MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
Mason Hall, room
D1; 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Present: Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and
Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and
Resolution; Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Humanities and
Social Sciences; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal
Studies, School of Management, Chair; Martin Ford, Senior Associate
Dean, College of Education and Human Development; Dave Harr, Senior Associate
Dean, School of Management; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry
and Biochemistry, College of Science.
Minutes of January 31 and February 7, 2008: Please review for any changes or
corrections – if small, let Meg know, if more substantial, for further
discussion by the committee.
Post-Tenure Review Request to Faculty Matters Committee: Suzanne reported that given their
workload, the Faculty Matters Committee is unlikely to review this material
Provost to Attend Future FHC Meeting: The Provost wishes to attend a future
meeting to discuss institutes. Meg to
contact Debbie Williams to reschedule tentative suggested date.
Section 188.8.131.52 Eligibility for Reconsideration
– Provost has agreed to the removal of his earlier suggested revision to
include “rare” per email to Martin Ford and Dave Harr.
Section 2.11.10 Temporary or Short-Term
Relief of Faculty from Duties and Responsibilities – Provost approved
the most recently revised text (FHC Minutes 1/31/08) per email to Martin Ford
and Dave Harr.
Dismissal of Tenured and Tenure-Track
Faculty Members for Cause
To move (ii) “sustained unsatisfactory performance
(including incompetence and lack of appropriate expertise” to Section
2.6.2 Post Tenure Review.
Inclusion of new Misconduct in Research and Scholarship
Policy with hyperlink. New policy
recommends sanctions, including dismissal.
If recommendation for dismissal made, Section 184.108.40.206
Why nine members on Hearing Committee? Some promotion and tenure committees have
five members, some have more, some also have at-large members. Nine members needed if both faculty member
and President have two challenges.
Why exclude department chairs? Use of titles not defined terms; can exclude
by using challenges. Department chairs
cannot serve on promotion and tenure committees; duties defined elsewhere in Handbook
(Section 2.13 Department Chairs).
Remove “accused” and substitute with “faculty member”
Faculty member may retain legal counsel. Hearing committee would likely receive legal
advice from the University.
As stated in F. 9 – there are three groups: the
faculty member, the administration, and the Hearing Committee. Role of administration undefined.
Dismissal of Tenured and Tenure-Track
Probationary Faculty Members for Cause
for cause is the involuntary termination of the employment of faculty members
for reasons directly and substantially related to their
fitness in their professional
Dismissals will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of
academic freedom or of their Constitutional rights.
Tenured faculty have
important professional responsibilities. Tenure does not protect an individual
from removal for cause. Legal precedent has shown that adequate cause can
include, but is not restricted to: (i)
flagrant violations of professional ethics;
(ii) sustained unsatisfactory performance
(including incompetence and lack of appropriate expertise)- to 2.6.2 Post
Tenure Review ; (ii) inability to perform assigned
duties satisfactorily because of incarceration resulting from a felony
conviction; (iii) exploitation of the power a faculty member may have
over other members of the academic community (e.g., improper sexual advances,
financial reward or punishment); (iv) documented failure to carry out professional
obligations or assigned responsibilities; (v) falsification of
information relating to professional qualifications; (vi) serious
personal deficiencies if they prevent satisfactory performance of
responsibilities (e.g., dependencies on drugs or alcohol); (vii)
violation of institutional rules regarding outside employment; (viii) flagrantly abusive
conduct toward colleagues; (ix) and impermissible retaliation for exercise of free
speech and/or association.
Except in the case of
a finding of research or scholarship misconduct for which other procedures
Policy 4007: Misconduct in Research and Scholarship), the
following procedures are designed to assure due process in dismissal
by the alleged unfitness of a faculty member:
- If the conduct
fitness of a
faculty member comes into question, the President or the Provost will
discuss the matter with the faculty member personally.
- If the matter is not resolved in this
conference, it will be referred by the President to the University
an ad hoc committee of five full-time faculty members, tenured and
of equivalent or higher rank than the accused, elected by and from the
faculty of the local academic unit(s) in which the accused holds primary
affiliation. This committee is charged to initiate conduct an informal inquiry
into the matter and to recommend attempt a reconciliation. If no satisfactory
solution is reached, the committee is to decide whether or not
the situation requires that formal proceedings for dismissal be
instituted. This recommendation decision is confidential and advisory advice to the President of the
University. The Grievance Committee must complete its work and
report to the President within fourteen calendar twenty-eight
days of receipt of the President's letter referring the matter to the
- The President must decide if formal
dismissal proceedings are to begin. If so, the statement of particulars
will be drawn up by the President within fourteen calendar days
from receipt of the committee's report. If the committee concurs in this
decision it should join in the formulation of the statement.
- The President will initiate the
dismissal proceedings with a written communication to the faculty member
The charge that has been formulated.
A statement that, should the faculty member so request, a hearing on
the matter by a faculty committee at a specified place and time will commence
as expeditiously as possible, but no sooner than fourteen calendar days
hence, or later than twenty-eight calendar days after receipt of the
The procedural rights, in detail, of the
accused faculty member (as outlined
Notice of the right to fourteen calendar days to request a hearing. In
the absence of such a request, the President will make a recommendation for
dismissal to the Board of Visitors without benefit of a committee hearing
Notice that if the faculty member waives the right to a hearing, but
denies that adequacy of cause for dismissal exists, the University Grievance
which conducted the informal inquiry will make a recommendation to the Board of
Visitors on adequacy of cause on the basis of available evidence.
- Unless the
accused faculty member
acknowledges in writing the validity of the charges and agrees that they
constitute an adequate cause for dismissal or fails to request a hearing,
an ad hoc committee will be established. If a Hearing Committee
is to be established, the President will ask the Faculty Senate, through
its chair, to nominate nine full-time faculty members to serve on the
Hearing Committee. These faculty members should be nominated on the basis
of their objectivity and competence and of the regard in which they are
held in the academic community; they will be determined to have no bias or
untoward interest in the case and to be available at the anticipated time
of hearing. The faculty member and the President will each have a maximum
of two challenges from among the nominees without stated cause. The
President will then name a five-member Hearing Committee from the
remaining names on the nominated slate. The Hearing Committee will elect
its own chair. Administrators, members of the University Grievance Committee
referred to in Section 220.127.116.11
(2) above, department chairs, and other faculty of the same
local academic unit as the faculty member accused are
ineligible to serve on this committee. All materials and evidence the
parties wish to have considered must be made available to both sides and
to the committee
- The Hearing Committee will observe the
member may choose academic and /or legal representatives to be present at
the hearing. The administrative representative will enjoy the same rights
- At the request of
either party or on the initiative of the Hearing Committee,
representatives of one or more recognized educational associations may be
present as observers.
- The Hearing Committee
will decide whether or not the hearing will be open to the public. In
making this decision they will consult wit the President and with the
- A verbatim record of
the complete hearing will be made. If the faculty member so requests, a
typewritten copy will be provided without cost.
- The hearing will be
adjourned when necessary to enable either party to investigate unexpected
- The administration
will make every reasonable effort to assure the availability of documents
and witnesses under its control
- Both parties have the
right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses.
- Faculty members or
administrators from any institution of higher education accredited by a
regional accrediting association may act as witnesses.
member, the administration, and the Hearing Committee are to avoid
publicity about the case until the proceedings have been completed by the
Board of Visitors. Only necessary announcements such as hearing time and
place are permitted.
- The Hearing Committee
must use every source of reliable evidence but is not bound by the strict
rules of legal evidence.
- The decision of the Hearing Committee
must be based only on the complete record of the hearing considered as a
whole. The burden of proof that adequate grounds exist for dismissal must
rest with the Administration. The Hearing Committee reports to the President,
normally with one of the following recommendations:
- cause has not been
established and the faculty member should be exonerated.
- cause has been
established and the faculty member should be dismissed.
- cause has been
established, but a lesser academic penalty than dismissal is appropriate.
- Should the President reject the
recommendation of the Hearing Committee, the President will state the
reasons in writing to the Hearing Committee and to the faculty member
Each must be afforded an opportunity to respond before the President
forwards a recommendation to the Board of Visitors.
- The President may find in favor of the faculty
and terminate the proceedings. If the President recommends dismissal or
any other penalty, the President's recommendation to the Board of Visitors
must include a record of the case. Lesser penalties, agreed upon by the
President and the faculty member accused, are handled administratively
with no further recourse available to either party.
- The Board of Visitors will evaluate the
President's recommendation, using the record of the hearing. It may at its
discretion also afford an opportunity for both parties to present their
arguments orally or in writing, or both. If the Board of Visitors does not
sustain the Hearing Committee's decision, the proceedings of the hearing
are to be returned to the Committee with specific objections. The Hearing
Committee must reconsider the matter, the objections, and any new evidence
that may be available. A final recommendation is then to be made by the
Hearing Committee to the Board of Visitors. The Board of Visitors will
then render the final decision.
- Normally the faculty member will remain
at his or her usual duties until the final decision is reached by the
Board of Visitors. The faculty member may be suspended only if the
President determines that continued work threatens immediate harm to self
or others. Any such suspension is to be with pay. When dismissal charges
are brought against a faculty member who fails to perform specified duties
during the course of dismissal proceedings, the President can withhold a
portion of the faculty member's salary prorated to the duties not
Clerk, Faculty Senate