Termination of service procedures may vary depending upon category of employment.
Letters of resignation should be submitted to department heads early in the academic year to give sufficient time to plan the needs of the department.
Non‑tenured Academic Staff
General Procedure for Non-Renewal of Non-Tenured Faculty (February 14, 2002)
Non-reappointment of tenure-track personnel generally originates at the departmental level with recommendations passing successively to the dean, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the President. The department head is responsible for notifying the dean concerning non-renewal of a staff/faculty member. The dean is responsible for sending his/her recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Affairs prior to the date on which the department head is to notify a faculty member of his/her non-reappointment. The Vice President of Academic Affairs must be notified prior to the department head notifying the faculty member. The Department Head provides written notice of the decision not to reappoint to tenure-track faculty members according to the schedule mandated by the University of Louisiana System.
Non-tenured academic staff may be terminated for cause. Termination of this type may be immediate. Tenured faculty may be terminated for cause with due process.
An appointment carries no assurance of reappointment, promotion or tenure. Reappointments are made solely at the discretion of the University. The non‑reappointment of a faculty member does not necessarily reflect the faculty member's work record or behavior. The determination by the University to reappoint, or not to reappoint, should be based upon a review of specific conditions relating to the position and academic program. Unless an appointment is of a temporary nature for a fixed term, notice that an appointment is not to be renewed shall be given to the faculty member in advance of the expiration of the appointment as follows:
- Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service if appointment expires at the end of that year, or if one‑year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination.
- Not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service if the appointment expires at the end of that academic year, or at least six months in advance of termination for appointments that do not expire at the end of the academic year.
- At least 12 months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years of service at the institution.
- Instructors and other special appointees on fixed term appointments (specifying beginning and ending dates) are employed on term contracts and are not covered by 1, 2, and 3 above. Non renewal of these appointments does not require advance notice.
Tenured Academic Staff
Tenured faculty may be terminated for cause. Cause for discharge, termination of contract, or demotion in rank shall consist of conduct seriously prejudicial to the college or university system such as infraction of law or commonly accepted standards of morality, failure to follow proper orders, violation of institutional or Board rules and regulations, neglect of duty, incompetence or other conditions that impair discharge of duties and the efficiency of the institution. Financial exigency also constitutes cause. The foregoing enumeration of causes shall not be deemed exclusive. However, action to discharge, terminate, or demote shall not be arbitrary or capricious, nor shall it infringe upon academic freedom. Faculty receiving two consecutive or three in five years unsatisfactory performance ratings are subject to termination.
Each institution shall have a written policy for due process concerning academic dismissal for tenured faculty [Reference: http://www.ulsystem.net/assets/docs/searchable/boards/chapter_3_9_5_03.pdf(section XV-C)]. This policy shall provide for hearings before a committee that includes faculty members. Its findings and recommendations shall be forwarded to the chief executive officer who shall make a final determination.
Investigation of Cause
Step One: Investigating Committee Appointment
When the President has come to believe that charges about an employee's lack of job performance or otherwise unacceptable behavior brought to his/her attention have substance, he/she shall appoint an Investigating Committee to conduct a confidential investigation and make a formal report to the President.
Investigating Committee Report and Appointment of Tenure, Termination and Demotion Committee
Step Two-a: Receipt of Investigating Committee Report
If, upon receiving the Investigating Committee's report, the President believes the case has substance, he/she shall direct the Investigating Committee, in consultation with counsel, to draw‑up a formal list of charges and a list of probable and potential witnesses. The charges shall be specific and written in enough detail that the accused can be reasonably expected to be able to prepare a defense.
Step Two-b: Tenure, Termination, and Demotion Committee Appointment
At this time, the President shall inform the President of the Faculty Senate to initiate the selection of a Tenure, Termination, and Demotion Committee. The Faculty Senate's Executive Committee shall choose by lot, eleven members from the general tenured faculty, excluding department heads. The President directly appoints the twelfth member as chairperson to conduct all hearings.
The chairperson will be a non‑voting member and all rulings of substance will be by majority vote. For each case, the President and the accused will each excuse two voting members to arrive at a committee of seven members and the chairperson. The case will be heard by this committee and its findings and recommendations delivered to the accused and to the President.
Tenure, Termination and Demotion Committee Actions
Step Three: President Consults with Charged Employee
Upon receipt of the completed list of charges and lists of witnesses, the President shall call in the faculty member under investigation and discuss the matter with him/her.
Step Four: Hearing Date Set
If a solution cannot be mutually agreed upon, the charges will be formally delivered to the faculty member at that time and a written record made to establish the time, place, and date that the formal charges were served on the accused. Within 48 hours, the Committee chairperson, the faculty member being investigated for termination (or his/her representative), and a representative of the University will meet and by majority vote set the hearing date no earlier than 20 days and no later than 60 days from the date of service of charges.
The President shall appoint one member of the Investigating Committee to present the University's case before the Tenure, Termination and Demotion Committee.
Step Five: Delivery of Materials and Final Determination of Tenure, Termination and Demotion Committee
No more than 10 days after the delivery of charges, the University shall deliver copies of all written statements, lists of witnesses, and documents in their possession pertaining to the case to the accused. By this date, both sides shall have excused two members, and the committee shall be constituted and available for rulings on related questions.
Step Six: Hearing Preparations and Information
No later than 5 days before the hearing, the University shall deliver copies of all written statements, lists of witnesses, and documents in their possession pertaining to the case to the Committee chairperson for distribution to the Committee with the admonition that the material is to be kept confidential. If mutually agreeable, as much testimony as feasible will be by written statement with oral cross‑examination and redirect. The Committee chairperson shall rule on the relevance of questions, subject to committee confirmation should a committee member request it.
Both parties and the Committee have the right to have counsel present.
Potential witnesses for either side should be advised that they should not discuss their testimony with other witnesses, but are free to discuss it with representatives of the University and/or the accused IF THEY WISH. Attempts should not be made to coerce or influence witnesses by either party. If such attempts are made, the witnesses should immediately report the action to the Committee chairperson, (if already appointed) or the President. Appropriate action should be taken if the attempts are severe or persist.
Immediately after the University has presented its case and informed the accused of the hearing, the accused shall deliver to the University and the Committee, copies of all written statements in his/her possession and a list of witnesses to be called.
Rebuttal evidence may be presented by the University after the accused has presented his/her case.
The Committee may permit the introduction of additional evidence prior to summation.
The hearing shall be private.
Both the University and the accused have the right to present witnesses and documents they deem proper and to question any witnesses presented by the other side.
The following procedures shall serve as the guidelines for the hearing process. They may only be changed by a majority vote of the duly constituted committee.
Hearing Parameters and Related Information:
Introduction of committee members and other participants.
Read into record any changes in the following procedures which have been approved by the Committee and add that all other published rules remain in effect.
All decisions on substantive matters will be by a majority vote of the Committee. Deliberations on substantive and procedural matters will be held in closed session.
Notes may be taken by the committee members. However, notes taken by the committee members are confidential and will be destroyed at the conclusion of the deliberations.
The committee's findings and recommendation(s) will be signed by the entire Committee but individual votes will not be cited.
The chairperson is a non‑voting member of the Committee.
The hearing will be recorded. A transcript will be provided to the accused at his/her expense.
Witnesses may not be present in the hearing room other than to testify.
The committee's deliberations on the charges will be held in closed session, all voting will be by secret ballot, and all deliberations will be held in strict confidence, unless ordered by a court of law to do otherwise.
Written statements may be admitted without the mutual consent of both the accused and the University by a majority vote of the Committee.
The Committee will have subpoena power, backed by the authority of the President's Office, to require persons to furnish documentation and to appear before the Committee. The Committee cannot force anyone to present testimony.
The University and the accused shall restrict questions and statements to matters directly related to the charges outlined in the formal listing of charges. The Chairman shall have the responsibility of assuring that testimony presented is directly related to the above charges. Rulings by the chairperson are subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the Committee.
Charge to the Committee - "The Committee is charged to hear this case in a just and impartial manner, to the best of your judgment, and to render a finding based only on the evidence presented in the hearing."
Opening Statements (10 minute limit for each party)
First Hearing Item: The University's Case
Each witness will be informed by the chairperson with the following statement: "It is my duty to advise the witness that it is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct for a student to furnish false information to a University committee and against MSU policy for a faculty or staff member to furnish false information to a University committee. Appropriate personnel actions, including dismissal may result from violation of policy.
If mutually agreeable, admit the witness' written statement and have the witness affirm it is a true, accurate, and complete written copy of the testimony the witness would otherwise give orally.
Step One: Cross‑examination related to written statement information and other relevant testimony.
Step Two: Questions from the Committee about written statement information and relevant testimony.
Step Three: Redirect for further clarification if necessary.
Repeat for each witness.
Second Hearing Item: The Accused's Case
Conduct of the accused's case will follow the steps outlined for the University's case presentation.
Third Hearing Item: Rebuttal witnesses by the University.
Procedure follows steps as outlined in case presentation.
Fourth Hearing Item: Summation by both sides.
Fifth Hearing Item: Committee deliberation in closed session.
The Committee's findings and recommendations will be delivered in writing to the President who will deliver them to the accused.
Appeal to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
The employee who has exhausted due process procedures at the institutional level may petition the Board within 30 days when the institution is in session for a review and no official action shall be taken by the institution until a final determination is made by the Board.
Further recourse may be had through appropriate court action in due process of law.
Board Review Process
If an employee makes an appeal to the Board, the administrative proceedings from the institution will be reviewed. The purpose of the review is to determine if an appropriate process has been provided to the grievant, not to review particular outcomes. Following this review, the grievant will be notified of the Board's decision.
The Board may grant the grievant a hearing and provide a fixed time for each party to present his/her case and all arguments shall be confined to the record of the administrative proceedings from the institution. However, after the review of the administrative proceedings from the institution, the Board may allow additional evidence to be presented. The Board will notify both parties of the type of additional evidence it seeks and the procedure to be used in its presentation.
Termination: Financial Exigency
In the event that an institution declares a state of financial exigency which is verified by the Board staff, and the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System concurs in this assessment, then the normal termination procedures, described above, will be suspended. In the event of a financial emergency, termination procedures and timetables for members of the academic community will be determined on the campus by a method to be prescribed by the Chief Executive Officer which includes faculty participation and is in accordance with University of Louisiana System Board Rules.
The Chief Executive Officer will present this plan to the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System for final approval prior to its implementation.
Termination: Administrative Staff
All unclassified administrative staff members shall hold their administrative positions at the pleasure or will of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Job descriptions for the President and other administrators are on file in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and in the Reserve Section of Frazar Memorial Library.
Any employee whose status changes from a twelve-month to a nine-month salary basis shall be offered a salary consistent with similar positions at the institution, at similar SREB institutions, or as approved by the Board. This policy applies to administrative position changes only.