Procedures on Appeal of Department Recommendation

Working Rules of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences College Council

The general grounds for an appeal by a faculty member of a departmental recommendation are listed in Section 7 of the Constitution and Bylaws as follows:

  1. That inappropriate procedures were followed by a department;
  2. That insufficient or inappropriate criteria or evidence were used in arriving at a department recommendation; and/or
  3. That other circumstances exist which the college considers a legitimate basis for an appeal.

Sections 7.13 and 7.14 are also pertinent to cases of non-recommendation.

7.13 Appeal statements shall be in writing and shall set forth the specific grounds for appeal and all pertinent evidence. In all appeals of a department action, the department shall have an opportunity to respond prior to a decision by the college. Likewise, the appellant shall be informed of the department statement and shall have an opportunity to respond to it.

7.14 As in the regular personnel process, where a decision involves the professional competence or achievements of an individual faculty member, the department's judgment shall be overridden only on the basis of substantial evidence that inadequate or inappropriate professional standards or evidence were used by the department. The college shall determine how such evidence is to be obtained and evaluated.

The College Council will proceed as follows:

  1. The Council will consider only written materials.

  2. The appeal documents supplied by the faculty member must be shared with the department chair and department personnel committee chair who also have the option to supply the Council with a written response to the appeal documents. If the department chooses to make a written response to the appeal documents, the appellant, as stated in 7.13 above, shall have an opportunity to respond to the department's written response. (The department will have five working days from the receipt of the faculty member's appeal documents in which to respond. Likewise, the faculty member will also have five working days from receipt of the department response to his appeal documents in which to respond.

  3. The Council will make a written recommendation to the department based on the appeal documents provided by the above parties.

  4. Where the Council returns a recommendation to the department for reassessment and there is an indication that the previous position is reaffirmed, the Council will provide a hearing which will permit all interested parties (the faculty member, chair, and personnel committee chair) to present information. Notice of a request for a hearing must be made within five working days of the return of a recommendation. This hearing will be an appeal of the recommendation made at the department level and a reconsideration of the prior Council recommendation.

  5. An appellant appearing before the Council shall be permitted to bring one NIU colleague as an advisor and up to two NIU colleagues as observers. Formal presentations to the Council shall be limited to the appellant and the advisor. The appellant always appears first in Council hearings and will normally be limited to a 45 minute presentation. The department shall be permitted up to three representatives and will normally be limited to 30 minutes to present their views.