Imposition of Sanctions Other Than Dismissal

Policy Memorandum No. 182


Approved by Commission on Faculty Affairs: December 12, 1997
Approved by Commission on Administrative and Professional Faculty Affairs: November 20, 1997
Approved by University Council: February 2, 1998
Approved by President: February 2, 1998
Approved by Board of Visitors: February 23, 1998
Effective: Immediately

The University Council, on recommendation of the Commission on Faculty Affairs and the Commission on Administrative and Professional Faculty Affairs, unanimously approved a resolution concerning the imposition of sanctions other than dismissal.

Note: The complete Dismissal for Cause Policy may be found on-line and will appear in the new edition of the Faculty Handbook scheduled to appear in August 1998.

Following is the text of the resolution as adopted by University Council.

WHEREAS, the current Faculty Handbook does not sufficiently explicate sanctions between reprimand and dismissal for cause that might be appropriately invoked in cases of unacceptable conduct and/or serious breach of university policy, nor the process by which such sanctions might be imposed; and

WHEREAS,charges ofunacceptable conduct or a serious breach of university policy which have been referred to, investigated, and substantiated by the Ethics Committee, Internal Audit, the EO/AA Office, or panels concerned with Scholarly Misconduct may be most appropriately addressed in a manner short of dismissal; and

WHEREAS, the AAUP recommends that the imposition of severe sanctions follow procedures for dismissal for cause;

THEREFOREbe it resolved, that the Faculty Handbook be amended as proposed to incorporate new policy on the imposition of sanctions other than dismissal for cause for both instructional and administrative and professional faculty. New and revised text is attached.

RECOMMENDATION:

That the proposed revisions to the Faculty Handbook concerning the imposition of severe sanctions be approved.

Proposed Revisions to Section 2.11 of the Faculty Handbook to include Severe Sanctions

Material Applicable to Instructional Faculty

[The Commission on Faculty Affairs recommends a revision of section 2.11 of the Faculty Handbook with all existing material related to reduction in force moved to a new, separate section. Section 2.11 would then be renamed as below with new material added. There are no changes recommended for the dismissal for cause policy itself, other than a new lead-in paragraph. All new or substantively revised material appears in bold italics.]

2.11 Imposition of a Severe Sanction or Dismissal For Cause

2.11.1 Adequate Cause

Adequate cause for imposition of a severe sanction or dismissal will be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of faculty members in their professional capacity as teachers and scholars. Imposition of a severe sanction or dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or other rights of American citizens.

Adequate cause includes:

  1. violation of professional ethics (see especially section 2.7),
  2. ncompetence as determined through post-tenure review,
  3. willful failure to carry out professional obligations or assigned responsibilities,
  4. willful violation of university and/or government policies,
  5. falsification of information relating to professional qualifications,
  6. inability to perform assigned duties satisfactorily because of incarceration, or
  7. personal deficiencies that prevent the satisfactory performance of responsibilities (e.g., dependence on drugs or alcohol).

Reason to consider the imposition of a severe sanction or dismissal for cause is usually determined by a thorough and careful investigation by an appropriately-charged faculty committee (as in the case of allegations of ethical or scholarly misconduct, or through a post-tenure review) or by the relevant administrator (for example, the department head, EO/AA Officer, Internal Auditor, or Campus Police). Generally, these investigations result in a report of findings; some reports also include a recommendation for sanctions. The report is directed to the relevant administrator for action; it will also be shared with the faculty member. Imposition of a severe sanction or initiation of dismissal for cause proceedings, if warranted, shall follow the procedures set forth below.

2.11.2 Imposition of a Severe Sanction

1) Definition and Examples:

A severe sanction generally involves a significant loss or penalty to a faculty member, such as but not limited to a demotion in rank and/or a reduction in salary or suspension without pay for a period not to exceed one year, imposed for unacceptable conduct and/or a serious breach of university policy.

Routine personnel actions such as a recommendation for a below-average or no merit increase, conversion from a calendar-year to an academic-year appointment, reassignment, or removal of an administrative stipend do not constitute "sanctions" within the meaning of this policy. A personnel action such as these may be a valid issue for grievance under procedures defined in the Faculty Handbook.

2) Process for Imposing a Severe Sanction:

The conduct of a faculty member, although not constituting adequate cause for dismissal, may be sufficiently grave to justify imposition of a severe sanction. Imposition of a severe sanction shall follow the same procedures as dismissal for cause beginning with Step 1. If the matter is not resolved at the first step, a standing or ad hoc faculty committee will conduct an informal inquiry (Step 2). The requirement for such an informal inquiry shall be satisfied if the investigation was conducted by an appropriately-charged faculty committee (as would be the case with an alleged violation of the ethics or scholarly misconduct policies) and, having determined that in its opinion there is adequate cause for imposing a severe sanction, refers the matter to the administration.

Proposed Revision Applicable for Administrative and Professional Faculty

Text of the proposed revision of section 3.6 of the Faculty Handbook relevant to Administrative and Professional Faculty is below. Placement of the new text would be handled as follows:

4. Imposition of Sanctions Other Than Dismissal

a) Definitions and Examples:

Minor sanctions include but are not limited to verbal or written reprimand. As compared to severe sanctions, minor sanctions usually do not involve a financial loss or penalty.

A severe sanction generally involves a significant loss or penalty to a faculty member, such as but not limited to a reduction in title, responsibilities, and salary; or suspension without pay for a period not to exceed one year, imposed for unacceptable conduct a