Trinity University
Faculty and Contract Staff Handbook

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(3)    Faculty Governance Policy

(3A)    ACADEMIC FREEDOM, RESPONSIBILITY, AND EMPLOYMENT OF FACULTY (POLICY STATEMENT)

(3B)    DOCUMENTATION FOR CANDIDATES FOR PROMOTION AND TENURE

(3C)    ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATIVE GOVERNANCE

(3D)    DISTINGUISHED PROFESSORSHIPS

(3E)    FACULTY APPOINTMENTS AND EVALUATION (OTHER POLICIES)

(3F)    FACULTY RECORDS


(3A)    ACADEMIC FREEDOM, RESPONSIBILITY, AND EMPLOYMENT OF FACULTY (POLICY STATEMENT)
(Also known as the Trinity University Policy Statement on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, Employment, Tenure, and Due Process for Members of the Academic Faculty)

For a summary of recent changes to this chapter, see Chapter 9A: Summary of Recent Revisions to this Handbook.

Contents of this page: 

  1. The Academic Faculty

  2. Academic Freedom

  3. Academic Responsibility

  4. Appointment, Reappointment, and Tenure of the Academic Faculty (Faculty Ranks; Categories of Appointment; Appointment Procedures; Probationary Appointments; Evaluation of Probationary Faculty; Notification of Non-Reappointment; Criteria for Reappointment and Tenure; Process for Tenure Decisions; Appeal of Negative Decision; Counting Academic Leave for Non-Terminal Faculty; Terms of Contract; Faculty Retirement; Employment of Family Members)

  5. Termination of Tenured or Unexpired Appointments (Adequate Cause; Salary Provisions)

  6. Due Process (Guidelines; Dismissal Procedures; Non-Reappointment of Non-Tenured Faculty and Punitive Conditions of Employment Cases; Inadequate Consideration Cases; Publicity)

  7. Financial Exigency (Principles and Procedures; Individual Selection and Individual Rights)

  8. Procedures for Imposition of Sanctions Other Than Dismissal (Severe Sanctions; Minor Sanctions)

  9. Grievance Procedures (Grievance Committee; Petition; Procedures)

  10. Standards for Ranks and Promotion (Faculty Ranks; Faculty Promotions)

  11. Public Service and Political Activities for Members of the Academic Faculty (Public Service; Election to Public Office; Appointment to Public Office; Participation in Political Campaigns)

  12. Amendment Procedure

  13. Appendix: Summary of Timetable for Evaluating Probationary Faculty

(The first policy statement was written by the Faculty and approved by the administration and Board of Trustees in 1953. It was amended by the same parties in 1957. The Faculty Senate wrote a policy in 1968 which was adopted in the 1968-69 academic year and amended in 1972. An expansion of the 1968-69 document was written by the Teaching and Research Faculty Commission and approved by the Commission, the faculty and administration in the 1973-74 academic year, and the Board of Trustees approved the text October 19, 1974, with a provision for review at the May, 1976, meeting of the Board. In May 1976, the Trustees asked the President of the University to appoint a Joint Committee of trustees, administrators, and faculty to make the review. The present document is the work of this Joint Committee to Study Tenure Policy as subsequently amended from time to time. This document incorporates and endorses the 1940 Statement of Academic Freedom and Tenure and the 1970 Interpretive Comments, which are joint statements of the American Association of University Professors and the American Association of Colleges.)

ARTICLE I:    THE ACADEMIC FACULTY

The Academic Faculty is defined as consisting of (1) those full-time members of the Faculty whose primary responsibility consists of teaching, research, and/or professional librarianship and (2) administrative personnel who hold faculty rank and tenure in a department or have primary responsibility in academic affairs (including the President of the University and  the University Librarian) but who are excluded from tenure in their administrative positions.


ARTICLE II:    ACADEMIC FREEDOM

Trinity University seeks to provide conditions whereby members of the faculty may freely pursue scholarly inquiry, discussion, and publication. Academic freedom is essential to teaching, research and artistic creation. Freedom in research and artistic creation is fundamental to the advancement of knowledge and the arts. Freedom in teaching is fundamental to the pursuit and communication of knowledge.

Each Academic Faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and artistic creation and in the publication, display, or performance of the results; and in the exercise of professional responsibilities.

Each Academic Faculty member has full freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject which he/she teaches.

Each Academic Faculty member is also a citizen of his/her community, state, and nation; and when he/she speaks, writes, or acts as a citizen, he/she will be free from institutional censorship or discipline.

Academic freedom applies to all Academic Faculty members, without regard to tenure status.


ARTICLE III:    ACADEMIC RESPONSIBILITY

The guarantee of academic freedom for an Academic Faculty member must be accompanied by an equal acceptance of responsibility.

The fundamental responsibility of an Academic Faculty member as a teacher and scholar is the maintenance of professional competence as demonstrated in teaching, research, lectures, discussions, and publications, or other professional activities.

A Faculty member should avoid persistently intruding controversial material which has no relation to his/her subject.

An Academic Faculty member should recognize that the public may judge his/her profession and his/her institution by his/her statements and his/her actions. Therefore, he/she should strive to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to respect those with differing views, and to avoid creating the impression when he/she speaks or acts as a private person that he/she is speaking or acting for Trinity University.

As a matter of professional self-discipline, tenured members of the faculty are responsible to themselves and to their colleagues for continuing to meet all reasonable expectations of academic performance. The department is the primary although not the exclusive locus of this responsibility. Each department will conduct a departmental level self-study every five years, including an evaluation of all members of the department, to encourage individual and departmental excellence. The evaluations may be held at the same times as the Southern Association Self-Study and five-year review. The criteria and procedures for dismissal (Article VI.B) or lesser sanctions (Article VIII) are to be maintained entirely separate from the periodic departmental evaluations.


ARTICLE IV:    APPOINTMENT, REAPPOINTMENT, AND TENURE OF THE ACADEMIC FACULTY

(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

(Note: In all cases involving library faculty, teacher shall be construed to mean librarian; teaching to mean librarianship; department, departmental, or appropriate department to mean library; Chair to mean University Librarian; and Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs to mean Vice President for Information Resources.)

The objective of these principles and procedures for appointment, reappointment, and tenure is to enhance the quality of the University through continuing improvement of the intellectual quality of the faculty in teaching and scholarship or librarianship. The procedures to be followed in reappointment and granting of tenure are the same; the process of evaluation has the same objective. Judgments should be based on high professional standards. Yet equity requires that each faculty member be judged individually on the basis of particular abilities to contribute to the intellectual and educational life of the department and the University. The administration and the faculty have a mutually supportive role which these principles and procedures seek to enhance.

Nothing in this section should abrogate rights currently enjoyed by members of the Academic faculty nor adversely affect the status of any probationary member appointed prior to its adoption.

A.    Faculty Ranks

Faculty ranks to which faculty appointments are normally made are Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor (including Distinguished Professor).

This is not meant to exclude special categories such as Affiliated, Visiting, Adjunct, or Part-time Faculty. These special categories are not ordinarily subject to the same appointment, reappointment, and tenure considerations as normal faculty appointments. Tenure and probationary status, where applicable, will be decided upon in each individual case. Persons employed to fill positions in contract or sponsored research projects will not ordinarily be given normal faculty ranks. The length of such appointment is determined by the duration of sponsorship of the project.

B.    Categories of Appointment

The three categories of appointment to the Academic Faculty are (1) continuous tenure appointments, (2) probationary appointments, (3) term appointments.

1.    Tenure means assurance to an Academic Faculty member that he/she may expect to continue in his/her academic position unless adequate cause for dismissal is demonstrated in a fair hearing, following established procedures or due process.

2.    Probationary appointments are appointments under consideration for tenure in accordance with the criteria and evaluative procedures below. No one should be considered for a probationary appointment who does not possess the potential for continued reappointment and tenure.

3.    Term appointments are not open to tenure and are generally for brief association with the University. Such appointments may be used to fill temporary needs provided that the total duration of such appointments for a given individual not exceed the appropriate probationary period for that individual. (This does not apply to instructors employed prior to the 1977 revision of this document.) Term appointments may be used for appointments beyond the retirement age. If a faculty member is changed from term to probationary status, his/her prior service will be evaluated for probationary credit.

C.    Appointment Procedures
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

The appropriate department will take the initiative in selecting and recommending a candidate for a position. Specific procedures are left to the department but must involve the Chair and all tenured members of the department. The President or the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs may initiate appointments, but the Chair and all tenured members of the appropriate department must be involved in the procedure unless a new program is begun for which there is no department.

A recommendation will be forwarded to the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, who will then forward a recommendation to the President. If a recommendation for appointment by a department or by a search committee is not approved or is altered by the Vice President for  Faculty and Student Affairs or the President, he/she will so inform the department or search committee, provide a rationale, and allow it to respond before the final decision is made. Final approval or disapproval will be made by the President of the University. Precise written terms and conditions of appointment specifying category, rank, department, compensation, and effective dates and a copy of these Policy Statement will be furnished to every appointee before the appointment is consummated. If the category of appointment is probationary, the written notice shall specify any credit for prior service which will be applied to the probationary period and shall specify the year during which a tenure decision is to be expected.

D.    Probationary Appointments
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on November 19, 1998; Approved by the Faculty December 18, 1998; Approved by the Board of Trustees February 12, 1999, Amended by the Faculty Senate and Approved by the Faculty, May 2, 2002; Approved by the Board of Trustees September 20, 2002).

Probationary appointments may be for one, two or three years and are subject to renewal. The total period of full-time service prior to the acquisition of tenure, including previous full-time service in other institutions of higher learning, normally will not exceed seven years, except that the probationary period may extend to as much as four years, even if the total full-time service in the profession thereby exceeds seven years. The terms of extension will be stated in writing on appointment.

Credit for prior service is optional if, by mutual agreement, at the time of the initial appointment, the appointee and the University stipulate in writing the years of prior service to be excluded. The precise terms of appointment, including the years of prior service to be credited, shall be stated in writing within the initial contract.

As an exception to policy, a probationary faculty member may request that the total time to tenure be extended by not more than one year, if the faculty member experiences a situation that necessitates a commitment of time and energy that delays adequate development of one's teaching, librarianship, research, or artistic endeavors during the normal probationary period. Situations that might warrant a request for an extension are:

1.  The faculty member undergoes treatment for or is recuperating from a serious health condition.

2.  The faculty member devotes substantial time to a seriously ill spouse, domestic partner, child or parent.

3.  The faculty member experiences the death of a spouse, domestic partner, or child, or a divorce.

4.  The faculty member has been granted leave of absence for an extraordinary and unique professional opportunity that benefits the individual and the University.

The request that a year not be counted in the probationary period must be made by the faculty member in writing and received by the departmental Chair no later than one year from the return to academic duties. Requests must include documentation of the circumstances involved, as well as justification for why the year in question was crucial to the faculty member's progress toward tenure and why additional time is needed. The review process for the request shall progress from the departmental Chair to the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs (or the VPIR in the case of library faculty) and then to the President for a final decision.

The probationary period will automatically be extended by one year if the faculty member experiences a significant change in his/her personal life, such as birth or adoption of a child or foster child.

The year will not be counted in the probationary timetable unless requested. The request to waive the extension will be received by the departmental Chair no later than one year from the return to academic duties. The extension applies to faculty members making satisfactory progress toward tenure as determined by the department.

Faculty members will not be arbitrarily disadvantaged in their promotion, advancement, or compensation because of extending the probationary period due to family accommodation. The file will be evaluated without prejudice as if the work were done in the normal period of service.

E.    Evaluation of Probationary Faculty
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

A probationary appointee will be evaluated or reviewed annually, prior to the appropriate date of notification of non-reappointment stated below. At least biennially (for example during the second, fourth and sixth years of an initial probationary appointment) the evaluation must involve the following procedure.

The departmental Chair will notify the probationary appointee of the forthcoming evaluation and confer with the faculty member concerning details of the procedures to be followed.

After notification the probationary appointee will submit in writing a self-evaluation of progress to date and any supporting materials deemed useful to the department.

Then each tenured member of his/her department, after examining the faculty member’s self-evaluation, will submit a written evaluation comprising reasons for and a recommendation of reappointment or non-reappointment. Persons other than the tenured members of the department may also participate in the process of evaluating a faculty member: the faculty member or the department may request that advice relevant to the evaluation be sought from non-tenured members of the department, current and former students, faculty members in other departments, or other qualified scholars.

Following receipt of the evaluations and tabulation of the recommendations, the Chair will discuss the general results of the evaluation with the tenured members of the department and then separately with the faculty member. The Chair will give the faculty member a copy of the written statement of the departmental recommendation including a summary of the reasons for this recommendation; a copy of this statement will become part of the faculty member’s evaluation file. At this time the faculty member may respond to the recommendation, for example pointing out any matter he/she considers factually inaccurate or inappropriate in a letter which becomes part of the faculty member’s evaluation file. The tenured members of the department may make written reply to the faculty member’s response to the departmental recommendation, and such reply also becomes part of the faculty member’s evaluation file.

When a recommendation to grant or withhold tenure, or to grant or deny a promotion, is made by a department, the Chair shall transmit the departmental file on the case including the Chair’s personal recommendation, to the University Commission on Promotion and Tenure. The Commission shall review all the materials involved, and may solicit additional information from any sources it may deem appropriate in order to develop its own recommendation on the case, which it will add to the file and transmit to the President of the University for final approval or disapproval of the recommendation. The recommendation which the Commission sends to the President should include a complete statement of the specific reasons for those recommendations as well as a summary of the recommendations made by the department. The unrecorded oral discussion in departmental meetings pertaining to the evaluation of candidates for tenure, promotion, and/or reappointment will remain confidential.

It is understood that the primary centers of review of a faculty member’s merits for tenure and/or promotion will be the department and the Commission on Promotion and Tenure, and further, that should the Commission not concur in a prior recommendation, it shall communicate in writing the reasons for nonconcurrence to all individuals and bodies involved up to that point; nonconcurrence will be communicated in writing to all the individuals and bodies involved up to that point before further action is taken. An opportunity of appeal for reconsideration to the Commission shall be afforded to the department before the Commission recommendation is communicated to the President. In cases when the department decides to appeal, the faculty member will be so informed. Before the appeal is sent to the Commission the faculty member will be given a summary of the departmental appeal; this summary statement and any response by the faculty member to it will become a part of the faculty member’s evaluation file.

In years when the formal procedures of evaluation above are not followed, the Chair must convene the tenured members of the department. The status of the probationary appointee will be reviewed in order to make a recommendation regarding the next appointment as required by the appropriate date of notification of non-reappointment. Since a decision not to reappoint should not be concluded apart from the opportunity for formal evaluation, the meeting of tenured faculty shall be conducted early enough that, should the tenured faculty find that they have any serious question regarding reappointment, there would be time to invoke the formal procedures of evaluation before deciding an official recommendation. Further, if at any level of administrative review a serious question regarding reappointment arises, the administrative recommendation or decision regarding reappointment shall be delayed in order for formal evaluation procedures to be conducted.

With respect to each probationary appointee who receives a continuing (non-terminal) contract, the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs will provide a written report to the Chair regarding the administration’s review of the departmental evaluation. The report should include any differences in evaluation that might bear on progress towards tenure, whether these are areas of concern that were not addressed in the departmental evaluation, areas of departmental concern not shared by the administration, or areas of mutual concern that are viewed with significantly different weight on the part of the administration. The Chair will share the Vice President’s report with the tenured faculty and forward a copy of the report to the faculty member.

Where the decision is not to reappoint, the faculty member shall be notified in writing by the President of the University. The faculty member may request from the President that he/she be given the reasons contributing to the decision either orally or in writing, and he/she may request reconsideration. If a written statement of reasons is requested, the statement will become part of the faculty member’s evaluation file.

If the probationary faculty member being evaluated is a Chair, the functions relative to that particular evaluation that are normally performed by the departmental Chair shall be performed by a tenured member of the department selected by the tenured members, or if there are no tenured members, by another departmental Chair designated by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs.

When an initial appointment to the Faculty of Trinity University involves tenure or promotion to a rank higher than that held by the candidate at another institution (except when the promotion is to Assistant Professor), the procedures for recommendation and approval are the same as those for the promotion and tenure of probationary appointees described above except that a self-evaluation by the candidate is not required. The evaluation file prepared by the recommending department for the Commission on Promotion and Tenure must include evaluations and recommendations from each tenured member of the department and a summary recommendation from the departmental Chair. The evaluation file will be reviewed at a convened meeting of the Commission on Promotion and Tenure.

F.    Notification of Non-Reappointment

Written notice of non-reappointment of probationary faculty members will be given in advance of expiration of appointment according to the following schedule:

1.    Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of probationary service if the appointment expires at the end of that year, or, if a one-year appointment terminates prior to May of an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination.

2.    Not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates prior to May of an academic year, at least six months in advance of its termination.

3.    At least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years of service and not later than May 31 of the academic year preceding the last year of appointment.

Notification of the terms and condition of reappointment will be given to all full-time faculty members by March 31.

G.    Criteria for Reappointment and Tenure
(Amended by the Faculty May 1, 1998; approved by the Board of Trustees October 2, 1998)

A decision to recommend reappointment and/or the awarding of tenure shall be based on the following criteria: 

1.    Quality of teaching or librarianship, 

2.    Quality of scholarship, research, or professional or artistic achievements, and 

3.    Service to the department, the University, the profession, and the community. 

The accomplishments and potential of the individual shall be the major basis for the decision. However, the present and future needs of the University shall also be carefully weighed. A decision to reappoint indicates progress toward tenure.

H.    Process for Tenure Decisions
(Amended by the Faculty May 1, 1998; approved by the Board of Trustees October 2, 1998)

A decision concerning tenure will be made in the next to last year of a faculty member’s probationary period, in the sixth year of service of a probationary appointee with no prior service; or the year prior to that stipulated at which tenure must be granted to or withheld from an appointee with prior service. Nothing in this provision, however, shall prevent the Department and administration from making a decision earlier than the generally stipulated time. The faculty member will address himself/herself to the question of tenure in his/her self-evaluation.

The process and criteria of evaluation are the same as those for reappointment or non-reappointment, except that the recommendation is for granting or withholding tenure. Upon receipt of notification of the decision to grant tenure, the faculty member acquires full rights and responsibilities of other tenured members in respect to termination for cause or financial exigency. A decision to withhold tenure means that the final probationary contract will be terminal.

I.    Appeal of Negative Decision

A decision not to reappoint or grant tenure does not necessarily imply unfitness. The decision, however, must result from adequate consideration, as specified by the evaluative procedures and stated criteria above. The decision also must not violate the faculty member’s academic freedom, or be based on ethnic, religious, age, or sex discrimination.

If the faculty member alleges that the decision was based on considerations violative of his/her academic freedom; or on religious, sex, age, or ethnic discrimination; or on inadequate consideration, the faculty member may appeal in accordance with procedures of Due Process (Article VI).

The faculty member should exhaust all University methods of appeal before taking a complaint to civil or governmental agencies.

J.    Counting Academic Leave for Probationary Faculty

For a non-tenured faculty member on academic leave for one year or less, that period of leave should count as part of the probationary period as if it were prior service at another institution. Exceptions to this policy should be mutually agreed to in writing prior to the granting of the leave. The faculty member may request to have that year not count as part of the probationary period if the purpose of the leave can be characterized as an extraordinary or unique professional opportunity that benefits both the individual and the University (See D4 above).

K.    Terms of Contract
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

An Academic Faculty contract properly signed by a person designated by the Board of Trustees of the University is binding upon Trinity University. An Academic Faculty member who signs a contract with Trinity University is bound to the terms of the contract and should fulfill them in good faith and at maximum performance.

1.    If a faculty member engages in a non-University activity which requires a significant amount of time, he/she should discuss that activity with the appropriate Chair. If the outside activity or activities appear to reduce the teaching effectiveness of the faculty member or in other ways interfere with obligations to the University, the faculty member may be asked to reduce or terminate such outside activity or activities. A faculty member should not intentionally exploit his/her association with Trinity University, nor shall he/she allow others to do so in his/her behalf (cf. Article XI: Public Service and Political Responsibilities for Members of the Academic Faculty).

2.    A faculty member may terminate his/her appointment effective at the end of an academic year, provided that he/she gives notice in writing at the earliest possible opportunity, but not later than May 15, or 30 days after receiving notification of the terms of his/her appointment for the coming year, whichever date occurs later. 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.

L.    Faculty Retirement

Each tenured member of the Academic Faculty who retires from full-time service with the rank of Professor will, upon retirement, be designated as Professor Emeritus or Professor Emerita.

M.    Employment of Family Members

In the appointment and retention of faculty and staff members, the University seeks those persons most qualified to fulfill the institution’s obligations to teaching and research. There is, therefore, no blanket restriction concerning members of the same family being employed at Trinity University. Consistent with the guidelines and recommendations of both the Federal Government and the American Association of University Professors, the University recognizes reasonable restrictions on an individual’s capacity to function as judge or advocate in specific situations involving members of the same family.

In that regard then, the University will not appoint faculty or staff members who would by virtue of their positions have institutional decisions concerning their conditions of employment and compensation made by members of their immediate families.


ARTICLE V:    TERMINATION OF TENURED OR UNEXPIRED APPOINTMENTS

A.    Adequate Cause

The employment of an Academic Faculty member with tenure, or one whose appointment has not expired, may be terminated by the University only for adequate cause and in accordance with procedures described in this document. Adequate cause is defined as one or more of the following:

1.     Determination, based upon substantial and manifest evidence, of professional incompetence or gross neglect of major academic responsibilities.

2.   Determination, based upon clear and convincing medical evidence, of serious and protracted physical or psychological disability related to the accomplishment of major academic responsibilities.

3.    Extraordinary financial exigency of a demonstrably bona fide nature, or discontinuance of a program or department of instruction (see Article VII. Financial Exigency). An Academic Faculty member who can present evidence of discriminatory treatment or infringement of academic freedom in such emergencies has the right to a hearing before the Faculty Hearing Committee.

4.    Determination, based upon substantial and manifest evidence, of gross misconduct. Examples of gross misconduct include an egregious violation or an egregious pattern of violations of the Anti-Harassment policy (Chapter 8C), an egregious violation or an egregious pattern of violations of the Code of Conduct policy (Chapter 8D), or serious crime(s).

B.    Salary Provisions

All references to salary in this document shall mean full salary and benefits. Salary for a terminated faculty member will be provided as follows:

1.    If an Academic Faculty member without tenure is dismissed under the provisions of paragraph A.1 above, he/she will receive his/her salary for the duration of his/her contract up to one year from the date of notice of dismissal. If an Academic Faculty member with tenure is dismissed, he/she will receive his/her salary for one year from date of notice of dismissal. The faculty member will continue his/her duties during the period of dismissal compensation except in the case of suspension (see Article VI:B.3.a on Due Process below) or unless at the discretion of the administration he/she be granted a leave of absence with salary.

2.    A faculty member whose employment is terminated under the provisions of paragraph A.2 above shall receive his/her salary until such time as the University’s disability insurance program would take effect were he/she enrolled in that program.

3.    Provisions for salary of faculty members whose employment is terminated under the provisions of paragraph A.3 above are made in Article VII.B.4 below.

4.    Provisions for salary of faculty members whose employment is terminated under the provisions of paragraph A.4 above are made in Article VI.C below.


ARTICLE VI:    DUE PROCESS

A.    Guidelines

These procedures and regulations constituting due process apply in cases of 

1.    dismissal of tenured faculty; 
2.    dismissal of non-tenured faculty whose appointment commitment has not expired;
3.    non-reappointment of non-tenured faculty in those instances where there are allegations of violation of academic freedom or of ethnic, religious, age, or sex discrimination; 
4.    alleged punitive conditions of employment (i.e., conditions so unsatisfactory that they appear to be designed to influence the faculty member to resign without the protection of due process); or 
5.    alleged inadequate consideration in the non-renewal of contract. 

The rights of the faculty member will be protected by proper professional procedures which are generally recognized in the academic community.

Cases of dismissal, 1. and 2. above, are initiated by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, and all procedures of due process will be followed unless further proceedings are waived by the faculty member. Cases under 3., 4. and 5. above are initiated by an appeal on the part of the faculty member. It is important that a request for consideration of an appeal occur in a reasonable time because of the potential for loss of factual information if the process is delayed. Except in cases of alleged punitive conditions of employment, a faculty member must submit a request for consideration to the Faculty Senate within 6 months of the receipt of official notification from the President of a change in the faculty member’s status. In all three categories of appeal the documentation concerning the appeal must be prepared in written form by the faculty member and submitted to the appropriate body within 3 months from the date of submitting the request for consideration to the Faculty Senate. If these conditions for timely review are not met, further consideration of appeal is dropped. The Faculty Senate, by a vote of its membership, may delay these dates if the faculty member describes to the Senate in writing extenuating circumstances that prohibit meeting the regular deadlines.

The appropriate faculty committee charged with the investigation of the complaint must also respond in timely fashion. The committee must bring its investigation to a close and submit its recommendations to the appropriate persons within three months of the date on which it is convened by the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate, by a vote of its membership, may delay this deadline if the committee describes to the Senate in writing extenuating circumstances that prohibit timely response.

In the interest of confidentiality, the Chair of the Faculty Senate normally will act for the Senate in overseeing the implementation of due process. Pending final disposition of the case, the Chair normally will report to the Senate only the fact of a due process proceeding and the current stage of the proceeding.

In cases of dismissal, 1. and 2. above, the case shall be handled according to Article VI.B: Dismissal Procedures below, except in cases of gross misconduct. When the cause of dismissal is gross misconduct, the case shall be handled according to Article VI.C: Dismissal Procedures for Gross Misconduct.

In cases involving allegations covered under 3. and 4. above, the case shall be handled according to Article VI.C: Non-Reappointment of Non-Tenured Faculty and Punitive Conditions of Employment Cases.

In cases of allegations covered under 5. above, the case shall be handled according to Article VI.D: Inadequate Consideration Cases below.

B.    Dismissal Procedures
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

The burden of proof is upon the administration to show adequate cause for the dismissal of a faculty member with tenure or whose term of appointment has not expired. Adequate cause for a dismissal will be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of the faculty member in his/her professional capacity as a teacher, researcher, or librarian. Dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or rights of citizenship.

1.    Tenured Faculty Member

The dismissal of a tenured faculty member for causes other than gross misconduct will be preceded by:

a.    Personal Conference

  1. Chair. Identification of potential problems should be made at the departmental level and described in the annual merit evaluation by an assessment of long-range career development. The Chair has the opportunity and obligation to assist the faculty member in recognizing potential problems. If, however, the identification of a potential problem is initiated within the administration, it remains the responsibility of the Chair to assist the faculty member in attempting to resolve the matter.

  2. Third Party. If communication fails at the departmental level, the faculty member or the Chair may request a third party, such as a Senate-appointed ombudsman, to assist in reestablishing a working relationship. The third party will act to facilitate the reestablishment of contact and the development of realistic career goals and objectives.

b.    Notification

  1. Formal Notification Regarding Possibility of Dismissal. If the preceding steps do not result in resolution, the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs should formally notify the faculty member, with a copy to the Chair, that the existing problem, if not corrected, will lead to dismissal. Before issuing such notification, the Vice President should convene a meeting of the other tenured faculty of the department for the purpose of consultation regarding the contemplated action.

  2. Department. If the problem is not corrected, the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs should request from the Chair and tenured faculty of the department their written recommendations regarding the initiation of dismissal procedures.

  3. Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. The decision to initiate action toward dismissal of a tenured faculty member rests with the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. The Vice President must notify in writing both the faculty member and the Chair of the Faculty Senate, with a copy to the Chair, that such a decision has been made. This notification should contain the specific charges.

  4. Faculty Senate. Upon notification, the Faculty Senate, through the Chair of the Senate, must advise the Faculty member of his/her rights, facilitate the obtaining of an advisor (ombudsman or another third party) and monitor the procedure to ensure that due process is observed.

c.    Examination of Charges

Hearing Committee. The Hearing Committee is a standing committee elected by the Academic Faculty, not overlapping in membership with the Investigating Committee (Chapter 2A: Constitution of the Faculty Organization  Article IV.G.6). In a dismissal case, as defined in Article VI.A and Article VI.B above, the faculty member concerned will have the right to be heard by the Hearing Committee. The Hearing Committee must hold a hearing according to the procedures of due process set forth below, unless the faculty member waives this right in a letter to the Faculty Senate.

Members will be subject to challenge, which, if contested, will be decided by the Faculty Senate, or members may remove themselves voluntarily in particular cases.

If a hearing is to be held, the presiding officer of the Senate will inform both the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs and the faculty member in writing that a hearing will be conducted by the Hearing Committee, specifying the time and place. The written communication will state that the hearing will be held to determine whether or not the Academic Faculty member should be removed from his/her faculty position. The presiding officer’s communication will inform the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs and the faculty member of the procedures to be followed in the hearing. Questions of interpretation of the rules of procedure will be settled by the Faculty Senate.

The actual hearing shall be preceded by full disclosure by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs of evidence supporting the charges for dismissal.

In deliberating, the Hearing Committee will receive the written statement of the reasons for the dismissal from the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs and a written reply from the faculty member. All evidence shall be given to both the faculty member and the Hearing Committee. The Hearing Committee shall address only the charges already brought by the administration. A faculty member may at any time choose to waive further proceedings.

d.    Action

The written recommendations of the Hearing Committee will be given to the faculty member and the Chair of the Faculty Senate. The written report will make explicit its findings with regard to each of the stated grounds for dismissal, and will state whether or not there is adequate cause for dismissal. The Chair of the Faculty Senate will convey in writing the decision of the Hearing Committee to the President of the University. If the President rejects the report, he/she will state his/her reasons for doing so, in writing, and convey them through the Senate to the Hearing Committee and to the Faculty member and provide an opportunity for response before transmitting the case to the Board of Trustees.

e.    Review

Board of Trustees. If the Board of Trustees decides to review a case of an Academic Faculty dismissal, the President of the University will transmit to the Board the full reports of the Hearing Committee. If the Board is inclined to alter the decision of the Hearing Committee, it should not only study the reports of the Hearing Committee, but it should offer opportunity for statements by the principals and/or their representatives.

If, after the study of the reports and the statements, the Board is dissatisfied with the Hearing Committee’s decision, the Board should specify its objections in writing to the President of the University, who will convey the same to the Senate.

The Hearing Committee should then reconsider, taking account of the stated objections and receiving new evidence if necessary. It should frame its reconsidered report and decision and communicate it in the same manner as before.

Only after study of the final report of the Hearing Committee should the Board of Trustees render a decision overruling the Hearing Committee. The Board of Trustees should convey its decision and its reason in writing to the President of the University, who will convey same to the Senate and the Faculty member.

2.    Non-Tenured Faculty Member

Dismissal of a non-tenured faculty member before the end of the specified period of his/her appointment for causes other than gross misconduct will be preceded by:

a.    Personal Conference

  1. When reason arises to question the fitness of an Academic Faculty member, the appropriate Chair will discuss the matter with the faculty member in personal conference. The matter may be resolved by mutual consent at this point.

  2. If an adjustment does not result from the conference between the Chair and the Faculty member, the Chair will convene a meeting between the tenured members of the department and the Vice President for  Faculty and Student Affairs for the purpose of advising the Vice President of an appropriate action. 

b.    Notification

  1. Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. The decision to initiate action toward dismissal of a faculty member whose appointment commitment has not expired rests with the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. The Vice President must notify in writing both the faculty member and the Chair of the Faculty Senate, with a copy to the Departmental Chair, that such a decision has been made. This notification should contain the specific charges.

  2. Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate, through the Chair, will then direct the Investigating Committee to investigate the matter, but the Senate will maintain supervision until the case has been resolved.

c.    Examination of Charges

i.    Investigating Committee. The Investigating Committee is a standing committee elected by the Academic Faculty (Chapter 2A: Constitution of the Faculty Organization  Article IV.G.6). Members will be subject to challenge, which, if contested, will be decided by the Faculty Senate, or members may remove themselves voluntarily in particular cases. Although the Committee’s activities may be flexible and informal, detailed records of all proceedings and statements of the parties must be kept. The Committee will maintain confidentiality of these records.

A statement of charges and/or reasons for the dismissal, framed with reasonable particularity by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, will be given to the Faculty member and to the Investigating Committee. The Committee will make such inquiry as it deems necessary, offer advice to the administration and faculty member, and attempt to effect an adjustment if it seems warranted in the view of the Committee.

The Investigating Committee has completed its task when it reports to the Senate whether or not an adjustment has been effected. If an adjustment has not been effected and the faculty member requests a hearing, the records of the Investigating Committee will be given to the Hearing Committee, and the Senate will refer the case to the Hearing Committee. If the faculty member waives a hearing, or if an adjustment has been effected, the records and all submitted documents will be sealed and kept in the files of the Senate for five years and then destroyed. They may be opened only by a vote of the Senate.

ii.    Hearing Committee. The Hearing Committee will be constituted and act as described in Article VI.B.1.c above.

d.    Action. As described in Article VI.B.1.d above.

e.    Review. The review process has been described in Article VI.B.1.e above.

3.    Rules of Procedure

a.    Pending a final decision on the case, the faculty member will be suspended, or assigned to other duties in lieu of suspension, only if his/her welfare or that of the institution is threatened by his/her continuance. Before making final the suspension of a faculty member, pending an ultimate determination of his/her status through the University’s hearing procedures, the administration will consult with the Faculty Senate concerning the propriety, the length, and the other conditions of the suspension. A suspension which is intended to be permanent is a dismissal, and will be treated as such. Salary will continue during the period of suspension.

b.    The Hearing Committee may, with the consent of the parties concerned, hold joint pre-hearing meetings with the parties in order to 

  1. Simplify the issues, 

  2. Effect stipulations of facts, 

  3. Provide for the exchange of documentary or other information, and 

  4. Achieve such other appropriate pre-hearing objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious.

c.    During the hearing proceedings, the faculty member will be permitted to have an advisor of his/her own choice. The Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs shall be present at all hearings and shall have the right to be assisted by an advisor.

d.    A full record of the hearing or hearings will be made and transcripts will be made available to both the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs and the faculty member. The cost of the transcripts will be borne by the University.

e.    The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the institution and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.

f.    The Hearing Committee will grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence where a valid claim of surprise is made.

g.    Both parties shall have the opportunity to respond in writing and orally to charges or allegations. The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the Hearing Committee in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence.

h.    The faculty member and the administration will have the right to confront and question 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 interrogation.

i.    In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from this or other institutions of higher education.

j.    The Hearing Committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence, and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.

k.    The findings of fact and the decision will be based solely on the hearing records.

l.    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 will so recommend, with supporting reasons.

m.    Even though the Hearing Committee finds the dismissal both justified and appropriate, it may, in gross misconduct cases wherein the faculty member was suspended without pay, recommend some dismissal compensation up to salary for a year from the date of the notice of the dismissal.

n.    After the conclusion of the case, the records and documents held by the Hearing Committee will be sealed and kept in the files of the Faculty Senate for five years and then destroyed. They may be opened only by vote of the Senate. Records transmitted to and retained by the President, and the Board of Trustees shall also be maintained in confidence by them until such records are destroyed.

C.    Dismissal Procedures for Gross Misconduct

The Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs (or, in the case of a faculty librarian, the Vice President for Information Resources) may recommend that the employment of a faculty member be terminated when the Vice President finds substantial and manifest evidence of gross misconduct (see Article V.4). If the President deems it necessary or in the best interest of the University, he/she may suspend a faculty member with pay at any point in the dismissal process. The President may also limit the faculty member’s access to campus and his/her interaction with other faculty members, staff members, or students.

In initiating the process to terminate the employment of a faculty member, the Vice President should base his/her judgment on the recommendations of a faculty member’s Department Chair, the recommendations of any faculty committees appointed to investigate formal complaints, and the history of previous complaints against the faculty member as documented by the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources.

To recommend dismissal to the President, the Vice President shall convey to the faculty member a written statement prepared in consultation with the Department Chair (or University Librarian) and Chair of the Faculty Senate, and possibly others, indicating the grounds for the proposed dismissal and the Vice President’s intention to recommend dismissal to the President. (If the faculty member in question is also a Department Chair or the University Librarian, the Vice President shall prepare the written statement in consultation with the Chair of the Faculty Senate and at least one tenured faculty member recommended by the Faculty Senate.)

If there is no appeal, the President may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation of the Vice President. The President shall indicate his/her decision by conveying a written statement to the faculty member, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and the Vice President. If the President accepts the Vice President’s recommendation to terminate employment, the President’s written statement will constitute notice of dismissal.

The faculty member has three (3) business days to notify the Vice President and the Faculty Senate that s/he is appealing the recommendation of dismissal.  Such appeals will be heard by the Faculty Hearing Committee.  Should the Hearing Committee include any member of the same department as the person making the appeal, or any member of the faculty who has been an official party to a previous grievance or appeals procedure or hearing in which the appellant was a principal, an alternate member must be selected. 

The Hearing Committee will act as described in Chapter 3A, Article VI.B.1.c and d of the Faculty Handbook, and in accordance with the rules of procedure outlined in Chapter 3A, Article VI.B.3.  Any review process requested by the Board of Trustees will proceed as outlined in Chapter 3A, Article VI.B.1.e.

At the end of the appeal process, the President or the Board of Trustees may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation of the Vice President. The decision of the President or the Board of Trustees shall be conveyed in a written statement to the faculty member, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and the Vice President. If the President or the Board of Trustees accepts the Vice President’s recommendation to terminate employment, the written statement from the President or the Board of Trustees will constitute notice of dismissal.

In the case of dismissal for gross misconduct, the University will assume no obligation for the individual’s salary and benefits beyond the end of the month in which the dismissal notice is given.

D.    Non-Reappointment of Non-Tenured Faculty and Punitive Conditions of Employment Cases
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

If a faculty member on probationary or other non-tenured appointment alleges that a decision not to reappoint him/her violates (1) academic freedom or (2) governing policies on making appointments without prejudice to race, sex, age, religion, or national origin, or if any faculty member, tenured or non-tenured, alleges that there are elements in his/her conditions of employment which are punitive and amount to making these conditions so unsatisfactory that they appear to be designed to influence him/her to resign without the protection of due process, he/she shall also be able to appeal through the same procedures set forth under Article VI.A.3 above. The only difference is that in these cases the burden of proof is upon the faculty member.

The faculty member shall initiate the procedures of personal conference. If the matter is not resolved through personal conference, the aggrieved faculty member shall address his/her request for an investigation to the Chair of the Faculty Senate. The petition to the Senate should indicate the general nature of the complaint and note the faculty member’s attempt to resolve the matter by personal conference, but details of the complaint should be submitted only to the Investigating Committee. The allegation will be given preliminary consideration by the Investigating Committee under the supervision of the Senate. The Senate will maintain supervision until the case has been resolved.

The allegation shall be accompanied by a statement that the faculty member agrees to the presentation, for the consideration of the Investigating Committee, of such reasons and evidence as the institution may allege in support of its decision.

The Investigating Committee will make such inquiry as it deems necessary, offer advice to the administration and faculty member, and attempt to effect an adjustment if it seems warranted in the view of the Committee. If the parties do not agree on a resolution of the matter, the Committee must report to the Senate either that the faculty member has no reasonable grounds for a hearing and that the matter is closed or that a hearing is warranted.

Although the parties in the dispute shall not have access to the original form of each other’s statements or documents, nor opportunity to question the other party, the Investigating Committee itself is entitled to compare statements and receive such further answers, responses or clarification as it deems necessary to the investigation in order to establish whether reasonable grounds for a hearing exist.

A finding on the part of the Investigating Committee of the existence of reasonable grounds is not to be construed as a final judgment on the merits of the allegations presented. Rather, it is an expression of the Committee’s belief that the circumstances of the case warrant referring the case to the Hearing Committee. In the event the Committee finds that a hearing is warranted, the Senate will then refer the case to the Hearing Committee, and the records of the Investigating Committee will be given to the Hearing Committee. If the case is closed without a hearing, the records and all submitted documents will be sealed and kept in the files of the Senate for five years and then destroyed. They may be reopened only by a vote of the Senate.

If a hearing is to be conducted, the case will be heard in the manner set forth in the preceding section on dismissal procedures, except that the faculty member making the complaint is responsible for stating the grounds upon which he/she bases his/her allegations and the burden of proof shall rest upon the faculty member. The hearing shall then go forward under the same procedures and obligations on the part of all parties as obtained in dismissal cases.

It will be incumbent upon the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs and other administrators or faculty bodies who made the decision not to reappoint to produce in writing evidence in rebuttal to the allegation that non-reappointment was based on matters of academic freedom or of ethnic, religious, age, or sex discrimination. In cases involving allegations of punitive conditions of employment, such evidence should be in rebuttal to the allegation that the conditions are punitive as defined above.

The report of the Hearing Committee to the Faculty Senate should (1) make explicit its findings with regard to each of the allegations of the faculty member and (2) state its decision whether or not the faculty member should be retained in his/her position, or, in cases involving allegation of punitive conditions of employment, whether and how the faculty member’s conditions of employment should be revised. Any review of the Hearing Committee’s findings shall proceed the same as in dismissal cases.

E.    Inadequate Consideration Cases
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

If a faculty member on probationary appointment alleges that a decision not to reappoint him/her was based on inadequate consideration, he/she has the right to petition the Faculty Senate to call upon the Investigating Committee to review the allegations after other institutional methods of appeal have been exhausted. The Committee will determine whether the decision was the result of adequate consideration in terms of the criteria and procedures for renewal of contracts and tenure. The Investigating Committee will not substitute its judgment on the merits in the case for that of the department making the original decision of non-reappointment.

If the Investigating Committee believes that adequate consideration was not given to the faculty member’s qualifications or that procedural standards of the University were violated, it will request reconsideration by the department and administrative officers involved in the decision, indicating the respects in which it believes the consideration may have been inadequate. Such cases shall not go to the Hearing Committee. The Investigating Committee will provide copies of its findings to the faculty member, the Department, the President, the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, and the Faculty Senate.

F.    Publicity

Publicity about due process proceedings should be kept to a minimum. The proceedings and reports of the Investigating Committee, the Hearing Committee, and the Board of Trustees should be confined to members, the principals, and their advisors. Except for such brief announcements as may be required, covering the time of the hearing and related matters, public statements about the case by the Academic Faculty member, the administration, or other Trinity University personnel should be avoided as far as possible, especially until all proceedings have been completed.

Public announcement of the final decision is not required except in the minutes of the Faculty Senate, but if an announcement is made at all it should be brief and it should be made in such manner as not to harm the person or careers of the principals.


ARTICLE VII:    FINANCIAL EXIGENCY

A.    Principles and Procedures
(Amended by the Faculty April 28, 1995)

The declaration of and subsequent response to a condition of financial exigency involves a three-stage sequential process:

1.    First is the determination whether extraordinary circumstances have brought the University to a demonstrably imminent financial crisis which threatens the survival of the institution as a whole, that is, a bona fide financial exigency. Such a determination requires a decision by the Board of Trustees on recommendation of the administration after formal consultation with the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate Committee on the University Budget recommends to the Faculty Senate whether a finding for a state of a bona fide financial exigency is justified.

2.    Should the Board of Trustees decide that the University is in a state of financial exigency, the second stage involves the Board’s decision on (a) the extent of the condition and (b) which parts of the University need be affected. The University, as an academic institution, places the highest emphasis on academic areas—instruction and scholarship—in the distribution and use of University resources; the fiscal policies of the University should reflect such an emphasis.

3.    The third stage involves decisions by the Board of Trustees on (a) which parts of the University’s academic programs will be affected and (b) which faculty positions, in case such drastic measures are necessary and the crisis cannot be alleviated by less drastic means, are to be eliminated. Such decisions will be reached on the recommendation of the academic officers of the institution and after formal consultation with the Faculty Senate. It is the primary responsibility of the faculty to determine where within the academic program reductions should be made. The retention of a viable academic program should necessarily come first. Before a decision is reached that a faculty position be eliminated and/or a faculty member’s services be terminated, the Faculty Senate and the administration will make every effort to explore alternatives to the elimination of the position and/or termination. Possible alternatives include, but are not necessarily limited to, a hiring freeze, a retirement incentives program, a reduction from full-time to part-time status, or transfer to another suitable position within the University. If a reasonable period of retraining is necessary for such transfer, the cost of retraining might be borne by the University. A decision to adopt an alternative to termination must be mutually acceptable to the individual concerned and the administration and must be governed by the guidelines and procedural safeguards contained in this document.

B.    Individual Selection and Individual Rights
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

Once a decision to reduce a specific department or departments has been made, it will be the responsibility of those departments, together with the President and the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, to recommend to the Board of Trustees the positions to be eliminated. Specific procedures shall be determined by the departments; the selection of positions to be eliminated must involve the Chair and all tenured members of the Department, plus the President and the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs.

The procedures in this policy ensure that the termination of a faculty appointment, either tenured or probationary, because of financial exigency is distinct from dismissal for cause. The necessity for the elimination of the position must be shown, and fair hearing procedures must be followed, but nothing in the procedure should imply a lack of fitness of the individual ultimately affected to occupy either a permanent or probationary position.

1.    As departments consider particular reductions, rights under academic tenure should be protected. Tenured members of the faculty should normally be retained in preference to non-tenured members. However, exceptions to this general policy may become necessary if following it will lead to serious gaps or distortions in particular disciplines. Even in those cases where an entire department is to be phased out, the rights of all individuals affected will be protected as noted below.

2.    A faculty member whose position is targeted for elimination has a right to be heard by his/her departmental colleagues as well as the President and the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs before the decision is reached.

3.    If the administration issues notice to a particular faculty member of an intention to terminate the appointment because of financial exigency, the faculty member will have the right to a full hearing before the Hearing Committee. The issues in this hearing may include:

The final review of all controverted issues will be made by the President and the Board of Trustees.

4.    In those cases necessitating termination of a faculty member, at least a year’s notice is mandatory. In the case of a probationary faculty member, if the need to make reductions emerges after the date by which notice should be given, financial compensation will be awarded within the then-available resources of the University.

5.    If an appointment is terminated before the end of the period of appointment because of financial exigency, the released faculty member’s place will not be filled by a replacement within a period of three years, unless the released faculty member has been offered reappointment and a reasonable time within which to accept or decline it.


ARTICLE VIII:    PROCEDURES FOR IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS OTHER THAN DISMISSAL

A.    Severe Sanctions

If the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs (or, in the case of a faculty librarian, the Vice President for Information Resources) believes that the misconduct of a faculty member, although not constituting adequate cause for dismissal, is sufficiently grave to justify imposition of a severe sanction, such as suspension from service for a stated period or reduction in rank or salary, the Administration may impose such a sanction. The Vice President must convey to the faculty member a written statement prepared in consultation with the Department Chair (or University Librarian) indicating the grounds for the proposed sanction. (If the faculty member in question is also a Department Chair or the University Librarian, the Vice President will prepare the written statement in consultation with one tenured faculty member recommended by the Faculty Senate.)

The faculty member will have the right to appeal the sanction to the Hearing Committee. This appeal must be made in writing to the Chair of the Senate within 3 business days. The Senate will direct the Hearing Committee to investigate the matter and make a recommendation to the President. Should the Hearing Committee include any member of the same department as the person making the appeal, or any member of the faculty who has been an official party to a previous grievance or appeals procedure or hearing in which the appellant was a principal, an alternate member must be selected. 

B.    Minor Sanctions

If the administration 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 present evidence that the proposed sanction should not be imposed. If the faculty member believes that his/her evidence has not been given proper consideration, he/she may petition the Grievance Committee as provided in Article IX.


ARTICLE IX:    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

A.    Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee will consist of three members and three alternates from the Academic Faculty appointed annually by the Faculty Senate.

B.    Petition

Any faculty member who has cause for grievance in any matter not otherwise covered in this document may petition the Grievance Committee for redress. The petition shall set forth in detail the nature of the grievance and shall state against whom the grievance is directed. It shall contain any factual or other data which the petitioner deems pertinent to the case. The Committee will have the right to decide whether or not the facts merit a detailed investigation. Submission of a petition will not automatically entail investigation or detailed consideration thereof.

C.    Procedures

The Committee will seek to bring about a settlement. If in the opinion of the Committee such a settlement is not possible or is not warranted, the Committee will report its findings and recommendations to the petitioner, to the appropriate administrative officer, and to other involved parties. The Grievance Committee shall report its disposition of all petitions to the Faculty Senate.


ARTICLE X:    STANDARDS FOR RANKS AND PROMOTION

The following standards for ranks and promotion are normal qualifications and are intended to be flexible. Meeting the requirements of a particular rank does not automatically insure appointment or promotion to that rank. Moreover, exceptions to some requirements may be made for individuals who are judged to be qualified for a certain rank by reason of recognized competence in their fields.

A.    Faculty Ranks

1.    Instructor. A person appointed to this rank shall have earned at least the Master’s degree in the area to which he/she is appointed or shall have achieved the equivalent in graduate education, such as persons who have completed all doctoral work except the dissertation.

2.    Assistant Professor. A person appointed or promoted to this rank shall have earned the highest degree appropriate to the discipline.

3.    Associate Professor

a.    A person appointed or promoted to this rank shall have earned the highest degree appropriate to his/her discipline.

b.    The candidate for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor shall, at the time of consideration, have had not less than five years of experience in teaching, or librarianship at the rank of Assistant Professor.

c.    He/she shall have demonstrated ability to contribute to his/her field as evidenced by such scholarly activities as research projects, grants, awards, leadership in learned societies, and publications or artistic production.

4.    Professor

a.    A person appointed or promoted to this rank shall have earned the highest degree appropriate to his/her discipline.

b.    He/she shall have established a record of effectiveness as a teacher, or librarian, a record of scholarly or artistic productivity, and a record of leadership in the University and/or the larger community, which is, on the whole, outstanding. Neither possession of the relevant degree, nor seniority in the department, nor a combination of both shall alone be sufficient cause for promotion to this rank.

c.    The candidate for promotion to the rank of Professor shall, at the time of consideration, have had no fewer than five years of experience at the rank of Associate Professor.

B.    Faculty Promotions
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

1.    Merit. Promotion is based on merit and is not automatic.

2.    Criteria. Promotion shall be based on the same criteria used in considerations of reappointment and tenure (Article IV.G).

3.    Procedures

a.    Nominations. Recommendations for promotions will normally originate in the department and will involve all tenured members. All faculty members eligible for promotion according to the formal criteria of experience and degree shall be evaluated each year with respect to promotion unless faculty members elect not to be candidates. Consideration of faculty members whose promotion would involve an exception to the formal criteria may be initiated by the faculty member, the department, or the administration. The process of evaluation and reporting is the same as that for reappointment or non-reappointment (Article IV.E) except that the recommendation is for or against promotion.

The President or the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs may initiate the evaluation process for promotion, but the Chair and all tenured members of the appropriate department must be involved in the process.

These procedures also shall be followed in cases involving both initial appointment to the Faculty of Trinity University and promotion to a higher rank than currently held by the candidate at another institution.

b.    Approval. Final approval or disapproval will be made by the President of the University.


ARTICLE XI:    PUBLIC SERVICE AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES FOR MEMBERS OF THE ACADEMIC FACULTY

The University recognizes the rights of Faculty to accept public service, professional or political, provided such service does not interfere with academic responsibilities. If in a particular case an Academic Faculty member believes that his/her freedom to so participate is being unduly limited by the administration, he/she may petition the Grievance Committee.

A.    Public Service
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

It is the policy of the University to make its personnel available for public service of a professional character:

1.    If the individual’s University duties can continue to be performed satisfactorily.

2.    If the individual confines his/her testimony or counsel to matters within his/her professional competence needed by public officials in weighing the relative merits of alternate courses of action.

3.    If the individual’s remuneration beyond out-of-pocket expense does not infringe on regulations binding on the University.

All faculty requested by public officials to perform such services shall notify their Chair and the Office of Academic Affairs of the nature and conditions of the assignment.

B.    Election to Public Office
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

Members of the Trinity University Faculty may accept such public offices as are tendered, and which do not interfere with the individual’s performance of his/her contractual duties at the University. Upon nomination for elective public office, the candidate should consult with the appropriate Chair and the Office of Academic Affairs with a view toward reaching an agreement upon a formal leave of absence without pay from the University for the duration of the election campaign:

1.    If the office for which the individual is running carries with it more than nominal remuneration beyond out-of-pocket expenses; and/or

2.    If holding such office would interfere in any way deemed significant by officers of the University with the performance of the candidate’s assigned University duties.

University personnel who are candidates for any elective office other than those described above have the privilege of seeking and holding such office (e.g., membership on local school boards or as members of the City Council) without modification of the terms and conditions of their University status.

A faculty member shall not intentionally exploit his/her association with Trinity University, nor shall he/she allow others to do so in his/her behalf.

C.    Appointment to Public Office
(Amended by the Faculty Senate and distributed on April 17, 2001; Approved by the Faculty May 3, 2001)

The University recognizes the importance of staffing public agencies with knowledgeable people and will cooperate, when possible, by making members of its faculty and staff available for appointive public office under the following conditions:

If the duties and responsibilities of the appointive office do not interfere with the individual’s duties at the University (e.g., appointment as a member of a State Board of Licensure), he/she may accept appointment to public office without modification of his/her contract with the University; if the appointment does, in any way deemed significant by officers of the University, interfere with the individual’s performance of his/her University duties, he/she may petition the Office of Academic Affairs for leave of absence.

D.    Participation in Political Campaigns

It is the right of every citizen, as a citizen, to participate in partisan political activities; however, the individual’s relationship to the University is not to be exploited in such partisan campaign activity.


ARTICLE XII:    AMENDMENT PROCEDURE

The Trinity University Policy Statement on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Employment Faculty (Chapter 3A) may be amended by 

  1. A majority of the membership of the Faculty Senate; 

  2. A majority of the Trinity University Academic Faculty; and 

  3. The Trinity University Board of Trustees. 

Amendments may be initiated by the Faculty Senate, the Academic Faculty, or the Board of Trustees. Before voting upon a prepared amendment, at least fourteen days notice shall be given in writing to the membership of the Senate, the Academic Faculty, and the Board of Trustees.


(XIII). APPENDIX:    SUMMARY OF TIMETABLE FOR EVALUATING PROBATIONARY FACULTY

Please note: This table must be supplemented by annual calendars specifying dates for each step of the review process and by careful reading of Chapter 3A: Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Employment of Faculty (Policy Statement)Also note that this appendix is a summary derived from the policy statement, and its language is not governed by the amendment procedure stated in Article XII.

Year of Probationary Service Decision Regarding Appointment to: Type
 of 
Evaluation
Department Begins Process: Notification Deadline
1st Year 2nd Year Informal (unless concerns regarding reappointment require FORMAL) January March 1
2nd Year (Fall) 3rd Year Informal (unless concerns regarding reappointment require FORMAL) September December 15
2nd Year (Spring) 4th Year Formal January March 31 (May 31)
3rd Year 5th Year Informal (unless concerns regarding reappointment require FORMAL) January March 31 (May 31)
4th Year 6th Year Formal January March 31 (May 31)
5th Year 7th Year Informal (unless concerns regarding reappointment require FORMAL) January March 31 (May 31)
6th Year (or next to last year of faculty member’s probationary period) Mandatory Tenure Decision Formal September March 31 (May 31)

The table is based on the maximum probationary period. Prior credit may cause the tenure decision year (the next to last year of the individual’s maximum probationary period) to be moved earlier. Until the tenure decision year, however, the calendar of evaluations and notification deadlines is based on the principle that the first probationary contract at Trinity University constitutes the first year of the calendar regardless of how much prior credit is applied. Thus the calendar is applicable to all probationary appointments until the year when mandatory tenure review (based on prior credit) takes precedence.

As a matter of practice, notification of non-reappointment to a subsequent academic year is done by the time of the March 31 contract, and the contract carries notice of its terminal nature. However, Trinity University policy (assuming two years service) allows notification of non-reappointment up to May 31 of the academic year prior to termination. Decisions regarding reappointment or tenure may cause a delay in issuance of a contract past the normal March 31 date (and up to the May 31 deadline at the latest) in order to determine the terminal or continuing probationary (or tenured) nature of the contract.

A departmental recommendation of non-reappointment may not be based on the Informal review process. If the tenured faculty anticipate any significant concerns regarding reappointment, such as to require implementation of an off year formal evaluation, the faculty member should be notified as early as possible in order to allow preparation of the self-evaluation and supporting materials. If the department decides to implement such an evaluation only shortly before its recommendation is due, the timetable must be reasonably adapted to allow fair preparation and consideration within the limits of notification deadlines.


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