The Round Up: Part 3

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Last week, I started a series of posts on the Round Up, and issues with hiring practices there (Part 1 and Part 2).

Today’s will likely be the last post for the next few days, because some interesting developments have occurred.

This morning, the opinion and news editor positions were reposted on the campus jobs site, though I couldn’t find the posting for the news editor job. In addition, the arts and design editor positions are being “held open,” whatever that means.

In addition, George Barton, director of campus placement services, told Jacqueline Armendariz and Carlos Mariscal on Monday that they had not followed the proper appeals process when they contacted Student Placement Services.

Armendariz told me she filed a grievance on July 28. Per the Student Employment Services Handbook (Section XX, Grievance Procedures), a grievance review officer should have contacted Armendariz within five days. After conducting an investigation, the review officer should have made a recommendation to the affected parties (the employee and the employer).

According to Armendariz, she and Mariscal contacted Barton directly when nobody responded to the grievance process. Armendariz spoke with Barton on August 3, when she said she was told no further investigation would be conducted into her and Mariscal’s individual cases. Armendariz said she was under the impression this constituted a recommendation from Barton, as outlined in the grievance process in the SES Handbook. She filed a refusal of the recommendation on August 3 (as required by the handbook).

From what I understand, she (and Mariscal) followed the grievance procedure to the letter. Nonetheless, Barton told them they had not followed the proper procedure, and had to appeal “internally.” Both Armendariz and Mariscal received an e-mail message from Barton explaining his reasoning. In the letter sent to Armendariz, Barton says:

I have received your recent letter concerning your plans to pursue the grievance procedure as it pertains to hiring for Round Up positions. It is important for you to understand that you have not yet taken this process through the appropriate steps and are not yet in a position to request a hearing by this office or a Student Personnel Board. I have done nothing more than review your complaint and attempt to discuss it with Mr. Morris. I have served as an advisor only. It has been my hope that the problem could be resolved without taking it into a very messy appeal process. You seem to have been very anxious to push this process to a formal appeal even before decisions have been made and before you have received any written response from me.

Since I was unsuccessful in bringing this situation to a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties, it appears that you will need to pursue it more formally. The next step in the process is for you to appeal internally; this means that you will need to go before the Pub Board. I will not be involved at this stage, but will offer technical advice where it is requested. In the meantime, the posting for the Arts Editor position is being held open until a resolution has been reached.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the appeal process. I would suggest you refer to the SES Handbook. You will find that our goal is to resolve problems internally whenever possible. Your first line of appeal is the (Publications) Board.

George Barton, Ed.D.
Placement and Career Services
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003

The wording is slightly different in the letter addressed to Mariscal, but you get the point. Armendariz (and Mariscal) appear, to me, to have not only initiated the grievance process, but they’re in the middle of it. But Barton doesn’t see things that way, and is now asking them to “appeal internally,” a process that is not defined in the SES Handbook.

So, rather than subject themselves and The Round Up to the clearly outlined grievance process, Barton wants Armendariz and Mariscal to follow an internal appeal process, the nuances of which are undefined and unclear.

No date for a Publications Board meeting has been set.

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