University Staff Complaint Procedures

  • Initiator:
  • Robin Van Harpen, Vice Chancellor, Finance & Administrative Affairs
  • Responsible Party:
  • Department of Human Resources
  • University Staff Committee

1. Purpose

To establish procedures for addressing complaints of misconduct by University Staff members that violates the UWM Code of Conduct, other rules or policies of UWM or the regulations and statutes of the State of Wisconsin.

2. Policy Background

Wis. Stat. § 36.115(2) requires the Board of Regents to develop personnel systems that are separate and distinct from the personnel system under Wis. Stat. Chapter 230, effective July 1, 2015.

Chapters UWS 6 and 13 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code require UW System institutions to establish complaint procedures for faculty and academic staff in cases involving allegations made by persons other than the employee’s supervisor. Complaints against faculty or academic staff may be submitted by administrators, students, other faculty or academic staff members, university staff, or members of the public. Chapter UWS 18 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code regulates conduct on all UW system property.

Complaint procedures for UWM Academic Staff are found in the Academic Staff Personnel Policies & Procedures, Chapter 111.

3. Definitions

Complaint procedure means the process through which a UWM employee or a member of the public may allege that while in the performance of his/her duties, a University Staff member has engaged in conduct that violates the rules or policies of UWM.

University staff are members of the university workforce who contribute in a broad array of positions in support of the university’s mission and are not exempt (hourly1) from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

1 All FLSA exempt employees holding positions in the State of Wisconsin (formerly titled) “classified” service as of June 30, 2015 are given the choice to remain in the (now titled) University Staff for as long as they retain their existing positions, or to voluntarily be reassigned to a position that the institution has designated as either an Academic Staff or limited appointment position – see UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1287

4. Policy and Practice

Employees and members of the public may submit complaints about University Staff employees for conduct that violates the UWM Code of Conduct, other rules or policies of UWM or the regulations and statutes of the State of Wisconsin. The complaint will not be deemed valid unless the complainant provides his or her name for identification purposes.

If someone witnesses or has information regarding the commission of a crime, it should be reported directly to the UWM Police.

This policy shall not abridge rights protected by the US Constitution or other federal or state laws.

The individual wishing to lodge or file a complaint should put his or her concerns and allegations into writing and submit them directly to the direct supervisor, department chair or department head of the individual being complained about. In the alternative, such complaints may be submitted to the Employment Relations Manager in the Department of Human Resources, who serves as the Chancellor’s designee.

When submitted to the Chancellor’s designee, he or she will review the complaint and refer it for investigation to the Human Resources Business Partner or the Dean or Division Head for the School, College, Department or Division in which the individual being complained about works, unless those parties are in fact the subject of the complaint. If that is the case the complaint will be referred for investigation to the Provost (for the academic units), the appropriate Vice Chancellor (for the administrative divisions) or another administrator with the power and authority to investigate and make effective recommendations for resolution.

The School, College, Division or Department representative to whom the complaint is referred has an obligation to investigate the allegations in the submitted complaint and to seek to resolve the complaint informally. If the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the School, College, Division or Department representative shall make recommendations for resolution, utilizing existing policies and practices.

The University Staff Committee will receive an annual report of complaints received by School, College, Division or Department.

5. Contact Information

For information about the operation of the complaint procedure, contact the Human Resources Business Partner for your respective school, college, division or department or the Employment Relations Manager in the Department of Human Resources.

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