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Statute XII: Academic Staff and the Visitatorial Board


(This Statute is a 'Queen-in-Council' statute - see section 2 (2) of Statute IV.)

Amended with effect from 15 February 2017 (Gazette, Vol. 147, p.289, 23 February 2017)

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* Part F: Grievance Procedures
* Part G: Removal of the Vice-Chancellor from Office
* Part H: Appeals

Part F: Grievance Procedures

41. The aim of this Part is to settle or redress individual grievances promptly, fairly, and so far as possible, informally and within the division, faculty, school, department, or other relevant area by methods acceptable to all parties.

42. The grievances to which this Part applies are ones by members of the academic staff concerning their appointments or employment where those grievances relate:

(1) to matters affecting themselves as individuals; or

(2) to matters affecting their personal dealings or relationships with other staff of the University, not being matters for which express provision is made elsewhere in this statute.

43. (1) A member of the academic staff should raise any concerns relating to the matters described in section 42 with his or her manager for informal resolution in the first instance. If the member’s concern involves his or her manager directly, he or she may raise the matter with the head of department (as defined in section 21 (3)) for informal resolution.

(2) If other remedies within the division, faculty, school, department, or other relevant area have been exhausted, the member of the academic staff may raise the matter with the head of department.

(3) If the member of the academic staff is dissatisfied with the result of an approach under sub-section (2) or if the grievance directly concerns the head of department, the member may raise the matter with the head of the division.

(4) Where a grievance has been raised with a head of department under sub-sections (1) or (2) or division under sub-section (3), he or she shall consider the possibility of resolving the grievance informally and make such arrangements as he or she considers appropriate for that purpose.

(5) Where a grievance has not been resolved under sub-section (4), the head of department or division shall consider the grievance and decide whether it is well-found.

(6) The procedure for the consideration and determination of a grievance under sub-section (5) shall be as described in regulations made under this section in such a way as to ensure:

(a) that the grievance shall not be determined without a meeting which the aggrieved person shall be entitled to attend and to be accompanied by a colleague in the University or a trade union representative; and

(b) that the grievance shall be determined as soon as is reasonably practicable.

(7) The head of department or division shall send his or her decision on whether the grievance is or is not well-found, and if it is well-found any proposals for the redress of the grievance, to the aggrieved person, and notify him or her of the right to appeal the decision under section 44.

44. (1) If the member of the academic staff is dissatisfied with the decision in respect of the grievance, he or she may apply in writing to the Vice-Chancellor for an appeal.

(2) An appeal under sub-section (1) shall be sent within fourteen days of the date on which the decision under section 43 (7) was sent to the member of the academic staff.

(a) If it appears to the Vice-Chancellor that the matter has been finally determined under Part D or H, or that the grievance is trivial or invalid, he or she may dismiss it summarily or take no action upon it.

(b) If it so appears to the Vice- Chancellor, he or she shall inform the member accordingly.

(3) If the Vice-Chancellor is satisfied that the subject matter of the grievance could properly be considered with (or form the whole or any part of):

(a) a complaint under Part D, or

(b) an appeal under Part H,

he or she shall defer action upon it under this Part until the relevant complaint, determination, or appeal has been heard or the time for instituting it has passed, and he or she shall notify the member accordingly.

(4) If the Vice-Chancellor does not reject the grievance appeal under sub-section (2), and if he or she does not defer action upon it under sub-section (3), the Vice-Chancellor shall consider the possibility of resolving the grievance appeal informally and shall make such arrangements as he or she considers appropriate for that purpose.

45. If the grievance has not been disposed of informally under section 44 (4), the Vice-Chancellor shall refer the matter to the Grievance Committee for consideration.

46. There shall be a Grievance Committee appointed by Council, which shall comprise:

(1) a chair; and

(2) two members of Congregation, at least one of whom shall be a member of staff who is required to engage in academic teaching and/or research either by his or her written contract of employment or by established and agreed practice.

47. The procedure in connection with the consideration and determination of grievances shall be determined in regulations in such a way as to ensure that the aggrieved person, and any person against whom the grievance lies, shall have the right to be heard at a hearing and to be accompanied by a colleague in the University or a trade union representative.

48. The committee shall inform Council whether the grievance is or is not well-found, and if it is well-found the committee shall make such proposals to Council for the redress of the grievance as it sees fit, and Council shall take such action as it deems fit.

Part G: Removal of the Vice-Chancellor from Office

49. The Chancellor may be requested to remove the Vice-Chancellor from office for good cause in accordance with the procedure described in this Part:

(1) A complaint seeking the removal from office of the Vice-Chancellor for good cause may be made by not less than eight members of Council to the Chancellor.

(2) If it appears to the Chancellor, on the available material, that the complaint raises a prima facie case and that this could, if proved, constitute good cause for removal from office, he or she shall require Council to appoint a tribunal to hear and determine the matter.

(3) If it appears to the Chancellor that a complaint made under sub-section (1) does not raise a prima facie case or is trivial or invalid, he or she may recommend to Council that no further action be taken upon it.

(4) When Council has appointed a tribunal under sub-section (2), the Chancellor shall instruct the Registrar to appoint a solicitor or other suitable person to formulate a case for dismissal and to present, or arrange for the presentation of, that case before the tribunal; and it shall be the duty of the person formulating the case for dismissal:

(a) to forward the case for dismissal to the tribunal and to the Vice-Chancellor, together with the other documents specified in that case; and

(b) to make any necessary administrative arrangements for the summoning of witnesses, the production of documents, and generally for the proper presentation before the tribunal of the case against the Vice-Chancellor.

(5) A tribunal appointed by Council shall comprise:

(a) a person not employed by the University holding, or having held, judicial office or being a barrister or solicitor of at least ten years' standing, who shall act as chair; and

(b) two members of Congregation who shall be selected by Council, and at least one of whom shall be a member of the academic staff.

(6) The tribunal shall have access to legal advice as required.

(7) Where the good cause for dismissal referred to in this section is physical or mental incapacity, this Part shall be read as if the word “complaint” were replaced with the word “application”. In such a case, the tribunal may be provided with expert medical advice and the Vice-Chancellor may be required to undergo medical examination at the University’s expense.

(8) A case for dismissal referred to the tribunal shall be dealt with in accordance with the procedure prescribed in section 33, provided:

(a) that the Chancellor shall perform any duty, and exercise any power, there assigned to the Vice-Chancellor; and

(b) that the only recommendation that the tribunal may make is whether or not the Vice-Chancellor should be removed from office.

(9) The tribunal shall send its reasoned decision on any case for dismissal referred to it, together with a statement of its findings of fact regarding that case and its recommendation on the question of removal from office, to the Chancellor and to the Vice-Chancellor, drawing attention to the period of time within which any appeal under Part H should be made.

(10) (a) Where a case for dismissal has been upheld by the tribunal and not dismissed on appeal, the Chancellor shall decide whether or not to remove the Vice-Chancellor from office.

(b) If the Chancellor decides to accept the recommendation for removal, he or she may remove the Vice-Chancellor from office forthwith.

50. Where a complaint is to be referred to a tribunal under section 49, the Chancellor may suspend the Vice-Chancellor from his or her duties and may exclude the Vice-Chancellor from the precincts of the University or any part of those precincts without loss of salary.

Part H: Appeals

51. This Part establishes procedures for hearing and determining appeals by members of the academic staff who are dismissed or under notice of dismissal or who are otherwise disciplined.

52. (1) This Part applies:

(a) to any appeal against a decision of a Redundancy Panel (or of a delegate of that body) to dismiss in the exercise of its powers under Part B;

(b) to any appeal arising in any proceedings, or out of any decision reached, under Part D other than appeals against disciplinary warnings under section 21 or section 38 (b);

(c) to any appeal against dismissal otherwise than in pursuance of Part B, D or G;

(d) to any appeal against a disciplinary decision otherwise than in pursuance of Part D; and

(e) to any appeal against a decision reached by a tribunal under Part G;

and “appeal” and “appellant” shall be construed accordingly.

(2) An appeal against any decision to which this Part applies shall be heard by a University Appeal Panel, constituted in accordance with regulations governing the membership of panels convened under Parts B, D and H of this statute, and conducted in accordance with procedures contained in regulations for the Staff Employment Review Panel and University Appeal Panel, save that:

(a) any appeal against a decision of the Visitatorial Board under section 34 to recommend dismissal shall be heard by the Appeal Court; and

(b) any appeal against a decision reached by a tribunal under Part G shall be heard by the Appeal Court.

(3) No appeal shall lie against any finding of fact of the Visitatorial Board under section 34 (1) or of the Staff Employment Review Panel under section 37 save where, with the consent of the person or persons hearing the appeal, new evidence is called on behalf of the appellant at that hearing.

(4) No appeal shall lie against a decision of Congregation under section 12 (2) or 14 (4).

The Appeal Court

53. (1) The parties to an appeal to the Appeal Court under this Part shall be the appellant, the Registrar, or a solicitor or other suitable person appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, and any other person added as a party at the direction of the Appeal Court.

(2) A member of the academic staff shall institute an appeal to the Appeal Court under this Part by serving on the Registrar, within the time allowed under section 54, notice in writing setting out the grounds of the appeal.

54. (1) A notice of appeal to the Appeal Court under this Part shall be served within twenty-eight days of the date on which the document recording the decision appealed from was sent to the appellant or such longer period, if any, as the Appeal Court may determine under subsection (3).

(2) The Registrar shall bring any notice of appeal received under section 54 (1) (and the date when it was served) to the attention of Council and shall inform the appellant that he or she has done so.

(3) Where the notice of appeal was served on the Registrar outside the twenty-eight-day period the Appeal Court shall not permit the appeal to proceed unless it considers that justice and fairness so require in the circumstances of the case.

55. (1) Where an appeal to the Appeal Court is instituted under this Part, it shall be heard and determined by the Appeal Court constituted under Statute XI.

(2) The provisions of section 19 of Statute XI (appointment and functions of assessors) shall apply to appeals made to the Appeal Court under this Part.

56. (1) The procedure to be followed in respect of the preparation, consolidation, hearing, and determination of appeals to the Appeal Court under this Part shall be that set out in regulations made under this section and shall ensure:

(a) that an appellant is entitled to be represented by another person, whether such person is legally qualified or not, in connection with and at any hearing of the appeal;

(b) that an appeal shall not be determined without an oral hearing at which the appellant and any person appointed to represent the appellant are entitled to be present and, with the consent of the person or persons hearing the appeal, to call witnesses;

(c) that full and sufficient provision is made for postponements, adjournments, dismissal of the appeal if it is not pursued, and the correction of accidental errors; and

(d) that any appeal shall be heard and determined as soon as is reasonably practicable.

(2) The Appeal Court may allow or dismiss an appeal in whole or in part and, in particular, may:

(a) remit an appeal arising under Part D for rehearing or reconsideration by the Visitatorial Board as the Appeal Court may direct; or

(b) remit an appeal by the Vice-Chancellor arising under Part G for rehearing or reconsideration by the same or by a differently constituted tribunal to be appointed under that Part; or

(c) substitute any lesser alternative sanction that would under Part D have been open to the appropriate officer following a finding by the Visitatorial Board on the original case for dismissal.

57. The Appeal Court shall send a reasoned decision, including any decision reached in exercise of its powers under section 56 (2) (a), (b), or (c), on any appeal together with a statement of any findings of fact different from those of the Visitatorial Board under Part D, or of the tribunal appointed under Part G, as the case may be, to the Vice-Chancellor (or, where the Vice-Chancellor is a party to the appeal, to the Chancellor) and to the parties to the appeal.

1 Following changes to Statute XI with effect from 1 October 2009, a consequential change has been made to the cross-reference in this sub-section. This change will be submitted for approval by Her Majesty in Council when the next substantive change to the statute is put forward.

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