Appointments, Promotion, Tenure, Non-Reappointment, and Dismissal of Faculty – 403.14

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Appointments, Promotion, Tenure, Non-Reappointment, and Dismissal of Faculty
Policy Number: 403.14
Effective Date: March 27, 1994

Policy:

This policy, adopted by the Board of Trustees on February 8, 1980, to become effective on July 1, 1980, supersedes all existing policies concerning appointments, promotion, tenure, non-reappointment, and dismissal of faculty (specifically, Administrative Memorandum No. 43, dated August 31, 1962; University-wide Administrative Memorandum 421.1, dated December 6, 1976; University-wide Administrative Memorandum 450.1, dated November 17, 1975; and Board Policy 405.1, dated September 1, 1962, and revised). Nevertheless, an employee of the University of Arkansas who held the rank of instructor prior to the effective date of this policy is eligible for tenure in accordance with Section II.A.(1-4) of Board Policy 405.1 dated September 1, 1962, and revised. The Board of Trustees has the right to amend any portion of this policy at any time in the future.

Copies of this statement of policies shall be kept by the dean of each college or school and by each department head or chairperson or other appropriate official and shall be included without change or interlineation in the Faculty Handbook for each campus. Care shall be taken to insure that each faculty member is familiar with its contents, and the department chairperson or other appropriate official shall supply a copy to each new member.

I Definition of Terms

For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:

Appointment: An appointment is employment by written contract (“Notice of Appointment”) by the Board of Trustees of an individual in a given capacity for a specified time period at a stated salary. An appointment is valid only when the appointment form is approved and signed by the president of the university or the president’s designee in accordance with authority delegated by the Board of Trustees, and the Notice of Appointment is signed by the individual being appointed and returned to the specified university official.

Dismissal: Dismissal is severance from employment for cause after administrative due process as specified in Section IV-C. Non-reappointment is not a dismissal (see further).

Faculty: Faculty are employees who hold academic rank of lecturer, assistant instructor, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, distinguished professor, university professor, or one of the above titles modified by clinical, research, adjunct, visiting, or emeritus, e.g., clinical professor, adjunct assistant professor.

Individuals holding the following non-teaching titles will also receive faculty rank, the highest rank for each title being as indicated. Both the title and the academic rank will be stated in the appointment.

For the purpose of this policy, and in reference to items involving professional librarians, extension specialists, instructional development specialists, or museum curators, the terms “chairperson,” administrative officer,” and “administrator” refer to the director or head librarian.

Non-reappointment: Non-reappointment means that a non-tenured faculty member is not offered a next successive contract for employment at the end of a stated appointment period. It is effected by a written notice sent in compliance with the time limits hereafter specified (IV.B.).

Probationary Period: The probationary period is the time a faculty member spends under appointments for full-time services in a tenure track position on one campus of the University of Arkansas prior to being awarded tenure.

Promotion: Promotion is advancement based on merit to a higher rank or title. All promotions must be approved by the Board of Trustees and become effective with the next year’s appointment following action of the Board of Trustees, unless a different effective date is approved by the Board for a specific case.

Resignation: Resignation is voluntary termination of employment by an employee. The dean or director of the unit to which the employee is assigned is authorized by the Board of Trustees to accept the resignation.

Suspension: Suspension is temporarily relieving an employee of duties.

Tenure: Tenure is the right of continuous appointment. It is awarded by the president to eligible members of the faculty upon successful completion by each of a probationary period and, once granted, it ceases to exist only by dismissal for cause according to the procedures in Section IV.C., demonstrably bona fide financial exigency, reduction or elimination of programs, retirement, or resignation. “Cause” is defined as conduct which demonstrates that the faculty member lacks the ability or willingness to perform his or her duties or to fulfill his or her responsibilities to the university; examples of such conduct include (but are not limited to) incompetence, neglect of duty, intellectual dishonesty, and moral turpitude. The probation period may be waived as provided in Section IV.A.4. NOTE: Tenured faculty holding positions eliminated by reduction or elimination of programs will be relocated in other academic units of the campus whenever possible. A position occupied by a tenured faculty member which was eliminated as a result of reduction or elimination of a program may not be reactivated for a period of five academic years.

Tenure-Track Positions: Tenure-track positions are ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, professor, distinguished professor, and university professor; provided, however, faculty appointed to clinical attending positions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and bearing the designation of assistant professor, associate professor or professor shall in no event be considered in tenure-track positions and shall acquire no tenure rights by virtue of occupying such positions.

Terminal Appointment: A terminal appointment is a final appointment, the expiration of which results in termination of an individual’s employment.

Termination: Termination is the general term to describe severance of employment from the university. Termination may be by resignation, retirement, dismissal, non-reappointment, or expiration of appointment.

Year: Year will be either a fiscal year (July 1 through June 30 next) or an academic year (fall and spring semesters of the same fiscal year), unless otherwise designated.

II Appointments The following principles shall apply to appointments to faculty positions:

A. General appointments shall be for a specified period of time not to exceed one fiscal year. Except for appointments to faculty positions for summer school, appointments shall not extend beyond the end of a fiscal year. Recommendations for appointments to the faculty will be made by the departmental chairperson after consultation with the departmental faculty concerned, and subject to the approval of the dean, chief academic officer, and chief executive officer of the campus, who alone shall make the final recommendation for appointment. (See definition of appointment, page 6-2.)

B. Initial appointment criteria and procedures for the initial appointment of all faculty members on a campus shall be adopted by the faculty of that campus through its governance structure; the deans and chief academic officer of the campus shall have an opportunity to give their advice regarding these criteria and procedures; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the chancellor of the campus and the President for approval. More detailed criteria and procedures may be adopted by the faculty and chairperson1 of each academic unit; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the dean, the chief academic officer of the campus, the chancellor of the campus, and the President for approval.

An appropriate degree or professional experience is an essential qualification for appointment to positions at academic ranks.

Other important qualifications include experience in teaching, research, or other creative activity, and educational service either at other colleges and universities and/or in non-academic settings.

C. Successive Appointments Tenured faculty members have a right to a next successive appointment except for the reasons for termination of a tenured appointment given in Section I under definition of tenure. Non-tenured faculty do not have a right to a next successive appointment, but may be offered an appointment after the expiration of a current appointment, provided it does not extend the time in probationary status beyond the limits set in Section IV.A.4 and IV.A.11. In the event that a non-tenured faculty member is not recommended for reappointment, the procedure described in Section IV.B. shall be followed.

Criteria and procedures for successive appointments of all faculty members on a campus shall be adopted by the faculty of that campus through its governance structure; the deans and chief academic officer of the campus shall have an opportunity to give their advice regarding these criteria and procedures; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the chancellor of the campus and the President for approval. More detailed criteria and procedures may be adopted by the faculty and chairperson of each academic unit; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the dean, the chief academic officer of the campus, the chancellor of the campus, and the President for approval.

III Promotion

Promotion in academic rank shall be based primarily on the accomplishments of the individual while in the most recent rank. No minimum time in rank is required before a faculty member is eligible for promotion, nor is there a maximum time an individual may remain in a given rank except as limited by Sections IV.A.4. and IV.A.11. However, individual accomplishments and potential for continued value to the University are required for promotion.

Recommendations for promotion shall originate with the chairperson, who shall inform the faculty members who are being considered for promotion and shall give them the opportunity to submit material which they believe will facilitate consideration of their competence and performance. Each campus shall provide for the inclusion of peer evaluation in the consideration of faculty nominated for promotion.

Criteria and procedures for promotion to each rank on a campus, including an appeals procedure for those desiring reconsideration of a negative recommendation, shall be adopted by the faculty of that campus through its governance structure; the deans and chief academic officer of the campus shall have an opportunity to give their advice regarding these criteria and procedures; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the chancellor of the campus and the President for approval. More detailed criteria and procedures may be adopted by the faculty and chairperson of each academic unit; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the dean, the chief academic officer of the campus, the chancellor of the campus, and the President for approval.

IV Tenure, Non-Reappointment, and Dismissal
A. Tenure
  • The granting of tenure implies that the individual has completed successfully his or her probationary period and has become a permanent member of the University community. As such, he or she acquires additional procedural rights in the event that dismissal proceedings may be brought against him or her.
  • Only full-time faculty with ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, professor, distinguished professor, and University professor are eligible to be awarded tenure. Faculty and other employees with the following titles are ineligible to be awarded tenure: clinical, research, adjunct, or visiting faculty, research associates or research assistants, graduate associates or graduate assistants, instructors, assistant instructors, and lecturers. Faculty appointed to clinical attending positions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, although designated assistant professor, associate professor or professor, are ineligible to be awarded tenure. Academic administrators not appointed to a teaching or research unit may be awarded academic rank in addition to their administrative titles, with the concurrence of the faculty and administrative officer of the academic unit in which such rank could lead to tenure, in which case they may acquire tenure as faculty, but not as administrators Other administrators and staff whose primary duties do not involve teaching regularly scheduled credit-hour courses but who occasionally teach courses are not eligible for tenure and do not acquire credit for service toward tenure for such teaching activities.
  • Tenure rights apply to the area or areas of the faculty member’s expertise and in the academic unit(s) in which his or her position is budgeted (examples: Department of English, UAF, not College of Arts and Sciences; School of Law, UALR; Library, UAM; Departments of Music and Education, UAPB). Tenure rights are confined to a particular campus and are not applicable on another campus of the University of Arkansas.
  • The probationary period may not extend beyond seven years. (An initial appointment of less than one year will be considered as a full year of service in determining maximum number of years in probationary status except that appointments for summer sessions will not be considered in determining the number of years in probationary status.) Time spent on an off-campus duty assignment or leave-of-absence without pay does not apply toward the probationary period. Upon the recommendation of the department chairperson, after consultation with the departmental faculty and with concurrence of the dean, chief academic officer, and chief executive officer of the campus, new appointees at the rank of associate professor, professor, distinguished professor, or University professor, may be granted immediate tenure.
  • Recommendations for tenure shall originate with the chairpersons, who shall inform the faculty members in tenure-track positions who are being considered for tenure and shall give them the opportunity to submit material which they believe will facilitate consideration of their accomplishments and potential.
  • Criteria and procedures concerning the awarding of tenure on a campus, including an appeals procedure for those desiring reconsideration of a negative recommendation, shall be adopted by the faculty of that campus through its governance structure; the deans and chief academic officer of the campus shall have an opportunity to give their advice regarding these criteria and procedures; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the chancellor of the campus and the President for approval. More detailed criteria and procedures may be adopted by the faculty and chairperson of each academic unit; these criteria and procedures must be submitted to the dean, the chief academic officer of the campus, the chancellor of the campus, and the President for approval.
  • The president will not consider awarding tenure to a faculty member in a probationary status without the prior recommendation of the faculty member’s departmental faculty, chairperson, dean, chief academic officer, and the chief executive officer of the campus concerned.
  • A faculty or staff member, on acquiring tenure rights, shall receive a notice from the chief executive officer of the campus affirming the acquisition of such rights. No person shall lose tenure rights by acceptance of leave-of-absence or by appointment to a University of Arkansas administrative position.
  • Tenure becomes effective at the beginning of the nine- or twelve-month appointment period following the President’s action granting tenure (July 1 for twelve-month appointments, and the beginning of fall semester for nine-month appointments).
  • Each year at the meeting at which promotions are considered by the Board of Trustees, the President shall inform the Board of the names of each person awarded tenure during the preceding twelve months, and shall indicate for each such individual the rank and date of appointment to the University faculty.
  • An individual in a tenure-track position who was not awarded tenure with any of the first six academic year or fiscal year appointments must be evaluated as specified in Section IV.A.6. during the sixth appointment. If he or she is not approved for tenure, the seventh appointment shall be a terminal appointment.
  • A faculty or staff member holding tenure rights may be dismissed for cause only after the procedures prescribed in Section V.C. have been followed. A tenured person notified that he or she will be so dismissed will, except in cases of moral turpitude, be given notice of dismissal twelve months prior to termination of employment. This provision does not create an award of severance pay, but assumes the full performance of University responsibilities and duties assigned for the period between dismissal notice and final termination.
  • No faculty member shall be dismissed or denied reappointment in violation of the following principles of academic freedom, but the observation of the limitations stated herein is the responsibility of each faculty or staff member. Mere expressions of opinions, however vehemently expressed and however controversial such opinions may be, shall not constitute cause for dismissal. The threat of dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or constitutional rights.
    1. The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of results, subject to the performance of his or her other academic duties, but personal research for pecuniary return requires prior approval by the appropriate University authorities and must be in accordance with Board Policy 450.1.
    2. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject of the course, but should not teach material inappropriate or unrelated to the course.
    3. The University faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and a member of an educational community. Speaking or writing as a citizen, the faculty member is free from institutional censorship or discipline. However, as a person of learning and as a member of an educational community, the faculty member has a responsibility for awareness that the public may judge the profession and the institution by his or her utterances. Hence, faculty should at all times make an effort to be accurate, exercise good judgment and appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and indicate that they are not spokespersons for the institution.
B. Non-reappointment

These procedures apply to non-tenured faculty members who are in tenure-track positions (assistant professors, associate professors, professors, distinguished professors, and University professors) who are not offered a next successive appointment for the period following the expiration of a current appointment. These procedures do not apply to faculty in clinical attending positions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences bearing the designation of assistant professor, associate professor or professor.

The appointment of a non-tenured faculty member may be terminated effective at the end of the appointment period, at the option of either the individual or the University.

A chairperson, dean, or chief academic officer who decides not to recommend a non-tenured faculty member for reappointment shall notify him or her in writing in accordance with the following schedule and shall enclose a copy of this section with the letter of non-reappointment:

  • Not later than March 1 of the first year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or at least three months in advance of its termination if the appointment terminates during the first calendar year of continuous employment.
  • Not later than December 15 of the second year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or at least six months in advance of its termination if an appointment terminates during the second calendar year of continuous employment.
  • At least 12 months before the expiration of the terminal appointment after two or more consecutive academic, fiscal, or calendar years in the institution. The terminal appointment will be for the academic or fiscal year, according to the appointment last held by the individual.

The individual, upon being notified that he or she will not be reappointed, may request an interview within ten working days after receipt of the notice, first with the dean of the school or college, or other appropriate administrators, then, if the employee requests it, within an additional five working days, with the chief academic officer of the campus. The dean of the school or college, or other administrator, and the chief academic officer jointly will, within ten working days, make the final decision on any request that the decision be reconsidered.

Department chairpersons and other employees on that campus may be requested to participate in their individual capacities in the interviews by the individual concerned, by the chief academic officer, or by the dean or other appropriate administrator.

If the individual does not request these interviews within the time limits stated above after receipt of notification of non-reappointment, the matter shall be considered closed.

C. Dismissal

This section applies to all faculty members.

    1. Preliminary Proceedings: When a chairperson or dean has reason to consider a decision to dismiss a person who has tenure rights or an un-tenured faculty member prior to the expiration of an appointment, he or she shall discuss the matter with that person privately. After the discussion, if the decision of the chairperson or dean is to recommend dismissal, he or she shall prepare a statement of the grounds constituting the cause for dismissal and forward it through the chief academic officer to the chief executive officer on the campus, with a copy to the faculty member. If the faculty member requests it within five working days after receipt of the statement, a subcommittee of faculty members, as determined by procedures developed by each campus, shall be named by the chief executive officer to make an informal inquiry into the situation and to effect an adjustment, if possible. If Policies Governing Faculty Service 6-7 no settlement is effected, the subcommittee shall determine whether, in its view, formal proceedings shall be instituted to consider the individual’s dismissal, and it shall notify the individual concerned, the chief executive officer of the campus, and other appropriate administrators of its conclusion. If the subcommittee recommends that such proceedings be begun, or if the chief executive officer of the campus, after considering a recommendation of the subcommittee favorable to the individual, decides that a proceeding should be undertaken, action shall be commenced according to the procedures which follow.
    2. Hearing Procedures: The formal proceedings shall be initiated by a communication addressed to the individual by the chief executive officer of the campus informing him or her of the dismissal and the grounds for it, and that, if he or she so requests, a hearing to recommend whether his or her employment by the University shall be terminated on the grounds stated, will be conducted at a specified time and place by a faculty committee constituted as described in Section 4 below. Sufficient time shall be allowed to permit the individual to prepare a defense. The individual shall be informed in detail, or by reference to published regulations, of the procedural rights to which he or she is entitled, including the right to advice of counsel. The individual shall indicate whether he or she wishes a hearing and, if so, shall file with the chief executive officer of the campus within two weeks of the date of the mailing of the communication by the chief executive officer of the campus an answer to the statement of grounds for the proposed dismissal. If the individual does not request a hearing, no further action shall be taken. Further, at the request of the individual the proceedings provided for herein may be terminated at any time after the request for a hearing on written notice to the chief executive officer of the employee’s acquiescence in the dismissal. Similarly, the administration may drop dismissal proceedings at any stage.
    3. Suspension: Suspension of the individual from normal duties or reassignment to other duties during the proceedings will occur only if an emergency exists which threatens harm to the individual, to others, or to the University. Determination of an emergency shall be made by the chief executive officer, in consultation with the president. Such suspension shall be with pay.
    4. Hearing Committee: The faculty of each campus shall establish a systematically rotated panel of faculty from which hearing committees can be drawn. To hear a particular case a committee, selected from the panel in accordance with campus policies, shall be composed of faculty members of departments not involved in the dismissal.Upon receipt from the chief executive officer of the campus of a copy of the statement of grounds for dismissal, accompanied by the individual’s answer thereto, the chairperson of the hearing committee shall conduct hearings and recommend a course of action as provided in Section IV.C.5. 5.

 

  1. Committee Proceedings:The committee shall proceed by considering, before the time of the hearing, the statement of grounds for dismissal already formulated and the individual’s written response. In addition to the members of the committee, only the person requesting the hearing and his or her representative, the chief executive officer of the campus and/or his or her designee, and witnesses called by the committee are permitted to attend the hearing.Charges contained in the initially formulated statement of grounds for dismissal may be supplemented at the hearing by evidence of new events occurring after the initial communication to the individual which constitute new or additional cause for dismissal. If such supplementary charges are adduced, the committee shall provide the individual with sufficient time to prepare his or her defense.The chief executive officer of the campus shall have the option to attend or not to attend the hearing, and he or she may designate an appropriate representative to assist in developing and presenting the case.The committee shall determine the order of proof and shall supervise the questioning of witnesses.The individual shall have the aid of the committee when needed in securing the attendance of witnesses. The individual or his or her representative and the chief executive officer of the campus or his or her designated representative shall have the right within reasonable limits to question all witnesses who testify orally.The committee will use its best efforts to provide an opportunity for those involved to confront all witnesses, but where this cannot be achieved despite the efforts of the hearing committee, the identity of such non-appearing witnesses, and any written evidence they may have furnished, shall be disclosed to all interested parties during the hearing.Subject to these safeguards, written statements may, when necessary, be taken outside the hearing and reported to it. All of the evidence shall be duly recorded. Formal rules of court procedure need not 6-8 Policies Governing Faculty Service be followed, but the committee shall exercise reasonable efforts to protect the rights of the parties in the reception of evidence.
  2. Consideration by Hearing Committee:The committee shall formulate its recommendation in private, on the basis of the hearing. Before doing so, it shall give opportunity to the individual and the chief executive officer of the campus or his or her designated representative to make oral statements before it. If written arguments are desired, the committee may request them. The committee shall proceed to arrive at its recommendation promptly without having the record of the hearing transcribed when it feels that a just decision can be reached by this means, or it may await the availability of a transcript of the hearing. It shall make explicit findings with respect to each of the grounds for removal presented.The chief executive officer of the campus and the individual shall be notified of the recommendation in writing and a copy of the record of the hearing shall be available to both parties.A copy of the record of the hearing and the recommendations of the hearing committee shall be furnished to the president of the University for his or her decision. The decision of the president shall be transmitted to the chief executive officer of the campus and to the individual involved.
  3. Consideration by Board of Trustees: If the decision of the president is appealed to the Board of Trustees, or if the Board of Trustees chooses to review the case, the president shall transmit to the Board of Trustees the full report of the hearing committee, stating its recommendation and his or her own decision. The review shall be based on the record of the previous hearing, accompanied by opportunity for argument, oral or written or both, by the principals at the hearing or by their representatives. The decision of the Board of Trustees on review shall be final. It shall be communicated to the president and through him or her to the person involved.

Source: UALR Faculty Handbook
Revised:
Approved By:
Custodian: