Grievance Policy and Procedures

Pacific Lutheran University is committed to the internal resolution of disputes arising within the university community.  To that end, the President has appointed a University Dispute Resolution Committee (UDRC) that includes representatives from the faculty, student life, human resources and academic administration.  The Committee appointments shall each be for a minimum two-year term. 

The University Dispute Resolution Committee is charged with reducing conflicts and helping members of the community resolve disputes appropriately, expediently and fairly.  The committee does so by educating the community about campus policies and dispute resolution options; coordinating dispute resolution services; investigating grievances when appropriate and advocating for review of university policies and procedures when necessary. 

It is the intent that the University Dispute Resolution Committee be a resource for all members of the PLU community.  The UDRC may assist any faculty, administrator, staff or student who needs consultation or referral to resolve an on-campus conflict, or who desires conflict resolution services.  The UDRC also processes all formal grievances as allowed by the University’s Grievance Policy, except those that relate to faculty tenure or discipline or which otherwise arise under the faculty constitution and bylaws or which arise under the Student Conduct System.  The UDRC shall have authority to establish separate policies and procedures for certain types of grievances.  Subject to faculty approval, the UDRC shall also have authority to enact special policies and procedures for resolution of grade disputes and issues of academic dishonesty.  The University Dispute Resolution Committee has the authority to appoint additional committee members on an as needed basis, for example, when one or more UDRC members would be unable to participate in a specific matter or when an additional member would assist in serving the mission of the University Dispute Resolution Committee. 

The University encourages community members to resolve their disputes at the earliest and most informal level (i.e. by talking directly with the individual(s) involved; through facilitated conversation and/or through conflict mediation).  When informal resolution is not possible, every member of the university community, whether faculty, student, administrator or staff, has the right to file a grievance and access the grievance procedures established by the UDRC.  Grievances may be initiated by contacting any member of the Committee.  Grievances first reported elsewhere in the community should be referred to the Committee for resolution, except for grievances that arise under the faculty constitution and by-laws or under the Student Conduct System. 

If, at any time during a conflict resolution or grievance proceedings, a participant believes that a member of University Dispute Resolution Committee has a conflict or the appearance of a conflict, or that the dispute/grievance involves or potentially involves a member of the Committee, that member will be excused from any further involvement in the grievance proceedings.  In such circumstances an additional UDRC member may be appointed by the remaining University Dispute Resolution Committee members. 

The grievance policy and procedures will be published bi-annually and distributed to all members of the university community.