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I am going through the promotion and tenure process. There…

I am going through the...
I am going through the promotion and tenure process. There are many levels at which my tenure file is reviewed and voted on. After each level, I receive a letter describing the decision at that level. At the most recent level, the Executive Vice Chancellor of the University sent a letter recommending against promotion and tenure. The letter is technically addressed to the Chancellor of the University, who makes the final decision, but I receive a copy.
Anyway, this letter summarized the results of all the previous levels of review (Department committee, Department Chair, School committee, School Dean, University committee) but the summary was not correct. For example, the letter stated that the Chair of my department and the School committee voted against promotion and tenure when in fact the opposite is true.
Today, I received a second letter from the Executive Vice Chancellor. It was identical to the first, but now the correct votes were included. Clearly, someone typed the wrong letter and the Executive Vice Chancellor signed it, likely without reading it. Does this constitute grounds for filing a grievance?
At my university, grievances are heard by a Faculty Review Board. And if it helps you formulate your answer, this is what our By-laws state that the Review Board shall determine during a formal grievance:
"In each formal grievance case, the Faculty Board of Review acts in an impartial way. It is not an advocate for the faculty member or librarian, nor is it an advocate for the administration. The Board shall determine:
a) whether appropriate procedures were followed;
b) whether the grievance arose from inadequate consideration of the qualifications of the
faculty member or librarian;
c) whether presentation of erroneous information substantially affected the decision; and
d) whether essential fairness was accommodated throughout the decision-making process.
e) The Boards of Review may consider the issues set forth in 4 a-d regarding promotion and/or tenure grievances, but a Board of Review shall not function as a substitute Promotion and Tenure Committee."
Thank you, Customer
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
3/20/2017
Infolawyer
Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 62,994
Experience: Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
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Hello and welcome. I am working on your answer and will be right back!

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You may indeed do so based on apparent error. You may do so in writing, but may want to check internally what the intention was.

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There is no downside in pursuing this.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
You are right that there is no downside if filing a grievance was as simple as writing a letter. But here, a grievance involves an actual proceeding in front of a panel at which I state my case, present witnesses (if I have any), examine witnesses that the administration provides (if they have any). It sounds more like a...trial! So the downside is wondering if I'm up to it.I'm not sure what you mean by "check internally about intention"?I can't see how anyone, let alone the executive vice chancellor (EVC), would admit to sending the wrong letter maliciously. Of course they'll say it was an honest mistake. But what this says to me is that the EVC is sloppy/incompetent (choose your adjective). And if they're sloppy in sending out wrong letters, how can I be sure they gave my file "adequate consideration".

To prevail you need to show intent, which is difficult. Unless you have a witness with personal knowledge who can confirm bad faith, going through this process would not be recommended.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
just to be sure I understand, your recommendation has now changed from "no downside in pursuing this" to "would not recommend". Correct?Because, as I understand you, unless I have a witness that can confirm bad faith, it will be difficult to show intent. I can see that. My guess is, all the administration would need to do is present the EVC at the hearing and have them state that this was an honest mistake.

if all that was involved was a letter, I would indeed continue with no downside.

You have elaborated that there is an extensive process, so the downside is time and possible further adverse action.

also the burden of proof is on you so unless you have proof, I would not pursue and commit energies elsewhere.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you for your time!

Bad faith speculation wont work against their testimony of mistake unless you have witness testimony of bad faith lined up.

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Satisfied Customers: 62,994
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