Grievance Procedures

Termination Grievance Process Dismissal During the Appointment Period Interim Action


The appointment of a Postdoctoral Appointee may be terminated through resignation, nonrenewal of appointment, loss of funding which supports the appointment, or dismissal for just cause during the appointment period for poor performance, work related misconduct, violation of University policies or other serious reason as determined by the supervising faculty member.

A Postdoctoral Appointee may have his or her appointment ended with 90 days written notice if the funding supporting his or her appointment ends, or if performance is judged to be unsatisfactory. An exception to termination due to loss of funding is if funding is lost in first year of the appointment. In this case it is the responsibility of the employing department or college to identify alternate resources to fund the balance of the first year’s appointment.

The mentor should discuss any involuntary terminations in advance with the Chair or Dean of the department/responsible unit.

A Postdoctoral Appointee who resigns his or her appointment is ordinarily expected to complete his or her teaching duties and to provide at least 30 days written notice to the mentor.


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Grievance Process

A Postdoctoral Appointee who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly should first discuss the problem with the faculty mentor and/or Chair of the department/responsible unit. Each unit should designate a faculty member, or member of the administration experienced in postdoctoral education, whose duties are to serve as a resource the Postdoctoral Appointee in addressing and resolving grievances. If a solution cannot be reached at the level of either the department/responsible unit or through the efforts of the designated resource person, the Postdoctoral Appointee should present the grievance to the Dean for information, evaluation, and as necessary, adjudication. The determination by the Dean is the final step in the grievance process.


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Dismissal during the appointment period

The supervising faculty member shall provide a written recommendation of dismissal to the academic unit head, with a copy to the Postdoctoral Appointee. The recommendation shall provide the reasons or basis for the proposed action.

If a Postdoctoral Appointee disagrees with the reasons for the dismissal, he/she may, within five business days after receipt of the recommendation, submit an appeal to the academic unit head, with a copy to the supervising faculty member.

The academic unit head will meet with the Postdoctoral Appointee and the supervising faculty member. Within ten business days after receipt of the appeal, the unit head will issue a written determination, affirming, reversing or modifying the recommendation of dismissal with the reason for the decision.

Within five business days after receipt of the decision, the Postdoctoral Appointee may submit a request for reconsideration of the determination to the college dean, who will review the case and issue a final decision within ten business days after receipt of the request for reconsideration.

An extension of the timeline for the above process can be granted if approved by both the postdoctoral appointee and the faculty member/academic unit head/ or college dean.

Issues such as sexual harassment, creation of a hostile work environment, or discrimination based on race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status, or age, are the subject of separate University policies. These issues are covered by the Office of Institutional Equity. Postdoctoral Appointees should contact the Office of Institutional Equity on specific policies and procedures relating to these issues.


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Interim Action

A Postdoctoral Appointee may be suspended with pay pending a dismissal in a case in which the supervising faculty member, unit head, and college dean determine that the continued presence of the individual on the campus constitutes a substantial interference with the orderly functioning of the University or a substantial area, unit, college or department of the University.


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