The University has the inherent right to discipline a faculty member for just cause.
In the event that a faculty member is accused of violating well-established, University-wide policies or procedures (e.g., those regarding sexual harassment, discrimination, timely submission of grades), the establishment of cause and imposition of discipline should proceed in conformity with the published guidelines.
In the event that a faculty member is accused of violating the established policies or procedures of a College or Department (or equivalent unit), and/or of violating commonly accepted norms of professional conduct, for which no written disciplinary guidelines have been established, the establishment of a violation and imposition of discipline should proceed within the unit whose policies or procedures are alleged to have been violated. If any sanctions are imposed by the unit that are described below, at a minimum the procedures also described below should be followed by the units whose policies or procedures are alleged to have been violated. For Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty with a term appointment, establishment of and repercussions for alleged violations of their specific contract terms may form the basis of disciplinary action pursued under this policy.
Appropriate disciplinary measures are sanctions commonly applicable to faculty, including a formal letter of reprimand, a reduction of salary increment, a period of suspension (with or without pay), and dismissal from the faculty, or other appropriate sanctions within this range.
After careful investigation and documentation of the facts underlying the infraction, imposition of a disciplinary sanction other than suspension or dismissal should be carried out by the appropriate academic administrator (e.g., Department Chair or relevant Unit head, Dean or Provost).
When suspension of a faculty member has been recommended, the decision whether to impose the sanction must be made by the President after careful review of the facts and process leading to the recommendation. Any suspension without pay for a period longer than one year shall only be made following the dismissal procedures.2 More than one suspension without pay of the same person shall not be permitted. Non-renewal of contract at its term expiration for Non-Tenure Track Faculty is neither a suspension nor a dismissal for purposes of this policy.
In the event that dismissal of the faculty member is sought, there should be a record either of progressive steps of disciplinary action (and related actions, if any, within the Faculty Grievance Procedure), or of the appropriate review procedure when specific circumstances call for it (e.g., alleged sexual harassment) prior to the bringing of dismissal charges. Only in an unusually serious or sudden case of gross personal misconduct (e.g., including assault or sexual harassment), unfitness as a teacher or researcher, or gross neglect of duty ought dismissal charges be brought without a prior record of corrective discipline. In addition, for Full-Time Non Tenure Track faculty, the establishment of a substantial breach of contract may warrant dismissal under this policy without prior record of corrective discipline.
In any instance in which disciplinary action is brought (except actions for dismissal as described above), the faculty member to be disciplined has full access to those avenues of appeal and redress afforded by the Faculty Grievance Procedure set forth in the Faculty Handbook.
- Approved by the Faculty Senate on 2/26/1990; editorial revisions accepted by the Senate Agenda Committee on 6/15/1990; approved by the Board of Trustees 10/12/1990 with further editorial revisions accepted by the Senate Agenda Committee on 1/29/1991. Current language approved by the Faculty Senate on 9/20/2017 and approved by the Board of Trustees on 12/08/2017.
- This applies to Full-Time Non Tenure Track faculty who would still be under contract after a year.