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Grievance Handling

The University Grievance Handling Office is an organ of the University that hears individual or group complaints of members of the University Community who have grievances against practices, acts and decisions of faculty, staff, administrative units and students. The office is accountable to the President of the University.

Mission of the Office

The mission of the Office is to provide University-wide complaints hearing procedure accessible to any member of the University community on matters falling within its jurisdiction.

Objectives of the Office

  1. To establish good governance and rule of law;
  2. To guarantee a smooth working atmosphere within the University;
  3. To ensure that injustice and abuses are not tolerated and
  4. To provide training that could help the University community prevent grievances rather than cure them.

Duties and responsibilities:

  1. Managing the grievance handling Office in a competent and cost-effective manner so that its functions are efficiently and effectively performed, the goals and objectives achieved and the mission fulfilled;
  2. Liaising with other bodies on behalf of the University on issues pertinent to the duties and responsibilities of the office;
  3. Providing efficient, effective and accessible services to members of the university community so that their complaints and grievances are resolved promptly and impartially;
  4. Participating in drafting and reviewing polices, legislations and by- laws of the University  and recommending appropriate changes;
  5. Accepting complaints and conducting investigation on institutional and  individual practices or tendencies that  have negative  impacts on the equal rights of individuals or groups within the University community and recommending remedial actions;
  6. Providing counseling services to the University community on issues involving human rights, rule of law and due process;
  7. Receiving grievances and directing them with proposed decisions to the Office of the President;
  8. Developing, implementing and maintaining University-wide advocacy program, in collaboration with the relevant institutions of the University, on fundamental human rights and the rule of law. This can help to encourage participation in promoting good governance and the freedom of information and the protection of the rights of the University community;
  9. Promoting regulations, rules and codes of conduct within the University community.
  10. Promoting and working with other bodies of the University concerned on diversity, tolerance, accountability and sense of responsibility among members of the University community, and
  11. Facilitating the formation of committees that have the power to investigate and decide on grievances.

Jurisdictions of the Office

The Office shall have the power to hear disputes involving:

  1. alleged academic misconduct by faculty and alleged violations of University rules and regulations by staff, students, campus police or any administrative staff that infringes upon the rights of any members of the University community;
  2. allegations of discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, religion or disability or any similar grounds;
  3. any discrimination against women;
  4. any act of gender violence including sexual harassment;
  5. alleged violations of the human rights of students, academic or administrative staff;
  6. employment-related issues, particularly the termination of contracts;
  7. a breach of discipline by academic or support staff as well as students, and
  8. any other administrative malpractices.

Duties and responsibilities of Grievance Handling Experts:

  1. Involve in equity-related grievances to eliminate and prevent discrimination and harassment in the University;
  2. Help the Head in communication on collective agreement provisions, work policies and procedures;
  3. Conduct surveys of collective agreement provisions, and see to it that work policies and procedures are fairly and consistently applied;
  4. Find out all the facts: collect all relevant information in order to understand the basis of the complaint;
  5. Maintain written records of discussions, meetings, activities, and significant events related to the complaints or grievances;
  6. Make sure grievance responses are within time limits or extensions are requested;
  7. Communicate and work with the bodies concerned that the environment for students and staff is free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment;
  8. Work closely with the Disciplinary and Grievance committees of the University;
  9. Participate during planning and prepare reports of the Office, and
  10. Perform other activities assigned by the Head.

Partnerships or collaborations

The office has collaboration with the National Ombudsman Commission.

Head of the Grievance Handling Office: Dr. Tsegaye Berhe

Address:  Main Campus

Building: Nelson Mandela

Floor: 3rd Office room no.: 304/305

Tel: +251-111-243404 (office)

Mobile: +251-911-402844

Email: tsegaye berhe@ aau.edu.et

Administrative Staff Members of the Office

  1. Ato Sergwork Dessie, senior grievance handling expert I
  2. W/ro Martha Muleta, grievance handling expert II