Chapter Two: Personnel
 
Procedure Title: Tenure, Notice of Non-reappointment/Faculty Dismissal
Based On: Board Policy 3
Procedure Number: 2.20
Date Adopted/Revised: June 25, 2001; November 21, 2006; May 15, 2007
 
The following standards for notice of non-reappointment and procedures for faculty dismissal will be observed by South Arkansas Community College.
  1. Tenured Faculty

    South Arkansas Community College faculty members who have been granted tenure will not be terminated except for adequate cause or financial exigencies. The probationary terms and grounds for adequate cause are noted below.

    1. In accordance with the times and procedures given below, tenured faculty members may be dismissed only for adequate cause or financial exigencies. Financial exigencies will be determined by the President.

    2. Preliminary proceedings concerning the fitness of a faculty member:
          
      1. When reason arises to question the fitness of a faculty member who has tenure, or whose term of appointment has not expired, the appropriate administrative officers will discuss the matter with him/her in a private conference.
      2. The matter may be resolved by mutual consent at this point; and the terms of this resolution agreed to by both parties in writing.
      3. If no agreement or resolution can be reached in this manner, a standing, or an ad-hoc committee elected by the faculty and charged with the responsibility of rendering confidential advice in such situations should inquire into the situation, to effect a resolution if possible and, if none is effected, to determine whether in its view formal proceedings should be begun, or if the Vice President for Learning of the institution, even after considering a recommendation of the committee favorable to the faculty member, is convinced that formal dismissal proceedings should be undertaken, such proceedings should be governed by the following procedures.
      4. Except where there is disagreement between the Vice President for Learning and the faculty committee, a statement with reasonable particularity of the grounds proposed for the dismissal of the faculty member will be jointly formulated by the Vice President for Learning and the faculty committee; if there is disagreement between these parties, the President or representatives of the President will formulate the statement.

    3. Formal proceedings will be commenced by a communication addressed to the faculty member by the Vice President for Learning informing him/her of the statement formulated and informing him/her that, if he/she so requests, a hearing to determine whether he/she should be removed from his/her faculty position on the grounds stated will be conducted by a faculty committee at a specified time and place.

      1. In setting the date of the hearing, sufficient time will be allowed the faculty member to prepare a defense.
      2. The faculty members will be informed, in detail or by reference to published regulations, of the procedural rights that will be accorded him/her.
      3. The faculty member should state in reply whether he/she wishes a hearing and, if so, should respond in writing, not less than one (1) week before the date set for the hearing, to the statements of the Vice President of Learning.

    4. Suspension of the faculty member during the dismissal proceedings involving him/her will occur only if in the opinion of the President immediate harm to the faculty member, or to others or to the effectiveness of the College is threatened by the faculty member’s continuance of service.

      1. Unless legal considerations forbid, any such suspension will be with pay.
      2. If a faculty member is suspended, the faculty member will be notified in writing of the specific reasons for suspension as well as the terms and conditions of suspension.

    5. Hearing Committee

      1. The committee of the faculty members selected to conduct the hearing and recommend action to the President should be either an elected standing committee not previously concerned with the case or a committee established as soon as possible after the President’s letter to the faculty member has been sent.
      2. The Vice President for Learning, in consultation with the chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, will appoint a committee of five members of the teaching faculty, giving serious consideration to their objectivity and competence and of the regard in which they are held in the College community. The committee will elect its own chairperson.

    6. Committee Proceeding
      1. The committee should proceed by considering the statement of the grounds for dismissal already formulated, and the faculty member’s response written before the time of the hearing.
      2. The committee, in consultation with the Vice President for Learning and the faculty member, should exercise its judgment as to whether the hearing should be public or private.
      3. If any facts are in dispute, the testimony of the witnesses and other evidence concerning the matter set forth in the President’s letter to the faculty member should be obtained and considered by the committee.
      4. Vice President for Learning will have the option of attendance during the hearing, and may designate an appropriate representative to assist in developing the case; but the committee should determine the order of proof, should normally conduct the questioning of witnesses, and, if necessary, should secure the presentation of evidence relevant to the issue at hand.
      5. The faculty member will have the option of assistance by counsel, whose functions should be similar to those of the representative chosen by the Vice President for Learning.
      6. The faculty member should have the additional procedural rights set forth in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure as amended, and should have the aid of the committee, where needed in securing the attendance of witnesses.
      7. The faculty member or his/her counsel and the representative designated by the Vice President for Learning should have the right, within reasonable limits, to question all witnesses adverse to him/her.
      8. Where unusual and urgent reasons move the hearing committee to withhold this right, or where the witnesses cannot appear, the identity of the witness, as well as his/her statement, should nevertheless be disclosed to the faculty member.
      9. Subject to these safeguards, statements may, when necessary, be taken outside of the hearing and reported to it. Unless special circumstances warrant, it should not be necessary to follow formal rules of court procedure.

    7. The committee should reach its decision in a conference on, the basis of the hearing. Before doing so, it should give opportunity to the faculty member or his/her counsel and the representative designated by the Vice President for Learning to argue orally before it. If written briefs would be helpful, the committee may request them.

      1. The committee may proceed to decision promptly without having the record of the hearing transcribed, where it believes that a just decision can be reached by this means; or it may await the availability of a transcript of the hearing if its decision would be aided thereby. It should make explicit findings with respect to each of the grounds of removal presented, and a reasoned opinion may be desirable.
      2. The President and the faculty member must be informed of the decision in writing within three (3) working days of the committee reaching a conclusion. Any release to the public will only be made through the President’s office.

    8. Except for such simple announcements as may be required, covering time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements about the case by either the faculty member or administrative officers should be avoided as far as possible until the proceedings have been completed. Announcement of the final decision should include a statement of the committee’s decisions, if this has not previously been made known.

    9. When the President determines that financial exigencies exist which require the dismissal of the faculty, the Vice President for Learning shall notify affected faculty members according to the standards of non-reappointment.

      1. The President may make a public determination that the exigencies do not permit adherence to this policy, in which case the Vice President of Learning shall inform the affected faculty members within seven (7) working days following the President’s action.
      2. In determining which faculty members will not be reappointed, the president will take into consideration seniority, instructional abilities, and contributions to institutional development. The Vice President for Learning, in consultation with the President will carefully review the faculty members’ personnel files and institutional records in making these decisions.
      3. In addition to notifying those faculty members who will not be reappointed, the Vice President for Learning must submit a report to the Faculty Affairs Committee detailing the actions and the reasons for them. The Faculty Affairs Committee will have the option of presenting a response to the Vice President for Learning’s report directly to the President.

    10. Notice of non-reappointment or intention to not recommend reappointment will be given in writing in accordance with the following standards:

      1. Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that academic year; or, if a one-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three (3) months in advance of its termination.
      2. Not later than February 1 of the second consecutive academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least six (6) months in advance of its termination.
      3. Not later than January 1 of the third consecutive year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year.
      4. At least twelve (12) months before the expiration of an appointment after three (3) or more consecutive years of service to the institution.

  2. Non-Tenured Faculty

    The Vice President for Learning may recommend dismissal or non-renewal of a non-tenured faculty based upon evaluations or the general needs of the College. Dismissal will not occur except for adequate cause. Non-renewal may occur for any reason and is not limited to, but may include, any and all grounds that would qualify as adequate cause.