A continuing probationary appointment may be terminated at the end of any academic year, but written notice of the University's intention to terminate the appointment shall be given by the administration to the faculty member: (1) by March 1 during the first or second year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a fall semester; (2) by the first class day of the spring semester for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a fall semester; (3) by November 1 during the first or second year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a spring semester; (4) by the first day of class of the fall semester for the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a spring semester.
This statement deals with procedural standards and guides to be followed when the fitness of either a tenured faculty member or a non-tenured faculty member, whose term of appointment has not expired, is questioned. While it is necessary that certain legal requirements be followed, the spirit and intent of establishing simple rules for the protection of all parties that may be involved remain as the primary objectives here. These rules are designed to promote a sense of fair play and recognition of the mutual rights, as well as obligations, of the parties.
Should the fitness of a faculty member be seriously questioned, it is the initial responsibility of the department involved to deal with the issue. The chairperson is responsible for convening the department, which will then elect a review committee which is representative of the department faculty. This committee will study and make recommendations to the department chairperson on questions concerning ethical conduct and satisfactory performance of professional responsibilities.
Questions involving possible breach of ethics, failure to meet professional responsibilities, and the like may be initiated at any level, either administrative or faculty, and should be referred first to the department chairperson. The department chairperson, after discussing the matter with the individual faculty member involved, will refer the issue to the review committee if in his/ her opinion there is substance to the charges. Following the findings of the committee, the department chairperson will submit a written report with his/ her recommendations to the faculty member in question and to the dean of the college for appropriate action.
If no agreement is reached and there remains a dispute, formal proceedings may be invoked by the administration. The faculty member whose fitness is in controversy shall be continued in his/her position until removed by action of the Board of Regents. Should such continuance constitute a clear and present danger, either to the University, the students, the public, or to himself/herself, the faculty member may be suspended by the President or the Provost until final action is taken by the Board of Regents. The faculty member's pay shall be continued unless he/she is suspended or removed by the Board of Regents.
Formal proceedings are those which are brought to the attention of the Board of Regents to inquire into the fitness of a faculty member. Such proceedings are initiated by written charges, which must involve the incompetency of the faculty member, or his/her neglect or refusal to perform his/her duties, or his/her dishonesty, drunkenness, or immoral conduct.
The written charges must also give notice that a hearing to consider the charges will be held before the Board of Regents on a particular day and at a certain time and place, that the faculty member may be present with or without counsel, and that he/she may produce witnesses or other evidence on his/ her behalf at the hearing.
The notice and charge must be handed to the faculty member personally, or it may be sent to him/her by registered mail at his/her most recent address as listed in the University Directory or other known location. If delivered personally, an affidavit of service must be presented to the Board of Regents by the person who performed the service. If service is had by mail, a return receipt properly signed by the faculty member or his/her agent for service shall be presented to the Board of Regents. The affidavit or return receipt must reveal that the faculty member received the charge and notice at least ten (10) days before the hearing is conducted before the Board of Regents. Should the faculty member not be present for service or should registered mail notice not be perfected, a hearing shall not be had until after thirty (30) days following the mailing of the notice or the attempt to perform personal service. Should the faculty member or his/her attorney request additional time in which to pre- pare his/her defense or to seek counsel, the Board of Regents may grant such additional time and continue or postpone the hearing to another day and time.
The President of the Board of Regents shall conduct the hearing at the time and place called for in the notice or at the postponed time if additional time is requested. Such hearing shall not be public, and either party may ask that all witnesses not be present while any person is testifying. The Board President shall administer an oath or affirmation to all persons who may give evidence.
The formal legal rules of evidence need not be followed, and the President shall determine what evidence may or may not be presented. The proper University administrative official or attorney shall present the case against the faculty member, and such member or his/her attorney may have the right to cross examine any witness testifying against he/she.
The faculty member may produce witnesses on his/her behalf, who may be cross examined. He/she may also produce any other evidence which he/she may deem favorable to his/her position.
At any time during the proceedings, any member of the Board of Regents may question any witness or call for a point of order of procedure to be clarified.
After the testimony has been adduced and each side concluded its evidence, the Board of Regents shall retire and deliberate on the charges brought against the faculty member.
The Board of Regents may determine that the charges are not properly founded and, if so, shall so declare. If the Board decides that the charges have merit, the faculty member may be disciplined by the Board, but no faculty member shall be removed except for incompetence, neglect or refusal to perform his/her duties, dishonesty, drunkenness, or immoral conduct. The findings and conclusions of the Board of Regents shall be in writing and delivered to the faculty member or his/her attorney.
In the event the Board of Regents desires, it may appoint a committee of five faculty
members to investigate any complaint concerning a member of the faculty. It is assumed
that when any complaint has to do with the competency of a faculty member, the Regents
shall appoint the faculty committee to investigate same. Such committee may hold a
hearing concerning any charges lodged against the faculty member and shall follow
the same procedure set out for the Board of Regents when a hearing is conducted before
that body. Such committee when appointed, after making an investigation and conducting
a hearing, shall recommend to the Regents either that the complaint is or is not well-founded,
and if the finding is that the complaint is well-founded, shall recommend to the Board
disciplinary action, including the possible suspension or expulsion of the faculty
member. Upon the receipt of the committee recommendation, the Regents shall make the
final decision on the complaint. In any such case, the faculty member shall have the
right of appeal from the recommendation of the faculty committee. Should such appeal
be taken, the procedure before the Board of Regents outlined above shall be followed.
Approved by Faculty Senate, Bill 75-A-01 Approved by Board of Regents - November, 1997
A faculty member, tenured or non-tenured, who wishes to terminate employment shall give due notice of his/her intentions in writing to the department chairperson with copies to the college dean and the Provost at the earliest opportunity, but no later than April 15 of the academic year in which he/she is resigning.
Faculty Senate Bill 10-A-14 begins here
In the face of a financial exigency, defined by AAUP in Regulation 4(c) as “an imminent financial crisis that threatens the survival of the institution” that cannot be alleviated by less drastic means than the termination of certain academic and nonacademic programs and faculty appointments, the Board of Regents may need to officially declare a state of financial exigency, resulting in a process of retrenchment, “a reduction of expenses.” The process of retrenchment will occur only when a “demonstrably bona fide” condition of financial exigency exists. The president, in consultation with Budget Review Committee and Faculty Senate (in accord with AAUP's recommendation that “a faculty body should participate in the decision that financial exigency exists,” but does not have “primary responsibility with respect to these decisions”), will determine the need to recommend a declaration of financial exigency. The president will present the findings, including data or other supporting materials, to the Board of Regents for consideration. Only the Board of Regents can declare a state of financial exigency.
The steps for declaring a state of financial exigency are as follows:
Teaching and learning are the primary reasons for the University's existence, and
maintenance of academic programs should be the highest priority during a process of
retrenchment. However, faculty appointments may be terminated before the end of their
specified term because of the merger or discontinuance of programs or departments
during financial exigency. The guiding principle of faculty termination is programmatic
need. Upon the determination of programmatic need, faculty may be considered for retention
in the following order: tenured, probationary tenure-track, regular non tenure track
(RNTT), term contract, and part-time.
Approved by the Faculty Senate date: Dec 1, 2010 Approved by the Board of Regents date: Dec 8, 2010
Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-1 begins here
Initial Procedure for Recommending All Program Mergers, Reductions, Discontinuance, or Faculty Reductions within Financial Exigency:
Procedure for Faculty Termination in Financial Exigency with Program Discontinuance:
Procedure for Faculty Termination in Financial Exigency without Program Discontinuance: