Section 4 - Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures
XVIII. Dismissal Procedures
Dismissal of a faculty member with a tenured appointment, or with a non-tenured appointment before the end of the specified term, may be effected by the institution only for adequate cause. Adequate cause for dismissal of a faculty member shall be (1) incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research, (2) neglect of institutional responsibilities, or (3) personal conduct involving moral turpitude or which substantially impairs the individual's fulfillment of institutional responsibilities.
- Preliminary Proceedings
When reason arises to question the fitness of a faculty member who has tenure or whose term of appointment has not expired, the President shall discuss the matter with the individual in personal conference. If the matter is not settled by mutual consent at this point, the President shall request that the Review and Planning Committee informally inquire into the situation. If the Review and Planning Committee cannot settle the matter, it shall determine whether formal proceedings to consider dismissal should be initiated. If the committee recommends that such proceedings should be initiated, or if the President, even after considering a recommendation of the committee favorable to the faculty member is convinced that a proceeding should be undertaken, action shall be commenced under the procedures which follow. Except where there is disagreement, a statement with reasonable particularity of the grounds proposed for the dismissal shall then be formulated jointly by the President and the Review and Planning Committee; if there is disagreement, the President or a representative shall formulate the statement.
- Commencement of Formal Proceedings
The formal proceedings shall be commenced by a communication addressed to the faculty member by the President informing the faculty member of the statement formulated, and of a hearing to determine whether he or she should be removed from a faculty position on the grounds stated which will be conducted by a hearing committee (see below) at a specified time and place. In setting the date of the hearing, sufficient time shall be allowed the faculty member to prepare a defense. The faculty member shall be informed of the procedural rights accorded. The faculty member may respond in writing to the statements in the President's letter at any time before the scheduled hearing.
Suspension of the faculty member during the proceedings is justified only if the President or the Dean of the College believes that immediate harm to the individual or others is threatened by continuance of teaching. Any such suspension shall be with pay.
- Hearing Committee
The committee of faculty members to conduct the hearing and reach a decision shall be appointed in the following manner:
- The Nominating Committee shall appoint one member from the tenured faculty to serve as chair of the Hearing Committee. The appointment cannot be challenged.
- The Nominating Committee shall also present to the appointed chair a slate of ten tenured faculty members from whom the President and the faculty member involved shall by mutual agreement select two additional members to serve on the Hearing Committee. Faculty members deeming themselves disqualified for bias or interest shall remove their names from the list. If the President and the faculty member cannot reach agreement, the Nominating Committee shall appoint the members.
- The Nominating Committee shall make it clear to the Hearing Committee that the burden of proof for adequate cause rests with the institution. Such a determination shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.
- Except as specified below, neither the Hearing Committee nor the Board of Regents shall be bound by the formal rules of court procedure.
- Committee Proceedings
The Hearing Committee shall proceed by considering the statement of grounds for dismissal already formulated and the faculty member's response (if any) written before the time of the hearing. The committee, in consultation with the President and the faculty member, shall exercise its judgment whether the hearing should be public or private. If any facts are in dispute, the testimony of witnesses and other evidence concerning the matter set forth in the President's letter to the faculty member shall be received.
The Hearing Committee shall determine the order in which any testimony shall be given and shall conduct the questioning of all witnesses. If necessary, it shall also secure the presentation of any additional evidence it deems important to the case.
The President or a designated representative may attend the hearing, and may choose counsel to assist in presenting the institution's case. The faculty member shall have the option of assistance by counsel of his or her choice and shall have the aid of the committee, when needed, in securing attendance of witnesses.
The faculty member or the faculty member's counsel and the President, his or her representative, or the counsel of the College, shall have the right, within reasonable limits, to question all witnesses who testify orally and to expand upon or question the nature of all other evidence presented to the committee. The faculty member shall have the opportunity to be confronted by all adverse witnesses. Where unusual and urgent reasons move the Hearing Committee to withhold this right, or where the witnesses cannot appear, the identity of the witness, as well as his or her statements, shall, nevertheless, be disclosed to the faculty member. Subject to these safeguards, statements may, when necessary, be taken outside the hearing and reported to it. All the evidence shall be duly recorded.
If the faculty member waives his or her right to a hearing or fails to respond to requests from the Hearing Committee for written or oral statements, the Hearing Committee shall evaluate all available evidence and rest its recommendation upon the evidence in the record.
- Consideration by Hearing Committee
The committee shall reach its decision in conference on the basis of the hearing record. Before doing so, it shall give opportunity to the faculty member or his or her counsel and the President, his or her representative, or the counsel of the College, to argue orally before it. If written briefs would be helpful, the committee may request them. The committee may proceed to decision promptly, without having the record of the hearing transcribed, where it feels that a just decision can be reached by this means, or it may await the availability of a transcript of the hearing if its decision would be aided thereby. It shall make explicit findings with respect to each of the grounds of removal presented and shall provide a reasoned opinion for each decision. The President and the faculty member shall be notified of the decision in writing and shall be given a typewritten copy of the record of the hearing. The committee shall complete its work no later than 45 days after the commencement of formal proceedings.
- Consideration by Board of Regents
The President shall transmit to the Board of Regents the full report of the Hearing Committee, stating its action. The Board of Regents may of its own choosing decide to review the case or, if the faculty member so requests, it must review the case. The review shall be based on the record of the previous hearing, accompanied by opportunity for argument, oral or written or both, by the principals at the hearing or their representatives. The decision by the Board must be made no later than 120 days after the decision of the Hearing Committee. The decision of the Hearing Committee shall either be sustained or the proceeding be returned to the committee with objections specified. In such a case, the committee, within 30 days, shall reconsider, taking account of the stated objections and receiving new evidence if necessary. It shall frame its decision and communicate it in the same manner as before. The Board of Regents shall make a final judgment no later than 120 days after the committee's decision concerning reconsideration.
Except for such simple announcements as may be required, covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements about the case by either the faculty member or administrative officers shall be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed. Announcement of the final decision by the Board of Regents shall include a statement of the Hearing Committee's original action.
On the recommendation of the faculty Hearing Committee or the President, the Board of Regents, in determining what, if any, payments will be made to the faculty member beyond the effective date of dismissal, shall take into account the length and quality of service of the faculty member.