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.


Update:  Post-Tenure Review Request to Faculty Matters Committee:  Suzanne reported that given their workload, the Faculty Matters Committee is unlikely to review this material soon.


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 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.


Discussion: 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 invoked. 

·        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” where needed.

·        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


Dismissal for cause is the involuntary termination of the employment of faculty members for reasons directly and substantially related to their fitness in their professional conduct capacities. 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 apply (University Policy 4007: Misconduct in Research and Scholarship), the following procedures are designed to assure due process in dismissal proceedings occasioned by the alleged unfitness of a faculty member:

  1. 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.
  2. If the matter is not resolved in this conference, it will be referred by the President to the University Grievance Committee 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 committee.
  3. 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.
  4. The President will initiate the dismissal proceedings with a written communication to the faculty member including:

1.      The charge that has been formulated.

2.      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 request.

3.      The procedural rights, in detail, of the accused faculty member (as outlined below).

4.      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 or report.

5.      Notice that if the faculty member waives the right to a hearing, but denies that adequacy of cause for dismissal exists, the University Grievance  faculty Committee which conducted the informal inquiry will make a recommendation to the Board of Visitors on adequacy of cause on the basis of available evidence.

  1. 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 (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
  1. The Hearing Committee will observe the following procedures:
    1. The accused faculty member may choose academic and /or legal representatives to be present at the hearing. The administrative representative will enjoy the same rights
    2. 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.
    3. 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 accused faculty member.
    4. A verbatim record of the complete hearing will be made. If the faculty member so requests, a typewritten copy will be provided without cost.
    5. The hearing will be adjourned when necessary to enable either party to investigate unexpected evidence.
    6. The administration will make every reasonable effort to assure the availability of documents and witnesses under its control
    7. Both parties have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses.
    8. Faculty members or administrators from any institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting association may act as witnesses.
    9. The accused faculty 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.
    10. The Hearing Committee must use every source of reliable evidence but is not bound by the strict rules of legal evidence.
  2. 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:
    1. cause has not been established and the faculty member should be exonerated.
    2. cause has been established and the faculty member should be dismissed.
    3. cause has been established, but a lesser academic penalty than dismissal is appropriate.
  1. 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 accused. Each must be afforded an opportunity to respond before the President forwards a recommendation to the Board of Visitors.
  2. The President may find in favor of the faculty member accused 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 performed.

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate