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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

REVISION OF THE RECOMMENDATION FOR CHANGE IN THE HANDBOOK OF OPERATING PROCEDURES CONCERNING DISCIPLINING OF A FACULTY MEMBER (D 3208-3209)

On behalf of the Committee of Counsel for Academic Freedom and Responsibility and the Faculty Grievance Committee, Professor Susan Heinzelman, (English and committee chair) submitted the following revision of the recommendation for change in The Handbook of Operating Procedures concerning disciplining of a faculty member (D 3208-3209). The Faculty Council had approved the original recommendation on April 12, 2004. Related legislation passed by the Faculty Council but disapproved by the administration can be found in D&P 16517-16519 and in D 2360-2362 and D 2539-2541.

Linda Reichl, Faculty Council chair, has classified this as emergency legislation. It will be presented to the Faculty Council for discussion at its meeting on February 21, 2005.

<signed>

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council


Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on March 8, 2005. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.


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REVISION OF THE RECOMMENDATION FOR CHANGE IN THE HANDBOOK OF OPERATING PROCEDURES CONCERNING DISCIPLINING OF A FACULTY MEMBER (D 3208-3209)

Current Wording Sec. 3.18. Faculty Grievance Procedure

I. Policy

C. [Item under discussion:]

C. The administration through appropriate officials reserves the right to discipline and to terminate the employment of a faculty member for stated good cause shown. (Chapter III, Section 6.3 of the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations shall govern all actions as appropriate <http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/rules.htm>.)

Faculty Council proposal, D 3208-3209

C. The administration through appropriate officials reserves the right to discipline and to terminate the employment of a faculty member for stated good cause shown. (Chapter III, Section 6.3 of the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations shall govern all actions as appropriate.) In the case of a potential termination of employment, the accused faculty member may be suspended with pay pending the completion of the hearing and final decision of the Board, if, after consultation with the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility concerning the propriety, the length, and other conditions of the suspension, the chief administrative officer determines that the nature of the charges and the evidence are such that it is in the best interest of the institution. In other cases of disciplining which the faculty member indicates an intention to contest through the faculty grievance process, if the University representative believes that prior to a faculty grievance hearing, the University must proceed with an action that would impose discipline, the discipline may be imposed, provided that it can be revoked later and would not result in any permanent loss of any property rights. If the action proposed would be irrevocable or result in any permanent loss of property rights, the Provost on behalf of the University will consult with the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility explaining (1) why in the University’s view the proposed actions need to occur immediately, and (2) how the faculty person would be compensated for the irrevocable disciplining or loss of property rights should the hearing prove that the allegations were not true or result in a judgment that the actions taken were too severe.

Proposed revision of Faculty Council proposal

C. [The administration through appropriate officials reserves the right to discipline and to terminate the employment of a faculty member for stated good cause shown. (Chapter III, Section 6.3 of the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations shall govern all actions as appropriate.)] The administration has the right to discipline members of the faculty. It also has the right to terminate faculty members for good cause. [pursuant to] Part I, Chap. III. Sec. 6.3 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System shall govern all actions as appropriate. Additional procedures for handling these actions are set out in the paragraphs below. These procedures do not apply to matters handled under HOP Policy #4.B.2, “Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment.” The faculty member retains the right to follow the procedures below to appeal any discipline imposed under the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy. In such cases, the President will decide whether the implementation of the discipline will be suspended pending the resolution of the appeal under the Faculty Grievance Procedure.

1. In cases where the President has determined that good cause exists for termination, the President may suspend the faculty member with pay pending completion of the hearing and a final decision of the Board of Regents after determining that such a suspension is in the best interests of the institution. Except where exigent

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  circumstances are present, the President shall consult with the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility before making the suspension.
2. “Other disciplinary actions” may be suspension, reduction in pay, demotion, written reprimand, or other serious professional sanctions. The assignment of work responsibilities, such as teaching and committee service, are not considered disciplining.
3. In these other instances of disciplining defined above, the administrator who seeks to impose a disciplinary action shall, prior to doing so, provide to the affected faculty member an explanation in writing of the basis for the proposed action and allow the faculty member 10 working days to respond in writing.
4. Within 5 working days of receiving the faculty member’s response, the administrator shall inform the faculty member in writing of his or her intent (or not) to proceed with the disciplinary action and the faculty member’s various avenues of appeal (such as the faculty grievance process, departmental governance systems, the administrator’s superior, and the faculty ombudsperson). If the faculty member did not provide a written response within 10 working days, the administrator may proceed with the disciplining.
5. In other than exigent circumstances (see paragraph 6 below), the administrator will allow the faculty member 15 working days from the notice of intent to discipline to initiate the Faculty Grievance process with a written request to the Chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee. If the faculty member elects this avenue of appeal, such action will automatically suspend the imposition of thedisciplining. If he or she does not initiate the Faculty Grievance process, the administrator may proceed with the disciplinary action. In such cases, the faculty member retains the right to appeal the disciplinary action after its imposition.
6. If after receiving the Faculty member’s response submitted pursuant to paragraph 3 above, the administrator believes that the University must proceed with a proposed disciplinary action prior to the conclusion of the 15 working-day period for the initiation of the Faculty Grievance process or before the faculty grievance process has run its course, the administrator will notify the faculty member in writing of the intent to seek the Provost's approval to proceed. The faculty member may appeal this request in writing to the Provost within 5 working days of receiving the administrator's notification. The Provost will consult with the Faculty Grievance Committee prior to approving the administrator’s imposition of the disciplinary action, except in cases where he or she must act immediately. In those cases, the Provost will consult with the Faculty Grievance Committee within 3 working days of approving the imposition of the disciplinary action.
7. In cases of extreme exigency, the University may need to take immediate action. In such cases, the Provost or President may discipline a faculty member prior to consulting with the Grievance Committee but will consult with the committee within 3 days of taking such action. The faculty member retains the right to appeal the discipline after it is imposed.
8. Requests for extensions of the stated deadlines are to be addressed to the Grievance Chair who will consult with the Provost as appropriate.
9. In all cases of disciplining, appropriate remedies shall be sought for a faculty member who is disciplined but subsequently found to have been wrongly punished, Reasonable efforts will be made, within applicable policies and rules, to return the faculty member to the status that he or she had prior to the inappropriate disciplining and to provide any professional benefits that he or she would have received from the University had the disciplining not occurred. If a Hearing Panel determines that a faculty member was disciplined inappropriately, the panel's report shall recommend appropriate remedies.
10. These procedures in no way alter the right of the President to place a faculty member on immediate administrative leave with pay for reasons of campus safety. Such cases do not constitute disciplining.

This paragraph will be inserted in HOP 3.18 Section IV (Grievance Procedure) C (Initiation and Processing of Complaints) 5 (e).

In all cases of disciplining, if a Hearing Panel determines that a faculty member was disciplined inappropriately, the panel shall recommend appropriate remedies