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Policies and Procedures
University Support Staff Employees
Performance Management Process
Appeal Guidelines & Procedures
(Revised 06/08/2014)


A university support staff employee who receives a performance rating that is lower than the highest possible rating may appeal that rating if the employee has permanent status.  An employee who is serving a probationary period due to promotion or a rehire on the basis of reinstatement may also appeal a performance rating.

To start the appeal, the employee provides written notification to Human Resource Services (HRS), 204 Russ Hall, within 10 work days after the review is presented to the employee. Note that the five work day period for employee comments and the 10 work day period to appeal the review run at the same time starting with the date the review is presented to the employee.

The appropriate parties for PSU in a performance review appeal are the rater and reviewer.

Criteria for Selecting Appeals Committee

When a USS employee appeals a performance review, the Director of Human Resource Services (HRS) or his or her designee will select three individuals to serve on the Performance Review Appeals Committee.  Individuals selected for the Committee must be able to be fair and impartial in the decision-making process.  The following guidelines will be followed when selecting Committee members.  If a fair and impartial Committee cannot be selected using these guidelines, other selection methods may be used.

  1. The Committee should include two university support staff employees and one unclassified employee.

  2. Both genders should be represented on the committee.

  3. One of the USS employees should be nominated by university support staff senate.

  4. One of the employees should be from the same classification as the employee appealing the rating or who has knowledge of the kind of work performed by the employee.  An employee from the same work crew or office where the employee who is appealing the rating works or previously worked should not be appointed. 

  5. The unclassified member is generally a person who will be able to devote the time needed for the appeal process.

The employee is notified by the Director of HRS or designee of the names of the members of the Committee and the date, time, and place of the hearing.  If either party objects to any individual proposed to serve as a member of the Committee, the employee must submit the objection in writing and shall include the reasons upon which he or she is basing the objection.  The objection must be received in HRS within two (2) work days of when the employee was notified with the names of the Committee members.  The Director of HRS or his or her designee shall make a determination in writing either to deny the objection or to grant the objection and appoint another individual to the Committee before the commencement of the hearing. 

The Committee will select a Chair who will oversee the hearing and will prepare the Committee's decision.

To protect the impartiality of the Committee and the hearing process, neither the employee nor the rater or reviewer will have any oral or written contact regarding the hearing with any member of the Committee prior to the actual hearing.  Any questions on the hearing procedures should be addressed to HRS.


The employee and rater/reviewer may choose to ask other individuals to speak at the hearing who can make a material contribution to the employee's or rater/reviewer's story.  The following guidelines govern the participation of witnesses at the hearing:

Each party is responsible for contacting its prospective witnesses to make them aware of the following:

  1. Each individual must volunteer to appear before the Committee. The Committee does not have subpoena power.  Employees having personal knowledge concerning the merits of the appeal should voluntarily appear when requested.

  2. Those individuals who are Pittsburg State University employees will remain in pay status for the time required to appear before the Committee.

  3. Witnesses should be present when the hearing begins, although HRS will coordinate appearance times for multiple witnesses.

  4. Witnesses, other than the employee and the rater/reviewer, will not be permitted in the hearing room until they speak to the Committee.

  5. Witnesses will be excused to return to their duties as soon as their testimony is completed.


Both parties must provide a list of witnesses and a copy of any written material or evidence they plan to present at the hearing to HRS at least two (2) work days prior to the hearing, or at such time as is designated by the Director of HRS, or his or her designee. Each party will receive from HRS a copy of the other party's witness list and written materials, as well as any other information pertinent to the hearing, at least one (1) work day prior to the hearing.

Committee members will also receive a copy of each party's written material at least one (1) work day prior to the hearing.

Witnesses not listed and written material not exchanged as required in advance of the hearing will not be heard or considered at the hearing unless good cause is shown.

Legal Counsel

Normally, neither party will have legal counsel present during these informal proceedings. However, the employee desiring to have legal counsel present at the hearing must provide notice to the Director of HRS or his or her designee at least two (2) work days prior to the hearing. The Director or his or her designee will inform the Committee and the rater/reviewer, who may also choose to have legal counsel present. During the hearing, legal counsel's participation will be limited to advising the client.  The legal counsel may not act as a spokesperson.


The employee shall appear personally throughout the hearing, and normally will serve as his or her own spokesperson in presenting information in support of the appeal. However, an employee may have another PSU university support staff employee voluntarily serve as the spokesperson.

An employee choosing to have a spokesperson will provide the Director of HRS with the name of the spokesperson at least two (2) work days prior to the hearing, or at such time as is designated by the Director of HRS, or his or her designee.  If the employee has a spokesperson, the employee still will be present throughout the hearing, but will be required to act only as a witness.  An employee serving as his or her own spokesperson may have a fellow PSU employee or another person voluntarily be present during the hearing to serve as an advisor, although an advisor may not also serve as a witness.  A PSU employee serving as a spokesperson or advisor is required to use approved leave to attend the hearing.

Either the rater or reviewer will be the spokesperson for PSU at the hearing; however both the rater and reviewer will be present throughout the hearing and may present information in support of the employment decision. 

Only the spokesperson for each party will make the first and last statements, and question witnesses.

Hearing Rules and Format

  1. The Committee should hear the appeal within 20 work days after the receipt of the appeal by Human Resource Services.

  2. The hearing should not be recorded.

  3. The hearing will be conducted informally and the Committee will have complete discretion in deciding any procedural questions that arise during the hearing.

  4. The Committee will consider any evidence, information, or testimony which is pertinent to the appeal and will help the Committee understand and evaluate the issue before it.  The chairperson will determine the relevance and materiality of the evidence offered, and the legal rules of evidence will not apply.  The chairperson will also determine whether to hear from witnesses who were not listed or consider materials that were not provided as required in advance of the hearing.

  5. A representative of Equal Opportunity or other designee as selected by the PSU President will facilitate the hearing by providing procedural instructions and guidance to allow the Committee to concentrate on the information presented by the parties. The facilitator exerts no influence on the Committee's decision regarding the hearing.

  6. Each party may make a first ("opening") statement, the purpose of which is to give the Committee a brief overview of the party's case to be presented. The employee will be given the first opportunity to make a brief statement, and each party will have up to fifteen (15) minutes to speak.

  7. After first statements, if any, have been given, each party, beginning with the employee, will present its information, material, and witnesses to the Committee.  Committee members and both parties may ask questions of witnesses after the first statements have been given.

  8. After each party has presented its information, and the Committee has been able to sufficiently question all parties involved, the employee and rater or reviewer may make a final ("closing") statement, with the rater or reviewer being given the first opportunity.  The purpose of the final statement is to present to the Committee a brief summary of the important aspects of the case, and to clarify each party's position.  Each party has up to fifteen (15) minutes to present its final remarks.

  9. When the hearing is completed and final procedures have been explained, the Committee will recess for an executive meeting to deliberate.

  10. In making a decision in an appeal, the Committee may consider any information it feels will be helpful in arriving at its conclusion, including but not limited to investigating a work site, questioning individuals that the parties did not present as witnesses, and reviewing other rules and documentation.  In the event the Committee questions individuals not presented by the parties as witnesses, the parties have the opportunity to be present and to question those persons called by the Committee.

Committee Report

Within fourteen (14) work days of the hearing, the Committee will make a decision and complete and sign a new performance evaluation for the employee.  The Committee's evaluation will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President or Department Head (President's Division) to become part of the employee's official personnel record.  The appropriate Vice President or Department Head (President's Division) then notifies the employee and the rater/reviewer of the Committee's decision within five (5) work days.