Policy No. 5:02:03:00
CLEVELAND STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE Cleveland, TN
SUBJECT: Academic Tenure
Reference: TBR Policy 5:02:04:10, Academic Tenure for Community Colleges
PRINCIPLE: Tenure is awarded only by positive action by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), pursuant to the requirements and procedures of this policy at Cleveland State Community College. The award of tenure is recognition of the merit of a faculty member and of the assumption that he/she would meet the long-term staffing needs of the department or academic program unit and the college. The continued professional growth and development of faculty is necessary for institutions of higher education to continue to provide educational programs in accordance with the college’s mission, goals, and changing needs of the institution. Tenure is awarded only to those members of the faculty who have exhibited professional excellence and outstanding abilities sufficient to demonstrate that their future services and performances justify the degree of permanence afforded by academic tenure.
The quality of the faculty of any community college is maintained primarily through the appraisal, by faculty and administrative officers, of each candidate for tenure. Tenure at Cleveland State Community College provides eligible full-time faculty with the assurance of continued employment during the academic year until retirement or dismissal for adequate cause, financial exigency, or curricular reasons, as further discussed herein. Cleveland State Community College does not award tenure in non-faculty positions.
Definitions: The following are general definitions of terms used in this policy. They are further defined in the subsequent sections of this policy.
- Academic Tenure – a personnel status in an academic department or academic program unit pursuant to which the academic or fiscal year appointments of full-time faculty who have been awarded tenure are continued at Cleveland State Community College until the expiration or relinquishment of that status, subject to termination for adequate cause, for financial exigency, or for curricular reasons.
- Adequate Cause – a basis upon which a faculty member—either with academic tenure or on a tenure-track, term, or temporary appointment—prior to the end of the specified term of the appointment may be dismissed or terminated. The specific grounds which constitute adequate cause are set forth in Section VI. G. herein.
- Financial Exigency – the formal declaration by TBR that CSCC faces an imminent financial crisis, that there is a current or projected lack of sufficient funds (appropriated or non-appropriated) for the campus as a whole to maintain current programs and activities at a level sufficient to fulfill its educational goals and priorities, and that the budget can only be balanced by extraordinary means that include termination of existing and continuing academic and non-academic appointments.
- Faculty Member – a full-time employee who holds academic rank as an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. Further definition can be found in Section 05:02:01:00 of TBR policy.
- Probationary Employment – period of full-time professional service by a faculty member for whom an appointment letter denotes a tenure-track appointment in which he/she does not have tenure and in which he/she is evaluated by the college for the purpose of determining his/her satisfaction of the criteria for a recommendation for tenure. Probationary employment provides an opportunity for the individual to assess his/her own commitment to the college and for the college to determine whether the individual meets its perception of quality and projected need. This period shall be at least five years but not exceed six years in duration.
- Temporary Appointment, Tenure-Track Appointment, and Tenure Appointment – these three types of faculty appointments are defined in Section 3 of this policy.
Consideration For Tenure
Minimum Eligibility Requirements of Consideration for Academic Tenure
- Academic tenure may only be awarded to full-time faculty members who: (1) hold academic rank as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor and meet the minimum rank criteria for the rank held under the Board Policy No. 5:02:02:00; (2) have been employed pursuant to tenure-track appointments and have completed no less than the minimum probationary period of service; and (3) have been determined by the institution to meet the criteria for recommendation for tenure and have been so recommended pursuant to this policy.
- Faculty holding temporary appointments are not eligible for tenure.
- Faculty members supported in whole or in part by funds available to the institution on a short-term basis, such as grants, contracts, or foundation sponsored projects, shall not be eligible for tenure unless continuing support for such members can be clearly identified in the regular budget of the institution upon the recommendation of tenure to the Board.
- No faculty member shall be eligible for tenure in an administrative position; provided that where a faculty member with tenure is appointed to an administrative position, he or she will retain tenure in a former faculty position only; and provided further that a faculty member otherwise eligible for tenure who also holds an administrative position may be awarded tenure in the faculty position only, subject to the requirements of this policy.
Types of Appointments
There are four types of faculty appointments: temporary appointments, tenure-track appointments, tenure appointments, and term appointments.
- Temporary appointments are appointments for a specific purpose for a time appropriate to that purpose or for an unspecified period, which appointments may be terminated according to the terms of the appointments. Temporary appointments ordinarily should be used for lecturers, adjunct or part-time faculty, faculty employed to replace regular faculty on leave of absence, and faculty employed pursuant to grants or for projects funded in whole or in part by non-appropriated funds. In addition, temporary appointments may be used for faculty employed on the basis of state appropriated funds in departments, Schools, or other academic units where the permanent and continued need for the position has not been established, provided that such appointments normally should not be in excess of three academic years. Any request for an extension beyond three years will require the approval of the Chancellor.
- Tenure-track appointments are appointments for regular full-time faculty with academic rank, and may be for the academic or fiscal year. Tenure-track appointments are for faculty who are employed in a probationary period of employment preliminary to consideration for tenure. Tenure-track appointments shall not include any right to permanent or continuous employment, shall not create any manner of legal right, interest or expectancy of renewal or any other type of appointment, and shall be subject to annual renewal by the institution.
- Tenure appointments are appointments of full-time faculty who have been awarded tenure by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this policy. Tenure appointments include the assurance of continued employment for the academic year for an indefinite period, subject to expiration, relinquishment or termination of tenure as hereinafter provided. Such appointments do not include assurance of continued employment at any specified salary or position or employment during summer sessions or inter-sessions.
- Term appointments are provided only for faculty at community colleges and technical institutes. They are non-tenurable appointments in a traditional rank (e.g., instructor, assistant professor, etc.,) for a fixed period of no more than one year and may be renewed with no presumed maximum number of reappointments.
Probationary Employment and Calculating the Probationary Period
- Probationary faculty may be employed on annual tenure-track appointments for a maximum probationary period which may not exceed six years. A recommendation for tenure of a faculty member following a probationary period of not less than five years may be made by the President, provided that exceptions to the minimum probationary period may be made under special circumstances upon recommendation by the President and the Chancellor and approval by the Board.
- Only full-time continuous service at an institution will be included in determining completion of the probationary period, unless a break in service is approved.
- Employment during summer terms, in part-time positions, or during periods of leaves of absence (except in the circumstance described in 4 below) shall not be credited toward satisfying the probationary period.
- The minimum probationary period of five years may include credit for prior service when agreed to by the President, and subject to the maximum permissible credit for prior service, pursuant to Section 5.
Credit for Prior Service The minimum probationary period of five years may include credit for prior service when agreed to by the President, and subject to the maximum permissible credit for prior service as noted below:
- Credit toward completion of the probationary period may, at the discretion of the President, be given for a maximum of three years of previous full-time service at other colleges, universities or institutes, provided that the prior service is relevant to the institution’s own needs and criteria. Any credit for prior service that is recognized and agreed to must be confirmed in writing at the time of the initial appointment.
- Credit toward completion of the probationary period may, at the discretion of the President, be given for a maximum of three years of previous full-time service in a temporary faculty appointment at the same institution (see Types of Appointments, Section III. B.), or in an earlier tenure-track appointment at the same institution which has been followed by a break in service. Any credit for prior service in a temporary full-time faculty appointment at the same institution or in an earlier tenure-track appointment (at the same institution) which has been followed by a break in service must be recognized and confirmed in writing in the appointment letter to a tenure-track position.
Leave of Absence The period of approved leave of absence shall be excluded from the required probationary period. A faculty member may apply for a maximum of two, non-consecutive one-year leave increments. Exceptions may be granted by the President in writing prior to the leave of absence. Exceptions may include:
- crediting the leave periods to the probationary period and/or
- granting more than two, non-consecutive one-year increments, with the required approval of the Chancellor, as per TBR policy
- “Stopping the Tenure Clock.” A faculty member may request to “stop the tenure clock” during his/her probationary period when circumstances exist that interrupt the faculty member’s normal progress toward qualifying for tenure. In such cases, the faculty member may request to “stop the tenure clock” for one-year if he/she demonstrates that circumstances reasonably warrant the interruption. Reasons will typically be related to a personal or family situation requiring attention and commitment that consumes the time and energy normally addressed to faculty duties and professional development. Examples may include childbirth or adoption, care of dependents, medical conditions or obligations, physical disasters or disruptions, military deployment, or similar circumstances.
- Administrative Appointment. A faculty member appointed to an administrative position may remain eligible for tenure consideration. The faculty member must qualify for tenure under the college’s guidelines, and maintain a significant involvement in academic pursuits including teaching, service, outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/ research. A prorated portion of the time spent in the administrative position may be credited toward completion of the probationary period.
- Transfer to Another Department or Program. When a faculty member is serving a probationary period in an academic department or program and is subsequently transferred to another department or program, the faculty member may – with the approval of the President – elect to begin in a new probationary period on the date the transfer occurs. If he/she does not so elect (and confirms this in writing to the President), time spent in the first appointment shall count toward establishing the minimum and maximum probationary period.
- Minimum Eligibility Requirements of Consideration for Academic Tenure
Ill. Criteria to be Considered in Tenure Recommendations
Performance/Merit Criteria – Below are guidelines that will be used in the evaluation of tenure applications. The percentage ranges are approximations of the weights to be given to these areas of a candidate’s job performance, and should not be construed as a precise quantification scheme.
Teaching(75-80%) Effective teaching is an essential and foundational qualification for tenure, and tenure should be granted only with clear and documented evidence of a candidate’s teaching ability and potential for continued development. Each of the items listed below must be submitted as evidence of effective teaching and be included in the tenure application, which also can take the form of a teaching portfolio.
- Evidence of ability to organize and present subject matter in a logical and comprehensible way.
- Evidence of ability to motivate and stimulate learning in students.
- Statement of teaching philosophy.
- Course materials, including syllabi, instructional materials, and tests.
- Student evaluations for every course evaluated during the probationary period.
- Evidence of being conversant with developments in instructional technology in the candidate’s discipline(s).
- Evidence of knowledge of and commitment to the CSCC QEP.
Other types of documentation that may be included in the application:
- professional development, as manifest in earning professional degrees in relevant disciplines, among other professional achievements
- student feedback and input, including student evaluation comment sheets
- student products
- awards, among other forms of recognition of teaching ability
- evidence of professional development in teaching
- evidence of disciplinary or interdisciplinary program or curricular development
- alumni surveys
- student exit interviews
- evidence of supervision of student projects and other forms of student mentorships
- other evidence of ability in teaching or the mentoring students and/or junior faculty
Service to the college, the college service area, and the professional discipline(s)(15-20%)
Service to the college, which could include
- committee service
- participation in extracurricular college activities
- applying for grants and fellowships
Service to the college service area, which could include
- public presentations
- volunteering with community groups
- working with local schools
Service to and participation in the professional discipline, which could include
- membership and participation in professional organizations
- presentation of papers at professional conferences
- holding office in professional organizations
- Service to the college, which could include
- Scholarship and other Creative Activities(0-5%)
- Teaching(75-80%) Effective teaching is an essential and foundational qualification for tenure, and tenure should be granted only with clear and documented evidence of a candidate’s teaching ability and potential for continued development. Each of the items listed below must be submitted as evidence of effective teaching and be included in the tenure application, which also can take the form of a teaching portfolio.
Long-term Staff Needs of the Department and the Institution (submitted by Dean to the appropriate Peer Tenure Review Committee)
- Enrollment patterns/trends within the institution
- Enrollment patterns/trends within the department
- Projected employment/transfer potential for students in the discipline/department
- FTE generated by tenure-track, term and/or adjunct faculty
Percentage of faculty having tenure
For tenure-track faculty, the annual evaluation required of all faculty should address all performance/merit criteria listed above, and it shall serve as the principal reference for that portion of the decision related to these criteria. Criteria related to staffing needs shall be evaluated by the administration and the dean of the area to which the faculty member is principally assigned and be submitted to the Peer Tenure Review Committee. If the faculty serves in several areas, the deans of all areas participate in the staffing need evaluation.
IV. Tenure Appointments
Explanation of tenure appointments and the recommendations for those appointments
- No faculty member shall be entitled to or acquire any interest in a tenure appointment without a recommendation for tenure by the President and an affirmative award of tenure by the Board of Regents. No other person shall have any authority to make any representation concerning tenure to any faculty member, and failure to give timely notice of non-renewal of a contract shall not result in the acquisition of a tenure appointment, but shall result in the right of the faculty member to another year of service at the institution.
- Recommendations for or against tenure for eligible faculty should originate from the division in which the faculty member is assigned and must include appropriate participation in the recommendation by tenured faculty in the department. The recommendation for tenure must be made by the President to the Chancellor and by the Chancellor to the Board. In the event that tenure is awarded by the Board, the President shall furnish to the faculty member written confirmation of the award.
Initiation of the Process
The Human Resource Office will notify the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the faculty eligible for tenure. The Vice President for Academic Affairs forwards the list of faculty eligible for tenure to the deans of the academic divisions for verification. The dean in cooperation with the department chair and the Vice President for academic affairs will determine the long-term staffing needs in the discipline (s) of the candidate.
The Peer Tenure Review Committee
The dean of the division will establish the peer tenure review committee to review the candidates within the division. The committee will consist of tenured faculty within the division representing the discipline as closely as possible.
The guidelines for the formation of the Peer Tenure Review Committee memberships are as follows:
- Department Chair
Two tenured faculty members from the Department representing the discipline as closely as possible. If the faculty member who is up for tenure teaches in more than one discipline, a balance should be achieved.
- If the discipline has only two tenured faculty members, these faculty will automatically serve (no election necessary).
- If the discipline has more than two tenured faculty members, the tenured faculty in the discipline will elect the two members.
- If the discipline has only one tenured faculty member, the second committee member will be elected from the tenured faculty of the Department by the tenured faculty of the Department.
- If the discipline has no tenured faculty members, both committee members will be elected from the tenured faculty of the Department by the tenured faculty of the Department.
Two tenured faculty from the division at large elected by the tenured faculty from the division at large
The committee elects its chair.
Members of the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee are excluded from the Peer Tenure Review committee. If needed, substitutions will be handled by the dean in consultation with the department chair and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The Peer Tenure Review Committee will use the criteria set forth in section A of part IV of this policy in its review. It will examine all pertinent documents of each candidate in light of the criteria stipulated in this section and forward its recommendation to the dean who will add her/his recommendation. The dean will forward both recommendations to the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee.
The Promotion and Tenure Review Committee (Campus-Wide)
In the fall of each year, the Faculty Senate recommends to the President the membership of the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. The President will appoint the members, and the committee will elect a chair. The membership will be limited to tenured faculty, and consist of one representative from each department. Each member shall serve for a two-year term according to the rotation which began AY 1995-96. Members who are eligible for tenure or promotion will be excluded from the tenure or promotion review process, as applicable. If needed, substitutions will be recommended by the Faculty Senate to the President. Members of the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee must be tenured faculty. If a tenured faculty member from a particular department is not available to serve on the committee, the division dean will select a non-tenured faculty member, with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The Promotion and Tenure Review Committee will examine all pertinent documents of each candidate in light of the criteria stipulated in section A of part IV and forward its recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will add her/his recommendation and forward the tenure dossiers and recommendations to the President.
Members of the review committees shall have qualified privilege of academic confidentiality against disclosure of tenure deliberation and/or individual tenure votes unless there is evidence that casts doubt upon the integrity of the review committees.
The President will recommend individuals for tenure to the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, who in turn will make recommendations to the Board. In the event that tenure is awarded by the Board, the President shall furnish the faculty member written confirmation of the award.
- Initiation of the Process
Materials Used in the Review
Candidate’s Review Packet
It is the candidate’s responsibility to assemble and duplicate the tenure packets. The candidate is to forward to the Chair of the Peer Tenure Review Committee either three paper copies or electronic, digitized equivalents; an additional copy, paper or digitized, is to be presented to the Dean of the Division. After the Peer Tenure Review Committee has completed its deliberation, it will forward the tenure review packets and its recommendation to the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review committee. The Dean of the Division will forward the fourth tenure review packet, together with her/his recommendation, to the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. After the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee has completed its deliberation, it will forward the four tenure review packets, accompanied by the Committee’s recommendation, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. One copy will accompany the final recommendation to the President; all other copies will be returned to the candidate.
Tenure packets must include materials covering the entire probationary period and be presented in the specific order as follows:
- a dated cover sheet (see Attachment I for format.)
- a table of contents
- a written request for tenure consideration, the length of which should not exceed two pages
- a release form permitting the committee members to review the candidate’s personnel file (if deemed necessary)
- a job description provided by the Office of Human Resources
a statement from the Office of Human Resources including
- years of service
- years in rank
- a breakdown between years of service at CSCC and at other institutions
- records of academic credentials from the Office of Human Resources
- supervisory evaluations for the probationary period and the year of candidacy (For details, see Cleveland State Policy No. 5:03:02:00.)
- student evaluations for the probationary period and the year of candidacy (For details, see Cleveland State Policy No. 5:03:02:00.)
- peer evaluations for the probationary period and the year of candidacy(At CSCC, Peer Evaluation is defined as classroom observation by a peer, supervisor, or a mentor. For details, see Cleveland State Policy No. 5:03:02:00.)
- documentation of instructional advancements such as curriculum and/or program development and development of instructional techniques
- documentation of service to the institution such as committee leadership and participation; student advisement; etc.
- documentation of professional awards, achievements, commendations, professional publications, etc.
- documentation of service to community and state
- memberships and offices held in professional and service organizations, conference attendance and participation
other pertinent documentation
Documentation should be complete and yet as concise as possible. On occasion, the review committees may request clarification of a particular component.
materials provided by the dean
- assessment of staffing needs of the academic area
- her/his recommendation in rank order
- other pertinent material
- Candidate’s Review Packet
Calendar Summary for Tenure Review and Recommendations
CSCC’s review calendar follows TBR’s calendar. Annual variations in the timeline may thus occur. As a general rule, the following calendar is in effect:
September 15 The Faculty Senate recommends to President the membership of the Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. October 15 The Vice President for Academic Affairs convenes the committee, and the committee elects a chair. November 1 The Office of Human Resources notifies the Vice President for Academic Affairs of tenure-eligible faculty; the Vice President for Academic Affairs then notifies the deans of the divisions of the eligible candidates. November 8 The deans notify faculty members of eligibility and establish the peer tenure review committee(s) for each division. January 15 Candidates submit three tenure review packets to the peer tenure review committee and one copy to the dean. The deans submit staffing assessments to the division peer tenure review committees relevant to the tenure applications. February 15 The peer tenure review committees forward their recommendations and the three copies of the tenure review packet(s) to the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. The deans forward her/his recommendations, staffing assessments, and the tenure packet(s) to the campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. March 26 The campus-wide Promotion and Tenure Review Committee makes recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who includes her/his recommendation and forwards the comprehensive dossier of each candidate to the President. April 5 The President notifies candidates of her/his recommendations. April 25 Completion of all appellate action within the institution. May 1 The President reports to the Chancellor all recommendations and actions on any appeal.
If the faculty member is dissatisfied with the tenure recommendation, he/she has four workdays from the date of the notification to file a written appeal with the President.
Within four workdays of the receipt of the appeal, the President will schedule a meeting with the complainant, the Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Review Committee, and, if necessary, other personnel directly involved in the situation.
On the workday following the meeting, the President will notify the principals of her/his decision. Should the complainant be dissatisfied at this stage, further appeal as applicable to personnel matters that can be appealed is available according to Tennessee Board of Regents policy.
V. Changes in Tenure and Tenure-Track Status
Non-renewal of Probationary, Tenure-track Faculty
When tenure-track appointments of faculty shall not be renewed for further service, the faculty member shall receive notice of his or her non-retention for the ensuing academic year as follows:
- not later than April 1 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment terminates during an academic year, at least two months in advance of its termination;
- not later than January 1 of the second year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment terminates during an academic year, at least five months in advance of its termination; or
not later than the close of the academic year preceding the third or subsequent year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment terminates during an academic year, at least twelve months in advance of its termination.
The above stated dates are the latest dates for notice of non-renewal of faculty on tenure-track appointments. Notice of non-renewal shall be effective upon delivery of the notice to the faculty member, or upon the date the notice is mailed, postage prepaid, to the faculty member at his or her current home address of record. Applicable dates for notice of non-renewal are based upon actual years of service at particular college and are in no way affected by any credit for prior service that may be awarded.
- When a faculty member on a tenure-track appointment completes his/her probationary period, the faculty member will be given notice of non-renewal of the appointment during the spring term following application for such status. Such notice of non-renewal should be given not later than the final day of the academic year. The faculty member’s right in an instance where timely notice is not given is described in TBR policy.
- Faculty members on tenure-track appointments shall not be terminated during the annual specified term of the appointment except for reasons which would be sufficient for the termination of tenured faculty.
- The non-renewal or non-reappointment of any faculty member on a tenure-track appointment does not necessarily carry an implication that his or her work or conduct has been unsatisfactory. A faculty member whose tenure-track appointment is not renewed shall be given an oral statement of the reason or reasons for the non-renewal by the President or his or her designated representative(s).
- Opportunity for the non-renewed faculty member to discuss the case shall be provided through the Dean of the Division, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and finally to the President of the college.
Unless there is a violation of state or federal law under the limitations described in the TBR Policy on Appeals (1:02:11:00), decisions that are not subject to appeal to the chancellor include:
- non-renewal of a tenure-track faculty appointment during the first five years of the probationary period
- denial of tenure unaccompanied by notice of termination in the sixth year of the probationary period
- When tenure-track appointments of faculty shall not be renewed for further service, the faculty member shall receive notice of his or her non-retention for the ensuing academic year as follows:
Transfer of Tenure
Where a faculty member is tenured in an academic unit, he/she may be transferred to another academic unit. In such cases, the transfer will be made with tenure; moreover, the tenure appointment will be transferred to the new academic unit. In no instance may the faculty member be compelled to relinquish tenure as a condition for effecting the transfer.
When a faculty member with tenure is appointed to an administrative position, he/she will retain tenure in the former faculty position only; and a faculty member otherwise eligible for tenure who also holds a non-faculty position may be awarded tenure in the faculty position only, subject to the requirements of this policy.
Expiration of Tenure
Tenure status shall expire upon retirement of the faculty member. Tenure shall also expire upon the event of permanent physical or mental inability of a faculty member, as established by an appropriate medical authority, to continue to perform his or her assigned duties.
Relinquishment of Tenure
A faculty member shall relinquish or waive his or her right to tenure upon resignation from the college, or upon failure to report for service at the designated date of the beginning of any academic term, which shall be deemed to be a resignation unless, in the opinion of the President, the faculty member has shown good cause for such failure to report.
Termination of Tenure for Reasons of Financial Exigency
A tenured faculty member may be terminated as a result of financial exigency at an institution subject to TBR declaration that such financial conditions exist. See TBR Policy on Financial Exigency (5:02:06:00).
Termination of Tenure for Curricular Reasons
The employment of a tenured faculty member may be terminated because (1) a program is deleted from the curriculum or (2) because of substantial and continued reduction of student enrollment in a field.
Before declaring that curricular reasons exist, the President will ensure meaningful participation by the Faculty Senate in identifying the specific curricular reasons, evaluating the long-term effect on the institution’s curriculum and its strategic planning goals, and the advisability of initiating further action.
Prior to initiating the process described below, the President will present—either verbally or in writing—a description of curricular reasons that may warrant the termination of tenured faculty member(s). The following process will be utilized in identifying curricular reasons for the Faculty Senate when termination of a tenured faculty member at Cleveland State Community College is indicated.
Process for Termination of Tenure
- Upon determining that termination of one or more tenured faculty members is required for one or more of the two reasons cited above, the President shall furnish each faculty member to be terminated a written statement of the reasons for the termination. Those reasons shall address fully the curricular circumstances that warranted the termination and shall include information and explain the manner by which the decision was reached to terminate the faculty members. The President’s written statement shall also state that the faculty member has the opportunity to respond in writing stating any objections to the decision.
- If the faculty member(s) to be terminated indicate objections to the President’s written statement(s) and request(s) a review, the President will appoint a faculty committee consisting of a minimum of five tenured faculty members from a slate of ten tenured faculty members proposed by the Faculty Senate. That committee shall conduct a hearing on the proposed termination(s). The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the President, who shall in a reasonable time inform in writing the faculty member(s) proposed for termination either that the decision for termination stands or that it has been altered.
The President’s decision to terminate a tenured faculty member for curricular reasons is subject to appeal to the Chancellor and the Board as provided in the policy on appeals to the Board (TBR Policy No. 1:02:11:00).
When a tenured faculty member is terminated for curricular reasons, the position will not be filled by a new appointee with the same areas of specialization as the terminated faculty member within a period of three years unless the terminated faculty member has been offered, in writing, reappointment to the position at his or her previous rank and salary (with the addition of an appropriate increase which, in the opinion of the President, would constitute the raise that would have been awarded during the period that he or she was not employed).
Upon determining that termination of one or more tenured faculty members is warranted for curricular reasons, the President shall base the decision about which faculty member(s) should be terminated upon assessment as to what action would least seriously compromise the educational programs in a division.
Termination for curricular reasons presumes a staffing pattern in a department or division which cannot be warranted either by comparison with general load practices within the institution or by comparison with faculty loads in comparable academic program units at similar institutions. In that light, the President shall also, at his/her discretion, base the decision on a careful assessment of the impact of the curricular reason on staffing requirements in the department as compared to overall patterns in the college and to comparable academic program units. Unless the President demonstrates (preferably by means of past performance evaluations) that an exception should be made to reduce qualitative compromise of an educational program, the following considerations should guide—but not be construed as mandatory—the President in determining the order of faculty reductions in a School where termination of tenured faculty is proposed for curricular reasons:
- Part-time faculty should not be renewed before tenured faculty are terminated.
- Temporary faculty or tenure-track faculty in the probationary period should not be renewed before tenured faculty are terminated.
- Among tenured faculty those with higher rank would have priority over those with lower.
- Among tenured faculty with comparable rank, those with appropriate higher academic degree(s) should have priority over those with lower degrees.
Among tenured faculty with comparable rank and comparable degrees, those with greater seniority in rank should normally have priority over those with less seniority.
The President has the discretion to deviate from this policy if he/she can demonstrate that the quality of the college’s programs will be negatively impacted by strict adherence to this seniority preference.
When a tenured faculty member is to be terminated for curricular reasons, the President will make every possible effort to relocate the tenured faculty member in another existing vacant position for which he or she is qualified. In instances where (in the opinion of the President) relocation within the institution is a viable alternative, the institution has an obligation to make significant effort to relocate the faculty member, including the bearing of reasonable retraining costs. The final decision on relocating is within the discretion of the President.
- Program is deleted from the curriculum” means the Board takes formal action to terminate a degree major, concentration, or other curricular component and that such termination eliminates or reduces need for faculty qualified in that discipline or area of specialization.
- “Substantive and continued reduction of student enrollment in a field” means that over a period of at least three years student enrollment in a field has decreased at a rate in considerable excess of that of the college as a whole and that such reduction has resulted in faculty-student ratios that, in the opinion of the President, cannot be warranted either by comparison with equivalent faculty load practices within the college or by comparisons with faculty loads in comparable academic units at similar institutions which the President would deem to be appropriate for comparison.
- Process for Termination of Tenure
Termination for Adequate Cause
Reasons for Termination
A faculty member with tenure or a faculty member of a tenure-track appointment prior to the end of the term appointment may be terminated for adequate cause, which includes the following:
- Incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research.
- Willful failure to perform the duties and responsibilities for which the faculty member was employed, or refusal or continued failure to comply with the policies of the Board, the college or the department, or to carry out specific assignments, when such policies or assignments are reasonable and non-discriminatory.
- Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
- Improper use of narcotics or intoxicants, which substantially impairs the faculty member’s fulfillment of his or her departmental and college duties and responsibilities.
- Capricious disregard of accepted standards of professional conduct.
- Falsification of information on an employment application or other information concerning qualifications for a position.
- Failure to maintain the level of professional excellence and ability demonstrated by other members of the faculty in the department or other academic unit of the college.
Procedures for Termination for Adequate Cause
Termination of a faculty member with a tenure appointment, or with a tenure-track or temporary appointment prior to the end of the annual specified term of the appointment, shall be subject to the following procedures. No termination shall be effective until steps d through j below have been completed.
- A faculty member may not be suspended pending completion of steps d. through j. unless it is determined by the college that the faculty member’s presence poses a danger to persons or property or a threat of destruction to the academic or operational processes of the college. Reassignment of responsibilities is not considered suspension; however, the faculty member must be reassigned responsibilities for which he/she is qualified.
- In any case of suspension, the faculty member shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision or immediately thereafter to contest the suspension; and, if there are disputed issues of fact or cause and effect, the faculty member shall be provided the opportunity for a hearing on the suspension as soon as possible, at which time the faculty member may cross-examine his/her accuser, present witnesses on his/her behalf, and be represented by an attorney. Thereafter, whether the suspension is upheld or revoked, the matter shall proceed pursuant to these procedures.
- Except for such simple announcements as may be required, concerning the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member or administrative officers will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board of Regents.
- Upon a recommendation by the Vice President for Academic Affairs to the President or upon a decision by the President that these procedures should be undertaken in consideration of the termination of a tenured faculty member, one or more appropriate administrators shall meet privately with the faculty member for purposes of attempting to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the problems giving rise to the proposed termination proceedings.
- If a mutual resolution is not reached under step d. the President shall appoint a faculty committee consisting of tenured faculty members, whose appointments should be, but are not required to be, agreed to by the faculty member. The faculty committee shall conduct an informal inquiry of the facts giving rise to the proposed termination and seek a mutually acceptable resolution. Should no such resolution be reached, the committee shall recommend to the President whether in its opinion further proceedings should be taken in pursuit of the termination. The recommendation shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by reasons for the recommendation. The committee’s recommendation shall not be binding on the President.
If no mutually acceptable resolution is reached through step e. and/or if after consideration of the faculty committee’s recommendation the President determines that further proceedings are warranted to consider termination, the following steps shall be taken.
- The faculty member shall be provided with a written statement of the specific charges alleged by the college which constitute grounds for termination and a notice of hearing specifying the time, date, and place of the hearing. The statement and notice must be provided at least twenty days prior to the hearing. The faculty member shall respond to the charges in writing at least five days prior to the hearing. The faculty member may waive the hearing by execution of a written waiver.
- A committee consisting of tenured members of the faculty or the faculty and the administration shall be appointed to hear the case and to determine if adequate cause for termination exists according to the procedure hereinafter described. The committee shall consist of five members, three to be appointed by the President and two by the Faculty Senate. The committee may not include any member of the faculty committee referred to in e. above. Members deeming themselves disqualified for bias or interest shall remove themselves from the case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative. Official notification of the committee membership shall originate from the President’s Office. The President will charge the committee. Members of the committee shall not discuss the case outside committee deliberations and shall report any ex parte communication pertaining to the hearing to the committee chairperson, who shall notify all parties of the communication.
- The hearing committee shall elect a chairperson who shall direct the proceedings and rule on procedural matters, including the granting of reasonable extensions of time at the request of any party and upon the showing of good cause for the extension.
The chairperson of the hearing committee may in his/her discretion require a joint pre-hearing conference with the parties that may be held in person or by a conference telephone call. The purpose of the pre-hearing conference should include but is not limited to one or more of the following:
- Notification as to procedure for conduct of the hearing.
- Exchange of witness lists, documentary evidence, and affidavits.
- Define and clarify issues.
Effect stipulations of fact.
A written memorandum of the pre-hearing conference shall be prepared and provided to each party.
A hearing shall be conducted by the hearing committee to determine whether adequate cause for termination of the faculty member exists. The hearing shall be conducted according to the procedures below.
- During the hearing the faculty member will be permitted to have an academic advisor present and may be represented by legal counsel of his/her choice.
- A verbatim record of the hearing will be taken, and a copy will be made available to the faculty member, upon request, at the faculty member’s expense.
- The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the college and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.
- The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the committee in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence.
- The faculty member and the administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and if possible, provide for interrogatories. An affidavit may be submitted in lieu of the personal appearance of a witness if the party offering the affidavit has provided a copy to the opposing party at least ten days prior to the hearing and the opposing party has not objected to the admission of the affidavit in writing within seven days after delivery of the affidavit, if the committee chairperson determines that the admission of the affidavit is necessary to ensure a just and fair decision.
- In a hearing on charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from the college or other colleges and or universities of higher education.
- The committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence, and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
- The findings of fact and the report will be based solely on the hearing record.
- The President and faculty member will be provided a copy of the written committee report. The committee’s written report shall specify findings of fact and shall state whether the committee has determined that adequate cause for termination exists and, if so, the specific grounds for termination found. In addition, the committee may recommend action less than dismissal. The report shall also specify any applicable policy the committee considered.
After consideration of the committee’s report and the record, the President may in his/her discretion consult with the faculty member prior to reaching a final decision regarding termination. Following his/her review, the President shall notify the faculty member of her/his decision, which, if contrary to the committee’s recommendation shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons. If the faculty member is terminated or suspended as a result of the President’s decision, the faculty member may appeal the President’s action to the chancellor pursuant to TBR Policy 1:02:11:00.
Review of the appeal shall be based upon the record of hearing. If upon review of the record, the chancellor notes objections regarding the termination and/or its proceedings, the matter will be returned to the President for reconsideration, taking into account the stated objections, and, at the discretion of the President, the case may be returned to the hearing committee for further proceedings.
- Reasons for Termination
Internal Review & Approval: Reviewed by Faculty Senate; Reviewed and approved by President’s Cabinet, July 23, 2009.
Implemented/Revised: July 23, 2009.