Two retired faculty members from the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations are looking for help with a short-term research project.
They are looking for someone to construct and administer a short survey of the Big Ten academic member institutions this winter/spring. They will also be asked to summarize the results in a paper to be delivered at the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) annual conference in Cleveland this coming June.
Additional Information on Research (John Revitte/Robert Banks’ Paper Abstract)
We will review the unique, over 40-years experience, of handling tenure system (TS) and other non-tenure system faculty grievances at Michigan State University within an internal non-union but rather elaborate dispute resolution procedure.*
We will review the instances and outcomes of these MSU faculty employment disputes and seek to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of this elaborate non-union procedure that covers employment disputes concerning approximately 5000 non-union faculty and academic staff — including about 2000 non-union TS faculty. The MSU procedure has been administered by almost a dozen professors who served as grievance processors, mediators and conciliators during their terms as the university’s faculty grievance official (FGO) and their assessments will be reviewed also.
Revitte and recently Banks have interviewed past FGOs, key administrators and faculty governance representatives and collected FGO semester and annual reports that were provided to provosts, presidents and the MSU governance system by FGOs. This data will be used to summarize the cases and patterns of the MSU faculty grievance activity that occurred from 1972 to 2018, and to make some initial assessments regarding successes and limitations of this unique and rather elaborate non-union dispute resolution system. The FGOs work with over a hundred faculty and administrators a year.
The MSU FGP is an interesting non-union model for addressing and sometimes resolving faculty HR complaints and conflicts with university provosts, deans, directors, chairs, and other administrators. It is clearly different but has some similarities with purely university faculty review committee systems, the few ombudsperson systems that exist, and even unionized higher education grievance systems.
In subsequent studies, the author(s) hope to compare and contrast the unique MSU non-union system with other models. The authors particularly hope to conduct a review of the fifteen (15) CIC (i.e. Big Ten and the University of Chicago) institutions regarding their current procedures and forthcoming plans for addressing TS and non-union faculty grievance matters.
John L. Revitte
Human Resources & Labor Relations, and
Residential College in the Arts & Humanities, and
MSU Faculty Grievance Official Emeritus,
Michigan State University