The Catholic University of America

Faculty Handbook Part II Archived

 

Archived Nov, 1, 2010

Termination of Appointments

 

II-F-1: Expiration of Term

.186 Probationary appointments and appointments as Faculty associates are for stated terms. A probationary appointment is terminated at the end of the stated term if timely notice of non-renewal is given, in accordance with the schedule set forth in B-3.023-028. An appointment as a Faculty associate is terminated automatically at the end of the stated term without further notice.

 

II-F-2: Resignation

.187 A Faculty member who wishes to resign from the position shall do so by letter addressed to the Provost and to the Dean of the School, providing a copy of that letter to the President and, where applicable, to the Chair of the Department. The Provost, following discussion with the cognizant Dean, shall acknowledge the resignation by letter, also providing a copy of that letter to the President and, where applicable, to the Chair of the Department. Members of the Faculties share with the University the mutual obligation of giving advance notice of termination of service in reasonable time, normally before the beginning of the last semester of service.

 

II-F-3: Retirement

.188 A Faculty member who wishes to retire from the position shall do so by letter addressed to the Provost and to the Dean of the School, providing a copy of that letter to the President and, where applicable, to the Chair of the Department. The Provost, following discussion with the cognizant Dean, shall acknowledge the retirement by letter, also providing a copy of that letter to the President and, where applicable, to the Chair of the Department. Members of the Faculties share with the University the mutual obligation of giving advance notice of termination of service in reasonable time, normally before the beginning of the last semester of service.

 

II-F-4: Termination for Medical Reasons

.189 A Faculty member's inability to discharge duties and obligations for medical reasons may be a valid ground for the termination of the appointment. A decision to terminate an appointment for medical reasons may be made by the Provost only when there is clear and convincing medical evidence that the inability will continue beyond a reasonable time, and after appropriate consultation with (1) the Dean of the School, (2) if necessary, impartial medical authority, and (3) the Faculty member concerned or a representative. The Faculty member may appeal such a decision to the Academic Senate, which shall appoint a committee to review the decision and report its findings through the Senate to the President for recommendation and final action by the Board of Trustees.

 

II-F-5: Abolition of Position

.190 Termination of an appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary appointment before the end of its specified term, may follow elimination of a position because of discontinuance of a Program, Department, or School (See Section G. Termination of Programs). If an appointment is terminated for this reason, the University will make every reasonable effort to transfer the affected individual to another suitable position. If the new position is academic, the transfer and the terms of the appointment are subject to the approval of the cognizant Department and/or School according to normal procedure (Section C. Procedures for Appointments and Promotions). Failing such transfer, notice or severance salary in lieu of notice will be given according to the schedule outlined in B-3.023-028 in the case of a probationary appointee, or for one year in the case of a tenured appointee. Should the position be reinstated within a period of two years, the previous incumbent, if tenured at the time of termination, will be offered reappointment. The Faculty member must accept reappointment within thirty days from the date of offer.

.191 The decision to terminate the services of a member of a Faculty because of abolition of the position held may be appealed as provided in Section E. Appeals from Adverse Decisions.

 

II-F-6: Obligations of Clerics and Religious

.192 In issuing an appointment to a cleric or a professed religious of the Roman Catholic Church, the University recognizes not only the professional qualifications of the appointee but also the public effects of the appointee's status as an ordained cleric or professed religious, which include primary obligations to ecclesiastical superiors and observance of the provisions of Canon Law. If a Roman Catholic cleric loses clerical status under any canonical condition that requires his resignation from the University, or if such resignation is required as the result of an ecclesiastical process determining that he no longer may function as a Roman Catholic cleric, or if the cleric or a professed religious is recalled by his or her legitimate ecclesiastical superiors even without cause, the University's contractual obligations shall become void.

 

II-F-7: Dismissal for Cause

.193 Authority. Only the Board of Trustees may dismiss for cause a Faculty member with tenure or whose term appointment has not expired.

.194 Grounds for Dismissal. The University may, following due process specified below, dismiss a Faculty member for demonstrable incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research, for manifest neglect of duty, or for other adequate cause.

.195 Informal Resolution. When there is reason to believe that there are grounds for the dismissal of a member of a Faculty who has tenure or whose term appointment has not expired, the President or his or her representative will advise the Faculty member of the alleged grounds and attempt through personal consultation to resolve the matter.

.196 Commencement and Notice of Dismissal Proceedings. If the matter is not resolved informally, the President may commence formal dismissal proceedings by providing the Faculty member with a written statement of the grounds for dismissal. Such a statement must explain with particularity the factual bases of the alleged grounds for dismissal. The written statement of grounds for dismissal must also state that the Faculty member has the right to be heard by an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee of the Academic Senate. The President shall at the same time notify in writing the officers of the Academic Senate that a proceeding for dismissal has been instituted.

.197 Ad Hoc Committee of the Academic Senate. When the Academic Senate receives notice that a proceeding for dismissal has been instituted, it shall constitute an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee consisting of five Tenured Senior Faculty members. One of the committee members will be designated by the Senate to serve as Chair. The Senate will also designate, in ranked order, a number of alternates. Any appointee who cannot render an unbiased judgment will so notify the Chairperson of the Academic Senate and be relieved of service. The President and the Faculty member will each have the right to strike, without stating cause, two members proposed for the Committee.

.198 Faculty Member's Response. When the Ad Hoc Hearing Committee has been constituted, the Chairperson of that Committee will (1) notify the Faculty member and the President that a Committee has been formed; (2) identify its members: and (3) instruct the Faculty member to submit to this committee and the President a written response to the President's stated Grounds for Dismissal within thirty days of the notice. (4) advise the Faculty member that he or she may be assisted or represented by counsel and/or by an academic advisor, at the Faculty member's choice and expense, throughout the process, and (5) request the President, if he or she chooses, to designate a representative to participate in the proceedings.

.199 Notice of Hearing. The Committee shall notify the Faculty member and the President, by certified mail, not less than thirty days in advance of a scheduled hearing. If the Faculty member waives a hearing, the Committee will reach its conclusion based on the documentary evidence presented by the President and the Faculty member.

.200 Conduct of Hearing. The Committee, in consultation with the parties, shall decide whether the hearing will be public or private. At the request of either party, or the Committee, a representative of a responsible educational association may attend the proceedings as an observer.

.201 Record of Hearing. A verbatim record of the hearing shall be taken, and, if requested, a printed copy shall be made available to the Faculty member without cost. The Faculty member and the President's representative will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. If a witness cannot or will not appear, but the Committee determines that the interests of justice so require, a written statement by that witness may be admitted in evidence. In such a case the Committee will identify the witness, disclose the statement, and if possible provide for interrogatories. In a hearing on charges of incompetence the testimony shall include that of qualified Faculty members from this or other institutions of higher education.

.202 Rules of Evidence. The Hearing Committee is not bound by strict legal rules of evidence, but may admit any evidence which it judges to be relevant, reliable, and probative on the issues involved.

.203 Burden of Proof. The burden of proving that adequate cause for dismissal exists rests with the President, and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.

.204 Access to Evidence. The Faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence, and the University will, insofar as is reasonable, secure the cooperation of such witnesses and make available necessary documents and other evidence within its control. The Hearing Committee shall grant adjournments requested by either party to investigate evidence as to which there is a valid claim of surprise.

.205 Public Announcements. Private hearings are considered confidential. In such a private hearing, except for announcements covering the time and location of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the Faculty member or administrative officers of the University shall be avoided until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board of Trustees.

.206 Committee's Determination. After the hearing, or after reviewing all documentary evidence presented in lieu of hearing, the Committee will render a decision by majority vote.

.207 If the Committee concludes that the President has established grounds for dismissal, it may further determine that some action other than dismissal is warranted. The Committee shall prepare written findings of facts identifying the factual bases for its conclusion. The findings must be supported by the evidentiary record. The Faculty member and the President shall be notified of the decision in writing and shall be provided with a copy of the findings of facts and the conclusion. On request, the President and the Faculty member shall be given a copy of the hearing record.

.208 If the Committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established, and the President rejects the Committee's conclusion, the President may so advise the Faculty member and the Committee in writing of the basis of the rejection and ask the Committee to reconsider the matter. In responding to the President's request the Committee will consider any response by the Faculty member. If the Committee reaffirms its conclusion that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established, it will so report to the President and the Faculty member.

.209 Board of Trustees. If dismissal or other penalties are recommended, or, contrary to the Committee's conclusion the President chooses to pursue dismissal proceedings, the President will transmit the record of the case to the Board of Trustees. The Board's review will be based on the record of the Hearing Committee, and it will provide opportunity for argument, oral or written, by the parties. The decision of the Hearing Committee will either be sustained, or the proceeding returned to the Committee with specific objections to the Committee's findings or conclusions. The Hearing Committee will then reconsider, taking into account the stated objections of the Board and receiving new evidence if necessary. The Board of Trustees will make a final decision only after study of the Committee's reconsideration.

.210 Status of Faculty Member during Proceedings. Until a final decision regarding dismissal has been reached, the Faculty member will be suspended, or assigned to other duties in lieu of suspension, only if continuance in the normal course of Faculty duties threatensimmediate harm to oneself or others. Before suspending a Faculty member, the President or a representative shall consult with the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the Academic Senate concerning the reason for the suspension. The Faculty member's compensation shall continue during the period of suspension.

.211 Dismissal. If dismissed, the Faculty member shall receive notice of termination and compensation for the notice period required for non-renewal as provided in B-3.023-028 or, if the Faculty member was tenured, for one year. This provision for notice and salary does not apply if the conduct which justified dismissal involved moral turpitude.