North Dakota University System
Policies and Procedures

NDUS Human Resource Policy Manual

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SUBJECT: Appeal Procedures
Section: 27 Appeal Procedures

27.1 A Staff Personnel Board shall be appointed by the president of each institution to hear employee appeals and employee grievances pursuant to Section 28.6.4. This Board shall consist of three appointed members. The three members shall appoint a chairperson who shall conduct the hearing, unless the Staff Personnel Board appoints a hearing officer pursuant to Section 27.3.
27.2 Any regular staff employee who has been suspended without pay, dismissed for cause, changed to lower pay rate, or dismissed due to a reduction in force, may request a hearing with the Staff Personnel Board by filing a written notice, accompanied by a specification of the reasons or the grounds upon which the appeal is based with the appropriate campus official. Such appeal must be filed within five working days following such action. The Staff Personnel Board shall hear both sides of the appeal and, after weighing all evidence presented to the Board, consider whether adequate cause for the institution's action existed, reporting its findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendation to the president.
27.3 The Staff Personnel Board may appoint some other person as a hearing officer with authority to conduct pre-hearing meetings, supervise discovery, advise the Staff Personnel Board, or preside over the hearing.
27.3.1 The Staff Personnel Board may hold joint pre-hearing meetings with the parties in order
to (a) simplify the issues, (b) effect stipulations of facts, (c) provide for the exchange of
documentary or other information, or (d) achieve such other appropriate pre-hearing objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious. The employee, the institution, and their representatives shall participate in pre-hearing meetings upon request and comply with the directives of the Staff Personnel Board or its representative.
27.3.2 The Staff Personnel Board shall serve written notice of hearing on the employee and the
president, or their representatives at least twenty calendar days prior to the hearing.
27.3.3 The employee and the institution may stipulate to a decision on the basis of the written
statements, in which case the Staff Personnel Board shall make its decision on that basis.
27.3.4 During the proceedings, the institution is entitled to have counsel, and the employee is
entitled to have a representative or counsel of their choice at their own expense. Proceedings concerning the removal of an employee shall be closed, unless the employee requests that the proceedings be open. Either party or the Staff Personnel Board may invite up to two observers each to attend the proceedings.
27.3.5 A record of the hearing or hearings shall be made at the institution's expense and shall be accessible to both parties. The record shall be made by a reporter or a stenographer, or, by the use of an electronic recording device. A party shall be provided a copy of the record, or part of the record, at the requesting party's expense.
27.3.6 The findings of fact, conclusions and the decision shall be based solely on the evidence
received by the Staff Personnel Board. The burden of proof that grounds for the institution's action exist shall rest with the institution and be satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence in the record considered as a whole.
27.3.7 The Staff Personnel Board may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues or if the interests of justice will best be served by admitting the evidence.
Every reasonable effort shall be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. The Staff Personnel Board may grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence as to which a valid claim of surprise is made.
27.3.8 The employee shall be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and
documentary or other evidence. The institution shall cooperate with the Staff Personnel Board in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence. The employee and the institution shall have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Testimony may be taken by deposition, including deposition by telephone, or witnesses may testify by telephone, facsimile, video, or other electronic means, as long as such use does not substantially prejudice the rights of any party. Affidavits may be received into evidence upon stipulation of the parties.
27.3.9 The Staff Personnel Board's findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations, with
supporting reasons, shall be reported, in writing, to the president, the employee, or their representative. If the institution's action was a notice of dismissal and if the Staff Personnel Board concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has been established, but that a lessor penalty would be more appropriate, it may so recommend with supporting reasons. The president shall make a final decision and provide written notice of the decision to the Staff Personnel Board and the employee within fifteen calendar days of receiving the report.

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