Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure

The Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) shall have jurisdiction to make inquiry and to conduct hearings in two general areas contained in ABOR 6-201, 6-301 and 6-302 namely: in regard to those matters contained in the Conditions of Service dealing with the contractual employment relationship between the General Faculty member and the University/Board of Regents; and in regard to any internal matters relating to grievances against or by any member of the General Faculty. The committee shall consider the protection of academic freedom and tenure as a principal obligation. (Certain preliminary steps for dismissal situations are described in Chapters 3 and 4 of the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel and Sections 6-201, 6-301 and 6-302 of the Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual.)

Membership Requirements

The Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure shall be composed of twelve tenured or continuing members of the General Faculty other than deans of any rank, four of whom shall be elected each year by the General Faculty for a term of three years. The slate of candidates presented to the General Faculty shall be selected in the following manner:

The Nominating Committee will prepare a list of names containing not fewer than two times the number to be elected. After consultation with the Chair of the Faculty and the President, the committee will reduce the list to a slate of twice the number to be elected, giving due consideration to diversity. For each person listed, a brief description of relevant academic experience, qualifications and background will be provided. This information will also appear on the ballot submitted to the General Faculty along with the names and colleges of continuing members. If the outcome of an election cannot be determined because of a tie vote, a runoff election shall take place.

The Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure shall elect its chair and vice chair from among those of its regular members who have served at least one year. In the event that the committee is of the opinion that the case load is so great that undue delay will be experienced in the hearing and disposition of all cases before it, the committee may direct that temporary members be installed to hear specific cases. Temporary members shall be selected by the presiding officer of the committee by whatever means he or she deems appropriate from a pool of names provided by the Nominating Committee or by other membrs of the General Faculty. Such a pool shall contain not less than twice the number of names as there are temporary members to be selected. The Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure shall select one of its regular members to serve as panel presiding officer in each case. In all cases the tenure of temporary members of the committee shall be limited to the hearing and disposition of the specific case which occasioned their selection.

If an elected member of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure resigns or becomes ineligible for membership, this member will be replaced for the remainder of the term of the departing member with the candidate who received the next highest number of votes in the same election, with ties broken by the Chair of the Faculty. If there is no eligible candidate, the Chair of the Faculty will fill the vacancy by appointing a member of the General Faculty who is otherwise eligible for membership on the committee. 

Grievance Flowchart Process

Informal Grievance Process

  1. This chart represents informal and administrative grievance processes. Grievants are strongly encouraged to attempt to resolve their grievance through the Ombuds program, information mediation sponsored by Human Resources, and then exhaust all administrative remedies whenever possible.
  2. The Ombuds program provides informal assistance to prevent or resolve disputes or problems in a neutral setting, to facilitate communication, to preserve or improve working relationships, and to create a better working environment.
  3. Informal Mediation, sponsored by Human Resources, provides neutral, trained mediators from the University community. Those who elect to use this process are provided an opportunity to share their uninterrupted point of view. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong; instead, the mediator helps people understand the conflict and brainstorm options to solve it.

    Individuals should contact Human Resources (HR) for an appointment with an HR Employee Advisor (520-621-8298; HR-employeeadvising@email.arizona.edu). HR Employee Advising offers faculty and staff a safe and confidential space to seek guidance on work-related concerns, conflicts or challenges. Many situations can be resolved through this process. If mediation is required, HR can provide a referral for securing access to a trained mediator.

  4. Should informal mediation through the Ombuds program and Human Resources fail, faculty member should then exhaust all administrative remedies whenever possible before filing it with the Faculty Center for review by the Grievance Clearinghouse Committee. Please note that the administrative steps may vary depending on the College. Consult the organizational chart of your College. In most cases, a grievance with a Department Head is reviewed by a Vice-Dean. If the Vice-Dean is unable to resolve the grievance or if the grievant disagrees with the decision, the grievant may then appeal to the Dean. If the Dean’s decision is described as final, it cannot be appealed, and the administrative steps have been exhausted. The grievant may then submit his or her petition to the GCC. 

Grievance Process

To submit a grievance to the GCC, fill out a petition. The GCC may suggest administrative or informal resolution or decline to forward the grievance to CAFT or the Committee on Conciliation, as outlined in the Bylaws

  1. The Committee on Conciliation has jurisdiction to make inquiry and discuss issues. They consult and advise but do not conduct hearings. If conciliation is not successful, within 30 days the grievant may refer the issue back to GCC.
  2. If the GCC declines to forward a grievance to CAFT, as outlined in the Bylaws, the grievant may appeal that decision to a group of neutral faculty appointed by the Chair of the Faculty. With the recommendation of this group, the GCC may then choose either to affirm the decision to decline to send the grievance forward or overrule that decision and send the grievance to CAFT.
  3. CAFT reviews grievances referred to them and determines whether or not to recommend a formal hearing. Cases with suspension or dismissal; or with adverse decisions on promotion, tenure, continuing status, or nonrenewal as a result of allegedly discriminatory or unconstitutional action; or for release from employment [ABOR 6‐201L] automatically receive a CAFT hearing.
  4. Following the formal hearing, CAFT forwards their recommendation to the President, who makes the final decision. The President’s decision may be appealed, under certain conditions. See the Bylaws for more information.
  5. If the GCC declines to forward a grievance to CAFT, as outlined in the Bylaws, the grievant may appeal that decision to a group of neutral faculty appointed by the Chair of the Faculty. With the recommendation of this group, the GCC may then choose either to affirm the decision to decline to send the grievance forward or overrule that decision and send the grievance to CAFT.

Committee Resources

Upcoming Meetings

There are no events listed for this time span.

Committee Chairs

Professor

Committee Chair
2018 to 2024

Membership List

Professor

Committee Chair
2018 to 2024

Associate Professor

2019 to 2022

Associate Professor

2020 to 2023

Associate Librarian

Outreach Services

2019 to 2022

Associate Professor

2020 to 2023

Professor

Endowed Chair

Zuckerman/Canyon Ranch

Associate Director

Clinical / Health Outcomes Sciences - Asthma / Airway Disease Research Center

2020 to 2023

Professor

2017 to 2023

Associate Librarian

2019 to 2022

Professor

2021 to 2024
*Faculty Senate Member

Professor

2021 to 2024

Associate Professor

2021 to 2024