The University reserves the right to terminate a full-time or special status faculty member’s contract for cause or for non-performance. Dismissal for cause is a severance action by which the University terminates its appointment with the faculty member for just cause. Any faculty member is subject to action under this policy. Dismissal for cause must be directly and substantially related to the fitness of a faculty member to continue their professional capacity. Dismissal shall not be used to restrain a faculty member’s academic freedom.
Grounds for corrective discipline or dismissal for cause include non-compliance with University policies or procedures or any activity that compromises the faculty member’s effectiveness or the University’s reputation. Examples include, but are not limited to, demonstrated incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research, to substantial and manifest neglect of duty, and to personal conduct which substantially impairs the faculty member’s fulfillment of his or her institutional responsibilities or the University’s reputation.
I. Conduct Review Procedures Step 1: Meeting with College Dean
When a reason arises to question whether or not the University should continue to employ or discipline a faculty member, the faculty member’s College Dean shall ordinarily discuss the matter informally with the faculty member in a personal conference. Given the informal nature of the meeting, legal counsel shall not be permitted to attend.
As a result of the conference, the matter may be ended by mutual consent. If a mutual resolution is reached, the College Dean shall inform the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Employee Services, General Counsel, and the President of the proposed resolution. If the case is mutually resolved, there will be no right of appeal.
II. Step 2: Meeting with Vice President for Academic Affairs
If the matter is not mutually resolved during the conference with the College Dean, the matter will be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The faculty member will be given advance notice of the conduct at issue and then be afforded the opportunity to meet with the Vice President for Academic Affairs to discuss the matter, submit evidence, and attempt to reach a mutual resolution. Legal counsel shall not be permitted to attend the meeting. If a mutual resolution is reached, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall inform Employee Services, General Counsel, and the President of the proposed resolution. In such cases, there will be no right of appeal. Any monetary resolution or severance will be subject to the approval of the President and Board of Trustees.
If a mutual resolution cannot be reached, the Vice President for Academic Affairs in collaboration with appropriate impartial University personnel assigned by the President will conduct an investigation (including a review of evidence submitted by the faculty member) and determine whether the faculty member’s conduct warrants discipline and, if so, if the conduct at issue is severe enough to warrant suspension or dismissal. If the investigation finds that the faculty member’s conduct does not warrant suspension or dismissal but necessitates the imposition of progressive discipline, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the faculty member’s College Dean, Employee Services, and General Counsel, will issue an appropriate progressive discipline sanction.
Note: Allegations rendered against a faculty member that he or she has violated the University’s Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy will be investigated and resolved pursuant to the procedures outlined therein.
To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Academic Affairs.
Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018