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Back to Policy Section II: Faculty
Section II: Faculty

Policy Number: II-8.00(A)

University of Maryland, College Park Procedures for Reduction, Consolidation, Transfer, or Discontinuance of Programs


The review of a department, program, school, or unit for discontinuance or modification involves primarily academic considerations and is part of the normal administrative cycle. Whenever reasonably possible, the following procedures shall pertain:

  1. When the President of the University of Maryland at College Park declares that there may be a necessity for the consolidation, transfer, discontinuance, or significant reduction of a department, program, school, or other academic unit or subunit on campus, and that these measures are likely to entail the termination or the transfer of faculty, the matter will be submitted to the Academic Planning Advisory Committee ("APAC"). APAC will review the proposal and its effect on faculty, students, and staff.
  2. Any proposal to discontinue an academic unit, to reallocate a significant portion of its budgeted faculty positions among other academic programs, units, or courses of study, or to transfer programs or units from this institution to another institution shall be reviewed and evaluated by APAC. The Committee may recommend modifications. Where relevant, the evaluation shall be based on the following considerations, which are not listed in any order of priority or preference:
    1. The centrality of each program or course of study to the mission of this institution or to the mission of the college, school, or department within which it is located;
    2. The academic strength and quality of the academic program or unit, and of its faculty in terms of national ratings;
    3. The complementarity of the academic program or department and the work done therein to some essential program or function performed on this institution;
    4. The duplication of work done in the academic program or department by work done in other programs or departments elsewhere within the University of Maryland System;
    5. The student demand and projected enrollment in the subject matter taught in the program or unit;
    6. The current and predicted comparative cost analysis/effectiveness of the program or unit; and,
    7. Such other pertinent factors as the Committee deems proper, after consultation with the Senate Executive Committee.                           APAC will submit its report and recommendations to the Provost.
  3. Before APAC completes its report and recommendations, it shall conduct at least one open hearing at which anyone affected or concerned about the proposed action may be heard, except that the college, school, department, program, unit, or subunit directly affected by the proposal may, at its request, be heard in closed session.
  4. APAC shall share with the academic program or unit and the affected faculty therein any information and documents it may have obtained during its review of the proposal. It will endeavor to do so at least five (5) working days before any meeting with the unit and affected faculty. Persons affected by the proposal will be given an opportunity to make written submissions or oral presentations. APAC may establish such procedures, including time limitations and rules for relevancy, as it determines necessary to proceed in an ordered and efficient manner. The open and/or closed session is for the purpose of obtaining information. It is not intended as an adversarial or adjudicatory process. Thus, for example, persons offering testimony may be questioned by the Committee, but "cross examination" is not within the character of the proceeding.
  5. The Provost shall review APAC's recommendations and submit his or her proposal with APAC's recommendations to the President. The President will either return the proposal to the Provost for further consideration or submit the Provost's proposal and APAC's recommendations to the Senate.
  6. The College Park Senate and its committees shall be given a reasonable time to conduct review proceedings, deliberate, and make its own recommendations concerning the proposal to the President.
  7. When an academic program or unit is to be discontinued or transferred, every effort should be made to phase it out over a period of time, with due notice to the students and with due regard for the contractual rights of faculty whose appointments will be affected.
    1. Students whose access to required course offerings is affected by academic reorganization should be afforded reasonable opportunities to complete their required coursework either at this institution or through cooperative arrangements and transfer of credit from other colleges and universities both within and outside the University of Maryland System.
    2. Tenured faculty on lines that are terminated or transferred should be reassigned to teaching and/or research in related programs or units or to administrative duties when qualified for the position and where the need exists. Thereafter, similar consideration should be accorded instructors and lecturers who have achieved more than seven years continuous full-time service, as per Section I.C.13, of the University System Policy on Appointment, Rank, and Tenure of Faculty.
    3. In no instance shall an eliminated academic program or unit be re-established at the University of Maryland at College Park within six years without offering reappointment to all former faculty members whose appointments in that program or unit had been terminated.
    4. For three years from the date of termination, the University of Maryland at College Park will endeavor to notify individual faculty members whose appointments had been terminated because of program elimination of the availability of faculty positions at their ranks at this institution that are appropriate for persons of their training and experience. They will be notified at the same time the job announcement is made, and will be encouraged to apply for positions.
  8. Notice period for termination:   For the purpose of these procedures, the applicable termination notice period is determined by the status of the faculty at the time the notice of termination is given.
    1. Non-tenure track faculty, as defined in the University of Maryland System Policy on Appointment, Rank, and Tenure of Faculty, shall be given written notice of up to one year but not less than 30 days prior to the date of termination of appointment.
    2. Non-tenured, tenure-track faculty shall be given notice of termination not less than one year prior to the date of termination of appointment.
    3. Full-time instructors or lecturers, with seven or more years of continuous service to the institution, commencing July 1, 1984, shall be given written notice of termination of at least one year prior to the date of termination of appointment.
    4. Tenured faculty members shall be given notice as set forth in University of Maryland System Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty, Section I.C.9, or corresponding sections of earlier faculty appointment agreements still in effect, as applicable.
    5. Notice of termination shall be effective on the date the notice is mailed by U.S. certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the last address that the terminated faculty member has on record with the University of Maryland at College Park.
  9. The President shall establish an appeals committee pursuant to UMS BOR Policy on Faculty Retrenchment (November 29,1990, II-8.00).  A faculty member whose appointment is terminated under these procedures shall have a right to appeal in accordance only with these procedures.  No other appeal procedures within the University of Maryland at College Park are applicable.       The faculty member must include all grounds for appeal in the written request for appeal.  The filing or consideration of a request for appeal will not alter the effective date of termination of the appointment.       Appeal Schedule       
    1. A request for appeal must be filed with the President within 10 working days after the effective mailing date of the notice of termination.
    2. The committee shall inform the faculty member of the date, time, and place of the hearing no later than 10 working days after the President's receipt of the request for appeal. The committee must schedule the hearing to occur within 30-45 calendar days after the President's receipt of the appeal.
    3. The faculty member must provide to the committee a statement of facts on which the appeal is based and a list of witnesses and documents to be introduced at the hearing no later than five working days prior to the date of the hearing.
    4. The committee shall send its recommendation to the President no later than 10 working days after the date of the conclusion of the hearing.
    5. Within 10 working days after receipt of the committee's recommendation, the President shall issue a final decision and mail to the faculty member by U.S. certified or registered mail, return receipt requested.  Grounds for AppealThe grounds for appeal shall be limited to:
      1. procedural error;
      2. insufficiency of notice of termination; and
      3. the termination was otherwise unlawful. Conduct of Hearing
        1. The institution will be represented by the Office of the Attorney General or its designee.
        2. The faculty member may be represented by legal counsel throughout the appeal proceedings at the faculty member's expense.
        3. The hearing shall be audiotaped, and a copy of the tape shall be made available if requested by the faculty member.
        4. The faculty member and the institution each may call witnesses and present documentary evidence at the hearing. Each member of the committee may call and question witnesses and request the presentation of documentary evidence.
        5. The formal rule of evidence and of judicial procedure shall not apply to the appeal hearing; however, the committee may exclude irrelevant or repetitious testimony.
        6. The faculty member's failure to appear at the hearing shall be deemed a voluntary dismissal of the appeal.
        7. The appeal committee must make the decision based on the record.
        8. Postponement of the hearing may be granted at the discretion of the committee upon the written request of the faculty member.
  10. Notification of TerminationThe President shall give a written notice of termination to each faculty member whose appointment is to be terminated pursuant to these procedures. The termination notice shall include:
    1. notification that the appointment is being terminated pursuant to these procedures;
    2. the applicable notice period;
    3. the effective date of termination;
    4. the statement that System Administration shall send, for a period of one year, written notice of faculty openings within the System to the last address that the faculty member has on record with the institution;
    5. notification of the right of the faculty member to appeal the termination of appointment and a copy of these procedures.