Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
Provost Office


Print Policy
Export Policy As PDF

Collegiality Policy

SLT 3.3

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Procedures
  3. Definitions

Policy Statement

Grand Valley State University has a tradition of collegiality and shared governance and strives to maintain these standards as a mainstay of its institutional culture. As a value stated in the Board of Trustees' policies as adopted by the Board of Trustees BOT 1.3:

A range of thoughtful perspectives is necessary for open inquiry, liberal education, and a healthy community. Recognizing this, we seek and welcome a diverse group of students, faculty and staff. We value a multiplicity of opinions and backgrounds and seek ways to incorporate the voices and experiences of all into our University. We value our local community and embrace the participation of individuals and groups from Michigan, the nation and the world. We also encourage participation in educational opportunities abroad.

In order to foster a healthy and diverse environment, we will act with integrity, communicate respectfully, and accept responsibility for our words and actions. This University is a community whose varied functions, responsibilities, and contributions are supportive of the instructional, research, and service mission of the institution. Collegial interactions as referenced throughout this policy are those interactions that occur among and between colleagues, subordinates, supervisors, administrators and students. Collegial interactions are essential to support that mission in an effective, efficient, and ethical manner.




If a faculty or staff member believes that they have been subjected to act(s) of non-collegiality, ideally, the individual should first try to discuss the matter with the offending person and/or the appropriate unit head or supervisor. If circumstances make this too difficult or if this does not resolve the matter, the faculty or staff member may seek assistance from Human Resources or confidential support from the Employee Ombuds. If using this process does not resolve the matter or the faculty or staff member so chooses, they may file a complaint using the appropriate Complaint Process identified for each staff group as listed below.

Complaint Process:

Faculty members – Chapter 4, Section 2.18 of the Faculty Handbook

Executive, Administrative and Professional Staff – Board of Trustees' Policies 4.4.7 

Professional Support Staff – Section 3.2.4 of the Agreement

Confidential Professional Support Staff – Section 9 of the Confidential PSS Handbook

Maintenance, Grounds and Service Staff – Section 5.2 of the Agreement

Department of Public Safety Staff – Section 5.2 of the Agreement

Security Staff – Personnel Policies in the Security Staff Handbook


If a student believes that they has been subjected to act(s) of non-collegiality, ideally, the individual should first try to discuss the matter with the offending person. If circumstances make this too difficult or if this does not resolve the matter, the student may seek assistance from the Dean of Students Office. In addition to providing help in resolving the matter, the Dean of Students Office representative can suggest other available resources. If using this process does not resolve the matter or the student so chooses,  a complaint may be filed using the appropriate process in the Student Code. 

NOTE: The GVSU Collegiality Policy was modeled after policy from Northern Illinois University (www.niu.edu)


“Collegiality” defined: 

Collegiality represents an expectation of a professional relationship among and between faculty, staff, and students with a commitment to sustaining a positive and productive environment as critical for the progress and success of the University community. It consists of collaboration and a shared decision-making process that incorporates mutual respect for similarities and for differences - in background, expertise, judgments, and points of views, in addition to mutual trust. Central to collegiality is the expectation that members of the University community will be individually accountable to conduct themselves in a manner that contributes to the University's academic mission and high reputation. Collegiality among faculty, staff, and students involves a similar professional expectation concerning constructive cooperation, civility in discourse, and engagement in academic and administrative tasks within the respective units and in relation to the institutional life of the University as a whole. Collegiality is not necessarily congeniality nor is it conformity nor excessive deference to the judgments of faculty, staff, and students; these are flatly oppositional to the free and open development of ideas. Evidence of collegiality is demonstrated by the protection of academic freedom, the capacity of faculty, staff, and students to carry out their professional and learning functions without obstruction, and the ability of a community of scholars to thrive in a vigorous and collaborative intellectual climate. 

Non-collegial Behavior(s): 

Allegations or complaints of repeated and unreasonable activity, or a severe non-collegial act, that clearly interferes with the professional working, learning, or other University environment, if verified, will constitute a violation of this policy. Such allegations will be examined in a reasonable, objective, and expedient manner, and in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and university due process procedures. It is crucial for the University to ensure the right of all faculty, staff, and students to perform their individual and collaborative roles in a workplace, learning or other University environment that is free from incivility, misuse of authority, intimidation, humiliation, retaliation, and infringement upon personal and academic freedoms. Non-collegial behaviors constitute bullying.