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Grievance Commission–Annual Report (May 2007)
May 8, 2007, Volume 53, No. 33

The Grievance Commission of the University of Pennsylvania is an independent committee consisting of three faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The Grievance Commission is available to the Penn faculty and academic support staff to handle alleged actions against them that are not in compliance with University procedures, policies, and regulations. In AY 2006-2007, the commission was composed of Haim H. Bau (SEAS, Past-Chair), and Jennifer Pinto-Martin (Nursing and Medicine, Chair) and Joan Goodman (GSE, Chair-Elect).

In AY 2006-2007, the commission was approached by two members of the faculty. In one case, it was determined that the individual did not meet the criteria for affiliated faculty and thus was not eligible to use the services of the Grievance Commission. The Grievance Procedure guidelines stipulate that the grievant must be: “any member of the standing faculty, standing faculty-clinician-educator, associated faculty, academic support staff, or compensated emeritus faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.” In the second case, the issue raised was a complaint that laboratory space was not provided in a timely manner upon arrival at Penn, resulting in a delay in publications and grant funding and ultimately leading to a denial of support for tenure by the home department.

The commission advised the grieving faculty member that the grievance procedure (www.upenn.edu/assoc-provost/handbook/ii_e_12.html) requires the complainant first to send a letter to his/her dean explaining the nature of the complaint and the remedy sought, and requesting the reasons for the actions that are the subject of the complaint. If the faculty member does not receive a satisfactory resolution of the complaint in the time allotted in the grievance procedure, the faculty member can file a grievance with the Grievance Commission. This has yet to be initiated with the second case, although it may occur in the future.

Thus, to date, there have been no formal grievance complaints filed in AY 2006-2007. Subsequent to a grievance filing, the commission attempts to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the grievance and when appropriate, the commission attempts to mediate among the concerned parties.

In AY 2007-2008, the commission will be composed of Joan Goodman (GSE, Chair), Jennifer Pinto-Martin (Nursing and Medicine, Past-Chair), and a not-yet identified Chair- Elect.

—Jennifer Pinto-Martin (Grievance Commission Chair, 2006-2007)


Almanac - May 8, 2007, Volume 53, No. 33