Bill 10-A-15 Academic Restructuring Policy (Approved)
FACULTY SENATE SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
FACULTY SENATE BILL 10-A-15
Addition of an Academic Restructuring Policy
BE IT RESOLVED THAT: the Faculty Handbook add the following Policy for Academic Restructuring
Southeast Missouri State University must occasionally readjust to changes in funding and student needs, other than during a state of financial exigency. Reorganization or elimination of programs may be needed to balance priorities with resources. Such decisions will be based on sound educational and financial considerations.
The University recognizes two types of restructuring:
1. Minor academic restructuring: involves reorganization or renaming of departments, centers, or programs which does not involve the discontinuance of tenured or tenure-track faculty positions. Minor restructuring need not follow the longer, major academic-restructuring process.
2. Major academic restructuring: involves program or department discontinuance, creation, reorganization, or merger of departments, Colleges, and Schools. Major restructuring may involve the discontinuance of tenured, tenure-track, or RNTT positions.
A proposal for Academic Restructuring must be submitted in the approved format as defined in the Procedures section.
If a program is discontinued, the University will make every reasonable effort to assist affected juniors, seniors, and graduate students in the completion of their program degree.
Approved by the Faculty Senate
date: Dec 1, 2010
Approved by the Board of Regents
date: Dec 8, 2010
Senate Bill 10-A-15 will replace the following section of the current Faculty Handbook
Process for Academic Restructuring
Academic restructuring may include (a) the creation, division, merger, dissolution, or renaming of one or more academic departments or colleges/schools and (b) the realignment of administrative relationships within colleges or among these units. Since restructuring implies changes of a relatively broad nature, this policy does not apply to the transfer of individual courses between departments.
A restructuring proposal may be initiated by a department, an academic dean, or the Provost. The written proposal will be submitted to the Provost for distribution to all affected departments. For purposes of this process only, the library is considered a department which reports directly to the Academic Council in lieu of the College Council.
Consideration, Termination, or Modification
Consideration of proposals proceeds from the affected departments to their respective College Councils and deans, the Academic Council and Provost, and the President. Each deliberating body will forward with the proposal a report endorsing or rejecting the proposal, indicating the degree of support, and including any separately authored minority viewpoints. Department chairpersons and deans may, if they wish, submit separate reports. Copies of these reports will be sent to all affected units, academic deans, and the Provost.
A proposal will automatically be reviewed at the next higher level unless all affected units at any one level reject it. In that case, it will be advanced only upon a written request by a department, an academic dean, or the Provost. A proposal may be withdrawn by its initiator provided all concerned parties consent to the withdrawal. Modifications or substitute proposals may be introduced by a College Council or the Academic Council, but all affected units must be notified of the specific changes and given an opportunity to react to them. Such changes may include the combination of several proposals or the forwarding of only one among similar proposals.
Timetable for Consideration
These dates represent the normal progress of consideration; under special circumstances the schedule may be modified by mutual consent of the Provost and the concerned units.
1. By September 1, the proposal is submitted to the Provost for distribution.
2. By September 15, the proposal is distributed to all affected departments. Departments consider the proposal. The initiator is allowed to present it to each department. By October 15, all department documents are submitted to the appropriate College Councils.
3. College Councils consider the proposal. Authors of department-level reports are allowed to present their positions. By November 15, all documents from the department and college/school levels are submitted to the Academic Council, and the departments are notified of any modifications.
4. By December 15, departments submit to the Academic Council their reactions to any modifications.
5. The Academic Council considers the proposal. Authors of college/school-level reports and any dissenting department-level reports are allowed to present their positions. By February 15, the Academic Council submits to the Provost its report and all other documents and notifies departments and College Councils of any modifications.
6. By March 15, departments and College Councils submit to the Provost their reactions to any modifications.
7. By April 1, the Provost submits a recommendation and all documents to the President.
Procedure to Be Followed When a Program Is Discontinued or Reorganized
When it becomes necessary to discontinue or reorganize a program (defined as any curricular entity tied to a sequence of courses) within the academic division of the University, this decision will have been reached following procedures set forth in the current Faculty Handbook under "Course and Curricular Approval Process." However, program discontinuance or reorganization could have been initiated at levels other than the department. Such a decision will have been based on sound educational considerations which ignore temporary or cyclical variations of enrollment related to that program. Such a decision will not have been based primarily on financial considerations; in such an instance, a state of financial exigency would need to be declared. The procedures of retrenchment in the current Faculty Handbook would then apply.
The procedures outlined below are intended to apply to those faculty members whose appointments are terminated due to programmatic decisions. The first section describes procedures for probationary tenure-track faculty, and the second section describes those for tenured faculty. The University is committed to the humane disposition of all affected individuals and emphasizes the role of the individual faculty member in determining the options available to him/her at the time of program discontinuance or reorganization.
Treatment of Faculty
Probationary Tenure-track Faculty
This procedure does not apply to probationary faculty members who are being released for reasons other than programmatic ones.
1. In the case of program discontinuance or reorganization, each probationary faculty member will be allowed to complete the period of appointment in accordance with the terms of his/her contract, including the customary notice of termination that is specified in the Faculty Handbook.
2. Each probationary faculty member who has been given proper notice of termination will be released from the remainder of his/her contract at the end of any academic term, provided he/she submits written notice no less than 30 calendar days prior to the end of that term.
3. Non-tenured faculty may be requested by other departments of the University. This procedure would follow regular University employment practices.
4. Each released faculty member shall be given a personal letter from the Provost expressly stating that termination is due to a program change and does not imply a negative judgment about the individual's performance.
5. The offices of the department chairperson, dean, and Provost shall provide assistance in career counseling and job placement. The Provost shall offer to send letters of explanation on behalf of such persons to other institutions.
The following steps will be followed when a program is discontinued or reorganized. This procedure applies to tenured faculty members, including administrators who have tenure by virtue of previous faculty status.
1. The programmatic needs of the students affected by the discontinuance or reorganization will be determined by the department and dean of the college/school whose program is being discontinued. The dean will report these needs to the office of the Provost. For example, such questions as "Which courses need to be offered for how long?" and "What facilities must be maintained for how long?" must be addressed.
2. The department will recommend to the college/school dean the retention of any faculty members required to meet the needs determined in Step 1. Although programmatic needs must remain paramount, the department, in making its recommendation, may consider additional criteria, such as overall service to the department and the University, consistent teaching effectiveness, scholarship, and professional qualifications. Prior to confronting any problem of program discontinuance or reorganization, it is recommended that a department should formulate criteria which will guide it in reaching decisions on recommendations. Such criteria should be in place and in the hands of each member of the department.
3. The programmatic date (i.e., that date after which the services of the individual would no longer be required for the maintenance of the program) will be determined for each faculty member. The emphasis at this point is that faculty members whose employment is being affected by the discontinuance of the program have ample opportunity to explore a wide variety of options which would be mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and the University. Some of these options could include early retirement, half-time employment for a specified period of time prior to retirement, joint appointments with other departments, or other similar adjustments.
4. If none of the above options apply, each individual will be guaranteed one of the following, which would occur at the time that the individual's programmatic date had been reached.
5. A one-year paid professional development leave with the salary and all benefits which the individual would have received had the program not been discontinued. The effective date of termination will be the day following the last day of the academic year in which the paid professional development leave was used.
6. A continuing appointment elsewhere at the University, which is agreeable to all parties involved. If it is an academic appointment, the faculty member will maintain his/her academic rank as well as tenure. As part of the process of transfer, the receiving unit must evaluate the faculty member's record (with respect to future promotion considerations), using its own promotion criteria, and apprise the faculty member of that evaluation.
7. This process should emphasize the continuous nature of the decision-making process and its inception at the earliest possible moment. For example, as early as Step 2, there must be a discussion among each individual faculty member, the chairperson, and the dean of the college/school, with the intent of exploring the possible options suggested in Step 3.
8. The options in Step 3 are only suggestions. This document is not intended to supply an exhaustive list of options. Individual faculty members are urged to take the initiative in suggesting possible alternatives.
9. Although this process is primarily designed to handle tenured faculty members, there is nothing in the process that precludes non-tenured faculty members from being requested by other departments. This would follow regular University employment practices.
10. During the interim period (i.e., the time prior to the programmatic date of the individual faculty member) an individual can initiate a request to renegotiate an agreement if another position has become available.
Approved by the Board of Regents
date: Dec 8, 2010