1. Any faculty member who feels that they have cause for grievance and who wants to formally resolve that grievance petition either the Conciliation Committee or the University Dispute Resolution Committee for redress. The faculty member may petition either of these committees to hear the grievance. Once either committee has agreed to hear the grievance, that committee’s judgment may not be appealed to the other committee.
  2. The Conciliation Committee
    1. The Conciliation Committee of the faculty shall consist of the chairs of five standing committees as follows: Academic Performance & Integrity, Educational Policies, Faculty Affairs, Governance, and Rank and Tenure. The chair of the Rank and Tenure Committee shall act as initial convener of the committee. At its initial meeting, the committee shall elect a chair and a secretary.
    2. If any one or more of these Conciliation Committee members is judged an interested party in a case by the remaining members of the Conciliation Committee, the committee represented shall replace that person during consideration of that case.
    3. If, after reviewing the materials provided, the committee decides that the grievance has no basis, it shall so notify the petitioner. If the committee feels that further investigation is needed, they may seek additional materials from one or more of the parties. If at the end of further investigation, the committee decides that the grievance has no basis, it shall so notify the petitioner. If the committee determines there is a basis for investigation, they shall consider the pertinent facts and seek to bring about a settlement of the issue satisfactory to the parties. If within a period of thirty days (or a longer period acceptable to all parties) the committee reaches the opinion that a settlement is not obtainable, it shall arbitrate the points in dispute. The committee shall report its arbitration decision to the president and the petitioner. Within thirty days of receipt of that decision, the president and the petitioner shall notify each other and the committee of their acceptance or rejection of it. If either rejects the committee’s decision, they may appeal to the Board of Regents within thirty days of that rejection.
    4. In cases in which problems of inadequate or unclear policy are found, the Conciliation Committee shall inform the faculty in writing not of names or other details of the case but of all issues of policy and procedure and shall give its recommendations on corrections.
  3. Information about the University Dispute Resolution Committee and the university’s Grievance Policy and Procedures can be found in the Personnel Manual.


  1. In any challenge of a faculty member’s actions, rights, or standing, utmost care shall be taken to protect the personal and professional reputations of all parties concerned. Adequate cause for disciplinary action or dismissal (see Bylaws, Article V, Section 1) will be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of the faculty member in their professional capacity as a teacher or researcher. Disciplinary action or dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or their rights as American citizens.
  2. Disciplinary Action
    Any disciplinary action taken against a faculty member shall be subject to the safeguards of due process. If the action is deemed unwarranted or unjust by the faculty member, they may petition the Conciliation Committee for redress.
  3. Suspension
    In certain highly unusual cases such as those which could result in harm to students, colleagues, or the individual faculty member, that faculty member may be summarily suspended by the president. The suspension shall be with full continuing pay and will be subject to review by the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents. The suspension order and the reason for such summary action shall be given the faculty member in writing and formal disciplinary, termination, or dismissal proceedings shall be begun within no less than thirty and no more than sixty days of that time.
  4. Dismissal Procedures
    1. Prerequisites for Dismissal ActionDismissal of a non-tenured faculty member before the end of the specified term or of a faculty member with continuous tenure for adequate cause will be preceded by the following courses of action:
      1. Discussions between the faculty member and appropriate administrative officers looking toward a mutual settlement.
      2. For causes relating to teaching and scholarly function, observation and evaluation of one’s performance by colleagues, professional peers, and administrators, to be followed by counsel and assistance (including appropriate opportunities for leave) to effect improvement if it is determined that the faculty member is not performing at acceptable levels.
      3. Inquiry by the Conciliation Committee which may, failing to effect an accommodation, recommend whether dismissal proceedings should be undertaken.
    2. Formal Dismissal Action
      A written statement of specific grounds for dismissal action shall be prepared by the president or the president’s delegate and presented to the faculty member. The faculty member will have the right to be heard by an elected faculty hearing committee to be called the Formal Dismissal Hearing Committee.
  5. Formal Dismissal Hearing
    1. The Formal Dismissal Hearing Committee shall consist of five members of the permanent faculty who have had at least four years of service at Pacific Lutheran University. They shall be elected as follows: Each September, the Governance Committee shall nominate a panel of fifteen. From these nominees the elected faculty members of Faculty Executive Committee shall elect a panel of ten and the results of this election shall be reported to the faculty. The five with the highest number of votes shall constitute the Formal Dismissal Hearing Committee. The remaining five shall serve as alternates in case of vacancies or if in the opinion of the committee any of its members should be disqualified in a particular case. Such alternates shall be chosen in order of highest votes received in the election. These ten are elected to a term of one calendar year beginning on October 15 and ending on October 14 of the following year.  Cases still in process at the end of the stipulated calendar year will be completed by the committee assigned to that case.
    2. Members of the Conciliation Committee shall not serve on the Formal Dismissal Hearing Committee. In the hearing of any case, members will remove themselves from the case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative, if they deem themselves disqualified for bias or interest. Each party will have a maximum of two challenges without stated cause.
      1. Service of notice of hearing with specific charges in writing will be made at least 20 days prior to the hearing. The faculty member may waive a hearing or may respond to the charges in writing at any time before the hearing. If the faculty member waives a hearing, but denies the charges against them or asserts that the charges do not support a finding of adequate cause, the hearing tribunal will evaluate all available evidence and rest its recommendation upon the evidence in the record.
      2. The Hearing Committee, in consultation with the president and the faculty member, will exercise its judgment as to whether the hearing should be public or private.
      3. During the proceedings the faculty member will be permitted to have an academic advisor and counsel of their own choice.
      4. At the request of either party or the Hearing Committee, a representative of a responsible educational association shall be permitted to attend the proceedings as an observer.
      5. A verbatim record of the hearing or hearings will be taken and a typewritten copy will be made available without cost to the faculty member at their request.
      6. The hearing tribunal will grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence as to which a valid claim of surprise is made.
      7. The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence, and the administration of the institution will, insofar as it is possible for it to do so, secure the cooperation of such witnesses and make available necessary documents and other evidence within its control.
      8. The faculty member and the administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witness cannot or will not appear, but the committee determined that the interests of justice require admission of the witness’ statement, the committee will identify the witness, disclose their statement, and if possible provide for interrogatories.
      9. In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from this or other institutions of higher education.
      10. The Hearing Committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence, and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
      11. The findings of fact and the decision will be based solely on the hearing record.
      12. Except for such simple announcements as may be required, covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member or administrative officers will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the governing board of the institution. The president and the faculty member will be notified of the decision in writing and will be given a copy of the record of the hearing.
      13. If the Hearing Committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established by the evidence in the record, it will so report to the president. If the president rejects the report, reasons for doing so will be reported, in writing, to the Hearing Committee and to the faculty member, and the president will provide an opportunity for response before transmitting the case to the governing board. If the Hearing Committee concludes that adequate cause for a dismissal has been established, but that an academic penalty less than dismissal would be more appropriate, it will so recommend, with supporting reasons. If the president transmits a recommendation for dismissal to the Board of Regents when the faculty Hearing Committee has not recommended dismissal, a copy of the record of the dismissal hearing, the committee’s decision and findings of fact, and any final statements by the faculty member shall also be transmitted to the Board of Regents.