Summary of Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

This summary is a brief overview and does not replace the appropriate policies and procedures. In case of conflict between this summary and the formal policies and procedures, the formal policies and procedures will govern. The relevant policies are:

The UC system-wide Senate Bylaws 334-337.

The UC Riverside Senate Bylaws, Appendix 5

Before filing a grievance or a disciplinary complaint, Senate members should carefully review the applicable UCR and UC Senate bylaws (referenced above) for information and guidance about procedures. Individuals who decide to file a written grievance or a disciplinary complaint will be asked to identify the relevant UC policies that pertain to the case. I.e., for a grievance, what codified faculty rights are alleged to have been violated; for a charge, what section of the Faculty Code of Conduct is alleged to have been violated?

Jurisdiction of the Committees

The Academic Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure is guided by the UC system-wide Senate Bylaws 334-337. The Committee deals with three distinct categories of cases: grievance cases (SBL 335), where a member of the Senate claims injury through the violation of his/her rights and privileges; disciplinary cases (SBL 336), where a member of the Senate is accused of having violated the Faculty Code of Conduct; and early termination cases (SBL 337), where a Senate or non-Senate faculty member challenges whether there is good cause for his/her early termination.

The most typical matters before P&T are grievances and disciplinary complaints (the latter are commonly referred to as "charges"). This summary focuses on these two types of proceedings. Should a Senate faculty member be in doubt as to whether a matter falls under grievance proceedings or disciplinary charges, the Chair of P&T will be able to direct that person to the appropriate information. However, the Chair will not be able to discuss the substantive details of any matter before it reaches P&T. Senate members also are encouraged to consult with members of the Grievance Consultation Panel for assistance on their specific complaints(who can be contacted through the Academic Senate Office).

Below are issues to consider in determining whether the conduct or circumstance at issue should be initiated as a grievance filed directly with the Committee on Privilege and Tenure or a disciplinary complaint (charge) that must proceed first through administrative channels and the Charges Committee.

What is the Difference Between a Grievance and a Disciplinary Complaint (Charge)?


Any member of the Academic Senate may grieve to P&T that his or her rights or privileges as a faculty member have been violated. Grievances generally involve the alleged violation of a Senate member's right to fair procedures and due process or the alleged violation of a University policy that deprives the Senate member of a right or privilege (see SBL 335).
Examples of grievances include denial of a faculty benefit or improper denial of faculty voting rights. In cases of complaints about the personnel review process, grievances may be based only on allegations that a procedure was not consonant with applicable rules or that a decision was based on impermissible criteria. P&T does not re-evaluate academic qualifications or professional competence.
The grievance process seeks a remedy for the violation of faculty rights. Punishment or censure of another faculty member cannot be considered among the acceptable remedies for a grievance. Such penalties are only available in a disciplinary proceeding.

Disciplinary Complaint (Charge)

The Faculty Code of Conduct (APM 015 and related sections of the APM) outlines the ethical principles and standards of professional conduct that guide faculty behavior in regard to teaching and students, scholarship, the university, colleagues, and the community. Some examples of violations of the Faculty Code of Conduct include:

  • violation of the canons of intellectual honesty
  • significant failure to meet classes
  • harassment of students or colleagues.

A complaint that alleges violation of the Faculty Code of Conduct can be initiated by a faculty member, a student, or a member of the administration. The complaint is filed with the campus administration, under the procedures outlined in UCR's Senate Bylaws, Appendix 5. Complaints are considered by the Academic Senate Charges Committee when forwarded to that committee by the office of the Chancellor. If the Charges Committee finds that there is probable cause to warrant a disciplinary proceeding, the case proceeds via the office of the Chancellor to the Committee on Privilege and Tenure for a disciplinary hearing, under procedures in SBL 336.

Download the Grievance Form in Word format.