The Catholic University of America

Faculty Handbook Part II Archived

 

Archived Nov, 1, 2010

Policy and Procedures for Termination of Schools, Departments, or
Programs

 

II-G-1: Definition of Terms

.212 A School is a major academic division of the University. It is characterized by its own Faculty, presided over by a Dean, and by distinctive course offerings leading to degrees in one or more areas of specialization. A School has its own budget, approved by the Provost.

.213 A Department is the basic instructional unit of the University within Schools that offer courses in a variety of disciplines. It is characterized by its own Faculty, presided over by a Chair, and by distinctive course offerings leading to degrees in its area of specialization. A Department has its own budget, approved by the Dean of the School within which it is located.

.214 A Program is any course of studies or sequence of courses in an identifiable area of concentration, usually leading to a degree or certificate in one of the schools of the University. Programs may be confined to one Department or School, or they may involve two or more Departments or Schools. For purposes of this document, programs will be regarded as instructional units within the University differentiated from Departments or Schools in that they have more narrowly defined areas of study or concentration. They differ also from institutes and centers of the University in that their courses carry credit and usually lead to degrees or certificates. They also differ from purely research programs that are not considered here.

.215 Faculty, as understood herein, refers to regular Faculty members as defined in A-1.004.

.216 Financial exigency, for purposes of this document, refers to a state of fiscal need within an instructional unit of the University wherein it can no longer operate within the portion of the total annual budget of the University allocated to it by the responsible authorities and when continued subsidy of the unit is seriously undermining the University's overall academic mission in light of severe financial constraints on the institution.

 

II-G-2: Grounds for Termination

.217 The University may terminate a School, Department or Program on grounds of financial exigency or for reasons other than financial exigency. Such reasons include, but are not limited to, seriously diminished academic quality or a persistent failure to attract qualified faculty or students. Any decision to terminate a School, Department or Program must reflect consideration of the School's, Department's or Program's relationship to the mission of the University.

 

II-G-3: Authority for Termination and Initiation of the Process

.218 A proposal to terminate a School, Department, or Program may be initiated by the academic unit itself upon a majority vote of the Faculty, or on the recommendation of the Dean. Such a recommendation may also originate with the Board of Trustees, the President or the Provost. The recommendation to terminate an academic unit shall require consultation with the representatives of the students enrolled in the School, Department or Program, with the affected Faculty, with the Dean, and with the Provost of the University.

.219 A recommendation to terminate will clearly state the reasons for the recommendation.

.220 Action by the Academic Senate on a recommendation, as required in this section, should be carried out expeditiously. In accord with the Constitution of the Academic Senate (Art. VIII), termination of a Program is not effective until the recommendation receives the favorable vote of the Academic Senate and is approved by the President of the University. In accord with the By-laws of the University (Sec. II, Art. 7), termination of a School or Department is not effective until the advice of the Academic Senate is transmitted by the President to the Board of Trustees and acted upon by that body.

 

II-G-4: Preliminary Consideration of Financial Exigency

.221 Any recommendation for termination owing to financial exigency is to be referred to the Budget and Planning Committee of the Academic Senate for its judgment that, in the context of the recommendation and in light of the overall budget of the University, a state of financial exigency actually exists. To come to a termination decision the Budget and Planning Committee must be concerned, with regard to the overall budget, to assure the following:

a. That adequate consultation has taken place between the Board of Trustees, the Administration, and the Academic Senate on the allocation of resources to academic programs;

b. That the integrity of the academic enterprise of the University as a whole is recognized and preserved and that, within the restraints imposed by changing priorities and resources, the overall budget permits the University to maintain excellence as an academic community for itself and for each of its parts;

c. That, in the projected allocation of resources to the Department or Program under consideration, the degree of relationship of that Department or Program to the University's purpose, as expressed in its mission statement, has actually been taken into account;

d. That, in working out the details of the proposed budget for the School, Department or Program under consideration, academic factors such as purpose, present strength, curriculum maintenance, and promise have been balanced against economic concerns with respect to the amount of past and present subsidy from the operational funds of the University and relative cost effectiveness measured as appropriate to the Department or Program involved.

.222 Having studied the recommendation for termination in light of the considerations above, the Budget and Planning Committee of the Academic Senate may do one of the following:

a. Judge that a state of financial exigency does exist such as to warrant the possible termination of the School, Department or Program;

b. Judge that a general state of financial exigency exists, but that

(i) it is not sufficient to warrant the termination of an entire School or Department and
that the termination of a Program should be considered as an alternative, or

(ii) it is not sufficient to warrant the termination of a School, a Department or a Program and that selective termination of Faculty within the specified School, Department or Program should be considered as an alternative;

c. Judge that financial exigency does not exist.

.223 The Budget and Planning Committee shall report its findings and conclusions to the Academic Senate.

 

II-G-5: Preliminary Consideration of Reasons other than Financial Exigency

.224 A recommendation to terminate a School, Department or Program for reasons other than financial exigency will be referred to the Educational Policy Committee of the Academic Senate and/or such other committee or committees as the Senate deems appropriate for a preliminary determination that the recommendation does or does not establish that sound reason exists for termination. In reaching a determination the reviewing committee(s) must consider the integrity of the academic enterprise of the University as a whole and be satisfied that, within the constraints imposed by changing priorities and resources, its recommendation would allow the University to maintain excellence as an academic community for itself and for each of its parts.

.225 Having considered the recommendation to terminate in light of the considerations outlined above, the Senate Committee on Educational Policy or other reviewing committee(s) will determine and report to the Senate whether or not the recommendation establishes that there is sound reason to terminate the School, Department or Program.

 

II-G-6: Ad Hoc Committee of the Academic Senate

.226 After receiving the findings and conclusions of the appropriate committee(s) on the matter of financial exigency or other reasons for the proposed termination, the Academic Senate must determine whether or not to continue the termination process. If the Senate determines to continue the process, it will appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to study the proposed termination and to report its findings to the Senate for final approval.

.227 In coming to its decisions the Ad Hoc Committee should consider the following:

a. The academic priorities of the University as a whole in light of its goals and objectives, and the relative priority of the School, Department or Program when viewed in the same light;

b. Consultation within as wide a range as possible, including advice from related departments and programs on the short?term and long?term viability of the School without the Department or Program whose termination is under discussion, and advice from other Schools that might be affected by the termination of the concerned School, Department or Program;

 

c. The rights of Faculty members who are teaching in the Department or Program and of students who are pursuing its courses;

 

d. If termination is proposed on grounds of financial exigency, the fiscal limitations of the University as constraints within which the specific priority to be accorded the School, Department or Program is established (the constraints will be documented by appropriate budget analysis, student?faculty ratios, course evaluations, enrollment data, and other relevant information, and should be ascertained in consultation with the Senate's Budget and Planning Committee).

.228 If termination is proposed on grounds of financial exigency, the Ad Hoc Committee, in view of
the fiscal constraints of financial exigency, should complete its work expeditiously so as to
provide adequate lead time for terminating Faculty according to the procedures outlined below
and for effecting the required economies.

 

II-G-7: Final Recommendation and Action

.229 A decision to recommend termination of a School, Department or Program will be made by a majority vote of the Academic Senate, following its review of the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee.

.230 The affected faculty and students must receive notice of the decision of the Academic Senate to recommend termination.

.231 If the proposal is to terminate a Program, the action of the Academic Senate also requires the approval of the President.

.232 If the proposal is to terminate a School or a Department, the recommendation of the Academic Senate will be transmitted by the President for action by the Board of Trustees.

.233 The University shall make every effort to protect the rights of students in the School, Department or Program that is to be terminated, in order to bring work already begun to its normal completion.

 

II-G-8: Termination of Faculty

.234 When a decision has been made to terminate a School, Department or a Program, and when it involves termination of Faculty appointments, special care must be taken to insure fairness and to protect and honor accepted procedures and rights appropriate to the status of affected Faculty member(s). An affected Faculty member must have an opportunity to be heard by the Ad Hoc Committee and all decisions must be subject to review by the President.

.235 With regard to tenured Faculty members, the following provisions should be observed in any termination procedure:

a. The institution will make every effort to place the tenured Faculty member in another suitable position; if such a position is not available, the affected Faculty member should be given opportunity to readapt within a Department or School or elsewhere within the University, provided that the academic credentials and professional competence of the Faculty member and the needs of other programs make such readaptation a realistic possibility;

b. The provisions that should be followed to safeguard the rights of the Faculty member are as follows:

(i) When termination of appointment is based upon abolition of a School, Department or Program, a Faculty member shall have the right of appeal as provided in Section E. Appeals from Adverse Decisions;

(ii) The affected Faculty member will be given notice as soon as possible, and never less than twelve months' notice, or in lieu thereof will be given compensation plus severance pay equivalent, in the aggregate, to compensation for twelve months;

(iii) The released Faculty member's position will not be filled by a replacement within a period of two years, unless the released Faculty member has first been offered reappointment and a reasonable time within which to accept or decline it.

c. Early retirement or the reduction of the Faculty member from full?time to part?time
service should
be considered as possibilities.

.236 The rights of non?tenured Faculty members should be safeguarded in a manner analogous to
that specified above for tenured Faculty members. If there is no realistic choice other than to
terminate the services of a non?tenured Faculty member, adequate notice should be given as
provided in B-3.023-028. Commensurate compensation may be offered in lieu of the prescribed
period of notice.

.237 If, for reasons of financial exigency, it becomes necessary to reduce the number of Faculty
members rather than to eliminate a School, a Department, or a Program, the following
procedure shall apply:

a. Termination of tenured Faculty members in the Program or Department shall be considered only after all probationary Faculty have been terminated;

b. Termination of tenured Faculty members shall be selective and need not be determined exclusively by seniority;

c. Selective termination of tenured appointments, in the context of this document, shall be accomplished by applying the same criteria used to confer tenure, except that serious consideration should be given to the seniority status of the Faculty member. The selection of Faculty member(s) to be terminated is the responsibility of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions of the Academic Senate, which will report its recommendations to the Provost for approval by the President. In arriving at its recommendations the Senate CAP shall consult with the Dean of the School and, if the School is departmentalized, with the Chair of the Department. In addition the CAP, at its discretion, may also consult with other Faculty members of the affected academic unit.