Termination of Employment of Tenured Faculty

Termination of Employment of Tenured Faculty

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This section of the Faculty Handbook describes reasons for termination of employment of tenured faculty.
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TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT OF TENURED FACULTY

2.18 Termination of Employment of Tenured Faculty
2.18.1 Termination for Cause
2.18.2 Termination of Tenured Faculty Due to Bona Fide Financial Exigency, Bona Fide Financial Crisis, or Academic Program/Unit Closure
2.18.2.1 General Grounds for Termination
2.18.2.2 Re-employment of Tenured Faculty Dismissed as a Result of Bona Fide Financial Exigency, Bona Fide Financial Crisis, or Academic Program/Unit Closure


2.18 Termination of Employment of Tenured Faculty

Within this section, the following terms have the meanings indicated:

1) “Termination” means the termination of employment of a tenured faculty member for cause or for reasons of bona fide financial exigency, bona fide financial crisis, or academic program/unit closure.

2) “Bona fide financial exigency” means a significant decline in UAB financial resources that is brought about by decline in institutional enrollment or by other actions or events that compel a reduction in UAB’s current operating budget.

3) “Bona fide financial crisis” means that a school, college, or UAB Libraries is unable, and for the foreseeable future will likely remain unable, to fulfill its teaching and research missions unless it is allowed to reduce its financial obligation to tenured faculty whose primary appointment is within that school, college, or UAB Libraries, Section 2.5.1. The financial crisis may not be precipitated by a redistribution of funds among the schools that comprise UAB, and requires that UAB could not meet the obligation without significantly compromising the teaching and research missions of other schools and the UAB Libraries.

4) “Academic program/unit closure” means that (a) a unit in which primary tenured appointments are held (department, school, college or UAB Libraries, Section 2.5.1) is eliminated based on educational considerations which reflect long-range judgment and/or (b) a program in the unit of the primary appointment has been eliminated due to significant changes in program priorities (see Board of Trustees Rule 301). 

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2.18.1 Termination for Cause

Except as detailed in this Handbook, employment of a tenured faculty member shall not be terminated without cause. 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 docuented progressive discipline at the chair or dean leavel.  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.

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2.18.2 Termination of Tenured Faculty Due to Bona Fide Financial Exigency, Bona Fide Financial Crisis, or Academic Program/Unit Closure

2.18.2.1 General Grounds for Termination

Tenured faculty appointments may be terminated with one year’s notice due to demonstrable circumstances of bona fide financial exigency or bona fide financial crisis or due to an academic program/unit closure that is necessitated by compelling institutional rationale. Any decision by the President to terminate tenure for these causes must be made in accordance with the procedures described below and Board of Trustees Rule 301.

Any termination of tenure for reasons of bona fide financial exigency, bona fide financial crisis, or academic program/unit closure shall consider advice from the faculty of the affected departments or the UAB Libraries. The appointment of a tenured faculty member shall not be terminated in favor of retaining a faculty member without tenure in the same academic unit unless this would result in an extreme distortion of that academic unit.

Before terminating tenured faculty, UAB will make efforts to place affected tenured faculty members in suitable available positions within UAB. If a reasonable period of retraining of an affected faculty member would qualify him or her for another available position at UAB, then reasonable and appropriate institutional resources shall be considered. No tenured faculty member shall be terminated within less than twelve months from the date of the Board of Trustees’ approval of UAB’s decision of financial exigency, financial crisis, program discontinuance, or unit elimination. UAB shall give reasonable assistance in the identification and facilitation of other employment opportunities.

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2.18.2.2 Re-employment of Tenured Faculty Dismissed as a Result of Bona Fide Financial Exigency, Bona Fide Financial Crisis, or Academic Program/Unit Closure

UAB shall not replace a tenured faculty member terminated for reasons of bona fide financial exigency, bona fide financial crisis, or academic program/unit closure for a period of two years, without first offering the position to the individual whose employment was terminated. Such offers should be made by certified mail, and the former tenured faculty member must respond within thirty days. If such former tenured faculty member accepts such a position, his or her tenure shall be reinstated.

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