Chapter XI: Complaints

11.01 Definition

Complaints are allegations by persons other than the academic staff member's supervisor (including administrators, students, other academic staff, faculty, classified staff, or members of the public) concerning conduct by an academic staff member which violates university rules or policies, or which adversely affects the staff member's performance or obligation to the university, but which is not serious enough to warrant dismissal proceedings under UWS 11.

11.02 Informal Resolution

In many cases, complaints can be resolved informally(for example, through direct contact with the academic staff member or through the intervention of the academic staff member's supervisor). The purpose of informal resolution is to end the offensive behavior and resolve the concern rather than to assess blame and impose disciplinary sanctions. While informal resolution may result in some mutually agreeable action, such as an apology or a behavior contract, no record of a complaint resolved informally will be placed in the academic staff member's official personnel file.

11.03 Formal Resolution

If informal resolution of the situation is not possible or if the offense is so serious or persistent as to warrant disciplinary action, then a formal complaint should be filed. The purpose of formal resolution shall be to determine if the complaint has validity and, if so, to enact disciplinary sanctions, such as a written reprimand, disciplinary probation, or suspension. All complaints must be filed in a timely manner; individual policies, such as the UW-Platteville Policy & Procedures Regarding Discrimination and Harassment, may have specific time lines that must be followed. A record of formal resolution, including the written complaint and a statement of the outcome, shall be placed in the academic staff member's official personnel file.

  1. Step One: The Written Complaint. To initiate the formal resolution process, a written complaint must be filed with the Chancellor. The complaint shall contain a clear and concise statement of the alleged incident or violation, the date or period of time during which the situation took place, the issue involved (including the reasons the complainant believes the alleged incident violates university rules or policies or adversely affects the staff member's performance or obligation to the university), and the relief sought. The written complaint must be signed and dated.
  2. Step Two: Chancellor's Initial Action. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Chancellor may: 1) dismiss the complaint; 2) refer the matter to the appropriate administrator for investigation and/or informal resolution; 3) refer the matter to the Academic Staff Personnel Commission for a formal hearing; or 4) take direct disciplinary action. The Chancellor's initial action shall take place within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint.
  3. Step Three: A Formal Hearing. The Chancellor may refer the matter to the Personnel Commission for a formal hearing. Also, the academic staff member may, within five (5) working days of notification of the Chancellor's initial action, appeal the decision to the Personnel Commission.

    The hearing will be scheduled within 20 working days, and both the academic staff member and the complainant must be given written notice of at least five (5) working days. Every effort should be made to accommodate the schedules of both the staff member and the complainant, and extensions to this time line may be granted by mutual agreement of those involved.

    The hearing is subject to the provisions of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law. Both the academic staff member and the complainant may present witnesses to support their positions. Both parties may also present written documentation. The academic staff member may be represented by a person of his/her choice.

    Within ten (10) working days of the hearing, the Personnel Commission will present its findings, along with recommendations for disposition of the situation in writing to the Chancellor.
  4. Step Four: Final Action. After reviewing all the information and supporting documentation, the Chancellor shall issue a written decision which will be the final determination of the matter.

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