Southeast Missouri State University

H. Termination of Faculty Employment

Termination During the Probationary Period

A continuing probationary appointment may be terminated at the end of any academic year, but written notice of the University's intention to terminate the appointment shall be given by the administration to the faculty member: (1) by March 1 during the first or second year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a fall semester; (2) by the first class day of the spring semester for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a fall semester; (3) by November 1 during the first or second year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a spring semester; (4) by the first day of class of the fall semester for the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth year of service (exclusive of the summer session) if the initial appointment was made for a spring semester.

Academic Due Process

This statement deals with procedural standards and guides to be followed when the fitness of either a tenured faculty member or a non-tenured faculty member, whose term of appointment has not expired, is questioned. While it is necessary that certain legal requirements be followed, the spirit and intent of establishing simple rules for the protection of all parties that may be involved remain as the primary objectives here. These rules are designed to promote a sense of fair play and recognition of the mutual rights, as well as obligations, of the parties.

Should the fitness of a faculty member be seriously questioned, it is the initial responsibility of the department involved to deal with the issue. The chairperson is responsible for convening the department, which will then elect a review committee which is representative of the department faculty. This committee will study and make recommendations to the department chairperson on questions concerning ethical conduct and satisfactory performance of professional responsibilities.

Questions involving possible breach of ethics, failure to meet professional responsibilities, and the like may be initiated at any level, either administrative or faculty, and should be referred first to the department chairperson. The department chairperson, after discussing the matter with the individual faculty member involved, will refer the issue to the review committee if in his/ her opinion there is substance to the charges. Following the findings of the committee, the department chairperson will submit a written report with his/ her recommendations to the faculty member in question and to the dean of the college for appropriate action.

If no agreement is reached and there remains a dispute, formal proceedings may be invoked by the administration. The faculty member whose fitness is in controversy shall be continued in his/her position until removed by action of the Board of Regents. Should such continuance constitute a clear and present danger, either to the University, the students, the public, or to himself/herself, the faculty member may be suspended by the President or the Provost until final action is taken by the Board of Regents. The faculty member's pay shall be continued unless he/she is suspended or removed by the Board of Regents.

Formal proceedings are those which are brought to the attention of the Board of Regents to inquire into the fitness of a faculty member. Such proceedings are initiated by written charges, which must involve the incompetency of the faculty member, or his/her neglect or refusal to perform his/her duties, or his/her dishonesty, drunkenness, or immoral conduct.

The written charges must also give notice that a hearing to consider the charges will be held before the Board of Regents on a particular day and at a certain time and place, that the faculty member may be present with or without counsel, and that he/she may produce witnesses or other evidence on his/ her behalf at the hearing.

The notice and charge must be handed to the faculty member personally, or it may be sent to him/her by registered mail at his/her most recent address as listed in the University Directory or other known location. If delivered personally, an affidavit of service must be presented to the Board of Regents by the person who performed the service. If service is had by mail, a return receipt properly signed by the faculty member or his/her agent for service shall be presented to the Board of Regents. The affidavit or return receipt must reveal that the faculty member received the charge and notice at least ten (10) days before the hearing is conducted before the Board of Regents. Should the faculty member not be present for service or should registered mail notice not be perfected, a hearing shall not be had until after thirty (30) days following the mailing of the notice or the attempt to perform personal service. Should the faculty member or his/her attorney request additional time in which to pre- pare his/her defense or to seek counsel, the Board of Regents may grant such additional time and continue or postpone the hearing to another day and time.

The President of the Board of Regents shall conduct the hearing at the time and place called for in the notice or at the postponed time if additional time is requested. Such hearing shall not be public, and either party may ask that all witnesses not be present while any person is testifying. The Board President shall administer an oath or affirmation to all persons who may give evidence.

The formal legal rules of evidence need not be followed, and the President shall determine what evidence may or may not be presented. The proper University administrative official or attorney shall present the case against the faculty member, and such member or his/her attorney may have the right to cross examine any witness testifying against he/she.

The faculty member may produce witnesses on his/her behalf, who may be cross examined. He/she may also produce any other evidence which he/she may deem favorable to his/her position.

At any time during the proceedings, any member of the Board of Regents may question any witness or call for a point of order of procedure to be clarified.

After the testimony has been adduced and each side concluded its evidence, the Board of Regents shall retire and deliberate on the charges brought against the faculty member.

The Board of Regents may determine that the charges are not properly founded and, if so, shall so declare. If the Board decides that the charges have merit, the faculty member may be disciplined by the Board, but no faculty member shall be removed except for incompetence, neglect or refusal to perform his/her duties, dishonesty, drunkenness, or immoral conduct. The findings and conclusions of the Board of Regents shall be in writing and delivered to the faculty member or his/her attorney.

In the event the Board of Regents desires, it may appoint a committee of five faculty members to investigate any complaint concerning a member of the faculty. It is assumed that when any complaint has to do with the competency of a faculty member, the Regents shall appoint the faculty committee to investigate same. Such committee may hold a hearing concerning any charges lodged against the faculty member and shall follow the same procedure set out for the Board of Regents when a hearing is conducted before that body. Such committee when appointed, after making an investigation and conducting a hearing, shall recommend to the Regents either that the complaint is or is not well-founded, and if the finding is that the complaint is well-founded, shall recommend to the Board disciplinary action, including the possible suspension or expulsion of the faculty member. Upon the receipt of the commit- tee recommendation, the Regents shall make the final decision on the complaint. In any such case, the faculty member shall have the right of appeal from the recommendation of the faculty committee. Should such appeal be taken, the procedure before the Board of Regents outlined above shall be followed.
Approved by Faculty Senate, Bill 75-A-01 Approved by Board of Regents - November, 1997

Termination Initiated by a Faculty Member

A faculty member, tenured or non-tenured, who wishes to terminate employment shall give due notice of his/her intentions in writing to the department chairperson with copies to the college dean and the Provost at the earliest opportunity, but no later than April 15 of the academic year in which he/she is resigning.

Retrenchment

Faculty Senate Bill 10-A-14 begins here

POLICY

In the face of a financial exigency, defined by AAUP in Regulation 4(c) as “an imminent financial crisis that threatens the survival of the institution” that cannot be alleviated by less drastic means than the termination of certain academic and nonacademic programs and faculty appointments, the Board of Regents may need to officially declare a state of financial exigency, resulting in a process of retrenchment, “a reduction of expenses.” The process of retrenchment will occur only when a “demonstrably bona fide” condition of financial exigency exists. The president, in consultation with Budget Review Committee and Faculty Senate (in accord with AAUP's recommendation that “a faculty body should participate in the decision that financial exigency exists,” but does not have “primary responsibility with respect to these decisions”), will determine the need to recommend a declaration of financial exigency. The president will present the findings, including data or other supporting materials, to the Board of Regents for consideration. Only the Board of Regents can declare a state of financial exigency.

The steps for declaring a state of financial exigency are as follows:

  1. After consulting with the Budget Review Committee, the president will consult with the Faculty Senate, with supporting data and materials that show a financial crisis exists which cannot be managed except by a discontinuance or merger of programs, or reduction of faculty or other personnel. Faculty Senate will provide verbal comments and a written response to the president.
  2. The president then notifies the faculty that he is recommending to the Board of Regents that a financial exigency should be declared.
  3. The Board of Regents takes action on the recommendation from the president. If appropriate, the Board officially and publicly acknowledges the financial crisis and declares a state of financial exigency.

Teaching and learning are the primary reasons for the University's existence, and maintenance of academic programs should be the highest priority during a process of retrenchment. However, faculty appointments may be terminated before the end of their specified term because of the merger or discontinuance of programs or departments during financial exigency. The guiding principle of faculty termination is programmatic need. Upon the determination of programmatic need, faculty may be considered for retention in the following order: tenured, probationary tenure-track, regular nontenure track (RNTT), term contract, and part-time.
Approved by the Faculty Senatedate: Dec 1, 2010 Approved by the Board of Regentsdate: Dec 8, 2010

RETRENCHMENT PROCEDURES

Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-1 begins here

Initial Procedure for Recommending All Program Mergers, Reductions, Discontinuance, or Faculty Reductions within Financial Exigency:

  1. Following the university's procedure for Academic Program Review, the provost will initiate the Academic Program Review. The Faculty Advisory Committee for Academic Program Review will identify programs that are candidates for merger, reduction, or discontinuance, or number of faculty positions for reduction, then will make recommendations to the provost.
  2. The provost reviews the recommendations and the associated data from the Program Review, and makes his/her recommendation to the president.
  3. The president reviews the information and makes his/her recommendation to the Board of Regents.
  4. The Board of Regents takes action on the recommendations.
  5. If a program has been selected for discontinuance, the provost informs students of its upcoming elimination. The affected students are advised that provisions have been made to continue to offer courses for a limited period of time so that juniors and seniors enrolled in the program will have an opportunity to graduate from that program. Freshmen and sophomores in the program are advised to move into other related programs at Southeast Missouri State University.

Procedure for Faculty Termination in Financial Exigency with Program Discontinuance:

  1. The deans of the Colleges or Schools with programs affected by retrenchment inform the chairs and faculty about the affected programs.
  2. Within each program designated for discontinuance, before any faculty positions are terminated, programmatic need must be determined by a special advisory committee consisting of the department's tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty and chairperson, who will convene to recommend a phase-out schedule for any discontinued courses and a termination date for any discontinued program. If no Department Advisory Committee is available, the College/School Tenure and Promotion Committee will serve as advisory committee for the department.
  3. The advisory committee will determine:

    a.ongoing programmatic needs for unaffected programs (those programs in the department/College/School which are not being discontinued) and the University,
    b.courses which need to remain in the University curriculum,
    c.the frequency, numbers (quantity), and sequence of the retained courses, which leads to a determination of the number of faculty to retain, and
    d. qualified faculty who have the credentials to teach courses within the unaffected departmental programs or to teach retained courses from the discontinued program.
  4. Prior to any analysis and evaluation by the Department Advisory Committee, criteria for making recommendations regarding programmatic need, courses to retain, and qualifications of faculty to teach courses must be submitted to the university's legal counsel through the Office of the Provost for consideration and advice.
  5. The foremost issue to be considered by the Departmental Advisory Committee will be which faculty are qualified to teach in departmental programs and courses, in adherence to the primary criterion of programmatic need. The individual faculty members' votes will be submitted by secret ballot to the department chair and will remain confidential.
  6. Based upon the Department Advisory Committee's recommendations, the department chair will recommend which faculty positions should be discontinued. RNTT, term contract, and part-time faculty who are not essential to or not qualified for programmatic need will be the first faculty to be released. Following this, should further need remain for programmatically non-essential or non-qualified tenured or probationary tenure-track faculty positions to be discontinued, the department chair will send his/her recommendations for discontinuance and a written explanation to the dean who will forward the recommendations and explanation to the College/School Tenure and Promotion Committee, which will serve as the College/School Advisory Committee.
  7. Any member of the College/School Advisory Committee who is also considered to be a potentially affected faculty member, according to the department chair's recommendation, will be replaced during the College/School Advisory Committee deliberations. The dean will appoint a replacement, first from the replaced member's department or, if a replacement is not available from the department, from the tenured members of another department in the College or School.
  8. The tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty under consideration for discontinuance by the College/School Tenure and Promotion Committee will have three weeks in which to prepare their professional dossiers for review by the College/School Committee. The criteria for this review will be teaching effectiveness, professional achievements and qualifications, and service to the university as described in that department's Tenure and Promotion Guidelines for promotion, with an examination period of the previous five years.
  9. Based upon the criteria described above, the College/School Committee creates a ranking of faculty retention for the affected department. Their recommendation is forwarded to the dean.
  10. The dean reviews the recommendation and forwards his/her recommendation and that of the College/School Committee to the provost. The affected faculty member is notified of the dean's recommendation. Affected faculty members may respond to the notification within 5 working days.
  11. The provost reviews the recommendations of the dean and College/School Committee and forwards his/her recommendation to the president, along with the College/School Committee's and the dean's recommendations.
  12. The president reviews the documents and consults with the provost on a recommendation to the Board of Regents.
  13. The president makes his/her recommendation to the Board of Regents.
  14. The Board of Regents takes action on any recommendations by the president.
  15. The provost determines the possibility of reassignment for affected tenured or probationary tenure-track faculty to vacant tenure-track academic positions for which the affected faculty member is qualified, that would be in the best interests of the receiving academic program and would enhance the educational mission of the University. Reassignment would be at the faculty member's current rank and tenure-track status. Based on review of the proposed reassigned faculty member's professional dossier, the receiving department makes a recommendation to the dean and provost on whether to accept that faculty member.
  16. As part of the process of transfer, the receiving program must review the faculty member's record with respect to future promotions, using the receiving department/program's promotion criteria, and apprise the faculty member of that evaluation. The reassigned faculty member may elect to take up to a 3-year grace period, without prejudice, in which to apply for future tenure or promotion using the receiving department's guidelines.
  17. If reassigned to a tenure-track position, the faculty member will retain his/her current rank and same tenure-track status, receive a salary equal to the average salary listed for that department and rank, or, if none is available, by the CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs) for that position and percentage of CUPA (College and University Professional Association) at the College/School average for that position, and adhere henceforth to the Tenure and Promotion Guidelines of the program to which he/she is reassigned.
  18. If a tenure-track position is not vacant, but an RNTT position for which the faculty member is qualified is vacant, the tenured/probationary tenure-track faculty member may choose to enter that position. The receiving department will have the option to hire the tenured/probationary tenure-track faculty member as a tenure-track or RNTT appointment. If the receiving department elects to retain the vacant position as RNTT, the faculty member choosing to accept the RNTT position must relinquish rank and tenure-track status. If the department elects to hire at the faculty member's current rank and tenure-track status, the position becomes tenure-track, retaining all the rights appertaining therein, and the next vacant tenure-track position in that department will revert to an RNTT position. In either case, the starting salary provided will adhere to the salary guidelines described above.
  19. The provost communicates to the affected faculty members his/her decision on reassignment, based upon the receiving program's need, the University's best interests, and the existence of a vacant position.
  20. The provost makes his/her recommendation to the president.
  21. The president reviews the recommendation and informs the Board of Regents of his/her recommendation, as appropriate.
  22. The Board of Regents takes action on any recommendation by the president.
  23. Written notice of the institution's intention to terminate a faculty appointment is given by the provost to the member of the faculty by: (1) March 1 during the first or second academic year of service, exclusive of the summer session; (2) the first class day of the spring semester for the third, fourth or fifth year of service, exclusive of the summer session; (3) the first class day of the fall semester for the remaining years of non-tenured or tenured service, exclusive of the summer session. If the financial exigency is not declared so as to provide tenured faculty notice of termination by the first day of the fall semester, a minimum of one year's notification will be given.
  24. On the recommendation of the Budget Review Committee and the president, the Board of Regents, may determine what, if any, severance payments will be made beyond the effective date of termination, and may take into account the length of service of the faculty member.
  25. The provost will provide a personal letter of reference for each terminated faculty member, stating that the termination is due to financial exigency and is not a negative reflection of the faculty member's performance.
  26. The University will provide career counseling and placement services for the released faculty.
  27. The institution will not hire in the same area of teaching expertise of an involuntarily terminated probationary tenure-track or tenured faculty member for three years following the date that the program is approved for discontinuance by the Board, unless reinstatement at previous rank, same tenure-track status, and salary is first offered to that faculty member, within a one month time period in which the faculty member may accept or decline the offer.
  28. Deviations from the above procedure for faculty reduction or program discontinuance may be appealed. Appeals are limited to claims regarding whether the Procedure for Faculty Termination in Financial Exigency With Program Discontinuance has been followed. The Faculty Senate Grievance Committee will provide the opportunity for the affected faculty member(s) to demonstrate a claim of deviation in the procedure.
  29. The steps for declaring that financial exigency is over are as follows:

    a.At such a time as the president believes, after consultation with the Faculty Senate and Budget Review Committee, that the University no longer has a financial emergency that cannot be managed except for further discontinuance, reduction, or merger of programs, or reduction of faculty or other personnel, the president will notify the faculty that he is recommending to the Board of Regents that the financial exigency should be declared over.
    b.The Board of Regents will then officially and publicly acknowledge that the state of financial exigency is declared over.

  30. After the Board of Regents declares that the financial exigency is over, no new processes for discontinuance, reduction, or merger of programs, or reduction of faculty or other personnel for reasons of financial exigency will thereafter be initiated. Any process of discontinuance, reduction, or merger of programs, or reduction of faculty or other personnel initiated because of the financial exigency prior to the Board's declaration will, however, proceed to completion.

Procedure for Faculty Termination in Financial Exigency without Program Discontinuance:

  1. In a state of financial exigency, the provost reviews programmatic need and, after consultation with the appropriate chairperson and deans, determines the allocation of faculty positions.
  2. The provost recommends the faculty allocations to the president.
  3. The president informs the affected administrators and faculty of his/her decision on faculty allocation.
  4. The department's full-time tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty, including the chairperson, will convene as a special advisory committee. If no Department Advisory Committee is available, the College/School Tenure and Promotion Committee will serve as advisory committee for the department. The advisory committee will determine:

    a.ongoing programmatic needs for the department and the University,
    b.the frequency, numbers (quantity), and sequence of the courses, which leads to a determination of the number of faculty to retain, and
    c.qualified faculty who have the credentials to teach the courses within the department's programs.
  5. Prior to any analysis and evaluation by the special advisory committee, criteria for making recommendations regarding programmatic need, courses to retain, and qualifications of faculty to teach courses must be submitted to the university's legal counsel through the Office of the Provost for consideration and advice.
  6. The foremost issue to be considered by the departmental advisory committee will be which faculty are qualified to teach in departmental programs and courses, in adherence to the primary criterion of programmatic need. The individual faculty members' votes will be submitted by secret ballot to the department chair and will remain confidential.
  7. Based upon the Department Advisory Committee's recommendations, the department chair will recommend which faculty positions should be discontinued. RNTT, term contract, and part-time faculty who are not essential to or not qualified for programmatic need will be the first faculty to be released. Following this, should further need remain for programmatically non-essential or non-qualified tenured or probationary tenure-track faculty positions to be discontinued, the department chair will send his/her recommendations for discontinuance and a written explanation to the dean who will forward the recommendations and explanation to the College/School Tenure and Promotion Committee, which will serve as the College School Advisory Committee.
  8. Any member of the College/School Tenure and Promotion Committee who is also considered to be a potentially affected faculty member, according to the department chair's recommendation, will be replaced during the College/School Advisory Committee deliberations. The dean will appoint a replacement, first from the replaced member's department or, if a replacement is not available from the department, from the tenured members of another department in the College or School.
  9. The tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty under consideration for discontinuance by the College/School Tenure and Promotion Committee will have three weeks in which to prepare their professional dossiers for review by the College/School Committee. The criteria for this review will be teaching effectiveness, professional achievements and qualifications, and service to the university as described in that department's Tenure and Promotion Guidelines for promotion, with an examination period of the previous five years.
  10. Based upon the criteria described above, the College/School Committee creates a ranking of faculty retention for the affected department. Their recommendation is forwarded to the dean.
  11. The dean reviews the recommendation and forwards his/her recommendation and that of the College/School Committee to the provost. The affected faculty member is notified of the dean's recommendation. Affected faculty members may respond to the notification within 5 working days.
  12. The provost reviews the recommendations of the dean and College/School Committee and forwards his/her recommendation to the president, along with the College/School Committee's and the dean's recommendations.
  13. The president reviews the documents and consults with the provost on a recommendation to the Board of Regents.
  14. The president makes his/her recommendation to the Board of Regents.
  15. The Board of Regents takes action on any recommendations by the president.
  16. The provost determines the possibility of reassignment for affected tenured or probationary tenure-track faculty to vacant tenure-track academic positions for which the affected faculty members are qualified, that would be in the best interests of the receiving academic program and would enhance the educational mission of the University. Reassignment would be at the faculty member's current rank and tenure-track status. Based on review of the proposed reassigned faculty member's professional dossier, the receiving department makes a recommendation to the dean and provost on whether to accept that faculty member.
  17. As part of the process of transfer, the receiving program must review the faculty member's record with respect to future promotions, using the receiving department/program's promotion criteria, and apprise the faculty member of that evaluation. The reassigned faculty member may elect to take up to a 3-year grace period, without prejudice, in which to apply for future tenure or promotion using the receiving department's guidelines.
  18. If reassigned to a tenure-track position, the faculty member will retain his/her current rank and same tenure-track status, receive a salary equal to the average salary listed for that department and rank, or, if none is available, by the CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs) for that position and percentage of CUPA (College and University Professional Association) at the College/School average for that position, and adhere henceforth to the Tenure and Promotion Guidelines of the program to which he/she is reassigned.
  19. f a tenure-track position is not vacant, but an RNTT position for which the faculty member is qualified is vacant, the tenured/probationary tenure-track faculty member may choose to enter that position. The receiving department will have the option to hire the tenured/probationary tenure-track faculty member as a tenure-track or RNTT appointment. If the receiving department elects to retain the vacant position as RNTT, the faculty member choosing to accept the RNTT position must relinquish rank and tenure-track status. If the department elects to hire at the faculty member's current rank and tenure-track status, the position becomes tenure-track, retaining all the rights appertaining therein, and the next vacant tenure-track position in that department will revert to an RNTT position. In either case, the starting salary provided will adhere to the salary guidelines described above.
  20. The provost communicates to the affected faculty members his/her decision on reassignment, based upon the receiving program's need, the University's best interests, and the existence of a vacant position.
  21. The provost makes his/her recommendation to the president.
  22. The president reviews the recommendation and informs the Board of Regents of his/her recommendation, as appropriate.
  23. The Board of Regents takes action on any recommendation by the president.
  24. Written notice of the institution's intention to terminate a faculty appointment is given by the provost to the member of the faculty by: (1) March 1 during the first or second academic year of service, exclusive of the summer session; (2) the first class day of the spring semester for the third, fourth or fifth year of service, exclusive of the summer session; (3) the first class day of the fall semester for the remaining years of non-tenured or tenured service, exclusive of the summer session. If the financial exigency is not declared so as to provide tenured faculty notice of termination by the first day of the fall semester, a minimum of one year's notification will be given.
  25. On the recommendation of the Budget Review Committee and the president, the Board of Regents, may determine what, if any, severance payments will be made beyond the effective date of termination, and may take into account the length of service of the faculty member.
  26. The provost will provide a personal letter of reference for each terminated faculty member, stating that the termination is due to financial exigency and is not a negative reflection of the faculty member's performance.
  27. The University will provide career counseling and placement services for the released faculty.
  28. The institution will not hire in the same area of teaching expertise of an involuntarily terminated probationary tenure-track or tenured faculty member for three years following the date that the faculty member is approved for discontinuance by the Board, unless reinstatement at previous rank, same tenure-track status, and salary is first offered to that faculty member, within a one month time period in which the faculty member may accept or decline the offer.
  29. Deviations from the above procedure for faculty reduction may be appealed. Appeals are limited to claims regarding whether the Procedure for Faculty Termination in Financial Exigency Without Program Discontinuance has been followed. The Faculty Senate Grievance Committee will provide the opportunity for the affected faculty member(s) to demonstrate a claim of deviation in the procedure.
  30. The steps for declaring that financial exigency is over are as follows:

    a.At such a time as the president believes, after consultation with the Faculty Senate and Budget Review Committee, that the University no longer has a financial emergency that cannot be managed except by termination of faculty or other personnel without program discontinuance, the president will notify the faculty that he is recommending to the Board of Regents that the financial exigency should be declared over.
    b.The Board of Regents will then officially and publicly acknowledge that the state of financial exigency is declared over.

  31. After the Board of Regents declares that the financial exigency is over, no new processes for termination of faculty or other personnel for reasons of financial exigency will thereafter be initiated. Any process of reduction of faculty or other personnel without program discontinuance that was initiated because of the financial exigency prior to the Board's declaration will, however, proceed to completion.

    Approved by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-1 Feb 16, 2011, Reviewed by President Feb 16, 2011 and posted for 15 Day Review March 7-March 30, 2011
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