Policy Statement

University merit staff may be subject to progressive disciplinary action for just causes such as failure to perform assigned duties, inadequate or poor performance, negligence, insubordination, inappropriate behavior, dishonesty, or any act or conduct which adversely affects the employee's performance or the University.

Disciplinary actions will be taken in accordance with applicable Regents Merit System Rules (Section 3.116 (8A) Disciplinary Actions) and in consultation with the Human Resource Services Director (or designee), who serves as the Resident Director. Disciplinary actions will normally begin at the lowest step in the progressive discipline process, but may be advanced dependent upon the severity of the issue at hand. Likewise, circumstances may warrant disciplinary action being issued at the same level as prior disciplinary action before progressing to a higher level.

A verbal warning will generally follow coaching, mentoring and/or restatement of expectations. A supervisor will meet with the staff member to affirm expectations, discuss the performance deficiency or behavioral concern, and state that failure to improve may lead to further discipline, up to and including termination. A verbal warning is documented in the supervisor file for future reference as needed.

A written warning generally follows a verbal warning and consists of a memo issued by the supervisor to the staff member and a copy placed in the employee’s personnel file. Upon written request by the employee, a written warning may be removed from the individual’s personnel file following a minimum of one year of acceptable performance and with the approval of the supervisory channel up through the division head and HRS Director. Performance appraisal ratings and forms will not be removed or changed as a result of such request.

Following an investigation and consultation with the HRS Director or designee, a suspension without pay may be effected with or followed immediately by a letter to the suspended employee identifying conditions necessitating suspension. An employee may, upon written request, appeal a suspension directly to the department head at Step 2 as outlined in Regents Merit System Rule Section 3.129 (8A) Grievances and Appeals.

Following an investigation and consultation with the HRS Director or designee, a staff member may be involuntarily discharged when the severity of the issue warrants and/or prior disciplinary actions have proven unsuccessful. Once discharge from university service has occurred, the dismissed employee may appeal directly to Step 2 as outlined in the Regents Merit System grievance procedure noted above.

In accordance with Iowa Code 22.7(11)(a)(5) and 22.15, information relating to certain disciplinary action that may be imposed, including termination of employment, may become a public record. 

Additional Resources

Regents Merit System Rules: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/chapter/03-21-2012.681.3.pdf
Merit System Staff Guide: https://hrs.uni.edu/sites/default/files/documents/merit_guide.pdf

This policy revision is effective July 1, 2017.
Human Resource Services, approved April 19, 2017
President’s Cabinet, approved May 8, 2017
President and Executive Management Team, approved June 14, 2017