7.4 Termination of Service
7.4.1 Termination for cause of a tenured faculty member may be made for one or more of the following reasons: incompetence or irresponsibility in discharging obligations to the College; serious insubordination after official notification or breach of contract; moral turpitude; refusal to accept and/or implement the stated goals of the College; substantial misrepresentation of facts requested by the College in employment documentation; or other inappropriate behavior that violates College policy described in Employee Manual, Section 7.0 Other Conditions, Expectations, or Prohibitions.
The College subscribes to the 1958 AAUP Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings and 1963 Statement on Standards of Notice of Non-Reappointment. (Appendix C)
7.4.2 For Cause Termination Procedure for Tenured Faculty members shall be carried out as follows:
I. Preliminary Proceedings Concerning the Fitness of a Faculty Member
Every reasonable effort shall be made to mediate and conciliate differences between the faculty member and the College. The Provost/Dean of Faculty shall discuss the matter with the faculty member in personal conference and make a rigorous attempt at confidential, equitable, and expeditious agreement to resolve the matter by mutual consent.
- Committee Review
If the matter is not resolved by the Provost/Dean of Faculty, the Rank and Tenure Committee shall review the matter and recommend to the President whether formal termination proceedings should be instituted.
II. Formal Proceeding
The President shall consider the Committee’s recommendation before determining whether or not to proceed with further investigation and/or proceed to hold formal proceedings to consider whether the faculty member should be dismissed.
Except where there is disagreement between the Provost/Dean of Faculty and the Committee, a statement with reasonable particularity of the grounds proposed for the dismissal should then be jointly formulated by the Provost/Dean of Faculty and the Rank and Tenure Committee. If there is disagreement, the Provost/Dean of Faculty and the Committee shall both formulate their respective statements.
If the President deems it necessary, the faculty member may be placed on suspension with pay (except for cases of moral turpitude, in which case, suspension is without pay). Such an action would be taken when the President believes the continuance of the faculty member’s service threatens substantial harm to himself or herself or others, or to the welfare of the College. The President may lift or modify the suspension at any time.
- Notice of Charges and Hearing
The formal proceedings shall commence by a communication to the faculty member from the Provost/Dean of Faculty stating the grounds formulated for consideration of termination.The communication will also inform the faculty member that he or she is entitled to a hearing conducted by a Hearing Committee of the Rank and Tenure Committee.The notice shall contain the proposed hearing date and location. The hearing date will be no later than three weeks after the notification is delivered to the faculty member.The faculty member has five work days to respond in writing whether or not he or she wishes for such a hearing to be undertaken, and if so, his or her responses to each charge alleged by the College.
- Hearing Committee
A Hearing Committee of three faculty members shall be designated by and from the Rank and Tenure Committee. The members of the Hearing Committee may not have previously been involved in the charges under investigation. The choice of the members of the Hearing Committee should be on the basis of their objectivity and competence as well as the regard in which they are held in the college community. The Hearing Committee should elect its own chair.The Hearing Committee is charged with conducting a hearing and carrying out an investigation to consider if the faculty member should be dismissed from the College. The committee will be formally briefed by the College on the following considerations: (1) that the Hearing Committee represents the College, and that its members are fulfilling a managerial responsibility to the College; (2) ensuring that College policy and procedure are upheld; and (3) the responsibility of the Hearing Committee to reach a decision as to whether, given available evidence, there is a reasonable basis for determining that the faculty member’s dismissal is appropriate. Consistent with AAUP principles, reasonable procedures and reasonable evidence are not those of a court of law, but rather of institutional policy and process.
- Hearing Committee Practices and Procedures
The Committee should 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. If the faculty member has not requested a hearing or if the faculty member does not respond to the notice, the committee should consider the case on the basis of the obtainable information and make a recommendation as to whether the faculty member should be dismissed.The College may retain legal counsel to assist the Provost/Dean of Faculty in developing the case, but the Hearing Committee should determine the order of proof, should normally conduct the questioning of witnesses, and, if necessary, should secure the presentation of evidence important to the case.The faculty member has the option of assistance by counsel. The faculty member and the Provost/Dean of Faculty are to have the procedural rights set forth in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.The faculty member shall have the aid of the Hearing Committee in securing the attendance of witnesses.The faculty member or the faculty member’s counsel and the Provost/Dean of Faculty or the College’s counsel shall have the right within reasonable limits to question the witnesses who testify orally. The faculty member should have the opportunity to be confronted by all adverse witnesses.The Hearing Committee shall conduct the questioning of individuals and obtain documentation.If a faculty member under review is unwilling to participate in the hearing, the Hearing Committee shall consider the case on the basis of obtainable information and base their recommendation to the President on such information.Hearing Committee meetings and hearings shall be confidential.The Hearing Committee should reach its decision in conference on the basis of the hearing. Before doing so, the faculty member, counsel, and Provost/Dean of Faculty’s representative shall have the opportunity to argue orally before the Hearing Committee.A copy of the evidence and an audio recording of the proceedings at the hearing shall be made in all cases. Copies shall be provided to the President and the faculty member.
- Hearing Committee’s Report and Recommendation to President
The Hearing Committee shall file a written report to the President one week after receiving a copy of the evidence and a recording of the proceedings. The report shall contain the Hearing Committee’s conclusion(s) and recommendation(s) as well as the reasons for its conclusions and recommendations, including a recommendation to terminate or not to terminate the faculty member’s employment.If the Hearing Committee recommends termination of employment, the Committee’s report shall also include specific statements of deficiencies or acts of misconduct on which the recommendation is based.The faculty member shall receive a copy of the Committee’s report sent to the President.
III. President’s Review of the Hearing Committee’s Recommendation
After review of the Hearing Committee’s recommendation(s), the President shall provide his /her decision and the reasons for the decision in writing to the faculty member and the Hearing Committee. If the President’s decision is to terminate the employment of the faculty member, the decision shall be effective upon report and concurrence of the Board of Trustees.
If the President does not accept the decision of the Hearing Committee, the President shall resubmit the case to the Hearing Committee for reconsideration with a statement of questions or objections. The Hearing Committee shall then reconsider the case in light of such questions or objections, holding further hearings and receiving new evidence, if necessary, and rendering a new decision in the same manner as prescribed before. Only after study of the reconsidered decision of the Hearing Committee may the President make a final decision overruling the Committee. In such case, the President will give the reasons to the Committee and to the faculty member in writing.
A copy of the President’s decision along with the Hearing Committee’s report, a copy of the evidence and a recording of the proceedings shall be maintained in the Human Resources Office of the College. Release of any information to the public should be made through the President’s Office.
Approved October 10, 2019