March 1, 2011 An Open Letter to MU Faculty The writers of this letter include many faculty members at MU with long standing experience in the formulation, conduct, reviews, and reformulations of the grievance process at our university. We include several faculty who have gone through the grievance process, advised some faculty going through the process, served on the grievance panels, and have served in leadership positions on both the MU faculty council and the UM Inter Campus Faculty Council (IFC). Many of us were opposed to the pilot grievance process as it was put forward a couple of years ago, but some of us had supported it in the hope that it will improve the outcomes. After observing the pilot process at work over the last two years and the outcomes where not a single grievance has resulted in any findings in favor of faculty and where many have been even denied hearings, we are all however unanimous now that the pilot process is fundamentally flawed, and it should not be continued. We strongly prefer reverting to the process (with some minor and appropriate adjustments) that the pilot replaced, and under which most faculty members received full and fair hearings and often found grievance panel rulings in their favor on one or more issues, rather than to continue with the pilot. We urge all faculty members to vote against the continuation of the pilot process, as in our view it has harmed faculty interests, it is fundamentally against good practices in these matters at all other comparable institutions, and it also violates AAUP guidelines to which the university administration has generally expressed its adherence. Rejection of most grievance panel findings in favor of grievants, and acceptance of all findings in favor of administrators, has long been an administrative practice at MU. There also have been repeated circumstances in which the administration has not followed up on its own determinations in those rare cases where it did agree to some findings in favor of grievants. The pilot process tilts this balance further away from faculty- it compromises the independence of grievance panels, and makes it virtually impossible for a faculty member to get a full and fair hearing at any level, should a hearing be at all allowed. "Hope springs eternal in the human heart," but one cannot live by hope alone. We respect those who are supporting continuation of the pilot, but we do not have any confidence left in the pilot process, and once again we urge all faculty members to vote, and vote against the continuation of the pilot. Signatories to this letter: Professors Eddie Adelstein, Gordon Christensen, Tushar Ghosh, Rainer Glaser, Ranadhir Mitra, Karen Piper, Sudarshan Loyalka, Mark Prelas, Stephen Montgomery Smith, Haskell Taub, Galen Suppes