The Contract Enforcement/Grievance (CEG) team has compiled answers to the questions they hear most often about major provisions in our contract. Click on any question below to view the answer. Contact CEG to ask other questions and discuss how to proceed on your issue (firstname.lastname@example.org for tenured and tenure-track faculty; email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for NTTs and grad workers).
What is a “personnel file” and do I have one?
The University is required to maintain personnel files for all faculty members and teaching/graduate assistants. Personnel files are maintained in the office of a dean or director. It is the responsibility of these offices to properly maintain files with documents related to employment history and evaluations. Other documents may be placed in a file, and it’s an unfortunate fact that units have varying practices regarding what types of materials are placed in these personnel files.
Who gets to see my file?
You are entitled to see your own file and add materials to it. Evaluative committees may also view your personnel file when you are evaluated for reappointment, promotion, and/or tenure. A recent change to the Academic Reappointment/Promotion Instructions for tenure/tenure-track faculty requires deans to certify that they have reviewed the personnel file as part of the evaluation process. It may also be the practice in individual departments to make personnel files available to peer evaluators during the review process.
How can I review what’s in my file?
Contact the dean’s office and ask to make an appointment to review the contents of your file or request a copy of all materials contained there.
What should I do if I’m told that I can’t see my file?
Send the language of Article 18 to the person in the dean’s office who has denied access; and/or advise that person to contact the Office of Academic Labor Relations at the University to confirm that access must be granted; and/or contact a representative from the union’s Contract Enforcement/Grievance team.
Do I have any control over what is placed in my file?
Contents of a personnel file are at the discretion of a dean/director, with certain caveats related to the timing of addition of materials. Please review Section F of Article 18 for details.
You have the right to prepare a written response to any document in your official personnel file that you believe reflects negatively on your abilities or performance. A dean is required to place this response in your file, if requested.
Why is it important to know what’s in my file?
We strongly recommend that faculty know what is in their personnel file. Materials may be added without any notice to you. Knowing what is in your file is especially important now that the University has elevated the importance of these files in evaluations. If, for example, a student complaint has been placed in your file that you’re unaware of, it may be appropriately considered when evaluating teaching. If you know it’s there, you have the right to include a written response to it. Likewise, other documents may need clarification from you in order to fairly and clearly represent your employment record.