Termination of an Appointment Before the End of the Term Specified in the Faculty Member’s Contract

4.1  TERMINATION OF AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE THE END OF THE TERM SPECIFIED IN THE FACULTY MEMBER’S APPOINTMENT LETTER (CONTRACT)

Termination of a tenured or tenure eligible appointment, or of a probationary or specified-term appointment before the end of the term specified in the contract, may occur (a) under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigency that threatens the University as a whole, or (b) because of the discontinuance of a specific program or department of instruction within a college.

4.1.1 Financial Exigency    Financial exigency is an imminent financial crisis that threatens the University as a whole and that cannot be alleviated by less drastic means than termination of academic appointments. The existence of a condition of financial exigency shall be determined and declared by the president of the university following consultation with the University Budget Advisory Committee. The criteria for selecting appointment(s) to be terminated shall be determined by the Provost following consultation with the University Faculty Council  (UFC).   However, ultimate authority over these decisions rests with the President and the Board of Visitors.

4.1.1.1  Once the President and the University Budget Advisory Committee have determined the substantive standards for financial exigency (as defined above) have been met, but before any faculty appointment is terminated, the Provost will meet with the UFC and ask the UFC to affirm that a condition of financial exigency exists. Although the UFC’s response is not binding on the President, should the UFC determine that the substantive standards have not been met, that opinion will be entered into the record and forwarded to the University Faculty Affairs Committee and, if necessary, to the Board of Visitors should the faculty member(s) whose positions have been reassigned or terminated appeal the decision.

4.1.1.2  The Provost in consultation with the University Faculty Affairs Committee (UFAC) shall determine the criteria for identifying the individuals whose appointments are to be terminated. The criteria may include consideration of length of service.  The Provost and the Committee should consult all concerned programs or departments as part of its deliberations, and follow to the extent possible the AAUP Guidelines “On Institutional Problems Resulting from Financial Exigency.”  Before recommending termination of an appointment, the Provost and the Committee shall make every effort to find another suitable position at the University for the affected faculty member(s).

4.1.1.3  If the University terminates faculty appointments because of financial exigency, it will not at the same time make new faculty appointments, or retain non-tenured faculty while terminating tenured faculty, except in extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion of the University’s academic program would otherwise result.  If the administration issues written notice to a particular faculty member of the intention to terminate his or her appointment because of financial exigency, the faculty member may appeal the decision to the University Faculty Appeals and Grievance Committee within thirty calendar days of receipt of notice of intent to terminate. The hearing will be governed by the hearing procedures set forth in §4.2.

4.1.2 Discontinuance of a Program or Department of Instruction    A decision to terminate academic appointments resulting from the discontinuance of a program or department of instruction not compelled by financial exigency (as defined in 4.1.1  above) must reflect long-range institutional judgments that the educational mission of the University as a whole will be enhanced by the discontinuance.

4.1.2.1  The determination that it is in the best interest of the University’s educational mission to discontinue the program or department, and the identification of the criteria for selecting the appointment(s) to be terminated or reassigned, shall be made by the Provost in consultation with UFC (or a committee of their choosing).  However, ultimate authority over these decisions rests with the President and the Board of Visitors.  Once the President and the UFC have determined that the substantive standards for discontinuance of a program have been met (as defined above), but before any faculty appointment is terminated, the Provost will request that the UFC affirm that the discontinuance of a program or department of instruction reflects long-range institutional judgments that the educational mission of the University as a whole will be enhanced.

4.1.2.2  Although the UFC’s response is not binding on the President, should the UFC determine that the substantive standards have not been met, that opinion will be entered into the record and forwarded to the University Faculty Affairs Committee and, if necessary, to the Board of Visitors should the faculty member(s) whose positions have been reassigned or terminated appeal the decision (see §4.5.3).

4.1.2.3  The Provost shall determine the criteria for identifying the individuals whose appointments are to be terminated or reassigned following consultation with the University Faculty Council or (or a committee of their choosing).   The criteria may include consideration of length of service. The committee should consult all concerned programs or departments as part of its deliberations. Before terminating an appointment, the committee and the Provost shall make every effort to find another suitable position at the University for the faculty member, even if such an appointment requires retraining. If the University plans to discontinue a program or department of instruction for reasons other than financial exigency, it should likewise plan to bear the costs of relocating or retraining affected faculty members placed in another position within the University.

4.1.2.4  If the administration issues notice to a particular faculty member of an intention to terminate or reassign his or her appointment because a program or department of instruction is to be discontinued, the faculty member may appeal the decision to the University Faculty Appeals and Grievance Committee within thirty calendar days of receipt of notice of the intent to terminate. The hearing will be governed by the hearing procedures set forth in §4.2 (below).