Dispute resolution

It is the interest of the entire University of Missouri community that policies, procedures and resources be made available to resolve workplace conflict and personal issues that affect the ability of the university to fulfill its mission. Effective dispute resolution processes and resources for the resolution of personal issues that could affect the employment and educational environment of the university should serve the interests of the entire university community.

When problems or potential problems arise, it is important that those issues be handled in an appropriate manner. The nature of the problem will often determine the manner in which the issue is addressed. Most issues that could lead to disputes will fall into one of several categories, for which distinct procedures apply. These include:

  • Personal or interpersonal problems that have the potential for adversely affecting the ability of employees to perform their job.
  • Disagreements or disputes concerning the interpretation, application or enforcement of university employment policies.
  • Issues that involve potential incidents of harassment or discrimination against a faculty member, staff member, student, volunteer or visitor to the university or its programs.

For more information, see the Employee relations flowchart (DOC).

Staff support and resources

Employee Assistance Program

The UM System's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential, professional service provided to all employees, their families, retirees and organizational work units. The EAP provides a variety of services to help employees influenced by a range of personal concerns or stressors. The EAP also assists work units and the larger organization to improve quality and productivity. For information about the EAP and contact information, contact extension HR.

In addition to the EAP, a variety of other services and resources are available to University of Missouri employees. For a list of available services and contact information, see the Support resources for faculty and staff page.

Dispute resolution resources and procedures

Campus Mediation Service

CRR 365.010 Faculty and Staff Mediation Service

A campus mediation service is available on each of the University of Missouri campuses to assist in the resolution of disputes. Mediation is an informal, voluntary and consensual process in which disputing parties work with an impartial mediator to resolve their differences. Both parties must agree to participate in the mediation.

At the request of the parties to a dispute, a trained mediator will work to help clarify issues and interests, open lines of communication and develop better working relationships.

A mediator has no authority to impose a settlement. Rather, parties are encouraged to seek solutions that meet their respective needs. The mediators may provide information, direct the parties to appropriate resources and, if needed, provide an informal means of conflict mediation.

Neither the time period for filing a grievance nor the time frames for taking any action regarding a grievance will be extended as a result of the decision to utilize the Campus Mediation Service.

For additional information, visit MU Campus Mediation Service.

Grievance administration and procedures

Within the university, there are a variety of procedures available for the resolution of grievances. The nature of the issue involved and the employment status of an aggrieved employee will determine the appropriate procedure to use if a dispute arises.

Resources for directors, managers and supervisors

The University of Missouri System Human Resource Manual provides guidelines for effective handling of disputes that are or may become subject to a relevant grievance procedures. For guidance in the investigation and handling of potential grievance issues, see HRR 602 Grievance Administration. Additional resources are found at the Grievances page on the MU HR website.

Faculty grievance procedure

The basic grievance procedure available to MU Extension faculty is the Academic Grievance Procedure, outlined in CRR 370.010.

Depending on the nature of the issue, other policies and procedures should be consulted to determine the rights of faculty members and the appropriate procedures to follow concerning questions involving the specific issues involved. These include:

For non-tenure track faculty, see CRR 320.035 Policy and Procedure on Promotion and Tenure and the Guidelines for Appointment, Reappointment and Promotion of Non-Tenure Track (NTT) Faculty — Division of Extension (PDF) Sept. 2015.

Staff grievance procedure

Within the University of Missouri System, the basic grievance procedure for administrative, service and support staff is outlined in CRR 380.010, and details concerning the administration of the staff grievance procedure is available through the HR Policy Manual at HR 502 Staff Grievances.

Procedures for disputes involving sexual harassment or discrimination

If an allegation that a member of the university community has engaged in conduct that violates the university policies concerning sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination, specific procedures apply for the resolution of these allegations.