Disciplinary Regulations and Procedures to Terminate or Suspend a Tenured Faculty Member
Article XI. Initiation of Proceedings to Terminate or Suspend a Tenured Faculty Member
1. [Termination or suspension for cause]. When a member of the faculty has permanent or continuous tenure or is serving an appointment for a term of years which has not expired, the faculty member may be terminated or suspended by the University only for adequate cause, except in the case of retirement, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies, or because of the discontinuance of a considerable part of the University, such as a college, school, or division or a department in a college, school, or division.1
2. [Adequate cause]. Adequate cause includes (but is not limited to) one or more of the following: incompetent or inefficient service; neglect of duty; repeated and willful disregard of the rules of academic freedom as set forth in this statement; physical or mental incapacity; or any other conduct not protected by academic freedom that is of a character seriously prejudicial to the faculty member’s teaching or research or to the welfare or reputation of the University, including, in certain circumstances, violations of the general and particular obligations set out in Sections 1 and 2 of Title III. [Cf. University Bylaws, Section 92, Removal of Tenured Faculty and Tenured Librarians.]
3. [Initiation of proceedings]. Whenever the President and Chancellor or the Provost, or the dean of a college, school, or division of the University with the assent of the President and Chancellor or the Provost shall deem such action is warranted, that person shall initiate proceedings to terminate or suspend the service of a tenured member of the faculty by providing the faculty member involved (the “respondent”) with written notice [by registered mail or email], setting forth clearly and directly all charges against the respondent and informing the respondent of their rights under this section, the University’s Bylaws, and the rules regulating proceedings on such charges. Among those rights to be included in the written notice the respondent shall be entitled to a hearing before a hearing panel of the Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council Faculty Tenure Committee; a full record of the hearing shall be given to the parties concerned; and, in the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony should include that of faculty or other scholars, whether from this University or from other institutions.
4. [Summary suspension]. Summary suspension pending termination or suspension proceedings 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, whenever, in the President and Chancellor’s judgment, continuance of the respondent in service threatens substantial harm to themselves, to others, or to the welfare or reputation of the University. Unless legal considerations forbid, any such suspension shall be with full base pay. At any time during the pendency of termination proceedings, the President and Chancellor may lift or modify any suspension in the interest of substantial justice.
5. [Informal resolution]. When a disciplinary proceeding to terminate or suspend is initiated against a tenured faculty member, an effort may be made to resolve the matter informally under the direction of the President and Chancellor or the Provost, or the dean with the assent of the President and Chancellor or the Provost. Where the charge is against the dean as a faculty member, the informal effort may be under the direction of the President and Chancellor or Provost. An effort at informal resolution is not required, and is at the discretion of the President and Chancellor or the Provost, or the dean. Where the matter is not resolved in this manner, disciplinary proceedings shall proceed.
6. [Respondent’s obligation]. The respondent shall serve a written answer upon the respondent’s dean and the President and Chancellor within twenty working days after service of the charges and notice upon the respondent admitting or denying each of the allegations contained in the charges and setting forth any defenses to the charges. The time for service of the answer may be extended by the President and Chancellor or the Provost in the interests of substantial justice.
7. [Referral to Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council]. Upon receipt of the answer of the respondent, the dean shall forward to the chairperson of the Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council (“T-FSC”) copies of the written charges and of the answer to such charges.
8. If the respondent fails to serve a written answer within twenty working days, or any extension of such time, the dean shall nevertheless forward the charges to the chairperson of the T-FSC with a statement showing that no answer has been served by the respondent.
Article XII. The Faculty Tenure Committee Hearing Panel
1. [Appointing the Faculty Tenure Committee Hearing Panel]. Within fifteen working days after submission of the charges and answer, or of the charges alone, as the case may be, to the chairperson of the T-FSC, the chairperson shall appoint a panel of five (5) members of the T-FSC, one of whom shall be from the respondent’s school, to serve as the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel. The members of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel will be the longest serving TFSC members in their schools, with the provision that members of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel must all be tenured faculty members. No members of the hearing panel shall have a conflict or the appearance of a conflict in reviewing the matter. If no faculty member of the T-FSC from the respondent’s school is available or declines to serve, the chairperson of the T-FSC shall appoint any tenured faculty member from the respondent’s school. The committee shall not include departmental chairpersons or departmental heads or any faculty whose primary assignment is administrative.
2. [Jurisdiction]. The Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall only have jurisdiction to establish a hearing panel to hear the charges against a tenured faculty member in proceedings under this Title.
3. [Chairperson]. The Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall elect a Committee chairperson from among its members, when it is called upon to consider a case.
4. [Term of Service]. Once identified to serve in a particular case, the members of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall continue to serve until the completion of all proceedings, except as otherwise provided by these rules.
Article XIII. Conduct of Hearings before the Hearing Panel of the Faculty Tenure Committee
1. [The Arbitrator]. An arbitrator who is an attorney shall be the presiding officer at the hearing on the charges. The arbitrator shall preside over the hearing and rule on all procedural matters, including the admissibility of evidence, subject to the right of each party to appeal to the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel.
The arbitrator shall be chosen from a list of 15 qualified attorney-arbitrators compiled by the American Arbitration Association at the request of the Office of General Counsel. The charging party and the respondent each may strike up to five (5) names from the list and each shall rank, in order of preference, the names of those whom they have not stricken. The Association shall then designate as the arbitrator the available person with the highest degree of joint preference of the parties, and shall so advise the charging party and the respondent. Should more than one available person have an equally high joint preference, the Association shall select the arbitrator by lot from those with the highest joint preference.
2. [The calendar]. A calendar of hearing dates shall be fixed by the chairperson of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel after consultation with the parties to the proceeding and the arbitrator; the calendar shall be read into the record on the opening day of the hearing; it shall be adhered to unless the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel orders exceptions for due cause.
3. [Representation for the respondent]. Where both (i) the respondent has failed to serve an answer to the charges and (ii) where it further appears that the respondent is unable to understand the charges and to participate meaningfully in the proceeding, the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall obtain the services of a qualified person to represent the respondent. The qualified person shall be a member of the tenured faculty.
4. [Review of suspension]. In the event of summary suspension, the propriety and effect of such suspension shall be reviewed by the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel when it commences its proceedings on the merits of the charges made, and the panel may recommend to the President and Chancellor that the suspension be revoked or limited in its effects pending the outcome of the proceeding.
5. [Procedural rules].
a. Upon appeal of a decision of the arbitrator, the decision of a majority of the members of the hearing panel shall control.
b. The hearing panel shall have the power to extend the time appointed in these procedures for doing any act or taking any proceedings, where the interests of substantial justice appear to so require.
c. The hearings shall not be restricted by the rules of procedure or of the admissibility of evidence which prevail in the courts of law. Each member of the hearing panel, at the hearing, may inquire into whatever is believed relevant to the inquiry.
d. Whenever the proceedings originate from a finding of scientific misconduct in accordance with the separate rules governing such proceedings, the hearing panel shall deem the report of the earlier committee to constitute the facts as to the existence of such misconduct.
e. In the absence of good cause, upon the failure of the respondent to serve an answer prior to the commencement of a hearing or to appear at the hearing, the hearing panel may, in its discretion, preclude the subsequent assertion of any defense or the introduction of evidence on behalf of the respondent.
f. The respondent and the charging party may be assisted by counsel of their choice. Counsel for both sides shall cooperate at all times with the hearing panel and the arbitrator.
g. Whenever the interests of substantial justice appear to so require, at any time during the hearings, the hearing panel may direct either or both parties to submit a summary of the evidence, a first list of witnesses to be called, exhibits and/or briefs.
h. A request by either party to present witnesses shall be made to the hearing panel, which may limit the hearing of witnesses at its discretion. If witnesses are called, each party shall have the right of cross-examination.
i. Documents submitted by the parties during the hearings shall constitute part of the record of the case. They shall be retained in the custody of the Office of the Secretary.
j. A stenographic record shall be made of all proceedings at the hearing and shall be made available to the parties as part of the record of the case. Any matters discussed in executive session, including procedural matters, will not be included in the transcript of the hearing.
k. Each party shall have equal opportunity at the final session of the hearing for the summation of the case, either in person or by counsel, but no new evidence or testimony may be introduced during such summation.
l. All five members of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall attend the hearing. Members who participate by videoconference or telephone will be considered present. If, after the commencement of the hearing, a member of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel becomes unable to continue to serve, that member of the hearing panel shall be excused from further service. Should a member of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel repeatedly fail to carry out their obligations as a member of the panel, they may be discharged from further service upon the vote of a majority of the remaining members of the panel. In no event, however, may the hearing panel proceed with fewer than three members. Should the number of panel members be reduced to fewer than three, the chairperson of the T-FSC shall add new members to the hearing panel (to bring the total number of members to five or more) and the new members shall review the previous transcripts and documents in the hearing to date. Alternately, the chairperson of the T-FSC shall designate a new hearing panel which shall commence a de novo proceeding. The members of the original hearing panel who remained on the hearing panel at the time that it ceased to function shall be eligible to serve on the successor hearing panel.
m. The affirmative vote of a majority of the hearing panel shall constitute any action by the hearing panel. Subject to the foregoing, the hearing panel may adopt rules not inconsistent with the provisions herein set forth.
n. The members of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings both during and following the review, except as required by applicable law.
Article XIV. Report of the Faculty Tenure Committee Hearing Panel
1. Upon completion of the hearing, the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall deliberate, make its decision and prepare its report. The deliberations shall be conducted in executive session and shall be attended only by the members of the hearing panel. The decision of the hearing panel must be supported by a majority of its members and no determination of termination shall be made based solely upon the failure of the person involved to answer the charges or appear at the hearing.
2. [The report]. The Report of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall be in writing and shall consist of (a) its findings and conclusions on each of the charges; (b) its determination of sanctions and the reasons for its determination of sanctions, including any recommendation for a period of suspension without pay or severance pay where termination is recommended; and (c) any memorandum or opinion submitted by any member of the hearing panel, at their own discretion, with reference to their opinion as to the matters in controversy. The decision of the hearing panel may include the sanctions of termination, suspension, and/or other sanctions.
3. [The vote]. Each finding, conclusion, and determination for sanctions shall be reported with the numerical vote of the members of the hearing panel but not with the names of the members who voted for or against the same.
4. [Transmitting the report]. The chairperson of the Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel shall transmit the Report to the Office of the Secretary, and the Office of the Secretary shall transmit the Report to the President and Chancellor and to the parties.
Article XV. Appeal
1. [Appeal]. Either party may appeal the findings and determination of the hearing panel by filing a written notice of appeal with the President and Chancellor and the Office of the Secretary within ten working days of the receipt of the Report.
Article XVI. The Tenure Appeal Committee of the University
1. [Jurisdiction]. The Tenure Appeal Committee shall have jurisdiction to hear an appeal from the determination of the hearing panel in a proceeding for the termination or suspension of a tenured faculty member. Its powers are confined to such cases and do not extend to any other matter concerning the award or the termination of tenure.
2. [Members]. The Tenure Appeal Committee shall consist of three persons, none of whom hold a full time appointment in the same school as the respondent, as follows: the chairperson of the T-FSC; the chairperson of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees; and a person designated by the President of the University, ordinarily a dean, having the status of a tenured faculty member. None shall have a conflict or the appearance of a conflict in reviewing the matter. In the event that either of the first two persons is unable to serve in a given case, a substitute person shall be designated, respectively, by the chairperson of the T-FSC and the Board of Trustees. Any substitute for the chairperson of the T-FSC shall be a member of the T-FSC and any substitute for the chairperson of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees shall be a trustee of the University.
3. [Materials for the Tenure Appeal Committee]. The Secretary of the University shall provide the Tenure Appeal Committee with the Report of the hearing panel and the documents comprising the record of the hearing.
4. [Confidentiality]. The members of the Tenure Appeal Committee shall maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings both during and following the review, except as required by applicable law.
Article XVII. Action by the Tenure Appeal Committee
1. Upon the appeal of either the respondent or the charging party, the Tenure Appeal Committee shall review and consider the Report of the hearing panel and the record from the hearing. If the Tenure Appeal Committee deems the record not complete, it may request additional materials, including briefs from the parties, or refer the matter back to the panel for further data, findings, and recommendations.
2. The parties may request an opportunity for argument before the Tenure Appeal Committee. If one party requests an argument, such opportunity shall be afforded to each of the parties or their representatives before the Tenure Appeal Committee makes its decision.
3. Upon appeal, a tenured member of the faculty shall be terminated or suspended only by a vote of a majority of the Tenure Appeal Committee . A determination for termination or suspension made by the hearing panel shall be upheld only if the Tenure Appeal Committee determines that: (i) that one or more of the charges are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole; (ii) that the hearing was conducted fairly and in substantial compliance with the rules set forth above for the conduct of such hearings; and (iii) that the sanction of termination or suspension is appropriate. If the Tenure Appeal Committee determines that the charges are not supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole, or that the hearing was not conducted fairly or was not conducted in substantial compliance with the governing rules, or that the sanction of dismissal is not appropriate it shall, as the interests of substantial justice shall require: (i) dismiss the charges; (ii) remand the case for a new hearing before the same or a new hearing panel; or (iii) reduce the sanction, provided however that any decision to reduce the sanction must be upon the unanimous vote of the Tenure Appeal Committee.
4. Where the hearing panel has sustained one or more of the charges but has not recommended termination or suspension and has instead recommended a lesser sanction, the Tenure Appeal Committee shall, upon appeal, similarly review the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the panel. The Tenure Appeal Committee is empowered to make the final determination with respect to the appropriate sanction to be imposed by a vote of the majority of the Tenure Appeal Committee. Where the hearing panel has not sustained any of the charges, the Tenure Appeal Committee shall, upon appeal, again review the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the panel, and where it determines that the findings are not supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole or that the hearing was not conducted fairly or was not conducted in substantial compliance with the governing rules to the detriment of the charging party, it may, in its discretion, remand the case for a new hearing before a new panel of the Faculty Tenure Committee.
5. After the conclusion of its deliberations, the Tenure Appeal Committee shall prepare a written report setting forth its findings and conclusions, stating the reasons therefor, including the dissenting views of any member of the Tenure Appeal Committee, and submit same to the Secretary.
6. The decisions of the Tenure Appeal Committee, including with respect to sanctions, are not subject to further appeal.
7. The Secretary shall provide a copy of the report of the Tenure Appeal Committee to the President and Chancellor and to the parties.
8. The final disposition of the case may be made public only after the President has officially informed the parties of the decision of the Tenure Appeal Committee. Until that time no information concerning the hearings shall be disclosed to the public.
9. The Faculty Tenure Committee hearing panel and, in the event of an appeal, the Tenure Appeal Committee, may recommend that the respondent receive their salary for up to one year after the respondent is provided notice of termination.
Article XVIII. General Provisions
1. The decision by the hearing panel or, if appealed, by the Tenure Appeal Committee to terminate a tenured faculty member must be approved by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the University’s Bylaws.
2. The final disposition of the case may be made public only after the President has officially informed the parties of the decision of the Tenure Appeal Committee, and after the Board has approved this decision. Until that time no information concerning the hearings shall be disclosed to the public.
3. The members of the Board of Trustees, the President and Chancellor of the University and other officers of administration, the members of the Tenure Appeal Committee, the members of the Faculty Tenure Committee, the dean and members of the faculty, and all witnesses and other participants in any hearing shall be privileged as to statements or publications made in connection with any proceeding under Title IV, and shall have immunity for any decision, statement of fact, or comment relating thereto, all to the extent permitted under applicable law and in accordance with the Bylaws of the University.
1 The Board of Trustees has approved resolutions concerning Procedures for Termination and Reorganization of Programs dated December 10, 1979 and December 1, 1997.