1. Non-reappointment (Section I.10. supra).
2. Resignation. Notification of resignation by a faculty member ought, in general, to be sufficiently early to obviate serious problems for the College. The length of time will necessarily vary with the circumstances of each particular case. Subject to this general principle, a faculty member who intends to resign should give such notice before April 15 of the final academic year. The faculty member may properly request a waiver of this requirement of notice in case of hardship or in a situation where he/she would otherwise be denied substantial professional advancement or other opportunity.
3. Retirement. As a consequence of federal legislation, there is no "normal retirement age" for faculty members at RC. In all cases, faculty should indicate their intention to retire by September 15 of the final academic year prior to retirement. Regular College benefits continue for all full-time faculty until they retire.
4. Termination of Appointments by the College without Prejudice. Termination of appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary or other non-tenured appointment before the end of the specified term, may be effected only for reasons of financial exigency, discontinuance of program or department, or medical reasons. Any such termination is without prejudice to the individual faculty member.
a. Financial Exigency
(1) Termination of an appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary or other nontenured appointment before the end of the specified term, may occur under extraordinary circumstances because of a demonstrably bona fide financial exigency, i.e., a financial crisis which poses a threat to the ability of the College to carry out its educational mission.
(2) A condition of financial exigency may be declared only by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the President. Prior to seeking action by the Board, the President shall consult with the Faculty Representative Committee with respect to the existence of a condition of financial exigency and as to whether all reasonable alternatives to the termination of faculty appointments have been pursued.
(3) Once a condition of financial exigency has been declared by the Board of Trustees, but before termination of any appointments have been made, a special ad hoc committee of the faculty shall be formed to make recommendations to the President as to where in the overall academic program terminations of appointments might best occur. The ad hoc committee will be made up of the Dean of the College, the Chairs of the Academic Personnel, Curriculum, and Faculty Representative Committees, and one additional faculty member from each of these Committees elected by the respective Committees. If the resulting committee does not include an untenured faculty member, the ad hoc committee shall elect one. The ad hoc committee shall also elect a chair from among its tenured faculty members. The committee shall consider issues of educational policy, as well as of faculty status, including affirmative action, and shall make its recommendations to the President within 14 days of the Board of Trustees' action.
(4) The President shall make the final decision with respect to specific terminations, after consultation with the Dean of the College and careful review of the ad hoccommittee's report.
(5) Upon the issuance of notice by the President to a particular faculty member of an intention to terminate the appointment because of financial exigency, the faculty member shall have the right to a full hearing before the faculty members of the Academic Personnel Committee, normally within 14 days of the date of the notice. The hearing need not conform in all aspects with a proceeding conducted pursuant to the provisions governing dismissal for cause (Section K.5. Infra), but the essentials of an on-the-record adjudicative hearing shall be observed. The issues in the hearing shall be limited to the reasonableness of the educational judgments and their appropriate applicability to the individual in question.
(6) The recommendation of the Academic Personnel Committee shall be transmitted to the President within 7 days of the close of the hearing. The President shall then submit his/her recommendation, together with that of the Committee, to the Board of Trustees, or to the Executive Committee of the Board if the Board so designates, for final action.
(7) If appointments are terminated because of financial exigency, new appointments shall not be made at the same time except in extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion in the academic program would otherwise result. The appointment of a faculty member with tenure shall not be terminated in favor of retaining a faculty member without tenure, except in extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion of the academic program would otherwise result.
(8) Before terminating an appointment because of financial exigency, the President, with faculty participation, shall make every reasonable effort to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position within the College.
(9) In all cases of termination of appointment because of financial exigency, the faculty member concerned shall be given notice or severance salary in accordance with Section L.7. Infra.
(10) In all cases of termination of appointment because of financial exigency, the place of the faculty member concerned will not be filled by a replacement within a period of three years, unless the released faculty member has been offered reinstatement and a reasonable time in which to accept or decline it.
b. Discontinuance of Program or Department. Termination of an appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary or special appointment before the end of the specified term, may occur as a result of a bona fide formal discontinuance or reduction of a program or department of instruction. The following standards and procedures will apply:
(1) A recommendation to discontinue or reduce the size of a program or department of instruction shall be made by the President after consultation with the Dean of the College and the Faculty Representative Committee. Such recommendation shall be based primarily on educational considerations, taking into account the financial situation of the College (other than temporary short-term variations in enrollment or budget), and shall reflect long-range judgments that the mission of the College as a whole will be served by the discontinuance or reduction. The appointment of a faculty member with tenure shall not be terminated in favor of retaining a faculty member without tenure in that same department except in extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion of the academic program would otherwise result.
(2) Before the President issues notice to a faculty member of the decision to terminate an appointment because of formal discontinuance or reduction in size of a program or department of instruction, the President and the Dean of the College shall make every effort to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position within the College. If placement in another position would be facilitated by a limited period of training, reasonable financial and other support for such training will be proffered. If no suitable position is available within the College, with or without training, the faculty member's appointment may then be terminated, but only in accordance with regulation L. 7. Infra.
(3) Upon issuance of notice by the President to a particular faculty member of a proposed relocation or termination resulting from a discontinuance or reduction in size of a program or department, the faculty member will have the right to a full hearing before the faculty members of the Academic Personnel Committee, normally within 14 days of the date of receipt of the notice. The hearing need not conform in all respects with a proceeding conducted pursuant to the provisions governing dismissal for cause (Section K. 5. Infra), but the essentials of an on-the-record adjudicative hearing shall be observed. The issue in such a hearing shall be limited to:
(a) Whether there are discriminatory or other inappropriate reasons underlying the decision to terminate or relocate the particular faculty member; and
(b) Whether the conditions of paragraph (2) supra have been satisfied.
(4) The recommendation of the Academic Personnel Committee shall be transmitted to the President within 7 days of the close of the hearing. The President shall then submit his/her recommendation, together with that of the Committee, to the Board of Trustees, or to the Executive Committee of the Board if the Board so designates, for final action.
(5) In all cases of termination resulting from a discontinuance or reduction in size of a program or department, the place of the faculty member concerned will not be filled by a replacement within a period of three years, unless the terminated faculty member has been offered reinstatement and reasonable time in which to accept or decline it.
c. Medical Reasons. Termination of an appointment with tenure, or of a probationary or other non-tenured appointment, before the end of the period of appointment for medical reasons, shall be based upon clear medical evidence that the faculty member cannot continue to fulfill the terms and conditions of the appointment. The decision to terminate shall be made by the President only after there has been appropriate consultation with the faculty member concerned and after the faculty member concerned, or someone representing the faculty member, has been informed of the basis of the proposed action and has been afforded an opportunity to present the faculty member's position and to respond to the evidence. If the faculty member so requests, the evidence shall be reviewed by the faculty members of the Academic Personnel Committee before final action is taken by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the President. The faculty member shall be compensated in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section IV. E.Infra, "Salary Continuation in Cases of Extended Disability."
5. Dismissal for Cause. A faculty member holding an appointment with continuous tenure, or a probationary or nontenured appointment may be dismissed for adequate cause before the end of the term specified in the contract. In such a case, dismissal is made with prejudice to the individual faculty member. Dismissal is a step that should be taken only in circumstances that are directly and substantially related to the fitness of a faculty member to continue in his/her position. Dismissal shall not be used to constrain or threaten faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or other rights of United States citizens. The following reasons constitute adequate cause for dismissal:
- professional incompetence;
- neglect of academic duties in spite of written warnings;
- grave personal or professional misconduct;
- deliberate and grave interference with the rights and freedoms of fellow faculty members, administration or students.
In the cases of such dismissal of a faculty member, the following procedures will be observed:
a. Before formal dismissal proceedings are begun, efforts to resolve the matter informally shall be made, including (i) discussions between the faculty member and the President (and/or the Dean of the College) looking toward a mutually acceptable settlement, and (ii) if no settlement is reached, informal inquiry by a committee (composed of the three faculty members who serve on the Student Grievance subcommittee of the Academic Personnel Committee) which may, failing to effect an agreement with the faculty member, determine whether in its opinion formal dismissal proceedings should be undertaken, without its opinion being binding upon the President. If the Sexual Harassment Hearing Panel (see V.F.9) recommends dismissal, the President will relay that information to the faculty member and give the faculty member the option of resigning or of requesting a review of the recommendation. If the faculty member requests a review, procedures outlined in III.K.c-f are followed.
b. Upon the commencement of formal dismissal proceedings, the faculty member concerned shall be provided with written notice from the President containing a full statement of the reasons for the decision, framed with reasonable particularity. The notice shall also inform the faculty member of his/her right to request a hearing on the matter. The faculty member shall respond within 10 days of the receipt of the notice.
c. If the faculty member requests a hearing, a committee composed of five tenured faculty members shall be convened. The selection process shall be conducted by the Faculty Representative Committee which shall also name a chair and render decisions regarding disqualification or inability to serve. Faculty with a special bias in the case shall remove themselves. The accused shall have a maximum of two challenges. The challenges shall be made in writing to the chair of FRC within 48 hours of notification of the hearing committee’s composition.
d. The following procedures shall govern the conduct of the hearing:
(1) The hearing committee may, with the consent of the parties, hold joint prehearing meetings with the parties in order to (a) simplify the issues, (b) effect stipulations of facts, (c) provide for the exchange of documentary or other information, and (d) achieve such other appropriate prehearing objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious.
(2) The notice of the charges in writing shall be made at least twenty days prior to the hearing, which shall be scheduled normally within 14 days of its request by the faculty member. The faculty member may waive a hearing or may respond to the charges in writing at any time before the hearing. If the faculty member waives a hearing but denies the charges against him/her, or asserts that the charges do not support a finding of adequate cause, the hearing committee shall evaluate all available evidence and base its recommendation upon the evidence in the record.
(3) The committee, in consultation with the President and the faculty member, shall exercise its judgment as to whether the hearing should be public or private.
(4) During the proceedings, the faculty member shall be permitted to have an adviser, usually academic, and/or counsel of his/her own choice. If the counsel is a lawyer, the faculty member must notify the President 72 hours in advanced of the hearing.
(5) At the request of either party or the hearing committee, a representative of a responsible educational association shall be permitted to attend the proceeding as an observer.
(6) A verbatim record of the hearing or hearings shall be kept and shall be made available to the faculty member without cost upon his/her request.
(7) The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the Administration and shall be satisfied only by the weight of the evidence on the record considered as a whole.
(8) The hearing committee shall grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence as to which a valid claim of surprise is made.
(9) The faculty member shall be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The Administration shall cooperate with the hearing committee in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence.
(10) The faculty member and the administrative officer carrying the burden of the case (usually the Dean of the College) shall have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and if possible provide for interrogatories.
(11) In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from the College and/or other institutions of higher education.
(12) The hearing committee shall not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence that is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort shall be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
(13) The findings of fact and the decision, by majority vote, shall be based solely on the hearing record.
(14) Except for such simple announcements as may be required covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member, the committee or the Administration shall be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings, including consideration by the Board of Trustees, have been completed. The President and the faculty member shall be notified of the decision in writing normally within 14 days of the close of the hearing and shall be given a copy of the record of the hearing.
(15) If the hearing committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established by the evidence in the record, it shall so report to the President. If the President rejects the report, he/she shall state the reasons for doing so, in writing, to the hearing committee and to the aggrieved faculty member, and provide an opportunity for response before transmitting the case to the Board of Trustees. If the hearing committee concludes that adequate cause for a dismissal has been established, but that an academic penalty less than dismissal would be more appropriate, it shall so recommend, with supporting reasons.
e. Pending final action by the Board of Trustees, the faculty member shall be suspended, or assigned to other duties in lieu of suspension, only if immediate harm to him/herself or others is threatened by continuance, or if, because of the nature of the charges, continuance is clearly not in the best interest of the faculty member or of the College. Before suspending a faculty member, pending an ultimate determination of his/her status through the above hearing procedures, the President shall consult with faculty members serving on the Student Grievance subcommittee of the Academic Personnel Committee as to the propriety, length, and other conditions of the suspension. A suspension that is intended to be final is a dismissal and shall be treated as such. Salary will ordinarily continue during the period of suspension.
f. If dismissal for cause or other severe sanction is recommended, the President shall, on request of the faculty member, transmit to the Board of Trustees the record of the case. The review by the Board, to be conducted by a committee designated by the President of the Board, shall be based on the record of the committee hearing and shall provide opportunity for argument, oral or written or both, by the principals at the hearings or their representatives. The decision of the hearing committee shall either be sustained, or the proceedings returned to the committee with specific objections. The committee shall then reconsider, taking into account the stated objections and receiving new evidence if necessary. The Board of Trustees shall make a final decision only after study of the committee's reconsideration.
6. Procedures for Imposition of Sanctions Other than Dismissal
a. If the President believes that the conduct of a faculty member, although not constituting adequate cause for dismissal, is sufficiently grave to justify imposition of a severe sanction, the procedures outlined in the paragraphs above shall govern such proceeding. If the Sexual Harassment Hearing Panel (see V.F.9) recommends a sanction other than dismissal, the President will relay that information to the faculty member and give the faculty member the choice of accepting the recommendation of the Sexual Harassment Hearing Panel (see V.F.9) or of asking for a review of the recommendation using the procedures outlined in III.K.5.c-f.
b. If the President believes that the conduct of a faculty member justifies imposition of a minor sanction, such as a reprimand, it shall notify the faculty member of the basis of the proposed sanction and provide him/her with an opportunity to persuade the Administration that the proposed sanction should not be imposed. A faculty member who believes that a major sanction has been incorrectly imposed under this paragraph or that a minor sanction has been unjustly imposed, may petition the Faculty Grievance subcommittee of the Academic Personnel Committee. (The former chair of the Academic Personnel Committee will replace the current chair in this instance, if available. If not available, the current chair of the Curriculum Committee will sit in his/her place.)
7. Terminal Salary or Notice. If an appointment is terminated, the faculty member shall receive salary or notice in accordance with the following schedule: at least three months, if the final decision is reached by March 1 (or three months prior to the expiration) of the first year of probationary service; at least six months if the decision is reached by December 1 of the second year (or after nine months but prior to eighteen months) of probationary service; at least one year, if the decision is reached after eighteen months of probationary service or if the faculty member has tenure. This provision for terminal notice or salary need not apply in the event that there has been a finding that the conduct which justified dismissal was for cause. On the recommendation of the President, the Board of Trustees may be asked to grant payments beyond the normal salary continuance, depending on length and quality of service of the faculty member.