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Termination of Service Policy

Authority: Business Affairs
Date Enacted or Revised: Enacted April 2016; Revised March 17, 2022

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define procedures for termination of service at the University. Termination of service procedures may vary depending upon category of employment. 

Reference

University of Louisiana System (ULS) Bylaws: PII, C3, §XV

Resignation

Letters of resignation by faculty should be submitted to department heads early in the academic year to give sufficient time to plan the needs of the department. Letters of resignation for all other employees should be submitted to the supervisor, in advance, with a minimum two-week notice preferred.

Information concerning properly exiting from the University can be located in the MyMcNeese Portal on the (HR) Exit Checkout Procedures card.

Non-Renewal of Non-Tenured Faculty

Non-reappointment of tenure-track personnel generally originates at the departmental level with recommendations passing successively to the dean, the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management, and the president. The department head is responsible for notifying the dean concerning non-renewal of a faculty/staff member. The dean is responsible for sending their recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management prior to the date on which the department head is to notify a faculty member of their non-reappointment. The provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management 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. 

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 or 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:

  1. Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service if appointment expires at the end of that academic year, or if one‑year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination. In the specific case of program discontinuance, the notice requirement shall be at least three months in advance of termination.
  2. 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. In the specific case of program discontinuance, the notice requirement shall be at least three months in advance of termination.
  3. At least 12 months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more academic years of service at the institution. In the specific case of program discontinuance, the notice requirement shall be at least three months in advance of termination.
  4. Instructors, visiting faculty, clinical faculty, 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. In the specific case of program discontinuance, an instructor or other non-tenure track faculty may be terminated upon one-month notice.

Tenured Academic Staff

Tenured faculty may be terminated for cause. Cause for discharge, termination of an appointment, or demotion in faculty 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, federal, state, or ULS rules and regulations; neglect of duty; incompetence or other conditions such as unsatisfactory performance that impair discharge of duties and the efficiency of the institution. Financial exigency also constitutes cause as does program discontinuance. 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 unsatisfactory performance ratings in the annual performance review for two consecutive years or three in five years ratings are subject to termination.

  • Professional Ethics: As described in the American Association of University Professors Statement on Professional Ethics, faculty should conduct themselves in such a manner as to hold before their students and colleagues the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Faculty should demonstrate respect for students as individuals, foster honest academic conduct, and ensure their evaluations of students reflect each student’s performance.
  • Collegial Behavior: An atmosphere of collegiality is an essential element in an academic environment. Accordingly, actions by faculty that serve to diminish significantly the atmosphere of collegiality may impair their own or others’ ability to function in a community of scholars. Faculty members should not discriminate against or harass faculty colleagues or other employees of the institution. Faculty should show due respect for the opinions of others and should strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues and others. When speaking or acting as private citizens, faculty should avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their department, college, or university.
  • Moral Behavior: Although the institution does not seek to impose specific standards of morality on its faculty, behavior or conduct constituting moral turpitude may be sufficient cause for termination or other sanction if it places the institution, its employees, or students in peril, or if it serves to prevent or impair a faculty member’s ability to fulfill the normal obligations of employment.
  • Incompetence, Insubordination, or Neglect of Duty: Minor instances of insubordination or neglect of duty normally would be addressed through the annual evaluation process. In circumstances in which a tenured faculty member is unable or unwilling to carry out the normal duties of employment, the faculty member may be subject to termination or other severe sanction.

University Faculty Review Panel

The president shall appoint an ad hoc Faculty Review Committee of faculty members to review and hear the circumstances regarding termination or demotion in rank of a tenured faculty member. The faculty member being terminated or demoted shall be entitled to a hearing before the committee, and the charges against them shall be stated in writing and delivered to them at least five days before appearing before the committee. The committee chair shall forward the committee’s findings to the president who shall make the final determination. The committee function is to provide due process in cases for termination or demotion in rank of a tenured faculty member. 

Appeal to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors

Except in cases where termination occurs pursuant to financial exigency or program discontinuance, the faculty member being terminated or demoted may petition the ULS Board of Supervisors within 30 days of being informed of the institutional decision for a review. No official action shall be taken by the institution until a final determination is made by the board. The purpose of the review is to determine if an appropriate process has been provided to the grievant, not to review particular circumstances or outcomes. Following this review, the grievant will be notified of the board’s decision. 

Termination for Financial Exigency

University of Louisiana System (ULS) Bylaws: PII, C3, §XVI

In the event that an institution declares a state of financial exigency, which is verified by ULS staff and the ULS Board of Supervisors 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 president in accordance with ULS policies. The president will present this plan to the Board of Supervisors for final approval prior to its implementation.

Termination of Administrative Staff

University of Louisiana System (ULS) Bylaws: PII, C3, §II

All unclassified administrative staff members shall hold their administrative positions at the pleasure or will of the ULS Board of Supervisors.

Job descriptions for the president and other administrators are on file in the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment.

Any employee whose status changes from a 12-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 ULS Board of Supervisors. This policy applies to administrative position changes only.

Communication

This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.

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