4 Apr 2016 [Revised 25 Feb 2021]
Prior Version
23 Apr 2007
This policy applies to all university staff and administrative employees.
Policy Owner
Administration Vice President and CFO
Responsible Office
Human Resource Services
Contents, Related Policies, Applicability
Download a PDF of this document
Administrative and Staff Employee Grievance Policy

"At Will" Employment

In the absence of a written contract of employment signed by the president of the university, all administrative and staff employees are employees “at will” whose university employment may be terminated at any time and for any reason or for no reason, with or without cause, provided the grounds for termination are not illegal or in violation of university policy.

Grievance Policy

The university provides full-time, “at will” administrative and staff employees an opportunity to meet and discuss with his or her department or division head any complaint involving demotion, pay reduction, reassignment, or transfer. Employees who are terminated shall have an opportunity for an administrative review by the Human Resource Committee (the HRC).

Grievance Procedures

Informal: The university urges each employee with a complaint regarding disciplinary action to discuss the matter first with his or her direct supervisor to attempt to reach an acceptable resolution. The employee may wish to contact Employee Relations for information and assistance at any time.

Formal: An employee with a complaint regarding a demotion, pay reduction, or reassignment or transfer, may file a written grievance no later than fifteen calendar days after the disciplinary action occurs with his or her direct supervisor and the department or division head. If the department or division head is the employee’s direct supervisor, the complaint must also be filed with the direct supervisor of the department or division head.

The written grievance must be signed by the employee and contain the following information:

  • the employee’s name, department or division, and position;
  • a detailed outline of the specific circumstances and issues leading to the disciplinary action; and
  • the requested resolution of the complaint.

The department or division head will discuss the complaint with the affected employee and will take appropriate action to investigate and resolve the complaint. The department or division head may consult with the employee’s direct supervisor, Employee Relations, the Office of the General Counsel, and other appropriate university personnel as needed. The decision of a department or division head is final.


Before action is taken to terminate an employee from employment, Employee Relations should be consulted, and the responsible vice president over the affected employee must approve the action. The decision to terminate employment is final unless the employee timely files an application for an administrative review by the HRC. To invoke an administrative review by the HRC of a termination, the employee must submit a signed, written memorandum to Employee Relations within thirty calendar days of being informed of the termination decision. This memorandum must describe the grievance, the efforts made to resolve the complaint, and the resolution sought by the employee, and must include supporting materials. Employee Relations will review the written memorandum and the supporting materials, conduct any further investigation it deems appropriate under the circumstances, and submit the employee’s materials and a report generated by Employee Relations to the HRC. The HRC will review the submitted materials and may resolve the complaint in any way it deems appropriate and at its absolute discretion. The vice president of the area from which the complaint arose may participate in the HRC discussions concerning the review, but may not vote in the final resolution of the review. In making its determination, the HRC may consult with the employee, the employee’s line management, Employee Relations, the Office of the General Counsel, and, with the employee’s consent, the employee’s ecclesiastical leader. A written response will be provided to the employee within a reasonable period of time. The decision of the HRC is final in all cases.


In the event a grievance is filed against the president of the university, or the president would be involved in the grievance process by application of this policy, the matter will be referred directly to the HRC, which will, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, determine the appropriate procedure for handling the matter.


Note: In the case of a conflict between this policy and the listed related policies, the terms of the related policies shall govern.