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DISCIPLINE OR DISMISSAL OF A TENURED FACULTY MEMBER FOR CAUSE

The University is a community of scholars dedicated to the communication, expansion, and integration of knowledge. Among the functions of a University is the establishment of proper intellectual and personal integrity among the faculty, between the faculty and the students, and between the faculty and the national and international academic community. This integrity is fostered by the creation of an environment of personal interaction and mutual trust whereby its members are mindful of their responsibilities to maintain standards of competence, and a proper attitude of objectivity, industry and cooperation with their associates and students within and outside the University community. However, if the community is to be sustained it is necessary to take action when commonly held standards of conduct are violated. Thus disciplinary action up to and including dismissal may be undertaken for cause, with dismissal being reserved for the most serious of cases.

If proceedings are initiated against a tenured faculty member and result in a finding of cause, dismissal or disciplinary action less than dismissal may be recommended and imposed. Disciplinary action less than dismissal may include but is not limited to:

• verbal or written reprimand;
• suspension with or without pay;
• reassignment of duties, office or lab space;
• denial of salary increase(s); denial of summer appointment(s);
• denial or revocation of a sabbatical leave;
• denial of travel or other University support or funds;
• mandatory counseling and/or monitoring of behavior and performance.

In accord with the SIUE Tenure Policy and Guidelines, a tenured faculty member may be dismissed for cause only as a result of:

1. Demonstrated incompetence or dishonesty in teaching, or scholarship, or service.
2. Substantial and manifest neglect of duties.
3. Personal conduct, including unethical or illegal conduct, which substantially impairs the individual's fulfillment of his or her institutional responsibilities or impairs the University in fulfilling its mission.

Discipline, dismissal or the threat of discipline or dismissal may not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom.

I. Informal Resolution/Preliminary Stage

When the attention of a department chair is drawn to credible allegations about a tenured faculty member that, if true, would be grounds for disciplining, including possible dismissal, the department chair will conduct a preliminary investigation. In doing so, the chair may use the results of investigations conducted by external sources such as the police or auditors. In cases of alleged racial or sexual discrimination, the chair shall seek assistance with the investigation from the Assistant to the Chancellor for Equal Opportunity Programs or the Assistant to the Provost for Cultural and Social Diversity, respectively. During the course of this preliminary investigation, the chair must notify the faculty member of the allegations and provide the faculty member with an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

If the allegations still seem credible, the chair will notify the dean and the faculty member in writing that such allegations have been made. The faculty member will have the opportunity to respond in writing to these allegations. The chair and the other tenured faculty of the unit will make separate written recommendations to the dean in accordance with the Investigative and Reporting procedures (See Appendix A). The faculty may delegate this responsibility to the chair if they wish.

When credible allegations about a department chair reach the unit's faculty, the tenured faculty in the unit are responsible for the investigation and report to the dean. In cases in which there are no other tenured faculty in the department, the dean will consult with the school committee charged with considering promotion and tenure.

The chair (or dean, in cases when the chair is under investigation) will notify the faculty member at issue, in writing, of the chair's and the other tenured faculty's recommendations to the dean, either that the matter be dropped, that discipline short of dismissal be imposed, or that the faculty member be dismissed. Based on the recommendations from the chair and the other tenured faculty, the dean will recommend to the Provost either that the matter be dropped, that discipline short of dismissal be imposed, or that the faculty member be dismissed. The dean's recommendation must be accompanied by a written explanation of his or her recommendation. If discipline short of dismissal is recommended, procedures under Section II will be followed. If dismissal is recommended, procedures under Section III will be used.

The faculty member may be suspended with pay from any or all academic duties at the discretion of the dean during this preliminary stage. The utmost care should be taken throughout this preliminary stage to preserve confidentiality so as to protect the faculty member concerned and to maintain collegiality.

II. Procedures for Disciplining Short of Dismissal

Where disciplinary action short of dismissal for cause is sought, the dean, after consultation with the Provost, shall provide the faculty member with written notice of the cause for disciplinary action, the anticipated disciplinary action, and an opportunity to respond prior to a specific and reasonable deadline before the imposition of any disciplinary action.

After receiving the response from the faculty member or if the faculty member fails to respond, the dean shall make a decision regarding the disciplinary action and notify the faculty member in writing. The faculty member may challenge the imposition of any disciplinary action by the dean by filing a grievance under provisions of the Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedure.

Disciplinary action may include but is not limited to verbal or written reprimand; suspension with or without pay; reassignment of duties, office or lab space; denial of salary increase(s); denial of summer appointment(s); denial or revocation of a sabbatical leave; denial of travel or other University support or funds; and mandatory counseling and/or monitoring of behavior and performance. Suspension without pay during the academic year may not exceed one semester. Suspension without pay during the academic year would normally not be imposed until the grievance process is completed (if a grievance is filed).

III. Procedures for Dismissal

When a dean recommends the dismissal of a tenured faculty member, the Provost shall determine whether further investigation is necessary. If the Provost determines that further investigation is necessary, the Provost or his/her designee(s) will conduct the investigation. The results of that investigation along with the recommendation of the dean and any other information available to the Provost will be used by him/her to determine if the dean will be permitted to file formal charges to initiate the dismissal process.

No formal charges shall be filed until after the faculty member has been informed in person by the Provost that such charges are to be filed (which may occur at this first face-to-face conference). In cases in which the faculty member is not available for a face-to-face meeting, the requirement of this section will be met by a telephone discussion and/or correspondence with a reasonable opportunity to respond. This face-to-face meeting is intended to be collegial. However, upon appropriate notice to the Provost, the faculty member may be accompanied by legal counsel if he or she chooses.

The faculty member may elect to forgo meeting with the Provost.

Following conclusion of the face-to-face meeting with the Provost, or the faculty member's refusal to meet with the Provost, the Provost can decide that the matter be dismissed entirely, that discipline short of dismissal will be imposed under the procedures of Section II above, or that the faculty member should be dismissed. When the Provost decides to pursue formal charges, the procedures in sections A-F below will be followed.

A. The dean shall initiate formal charges.

B. The Provost shall notify the Chancellor before proceedings are initiated that charges against the faculty member will be filed by the dean. The faculty member may be suspended from any or all academic duties during the proceedings at the discretion of the Chancellor if recommended by the Provost. Such suspension of duties shall be with pay, unless prohibited by law.

C. Formal proceedings shall be deemed initiated when the dean files with the Chancellor a written statement of explicit charges against the affected faculty member. The statement shall contain: 1) The nature of the charges; 2) the names of the witnesses, insofar as known, who will testify in support of the specific allegations; 3) the nature of the testimony likely to be presented by each of these witnesses.

D. The Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee shall within five (5) working days of receipt of the dean's charges, give notice by registered mail to the affected faculty member stating the explicit charge(s) against him or her. The written notice to the faculty member shall contain: 1) the nature of the charge(s); 2) the names of the witnesses, insofar as known, who will testify in support of the specific allegations; 3) the nature of the testimony likely to be presented by each of these witnesses.

E. The formal process of considering dismissal will be handled in accord with the Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedure. Procedures for cases of dismissal shall begin with Section III. D. However, Section I and II of the Grievance Policy (Preamble and Definitions) will also apply. This process will be initiated by the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee through authorizing the chair of the Faculty Senate Welfare Council to establish a Hearing Committee in accord with Section III.C.1 of that policy. The faculty member recommended for dismissal is the grievant; the dean recommending dismissal is the respondent.

F. Section VI. K of the Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedure shall apply. It states: "In general, the burden of proof rests upon the grievant. The exception is in dismissal of a tenured faculty member for cause. In such cases, the burden of proof rests upon the University (respondent)." The faculty member may challenge the imposition of any dismissal by filing a grievance under provisions of the Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedure.

Appendix A 1
Investigative and Reporting Procedures

When the chair of a department receives credible allegations concerning the actions of a faculty member in the department which, if true, would be grounds for dismissal or discipline short of dismissal, the chair will consult with the other tenured faculty in the department in order to make a recommendation to the dean. In cases in which credible allegations have been made about the chair, the dean shall meet with a quorum of the other tenured faculty in the department. In cases in which there are no other tenured faculty in the department, the dean will consult with the school committee charged with considering promotion and tenure.

When there are meetings with other tenured faculty in the department, the chair shall be required to call two separate meetings.

First Meeting

The purpose of the first meeting is to have an informed discussion of the allegations and supporting information with the department's other tenured faculty. To that end, the chair shall distribute at least three (3) working days before the meeting written notification of the date, time, and place of the meeting. A quorum of the other tenured faculty must be in attendance. At this meeting, the chair will distribute any relevant materials pertaining to the investigation of the allegations to the other faculty for review, including any written response by the faculty member at issue. In the interests of preserving confidentiality, these materials will not be circulated outside of the meeting and discussion of said materials should not occur outside of the meeting.

Second Meeting

The purpose of the second meeting is for the other tenured faculty to develop a recommendation to the dean, and to advise the chair, about how to proceed with the allegations. A quorum of the department's tenured faculty must attend this meeting to discuss whether to recommend that the dean undertake disciplinary or dismissal procedures. Three (3) working days notice shall also be given before this meeting in order to provide sufficient time for faculty to formulate advice to the chair based upon the information presented at the first meeting. Following the meeting, a member of the other tenured faculty chosen by the other tenured faculty will report in writing to the dean the faculty's deliberations and its recommendations, as determined by majority vote, to the dean, and a justification to explain the recommendation regarding further action. The faculty may delegate this responsibility to the chair if they wish. The faculty member must be given the opportunity to appear before the other tenured faculty and the chair to respond to the allegations. The chair shall separately report his or her recommendation to the dean and shall include a justification explaining the recommendation regarding further action.

1Units may develop appropriate variations on the procedures in Appendix A provided that they are not inconsistent with it and are approved in advance by the dean of the school in which the unit is located.
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