Reappointment and Non-reappointment of Non-tenured Faculty

Reappointment and Non-reappointment of Non-tenured Faculty

This section of the Faculty Handbook describes the process for reappointment and non-reappointment of non-tenure-earning and tenure-earning faculty.
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2.13 Reappointment and Non-reappointment of Non-tenured Faculty 

2.13.1 Review for Reappointment and Non-reappointment of Non-tenure-earning Faculty 

Non-tenure-earning faculty shall be reviewed for reappointment by the department chair on a schedule that allows adequate notice regarding reappointment or, should a decision not to reappoint be made, notice shall be in accordance with the schedule defined in this Handbook.

2.13.2 Review for Reappointment and Non-reappointment of Tenure-Earning Faculty 

Tenure-earning faculty shall be reviewed for reappointment by the department chair or in accordance with other departmental, school, college, or UAB Libraries procedures, on a schedule which allows adequate notice regarding reappointment or, should a decision not to reappoint be made, notice shall be in accordance with the schedule in this Handbook or in accordance with other departmental, school, college, or UAB Libraries procedures.  Review for appointment may be in addition to, or in conjunction with, the annual evaluation by the chair as prescribed in Section 2.14 and is separate from pre-tenure committee review of progress toward tenure as prescribed in Section 2.15.7.

2.13.3 Notice of Non-reappointment

When a decision against reappointment is made, the faculty member shall be informed of the decision and the reasons for non-reappointment, in writing, by the department chair (Note, that since the UAB Libraries do not have departments, the Dean of the UAB Libraries shall act in the place of a chair for all library-related faculty policy and employment decisions normally carried out by a UAB departmental chair) in accordance with the following standards: 

A. During the first full year of service, a non-tenure-earning faculty member must receive a minimum of three months' notice of non-reappointment.  As used herein, a full year of service is equal to nine months for faculty on nine-month appointments and twelve months for faculty on 12-month appointments.  Tenure-earning faculty appointed for an initial period of less than two years must receive a minimum of twelve months' notice of non-reappointment.

B. After one or more full years of service to UAB, a faculty member must receive twelve months' notice that his or her appointment will not be renewed.  The date upon which the initial notice is given of non-reappointment shall commence the running of the 12-month terminal appointment. 

The following American Association of University Professors (AAUP) statement, while not being UAB policy, may be pertinent and may provide guidance in many instances:

At many institutions, moreover, the procedures of evaluation and decision may make it difficult, if not impossible, to compile a statement of reasons which precisely reflect the basis of the decision. When a number of faculty members participate in the decision, they may oppose a reappointment for a variety of reasons, few or none of which may represent a majority view. To include every reason, no matter how few have held it, in a written statement to the faculty member may misrepresent the general view and damage unnecessarily both the morale and the professional future of the faculty member.

In many situations, of course, a decision not to reappoint will not reflect adversely upon the faculty member. An institution may, for example, find it necessary for financial or other reasons to restrict its offerings in a given department. The acquisition of tenure may depend not only upon satisfactory performance but also upon a long-term opening. Non-renewal in these cases does not suggest a serious adverse judgment. In these situations, providing a statement of reasons, either written or oral, should pose no difficulty, and such a statement may in fact assist the faculty member in searching for a new position.

(This statement was extracted from the AAUP Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Non-renewal of Faculty Appointments, a revision of a statement originally adopted in 1971, which was approved by Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, adopted by the Council as Association policy in November 1989, and endorsed by representatives in attendance at the Seventy-Sixth Annual Meeting.)

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2.13.4 Non-reappointment Because of Changes in Program Priorities

Although an individual faculty member may meet the criteria for reappointment, a decision to deny reappointment may be based on considerations of curriculum, enrollment, finances, or other program factors not prevalent or predictable at the time of the original appointment. It shall be the responsibility of the department chair to ensure the earliest possible notification of faculty who will be affected by such changes, but in no case shall such notice be less than that specified in this Handbook.

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2.13.5 Termination of a Non-Tenured Faculty Member for Cause

In addition to termination of a non-tenured faculty member (tenure-earning or non-tenure-earning) through non-reappointment as provided in the foregoing Sections 2.13.1 - 2.13.4, a non-tenured faculty member may also be terminated for cause prior to the end of any notice period or appointment term. Cause for termination must directly and substantially affect the fitness of the faculty member to function in the role of teacher, researcher, and colleague in an academic community, or be related to a serious failure of a faculty member to discharge his or her obligations to UAB. Examples include, but are not limited to, serious professional or personal misconduct, serious failure to perform academic duties in accordance with generally accepted norms, conviction of a serious crime and serious violations of a UAB policy.
In those instances, in which a department chair or the appropriate dean believes a faculty member’s behavior merits termination for cause, he/she shall refer charges to the Provost.  Normally such cases should be dealt with through documented progressive discipline at the chair or dean level.  However, if, after initial consideration, the Provost believes that the charges, if proven, could merit termination, the faculty member shall be informed in writing of the charges and will be advised of a right to a hearing prior to a decision on dismissal, as detailed in Appendix B. Such a hearing shall be conducted in accordance with written procedures set forth in Appendix B of this Handbook.
A faculty member shall not be suspended prior to the final decision by the President concerning the termination for cause, unless the Provost determines that continuance of employment poses an imminent risk to the faculty member, others, or UAB. Suspension can be effected only by the President, and salary shall continue during a suspension. Only the President of UAB can make a final decision to terminate a UAB faculty member for cause.