Wayne State University

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Board of Governors

Wayne State University Statutes

2.52.01 Appointments, Tenure, Employment Security Status, Termination and Dismissal Policies and Procedures for Academic Staff
   
2.52.01.010 Tenure - Academic Staff
  Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) Academic freedom and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. The Board recognizes that tenure is indispensable to the success of this institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society. This statute shall be interpreted in light of these purposes.
   
2.52.01.020 Appointments for service with tenure in the University can be made only by specific action of the Board of Governors on recommendation of the President.
   
2.52.01.030 Effective October 1, 1990, appointments to the positions of academic advisor, academic services officer, athletic coach, athletic trainer, extension program coordinator, financial aids officer, health physicist, archivist, librarian, university counselor assistant, university counselor and university press editor are appointments within the Academic Employment Security System. Effective October 1, 1990, appointments to the positions of archivist and librarian may be, at the discretion of the University, tenure-track appointments. The President may establish other positions, not on the tenure-track or in the Employment Security System, and may establish definitions for those positions.
   
2.52.01.040 Tenure may be terminated by the University only for one of the following reasons: (a) adequate cause after opportunity for a fair hearing as provided in sections 2.52.01.220 and 2.52.01.230 below titled Dismissal Proceedings-- Academic Staff with Tenure (or Continuing Status Granted Prior to October 1, 1990); (b) failure of the individual to return from a leave within the period specified in the rules and regulations of the University; (c) reaching the age now or hereafter established by this Board as the age for mandatory retirement; (d) the substantial curtailment or discontinuance of a program which removes any reasonable opportunity for using such services; (e) extraordinary financial exigencies. One year's notice of proposed termination will be given excepting in a termination for cause based on moral turpitude, failure to return from a leave, or upon retirement.
   
2.52.01.050 Employment Security System--Academic Staff
  The interests of the University are best served by a system of stable employment for academic staff. The Academic Staff Employment Security System and the granting of employment security status within this system encourage long-term commitment of individuals to the University, and of the University to its employees, and maximize opportunities for the acquisition of professional experience to the benefit of all individuals associated with the University and the community which it serves.
   
2.52.01.060 Appointments for service with employment security status in the University are granted by the University to members of the academic staff who have qualified through the Academic Staff Employment Security System. When a member of the academic staff receives employment security status, the terminal date of the academic staff member's employment is eliminated.
   
2.52.01.070 Employment security status may be terminated by the University only for one of the following reasons: (a) adequate cause as provided in sections 2.52.01.190 and 2.52.01.200 below titled Dismissal Proceedings—Academic Staff with Employment Security Status; (b) reaching the age now or hereafter established by this Board as the age for mandatory retirement; (c) the substantial curtailment or discontinuance of a program which removes any reasonable opportunity for using such services; (d) extraordinary financial exigencies. One year's notice of proposed termination will be given, excepting in a termination for cause based on moral turpitude, failure to return from a leave, or upon retirement.
   
2.52.01.080 Term Appointments
  A "term appointment" is an appointment made for a designated period of time. Term appointments at this University shall be limited to a total of seven years of full-time service in tenure-track and employment security system positions. Appointments are made for the precise term stated in the notice of appointment; otherwise, the appointment is limited to a single term or semester.
   
2.52.01.090 Nothing in this policy statement shall imply that tenure may not be recommended to and granted by the Board of Governors at an earlier point in time, or that, at the discretion of the University, employment security status may not be granted at an earlier point in time.
   
2.52.01.100 The power to make term appointments is vested in the President, and inasmuch as the Board has reserved to itself the power to confer tenure, the appointee has an obligation to inform the President by mail or in person when an appointment offered by the President would contravene these limitations; failure to do so will constitute an estoppel against claiming that such an appointment established any claim to tenure, and may be deemed cause for terminating an appointment. Acceptance of a term appointment is an acknowledgment of notice that service terminates at the end of the period for which appointed.
   
2.52.01.110 Appointments under this section shall be in writing and each such appointment shall contain the provisions of the appointment.
   
2.52.01.120 Appointments in the next three categories carry no implication of tenure or employment security status and are strictly limited to the periods and upon the conditions explicitly stated. Unless otherwise expressly agreed, they will not be counted in determining years of service referred to in the provisions for term appointments.
   
2.52.01.130 Term Conditioned on Subsidy
  Appointments, whether in instruction, administration or research, which are expressly related to a subsidy of limited duration, terminate with the cessation of the subsidy. Tenure or employment security status once given will not be invalidated by the incumbent's thereafter receiving a limited duration subsidy.
   
2.52.01.140 Academic Staff (renewal contract)
  Term appointments for academic staff (renewal contract) are for the term stated in the appointment and are not in the employment security system, and the employee is not eligible for employment security status or tenure.
   
2.52.01.150 Part-Time
  An appointment for part-time service is made for the precise term stated in the notice of appointment; otherwise, the appointment is limited to a single academic term or semester.
   
2.52.01.160 Administrative Assignments
  Administrative assignments do not carry tenure or employment security status, nor may a person earn tenure or employment security status in any administrative position. Tenure or employment security status once given will not be invalidated by accepting an administrative assignment, or by promotion to another rank.
   
2.52.01.170 Persons simultaneously holding administrative positions and tenure-track appointments or appointments in the Employment Security System may, at the discretion of the President, be retained in their administrative positions without regard to their tenure or employment security status.
   
2.52.01.180 Dismissal Proceedings - Academic Staff on Term Appointment
  Academic staff appointed under an agreement for a fixed term may be dismissed prior to the termination of this term for adequate cause as follows: (a) for acts involving moral turpitude which bear adversely on the ability to perform responsibilities to the University; (b) serious misrepresentation of fact relied upon in making the term appointment; (c) for serious violation of academic standards and principles; (d) failure to perform academic assignments competently. If the arbitrator finds that the grievant (1) did not engage in acts involving moral turpitude which bear adversely on the ability to perform responsibilities to the University, or (2) did not engage in serious misrepresentation of fact relied upon in making the term appointment, or (3) did not engage in serious violation of academic standards and principles, or (4) did not fail to perform academic assignments competently, the arbitrator shall have the authority to rescind the dismissal or suspension, and to award reinstatement with back pay through the end of the contract term.
   
2.52.01.190 Dismissal Proceedings -- Academic Staff with Employment Security Status
  Academic staff holding employment security status may be dismissed for adequate cause as follows: (1) failure of the individual to return on, or before, the termination date of a leave of absence, unless the leave is official extended; (2) violation of professional standards and principles; (3) unsatisfactory performance of the responsibilities of the position; (4) employment-related misconduct; (5) for acts involving moral turpitude which bear adversely on the ability to perform responsibilities to the University. One year's notice of proposed termination will be given, excepting in a termination for cause based on moral turpitude, failure to return from a leave, employment-related misconduct, or upon retirement. In unsatisfactory performance cases, written notice of the proposed termination shall indicate specific instances of unsatisfactory performance by the employee upon which the proposed action is based.
   
2.52.01.200 Any dismissal or suspension of a member of the academic staff holding employment security status may be grieved pursuant to the grievance procedures contained in the applicable bargaining agreement. If the arbitrator finds that the grievant (1) did not improperly fail to return from a leave, or (2) did not violate professional standards and principles, or (3) did not perform the responsibilities of his/her position in an unsatisfactory manner, or (4) did not engage in employment-related misconduct, or (5) did not engage in acts involving moral turpitude which bear adversely on the ability to perform responsibilities to the University, the arbitrator shall have authority to rescind the dismissal or suspension, and to award reinstatement with back pay. 1
   
2.52.01.210 Dismissal Proceedings--Academic Staff with Tenure (or Continuing Status or Continuing Tenure Granted Pursuant to Statute Prior to October 1, 1990)
  Academic staff with tenure or who were on continuing status prior to October 1, 1990 may be dismissed for adequate cause as follows: (a) for acts involving moral turpitude which bear adversely on the ability to perform responsibilities to the University; (b) for serious violation of generally accepted academic standards and principles; (c) for failure to perform academic assignments competently. (Termination of services at mandatory retirement age, or because of financial exigencies, are dealt with elsewhere. Incompetency arising from physical and/or mental illness or disability is treated under "sick leave" regulations.)
   
2.52.01.220 Initiation of Dismissal Proceedings for Academic Staff with Tenure (or Continuing Status or Continuing Tenure Granted Prior to October 1, 1990)
  Dismissal proceedings may be instituted by the President on his/her own initiative or on the recommendation of the Executive. Under normal circumstances, the basis for the proposed dismissal shall be reviewed by the Executive with the Respondent before the formal recommendation is made.
   
2.52.01.230 Upon receiving the recommendation, the President may make such further investigation as he/she deems necessary, including a review of the matter with the Respondent. When convinced that reasonable grounds appear to exist for initiating proceedings, the President shall notify the Respondent in writing of the proposed dismissal and of the reasons therefor with sufficient particularity to give the Respondent an adequate opportunity to answer the charges and recommendation. The notice shall expressly state that Respondent has the right to a review of the matter before the Hearing Committee, if the Respondent makes such a request within ten days of mailing or delivery of the notice; further, that the Respondent has the right at his/her own expense to be represented and assisted by both academic and legal counsel of his/her choosing.
   
2.52.01.240 Definition of Terms Used for Dismissal Proceedings for Academic Staff with Tenure
  UNIT - The College or School, or divisions or academic entities that are not attached to a college/school in which the individual concerned serves.

EXECUTIVE - The administrative head of the Unit.

RESPONDENT - The individual with reference to whom the proceedings are initiated.

UNIVERSITY COUNSEL - The person representing the President of the University or the Executive in the conduct of any proceedings hereunder. It is his/her duty to present all available relevant evidence so that the Hearing Committee shall be fully informed of the facts.

HEARING COMMITTEE - A committee comprised as provided below authorized to review the grounds for the proposed dismissal and to make recommendations thereon.

EXECUTIVE SESSION - A meeting of the Hearing Committee which is limited to members of the Committee and its counsel. 1

COMMITTEE COUNSEL - A member of the Law faculty, or when no member of the Law faculty is available or qualified to serve, some other person with legal training, who shall be selected by the Hearing Committee as an impartial advisor to the committee on procedure, evidence, preparation of committee finding, etc., but without vote.
   
2.52.01.250 Hearings
  The Hearing Committee shall be composed of seven members selected as follows:

• Three members picked by lot from a twelve-member panel elected by the Academic Senate. The panel shall be chosen annually as a standing committee in the following manner:

    •• A 24-person slate shall be nominated by a ten-person nominating committee created in the following way:

    •• Every year, the faculty councils of the Colleges/Schools of Liberal Arts, Medicine, and Science shall each elect one representative to the nominating committee. Every year, members of the academic staff shall elect one representative to the nominating committee. In even- numbered years, faculty councils of the Colleges/Schools of Business Administration, Education; Fine, Performing and Communication Arts; Law; Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, and the Graduate School shall each elect one representative to the nominating committee. In odd-numbered years, faculty councils of the Colleges/Schools of Engineering, Lifelong Learning, Nursing, Social Work; Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs; and Library Science shall each elect one representative to the nominating committee.

    •• The 24-person slate shall be sent to the Academic Senate, which shall elect the twelve-member panel.

• Three members picked by lot from the academic staff of the Unit.

• One member of the University academic staff chosen by the other six.
   
2.52.01.260 If a hearing is requested, the Respondent in person or through counsel shall meet with the University Counsel for the drawing of the members of the Hearing Committee. Members of the Academic Senate panel who are also members of the Respondent's Unit shall automatically be excluded from the drawing and from serving as the seventh member of the Committee pursuant to the provisions above. Each side shall be entitled to one peremptory challenge from each panel, to be made before the drawing. At least a majority of the members whose names are drawn shall meet promptly on call of the President for the purpose of organization and to elect a chair. If any member whose name is drawn is unavailable or fails to attend, or is excluded by challenge, a replacement shall be drawn from the panels by the Hearing Committee. The Committee shall then select the Committee Counsel and with the assistance of the latter arrange for conducting the hearings as expeditiously as circumstances and the reasonable necessities of the parties permit.
   
2.52.01.270 The proceedings shall be recorded by a stenographer, and shall be reasonably available to the parties as well as the Committee. So far as possible, testimony on disputed facts shall be given in person and subject to cross-examination. Subject to adequate safeguards, statements may when necessary be taken outside the hearing and reported to it. Respondent is entitled to assistance of the Committee in securing attendance of witnesses in his/her behalf. In general, the accepted rules of evidence and judicial 1 procedure in civil proceedings (or administrative tribunals) shall be a guide, but departures which would not seriously and adversely affect the Respondent's opportunity to a fair hearing shall be in the Committee's discretion. Others may be invited to attend as observers with the consent of both parties and the Committee.
   
2.52.01.280 Report of the Committee
  The Committee may consider any matter in executive session and normally will prepare its draft report in executive session. The report shall be prepared as expeditiously as possible, and shall include specific and clear-cut findings on all factual issues using the standard of preponderance of the evidence. The report should conclude with a statement by the Committee on the sufficiency of these grounds, to the extent that they have been established, as justification for the proposed dismissal. Unanimity is desirable but not essential, and any member of the Committee may file a dissenting or concurring report if unable to agree with the majority statement.
   
2.52.01.290 The report, or reports, shall be forwarded to the President of the University and to the Respondent. If the President on the basis of this report decides to discontinue the proceedings, a notice to this effect to Respondent will conclude the matter. If on the other hand, the President decides to recommend to the Board of Governors the dismissal of the Respondent, notice to this effect shall be sent to Respondent by registered mail or hand-delivered by courier to the official University home address of the Respondent; and Respondent shall be entitled to a review before the Board of Governors, if he/she makes such a request within ten business days of mailing or delivery of this notice. Such review shall be limited to the matters presented to the Hearing Committee.
   
2.52.01.300 Review by Board of Governors
  In reviewing the case, the Board of Governors will refer the matter to a Special Committee consisting of members of the Board. The Special Committee will receive from the Respondent and/or his/her counsel and the University Counsel such oral or written statements or arguments deemed appropriate to a full understanding of the case, and it may meet with the Hearing Committee in executive session either before or after hearing from Respondent if it believes that this will help clarify any point in issue. The review will be limited to the record made before the Hearing Committee, including the Committee reports, and to the report and/or recommendation of the President.
   
2.52.01.310 The Special Committee shall report its recommendation to the Board. If the Board believes that further evidence is desirable, the matter will be referred back to the Hearing Committee or to a consultant appointed by the Special Committee for this purpose, and the findings or modifications in the previous reports resulting therefrom. In the event that a consultant is used, the consultant's report shall be sent to the Hearing Committee for any comments that they wish to make to the Board regarding the consultant's report. The Hearing Committee shall provide to the Board any comments they wish to make within ten business days and shall not undertake additional investigation during this time.
   
2.52.01.320 Upon concluding its review of the entire matter, the Special Committee shall report to the Board of Governors in executive session for such action as the Board deems justified and appropriate.
   
2.52.01.330 Emergency Suspension - Academic Staff
  Whenever the continued service of a member of the academic staff would in the judgment of the President threaten grave and immediate injury to the University or to its students, faculty, or staff, the individual may be relieved of part or all of his/her University duties and privileges without prejudice as to the final disposition of the matter. Such action may be taken by the President's designee, if the President is not available. Such suspension in and of itself shall not affect the individual's compensation; and it shall be reported to the Board of Governors promptly for such action as the Board may wish to take with reference thereto. Such emergency suspension shall be limited to a maximum of 120 days if no further action is taken in that time, and the individual shall return to his/her regular duties.
   
2.52.01.340 The President will designate a competent legal and/or other appropriate member of his/her staff to conduct an appropriate investigation to determine the necessity for the continuation of the suspension. The investigation must include an opportunity for the Respondent to testify unless this is not feasible for reasons of physical or mental health or of behavior nullifying the usefulness of such an opportunity. The Respondent has the right at his/her own expense to be represented and assisted by both academic and legal counsel of his/her choosing. A report of the investigator shall be sent to the President and to the Respondent.
   
2.52.01.350 Conforming Provision
  Any existing statutory provisions or University policies and regulations which are contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Statute are hereby modified to make them conform to the Statute.
   

Legislative History
Adopted 5-0; Official Proceedings 15:1910 (5 November 1970) Amended 7-0 (with one abstention); Official Proceedings 27:3831 (15 July 1983) Amended 7-0; Official Proceedings 33:4411 (9 December 1988) Amended 7-0; Official Proceedings 36:4778 (14 February 1992) Amended 5-0; Official Proceedings 40:5316 (20 September 1996)

Compiler Notes
(1) The 1970 action included the following provision:

All full-time academic personnel as of November 5, 1970, who were reclassified as Academic Staff, shall retain the privilege of being considered for recommendation for continuing tenure; those who currently have tenure, or may receive tenure under this provision, shall retain and be entitled to the privileges and rights of academic personnel with continuing tenure at that date under statutes and policies then in effect. (Official Proceedings 15:1914, 5 November 1970)

This provision continues to be effective as to those persons to whom it applies.

(2) Changes in the tenure statutes for faculty and academic staff were agreed to by the University administration and the AAUP during the 1988 negotiations, and it was recommended that the revised statutes be adopted by the Board. (Official Proceedings 33:4408, 9 December 1988)

(3) Bargaining with the AAUP in 1990 resulted in significant changes in the employment relationship with the Academic Staff which created the need to revise the tenure statute for that employee category.

(4) Section 2.52.01.250 was revised to change the procedure for appointing hearing panels, in accordance with the recently ratified AAUP agreement.



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