BYLAWS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS REVIEW COMMITTEE
ARTICLE I. Relationship to Existing University Structure
ARTICLE II. Jurisdiction of the URC
ARTICLE III. Committee Membership
Section 1. One committee member shall be elected by the full-time faculty in each of the eight Faculty Senate voting groups.
Section 2. Five members shall be elected at large by the full-time faculty.
Section 3. No more than two of the 13 members shall be from the same Faculty Senate voting group.
ARTICLE IV. Terms, Qualifications and Elections
Section 1. Terms
One-third of the URC members shall be elected each year. Lots shall be drawn for terms of one, two or three years as needed to maintain regular rotation because of resignations.
Section 2. Definition of Terms
Full-time faculty shall be defined for purposes of URC membership as an individual whose salary is solely drawn from the UNT instructional budget, institutional related research grants, or a combination of the two. Administrators shall be defined as those individuals who are appointed as divisions/department chairs or above.
Section 3. Attendance Policy
A member who misses three consecutive meetings without prior notification to the chair may be asked to resign his or her position after a vote by a majority of the full URC. In the absence of such a resignation, the position shall be declared vacant upon the majority vote of the remaining members.
Section 4. Regular Elections
All regular elections shall occur during the fall or spring semester.
Each election shall be conducted by the Faculty Senate on behalf of the URC.
Elections for group members shall normally be completed prior to April 1.
Elections for at-larg e members shall normally be completed prior to May 1.
All nominations and elections for members of the URC shall be by secret ballot.
Section 5. Special Elections
If a vacancy is declared during the fall or spring semesters, a special election to fill that vacancy shall be initiated within 30 calendar days after the vacancy has been declared. If a vacancy is declared during the summer recess, a special election to fill that vacancy shall be initiated within 30 calendar days after the beginning of the fall semester.
Section 6. Eligibility for Voting
For purposes of voting in elections of URC members, full-time faculty status shall be defined as individuals with ranks of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor. Administrators, as defined in Section 2 above, with faculty status, are eligible to vote in URC elections.
Section 7. Modified Service
Persons on modified service are not eligible for URC membership, nor are they eligible to participate in the URC election procedures.
Section 8. Election Procedures
A nominating election, a primary election and, if needed, run-off elections shall be conducted.
Each constituent faculty member may nominate one person for the vacancy in the relevant voting group. All eligible individuals who receive at least two nominations and who agree to serve shall be placed on the primary election ballot.
If at least two nominees do not agree to serve or fail to receive two nominations, the nominees for the primary ballot shall consist of all qualified individuals who receive at least one nomination and agree to serve if elected. In no case shall a primary ballot contain fewer than two names.
If a majority vote is not achieved by a candidate in the primary election, an election(s) shall be conducted between the two (or more in the case of a tie or ties) top candidates until a candidate achieves a majority vote.
Section 1. None originally
Section 2. All URC members, including the chair, shall be entitled to vote.
Section 3. None originally.
Section 4. None originally
Section 5. The executive committee may provide information and/or advice when necessary, but the executive committee shall not have the authority to make decisions that are binding on the committee.
Section 1. None originally.
Section 2. None originally.
Section 3. The URC shall be empowered to conduct official business at meetings other than formal hearings with seven members present. Three quarters of the URC members eligible to hear the case (but no fewer than 7) must be present to conduct a formal hearing. URC members who have been involved in the appeal process as members of department or school or college grievance committee members, or are named as principals in an appeal of a grievance shall disqualify themselves from the hearing and shall not vote in that case.
Section 4. None originally.
Section 5. Procedure for Review of a Grievance
An appellant must conform to the requirements of Article II, Section 1 of this charter. An appeal must be initiated within six months following the judgment to be appealed. This time limitation shall be applied to judgments made after September 1995.
The chair of the URC shall immediately upon receiving a request for review of a grievance assign a case number and create a file. In all references to the case, other than internal URC discussions, the case number should be used.
The primary responsibility for developing a brief and other evidence in support of the case rests on the appellant. Access to necessary information shall be supported by the URC.
No more than seven calendar days of a regular session or summer sessions after receipt of a request for review of a grievance, the chair shall appoint a sub-committee charged with investigating and presenting the case to the full committee. The sub-committee shall be composed of three members of the URC who are not in the appellant’s division, department or school. The efforts of the sub-committee shall be directed to fact finding, mediation and, if possible, a voluntary settlement of the dispute at the appropriate administrative level. Consultations shall include the involved administrators, committees and faculty members, as well as the appellant. The sub-committee shall prepare its report and present it to the full URC within 20 business days of a regular session or summer sessions from the date of appointment.
If the sub-committee is unable to report that a voluntary settlement of the dispute has been achieved, the appellant has the option to appeal to the full URC or to withdraw his or her complaint.
The time limit guidelines detailed above are created in the interest of a timely resolution of each grievance and should be adhered to whenever possible. Exceptions to the timelines require approval from a majority of the URC eligible to hear each grievance.
Section 6. Procedure for Hearing before the URC
Hearing of the full URC shall be scheduled for not less than 30 calendar days of a regular session or summer sessions after the receipt of the appeal. Appellant and appellee shall be afforded not less than 10 calendar days notice of the date of the hearing.
Fifteen copies of briefs and all other supporting documents shall be prepared by the appellant and the departmental/divisional, college/school grievance or review committees and delivered to the Chair of the URC to be distributed by the Chair to each of the 12 members of the URC and to the other respective parties.
An appellant must submit 15 copies of relevant briefs, including a bill of particulars, a list of witnesses, a time-sequenced synopsis of events and other supporting documents to the Chair of the URC within seven calendar days of a regular session or summer sessions after requesting a hearing. A specific bill of particulars should be sent to the Chair of the URC.
Departmental/divisional, college/school grievance or review committees must submit 15 copies of relevant briefs, a list of witnesses, a time-line and other supporting documents to the Chair of the URC within 14 calendar days of a regular session after receipt of appellant’s documents. If no relevant material is submitted by the appellee in a timely manner, the appellee’s role in the hearing shall be limited to VI.6.g. (v) below.
Any exception to the time limits established above must be approved by a majority of the URC eligible to hear the grievance.
Each principal (appellant and appellee) may be accompanied at the hearing by one representative.
At the hearing, the following procedures shall be followed in order unless, at the discretion of the Chair of the URC, the interests of justice dictate that a change in the procedure be made:i. The Chair of the URC shall preside over the hearing and is empowered to set time limits for the presentation of each point.
ii. The Chair shall direct first the appellant and then the appellee to bring forward all challenges to the hearing, witnesses and evidence to be presented at this time.
iii. The appellant shall deliver a brief opening statement (limited to no more than 10 minutes) outlining the nature of his or her complaint or complaints. Ideally this statement will be written; however, the form of the opening statement is left to the discretion of the appellant. The appellant should distinguish in the opening statement charges concerning procedural failures by the appellee and charges concerning unfair, unprofessional or otherwise unacceptable judgment by the appellee. Further, the appellant should specify what action or remedy is being requested.
iv. Following the opening statement, the appellant shall present the first item of evidence, any witness to substantiate that evidence and any accompanying interpretation by the appellant (limited to no more than 15 minutes). After the presentation of the first item of evidence or witness, the appellee shall have the opportunity to challenge the evidence, witness or interpretation before the appellant proceeds to the second item of evidence (limited to no more than 15 minutes). Following the challenge by the appellee, members of the URC shall have the opportunity to ask questions of either the appellant or the appellee before the appellant proceeds to the next item of evidence or witness.
v. After the appellant’s presentation, the appellee shall deliver a brief opening statement outlining his or her position (limited to no more than 10 minutes). Ideally this statement will be written; however, the form of the opening statement is left to the discretion of the appellee.
vi. Following the opening statement, the appellee shall present the first item of evidence, any witness to substantiate that evidence and any accompanying interpretation by the appellee (limited to no more than 15 minutes). After the presentation of the first item of evidence, witnesses or interpretation before the appellee proceeds to the second item of evidence (limited to no more than 15 minutes). Following the challenge by the appellant, members of the URC shall have the opportunity to ask questions of either the appellee or the appellant before the appellee proceeds to the next item of evidence or witness.
vii. After the appellee’s presentation the appellant may present a rebuttal (limited to no more than 10 minutes).
viii. After the appellant’s rebuttal, the appellee may present a rebuttal (limited to no more than 10 minutes).
ix. The URC through its Chair may call witnesses.
x. The appellee shall present a summary and concluding statement (limited to no more than 15 minutes.)
xi. The appellant shall present a summary and concluding statement (limited to no more than 15 minutes).
h. The URC shall render its judgment and report it to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, the appellant, the appellee(s) and the other principals. The committee will ordinarily follow the schedule given below:i. Following presentation of argument and evidence by appellant and appellee, the committee will go into executive session for an initial discussion as to the judgment of the appeal. If there is not a unanimous decision, the committee will adjourn for a maximum of 48 hours.i. No document used in a URC review and/or hearing shall be included in an appellant’s personnel file unless the appellant so requests.
ii. At its resumed meeting, the committee will render its judgment. In the formation of its judgment, the committee may confine itself to the question narrowly presented by the appellant; or at its discretion, it may apply principles of equity in order to formulate a judgment other than that requested by the appellant or appellee. Copies of the judgment and report will be distributed to the appropriate persons within seven calendar days after the judgment is decided.
ARTICLE VII. Amendments. None originally.