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Employee Relations: Academic Faculty

Academic faculty are employees whose primary functions involve instructional teaching and/or research.

Governing Rules and Regulations for Academic Faculty

  • Academic faculty are subjected to the rules of conduct outlined in the NSHE Board of Regents Handbook, UNLV Bylaws, and Department or Unit Bylaws.

NSHE Board of Regents Handbook

The Board of Regents Handbook provides the governing documents and policies for the Nevada System of Higher Education.

NSHE Board of Regents Handbook

UNLV Bylaws

UNLV Bylaws govern the university, and it is the responsibility of the senate through the University Bylaws Committee to review, update and monitor implementation. Changes to the UNLV Bylaws are first considered in the Faculty Senate. If approved, changes are sent to the entire faculty for approval. If approved, the President of the University may accept or veto the change. If accepted, the change is forwarded to the chancellor for approval.

Unit Bylaws

Unit bylaws go into effect when ratified by the faculty of the unit and approved by the president or his/her delegate, and the president is mandated to keep on file the bylaws in effect for each unit. The catalog of unit-level bylaws below provides access to the faculty of those bylaws considered to be in effect.

Unit Bylaws

Annual Performance Evaluation Process

For information and/or questions regarding the evaluation process and workflow visit the Faculty Affairs Annual Evaluations webpage or contact the Office of Faculty Affairs at (702) 895-3496 or facultyaffairs@unlv.edu.

Performance Evaluation Appeal Process

If an administrative employee disagrees with an evaluation, they may proceed with submitting a rejoinder and/or requesting a review by a peer review committee. Both processes are available to the employee:

1. File a Rejoinder
A rejoinder is a statement attached to the employee’s evaluation that expresses disagreement with the evaluation rating or comments provided by the supervisor. The purpose of the rejoinder is to allow the employee the opportunity to address specific points made in the evaluation regarding their performance and present additional relevant information that was not mentioned in the evaluation. The employee has 30 calendar days from when the evaluation was issued to file a rejoinder and submit it to the Employee Relations office.

2. Peer Reviews
A peer review consists of a committee that reviews the evaluation and makes a recommendation to the appropriate vice president or dean to either uphold or make changes to the original evaluation rating. Although the following outlines the general peer review process, it should be noted that individual units or departments may have established bylaws that deviate from this process. The entire peer review process should remain confidential and only be discussed with persons who are not party to the proceedings.

Making the Request

The employee has 15 calendar days from when the evaluation was issued to request a review. This review must be submitted in writing to the college dean or appropriate vice president or college dean. If the employee does not report to a college dean or vice president, they must address their request for a peer review committee directly to the president. Once the president has appointed a designee, the request should be addressed to the designee.

Committee Composition

The peer review committee will consist of three nonacademic faculty members and a chair member. The chair is responsible for submitting the final report to the college dean, vice president, or president designee. The Office of Human Resources will provide a list of the members of the Faculty Senate Appeals Committee to the employee. From this list, the employee will appoint one person and the department will appoint one person. The chair of the committee will be selected from this pool by the college dean, vice president, or president designee.

Creating the Peer Evaluation File

Within 30 days after requesting a peer review, the employee will create a peer evaluation file that includes materials pertinent to the matter being evaluated. The department heads will establish categories of evidence to be included in the peer evaluation file. The categories include the following:

  • Original performance evaluation issued to the employee
  • Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)
  • Other documents used in support of the evaluation (e.g. special assignments, letters of instruction, written warnings, letters from campus constituents)

The Review

After the peer evaluation file has been created, the committee will begin the peer review process. The review may include written materials submitted by the department head and the employee. The department head and higher levels of review may also use the peer evaluation file in addition to other sources The review may also include interviews with the supervisor and the employee. The parties are interviewed separately and are only interviewed for information regarding the appeal. At its discretion, the committee may request interviews with other personnel. However, interviews are limited to persons who have direct bearing or knowledge of the evaluation or intimate knowledge of the employee’s work. Character interviews are not allowed. The committee should complete the review no later than the end of the B-contract period. The specific date for the end of the B-contract changes each year. For information on the exact date on which the B-contract period ends, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 702-895-3504 or at hr@unlv.edu.

The Report

The report is comprehensive and is normally no more than two to three pages. It includes the following:

Introduction
This section contains:

  • The employee’s position
  • The employee’s issues with the evaluation
  • The resolution requested by the employee
  • A brief summary of the department evaluation
  • Points of contention

Committee Findings
This section details the committee’s findings of evidence which are the basis for the committee’s recommendation.

Committee Conclusion
The committee must avoid conclusions based on hearsay evidence or emotional displays. The report must state and explain ratings it believes should be amended.

College Dean or Vice Presidential Review and Decision

The original evaluation and the recommendation of the peer review committee will be forwarded to the college dean or appropriate vice president. Both evaluations will be placed in the employee’s permanent personnel file. The college dean or vice president will make the final decision about the evaluation. The decision must be presented in writing and addressed to the employee’s supervisor. The employee will receive a copy of the vice president or dean’s decision. A copy will also be placed in the employee’s permanent personnel file.

Corrective Action and Progressive Discipline

Corrective action and discipline clarifies expectations for behavior and performance, identifies opportunities for improvement, changes behavior, and helps the employee be successful. It is the policy of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to encourage fair, efficient and equitable solutions for problems arising out of the employment relationship and to meet the requirements of state and federal law.

Each employee is expected to acquaint themselves with performance criteria for their particular job and with all rules, procedures, and standards of conduct established by the Board of Regents, the institution, and the employee’s department or unit. An employee who does not fulfill their responsibilities, meet their performance criteria, or follow the rules and procedures of conduct may be subject to adverse personnel action.

To determine if corrective action is needed, supervisors should ask themselves the following:

  • Have we had previous conversations with the employee?
  • Is the employee aware of expectations?
  • Does the employee have the necessary tools and resources?
  • Are there ongoing performance issues?
  • Did a major policy violation occur?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” supervisors should contact their designated employee relations specialist to discuss the appropriate next steps.

Levels of Corrective Action and Progressive Discipline

Progressive discipline generally starts at the lowest level and then progresses to higher levels, if necessary.  However, there may be cases where a higher level of discipline is issued and imposed on a first offense. The discipline issued should be consistent with the situation, policy guidelines, and past practice.

All corrective action or formal discipline should:

  • State the specific reasons for the corrective action/discipline.
  • Identify the gap between the performance standard and actual performance or identify misconduct.
  • Include facts and details such as who, when, where, and what.
  • Provide a clear picture of what occurred and avoid subjective statements.
  • State how unacceptable performance or behavior affects departments or campus operations.
  • Set the expectations moving forward.
  • Identify consequences of further performance issues and/or misconduct (Not applicable for Letter of Instructions or Dismissals).
Non-Disciplinary Action

Non-disciplinary corrective action includes conversations, coaching, or counseling sessions. While these efforts are an important way to document conversations, outline performance and behavior expectations, and address performance concerns, they are not considered part of the formal disciplinary process.

Letter of Instruction

A Letter of Instruction (LOI) is a formal letter or memo that provides the employee with information and directions regarding responsibilities or expectations with respect to a particular situation or set of circumstances. The letter is intended to assist the employee in performing effectively and meeting job performance expectations while maintaining appropriate work-related behaviors. Given that they are not part of a formal disciplinary process, LOIs are not housed in the employee’s permanent personnel file.

Letter of Instruction Template

Formal Disciplinary Action

Prior to issuing any of the following levels of discipline, contact your designated Employee Relations Specialist for consultation. Employee Relations will review and determine the appropriate next step, provide guidance concerning legal risks, and ensure appropriate verbiage is contained in the document.

Chapter 6 Disciplinary Sanctions Process for Administrative Faculty

The following sanctions are applicable to administrative faculty of the Nevada System of Higher Education for conduct prohibited by Section 6.2 of the Nevada System of Higher Education Code. Depending on the severity or egregiousness of the misconduct, the sanctions may be applied in any order:

Warning

A notice, oral or written, that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be the cause for more disciplinary action.

Written Reprimand

A formal censure or severe reproof is administered in writing to a person engaging in prohibited conduct.

Restitution

The requirement for the employee to reimburse UNLV for a loss due to defacement, damage, fraud, theft or misappropriation of property. The failure to make restitution shall be the cause for more severe disciplinary action.

Reduction in Pay

A reduction in pay may be imposed at any time during the term of an employment contract upon compliance with the procedures established in the NSHE Board of Regents Handbook Chapter 6 Code.

Suspension

Exclusion from assigned duties for one or more workweeks without pay, as set forth in a written notice to the employee.

Dismissal

Termination of employment for cause. A hearing held under the procedures established in NSHE Board of Regents Chapter 6 Code (Section 6.11) and other applicable provisions shall be required before the employment of an employee may be terminated for cause.

Revocation of a Degree

The Board and its institutions reserve the right to withdraw academic degrees in the event that a case is brought after graduation for material academic misconduct that impacts the reputation of the institution, including misrepresentation of academic credentials or material falsification in an application, if the act occurred before graduation and during the time the student applied to, or was enrolled at an NSHE institution, but a complaint had not been filed prior to graduation.

Notice of Contract Termination or Notice of Non-Appointment

The Notice of Contract Termination (NCT) and Notice of Notice of Non-Reappointment (NNR) are mechanisms to end employment contract terms by providing non-tenured faculty (administrative and academic) the notice period they are entitled to under the provisions of the NSHE Code. At UNLV, the NCT or NNR are issued to employees for justified performance, behavior, and financial concerns that may not necessarily rise to discipline under the Chapter 6 processes. They are also issued when grant funding has been eliminated or redirected, when a position is eliminated, and for other associated reasons.

Employee Rights for Notice of Contract Termination or Notice of Non-Reappointment

Upon receipt of the NCT or NNR, the employee may request the following:

  1. Statement of Reasons
    A statement of reasons outlines the reasons for the decision to not renew or terminate the employee’s contract. If the employee requests a statement of reasons, they have fifteen calendar days from the date the NCT or NNR was issued to do so.
  2. Reconsideration
    The employee can request a reconsideration once they have received the Statement of Reasons for the issuance of the NCT or NNR. To submit a request for reconsideration, the employee must provide a written request to their supervisor within fifteen calendar days of receiving the Statement of Reasons.

For more information regarding the NCT or NNR, please contact your designated employee relations specialist.

Filing a Grievance

Grievances from faculty are given serious and timely consideration. Employees should make their concerns known to their supervisors and every effort to resolve disputes through informal discussions. If informal discussions do not resolve the dispute, the employee can choose to file a formal grievance petition through the Office of Faculty Senate. Per the NSHE Code 5.7.2., a grievance may be filed due to an “adverse impact on the employment conditions of a faculty member relating to salary, promotion, appointment with tenure or other aspects of contractual status, or relating to alleged violation of the code or institutional bylaws.” A separate appendix of the Faculty Senate Bylaws details the important deadlines. For additional information regarding the grievance process for administrative faculty, please refer to the Administrative Faculty Committee page on grievance procedures.

Grievance Petition for Academic and Administrative Faculty Faculty Senate Bylaws

Separating Employment from UNLV

Employees separating from UNLV should:

  •  First discuss their separation with their supervisor
  • Write a resignation letter and include the date the separation will take place
  • Initiate their resignation in Workday and upload their resignation letter

For more information on this process, refer to the Separating from UNLV webpage.

The Human Resources Exit Survey is available to employees who would like to provide insight about their experience working at UNLV. It also allows the university to obtain information that can be used to maintain and improve future recruitment and retention efforts. For more information on the exit survey, visit the Employee Offboarding page.