Policy Number: II-8.00(B)
University of Maryland, College Park Procedures for the Termination of Faculty Appointments During Fiscal Crisis
(Approved by the President )
Section I. Existing System Policy
These procedures are designed to provide for the orderly reduction in staffing during fiscal crisis and are not intended to be utilized in connection with routine academic planning and reorganization activities. It is expressly recognized that the award and continued enjoyment of tenured faculty status is a matter of vital importance to the academic well-being of the University.
The University of Maryland System Policy on Appointment,Rank, and Tenure of Faculty states that the institution may terminate any appointment because of:
- [T]he discontinuance of the department, program, school or unit in which the appointment was made'; or
- [T]he lack of appropriations or other funds with which to support the appointment.'
The University of Maryland System Administration has required that the following language appear in each institution's policy concerning termination of faculty appointments. Nothing in the following list of items is inconsistent with the other sections of this document; however, the mandated language of this section will prevail in the event of an apparent or real conflict with provisions elsewhere in this document. If termination of faculty appointments becomes necessary, the University of Maryland at College Park will adhere both to the provisions in this section as well as the procedures set forth elsewhere in this document.
- Definition of Retrenchment The term "retrenchment" means the termination of a faculty appointment as authorized in the November 29, 1990, University of Maryland System (UMS) Board of Regents Policy on Faculty Retrenchment (II-8.00).
- Application These retrenchment procedures are applicable only to all persons appointed to a rank identified or permitted under the UMS Policy on the Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty (II-1.00) of the UMS By-Laws, Policies and Procedures of the Board of Regents. The UMS Retrenchment Policy and these retrenchment procedures are in addition to and not in limitation of other UMS and the University of Maryland at College Park policies and procedures concerning faculty appointments nor are they in limitation of any UMS or University of Maryland at College Park policies on academic program review.
- Initiation of Retrenchment The President has the sole authority within the University of Maryland at College Park, subject to the authority of the Board of Regents, to initiate retrenchment. The President shall initiate retrenchment when the President determines that retrenchment is necessary, consistent with the UMS and the University of Maryland at College Park policies on Appointment, Rank and Tenure. Before determining that a fiscal crisis necessitates retrenchment, the President shall consult with the Chancellor and the Board of Regents. The Board may request relevant information from the President and may consider comments from representatives of campus and faculty governance bodies and other interested persons. Program review is a part of routine institution planning. While such reviews may be motivated in part by broad financial considerations, they normally occur as part of the ongoing management of the institution. Resulting program eliminations provide a basis for faculty terminations without the necessity of showing a lack of appropriations. Where the lack of appropriations is the basis for faculty retrenchment, the retrenchment plan may take into consideration such non-financial factors as institutional mission, long-range educational planning, and may call for program reductions and/or program eliminations. A lack of appropriations exists when, in the President's judgment, there is a fiscal crisis that threatens or endangers the institution's ability to carry out its mission as defined in the most recent mission statement approved by the Board of Regents and the termination of tenured or tenure-track faculty appointments will be substantially less detrimental to the institution's ability to fulfill its mission than other forms of budgetary curtailments available to the institution.
- Confidentiality Consistent with applicable law, deliberations about specific personnel decisions of any committee shall be confidential.
- Authority of the President The President has final authority over any decision or determination under retrenchment procedures. In addition to the advice of the committees established under retrenchment procedures, the President may seek the advice of any individual, group, or office within the University of Maryland at College Park or outside the institution. The President may adopt recommendations from any committee identified in the retrenchment procedures, adopt them with modifications, or reject them and make substitutions for them. The President shall have the right to adjust any schedule referenced in the retrenchment procedures except for those pertaining to the notice for termination an to the appeal process. An effort will be made to give advance notice of any such adjustment. Failure to comply with such schedules, however, shall not be grounds for appeal under these retrenchment procedures.
- Notice Period for Termination For the purpose of these retrenchment procedures, the applicable termination notice period is determined by the status of the faculty at the time the notice of termination is given. Non-tenured 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. Non-tenured, tenure-track faculty shall be given notice of termination not less than one year prior to the date of termination of appointment. 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. 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. 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. An institution shall offer within three years to a tenured or tenure-track faculty member whose appointment was terminated pursuant to these retrenchment procedures any new positions with equivalent duties and responsibilities within the retrenchment unit prior to hiring any other person.
- Language of Exception for the Order of Retrenchment Deviations from the order of termination may be made only when the termination of the appointment of the faculty member would significantly impede the ability of the institution or retrenchment unit affected by retrenchment to fulfill its mission and goals, or to fulfill commitments under grants and contracts. The reason and basis for making a decision to deviate from the order of termination shall be adequately documented.
- Appeal Process
The President shall establish a retrenchment 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 retrenchment 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
- A request for appeal must be filed with the President within 10 working days after the effective mailing date of the notice of termination.
- 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.
- 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.
- The committee shall send its recommendation to the President no later than 10 working days after the date of the conclusion of the hearing.
- 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 Appeal The grounds for appeal shall be limited to:
- error in the application of the order of termination of appointment;
- procedural error;
- insufficiency of notice of termination;
- whether any deviation from the order of termination was made without reasonable grounds; and
- the termination was otherwise unlawful. Conduct of the Hearing The institution will be represented by the Office of the Attorney General or its designee. The faculty member may be represented by legal counsel throughout the appeal proceedings at the faculty member's expense. The hearing shall be audiotaped and a copy of the tape shall be made available if requested by the faculty member. 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. The formal rules of evidence and of judicial procedure shall not apply to the appeal hearing; however, the committee may exclude irrelevant or repetitious testimony.