General and Particular Obligations

All faculty members have an obligation to comply with the rules and regulations of the University and its schools, colleges, and departments. These rules protect the rights and freedoms of all members of the academic community.

In particular, all faculty members are obligated to comply with the standards of academic freedom as outlined in this Handbook. Disciplinary action may follow when the faculty member violates a policy of the University, such as the Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order, engages in any action that interferes with the regular operations of the University or the rights of others, commits any serious violation of the law, engages in any other conduct not protected by academic freedom prejudicial to the teaching, research, or welfare of the University, or in any conduct not protected by academic freedom unbecoming of a faculty member, and so forth.

Disciplinary Procedures

The following procedure is applicable where a member of the Full-Time Continuing Contract faculty for an alleged violation of the general or particular obligations of Title III.

1. [Initiation of Proceedings] Whenever the dean of a college, school, or division of the University seeks to discipline a Continuing Contract Faculty member for alleged violations of the general and particular obligations set out in Title III, the dean shall initiate proceedings by providing the faculty member involved with written notice [by registered mail or email] setting forth clearly and directly all charges against the faculty member and informing the faculty member of their rights under this section, the Bylaws of the University, and rules regulating proceedings on such charges.

2. [Summary suspension] Summary suspension pending investigation and hearing is an extraordinary remedy, but nothing in this statement shall be interpreted as precluding such action by the President and Chancellor or the Provost or the dean of the college, school, or division involved with the assent of the President and Chancellor or Provost, whenever, in the judgment of either, suspension is necessary in the interest of the University community.

3. [Informal resolution at school level] When a disciplinary proceeding is initiated against a member of the faculty, an effort shall be made to resolve the matter informally under the direction of the dean of the faculty member’s school, including an opportunity for the respondent to respond to the allegations. Where the charge is against the dean as a faculty member, the informal effort shall be under the direction of the Provost. Where the matter cannot be resolved in this manner, disciplinary proceedings shall proceed.

4. [School advisory committee] The dean shall refer the matter, with all pertinent information to an advisory committee of the faculty. The committee may be an ad hoc committee or a standing committee, and must consist of three or more members elected by voting members of the faculty, and none shall have a conflict or the appearance of a conflict in reviewing the matter. Where practicable, two or more shall be members of the Continuing Contract Faculty who have seniority in rank and/or years of service at the University; at least one shall be from the tenured faculty; and none shall have a conflict or the appearance of a conflict in reviewing the matter. Senior Continuing Contract faculty members include Continuing Contract faculty members at the rank of professor (or equivalent) and also Continuing Contract faculty members who are at or above the rank of the faculty member subject to the disciplinary procedure.  The committee shall not include departmental chairpersons or departmental heads or any faculty whose primary assignment is administrative.

5. [Procedures and authority of school advisory committee] The committee shall serve as an advisory committee to the dean. It will review the existing file with respect to the complaint and provide a report of findings and recommendations for sanctions, which may include a dissenting opinion as appropriate. The report can also recommend that the dean conduct a further review on specific matters before the dean issues a determination. The committee shall complete its review and report to the dean within thirty working days of being charged with its task, except where exigent circumstances apply. The dean shall make a determination and implement disciplinary sanctions within thirty working days of receiving the committee report, except where exigent circumstances apply. If the committee does not complete its work within thirty working days, the dean shall implement disciplinary sanction(s) on the basis of the existing file within thirty working days of the committee’s deadline. If the dean conducts a further review on specific matters before rendering a decision, the dean shall have an additional thirty working days from the date of the committee’s report to reach a decision, except where exigent circumstances apply.

6. [List of sanctions] Sanctions for violations of the rules and regulations of the University, or its schools, colleges, and departments shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

Removal of privileges

7. [Appeal of sanctions other than suspension and termination] The faculty member has the right to appeal the decision and sanctions other than suspension and termination.  Such appeal should be in writing to the dean and must be made on the following grounds: (1) the decision was not supported by substantial evidence on the record, or (2) the investigation was not conducted fairly or in accordance with the applicable policy and/or procedures; or (3) the sanction is disproportionate to the infraction.  The dean will consider the appeal.  The dean’s decision on the appeal is final.

8. [Appeal of suspension and termination] A faculty member may appeal the decision by the dean to impose the sanction of suspension or termination. Such appeal shall be to the Provost. Sanctions shall be in place pending appeal. Grounds for an appeal shall be that: a) that the procedures used to reach the decision were improper, or that the case received inadequate consideration; or b) that the decisions violated the academic freedom of the person in question, in which case the burden of proof is on the faculty member. Any such appeal must be made to the Provost within fifteen working days after receipt of notice of the decision of the dean.

In deciding the appeal, the Provost may affirm or reverse the decision of the dean or may increase or decrease the sanction imposed as the interests of substantial justice appear to the Provost to require. The Provost may consult with such individuals or groups as the Provost deems appropriate, and may remand the case for further investigation by the dean. The Provost shall make a decision within thirty working days, except where exigent circumstances apply. Where scientific misconduct is at issue, the Provost may also remand the case to the dean of the appropriate school with a request for a new or further fact-finding by the same or a new committee, appointed in accordance with the provisions of the rules governing such cases. If the Provost  remands the case to the dean, the dean shall have 30 working days from the day the case is remanded to submit a report and recommendations to the Provost, who shall have 30 working days to reach a decision. The Provost’s decision is final and there is no further appeal.