 10 days thereafter.
Improper procedures. The Appellant may claim that the Review Panel used improper procedures and that such procedures adversely affected the fundamental fairness of the hearing. The term “improper procedures” is restricted to the interpretation of the procedures outlined herein. If the President accepts this claim, the President may refer the case back to the Review Panel for a new hearing in accordance with the time provisions above.
Record of Proceedings: Destruction
After 5 years from the date of the filing of the written statement of the Informal Resolution process, if any, and the complaint, the taped or other verbatim record required to be maintained above, all written and other material relating to the proceeding (other than material in personnel files) may be destroyed by the College.
Approved by Faculty November 28, 2000
Approved by Board of Trustees December 7, 2000
Approved by OCR December 12, 2001