XX. Sanction and Dismissal of Full-Time Faculty Members

A. General Principles: The College is committed, consistent with its obligation of responsible management, to investigating and addressing faculty misconduct or neglect of professional responsibilities (1) that rises to the level of Cause or (2) that, while possibly not rising to the level of Cause, nevertheless violates College policies or is fundamentally inconsistent with an individual’s position or responsibilities as a member of the College’s faculty. (Any such misconduct or neglect of professional responsibilities is referred to as “Sanctionable Conduct.”) The College will investigate promptly all allegations of Sanctionable Conduct and respond through appropriate disciplinary actions when such conduct is found to have occurred.

B. Cause

For purposes of this Statement, “Cause” includes:

  1. Professional Incompetence;
  2. Dishonesty in teaching, creative endeavors, research, representation of credentials, or other professional activity relevant to the performance of College responsibilities;
  3. Sustained refusal or failure (a) to perform in an appropriate manner reasonably assigned College responsibilities or (b) to comply with established College policies;
  4. Egregious or repeated misuse of the powers of the faculty member’s professional position to solicit personal benefits or favors;
  5. Harassment, discrimination, or other conduct that is destructive of the human rights or Academic Freedom of other members of the College community;
  6. Violation of Law or College policies with respect to the possession, use, and distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs, and controlled substances, or
  7. Other criminal, grave, or egregious conduct manifestly inconsistent with continued faculty appointment.

C. Sanctions

1. Authority. The College is authorized, in accordance with the procedures specified in Section XX.C.2., to sanction for Cause a faculty member not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. For the purposes of the preceding sentence, “to sanction” means to take any disciplinary action against a faculty member (except dismissal of a faculty member with a Tenured Appointment).

2. Types.

a. Discrimination and Harassment. The Department Chair, School Dean, or Provost may sanction a faculty member who is found to have engaged in conduct that violates the College’s Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy. Except in the case of a faculty member with a Tenured Appointment, a sanction so imposed by the Department Chair, School Dean, or Provost may not be grieved or otherwise challenged or reviewed. In the case of a faculty member with a Tenured Appointment, a sanction so imposed by the Department Chair, School Dean, or Provost may be challenged or reviewed solely in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section XX.E.

b. Other Conduct. The Provost may sanction, after such investigation and in accordance with such procedures as the Provost believes to be appropriate, a faculty member not covered by a collective bargaining agreement who is found to have engaged in conduct prohibited by Section XX.A. In such cases, the Provost may undertake such investigation, comply with such procedures, and impose sanctions under this Section XX.C. with respect to such conduct. Prior to imposing any such sanction, the Provost's written statement setting forth the nature of, and reasons for, the proposed sanction will be Delivered to the faculty member. The faculty member will have ten Business Days to respond in writing to the Provost. Within ten Business Days after the faculty member’s response is received or was due, a further written statement from the Provost containing a decision as to whether the sanction should be imposed will be Delivered to the faculty member. If the Provost decides the sanction should be imposed, a faculty member may challenge or seek review of the Provost's decision solely in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section XX.E.

D. Dismissal of Tenured Faculty Members for Cause

1. Authority. The College is authorized, in accordance with the procedure in Section XX.D.2., to dismiss a faculty member with a Tenured Appointment for Cause. Prior to dismissing such a faculty member, the College will, in ordinary circumstances, attempt to correct the conduct giving rise to Cause by other less severe action. Dismissal is appropriate if such action has failed to end such conduct within a specified period of time or other less severe action is inappropriate and contrary to the best interests of the College because of the nature or seriousness of the conduct.

2. Process. In cases of alleged discrimination or harassment, the Provost will rely on the investigation conducted according to the Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy. In addition, the Provost may seek additional information as the Provost deems appropriate and commence the dismissal process in this Section XX.D. In cases of conduct that is not, or is separate from, conduct that involves discrimination or harassment, the Provost will undertake such investigation and comply with such procedures as the Provost believes appropriate.

In such cases, the Provost may undertake such investigation, comply with such procedures, and commence the dismissal process in this Section XX.D. After completion of either such investigations and procedures, the Provost may commence the process for dismissing a faculty member. A written statement from the Provost setting forth the nature of the Cause involved, the reasons dismissal is appropriate, and the effective date of dismissal (“Notice of Dismissal”) will be Delivered to the faculty member. Notwithstanding the faculty member’s right to seek review of the decision of dismissal in accordance with Section XX.E., the Provost may, immediately upon Delivery of the Notice of Dismissal, suspend the faculty member (with, without, or at reduced pay) if the Notice of Dismissal contains a reasoned finding that (i) the continued participation of the faculty member in the affairs of the College is likely to be detrimental for, to be disruptive of, or to cause academic, psychological, or physical harm to the College, its students, or other members of its community; or (ii) the faculty member is refusing or failing to perform reasonably assigned College responsibilities. Any such suspension pending dismissal is not subject to challenge or review on any basis.

E. Review of Post-Tenure Review: Level Two Determination, Sanction or Dismissal of Faculty Member.

A faculty member who wishes to challenge or seek review of the Provost's Post-Tenure Review: Level Two determination pursuant to Section XVIII, or the Provost’s decision to sanction or dismiss the faculty member pursuant to Sections XX.C. or XX.D. may do so solely in accordance with the following provisions of this Section XX.E. allowing for a review by the Procedural Review Committee (“PRC”). If a faculty member challenges or seeks review of a Notice of Dismissal pursuant to Section XX.D., the effective termination date will be stayed pending the outcome of the review.

1. Appropriate Bases for Review. Under no circumstances is the PRC authorized to consider, pass on, or comment concerning the merits or substantive justification for the Provost’s Post-Tenure Review: Level Two determination or the sanction or dismissal of a faculty member with a Tenured Appointment. The PRC’s authority is limited to reviewing and commenting on allegations that the Post-Tenure Review: Level Two determination or the sanction or dismissal of a particular faculty member was based in significant degree on any of the following: (a) material, prejudicial mistakes of fact concerning the conduct the faculty member is alleged to have engaged in; or (b) material, prejudicial deviations from the procedures established by this Statement.

2. Commencement of Review Process. Within ten Business Days after the receipt of a notification of the Post-Tenure Review: Level Two determination, sanction or the Notice of Dismissal, the faculty member may, by written application filed with the Office of the Provost, request review of the Provost's decision by the PRC. Within fifteen Business Days after the receipt of such an application, the Provost will convene the PRC to consider the Provost's decision.

3. Proceeding. The PRC will utilize such procedures as it believes are appropriate to ensure a careful and complete review of all relevant facts. In all cases, the Provost will be responsible for presenting to the PRC the reasons for the decision to sanction or dismiss the faculty member and may do so in such manner, including the presentation of witnesses, as the Provost believes appropriate. The faculty member will have the right to make written and oral statements on his or her own behalf, to present witnesses and written statements by other persons with relevant information as determined by the PRC, and to be accompanied by an adviser of the faculty member’s choice who will have only such rights to participate in the proceeding as the PRC determines.

The PRC will complete its proceeding within forty-five Business Days. After consideration of all matters it deems relevant, the PRC, by majority vote, will render a written decision as to whether the Post-Tenure Review: Level Two determination or decision to sanction or dismiss the faculty member was based to a significant degree on either of the two factors listed in Section XX.E.1. The written decision of the PRC will be promptly Delivered to the President, the Provost, and the faculty member.

Not later than fifteen Business Days after receipt of the PRC’s decision, the faculty member and Provost may submit written comments on the PRC’s decision to the President.

4. President’s Decision. Not later than fifteen Business Days after the comments of the faculty member and Provost are received or were due, the President will render a final decision on the matter. The President’s decision will be made in writing and will not be subject to further challenge or review. In the event the President affirms the decision to dismiss a faculty member pursuant to Section XX.D., the faculty member’s appointment will terminate either immediately or on the effective termination date in the Notice of Dismissal, whichever is later. In the case of a dismissal pursuant to Section XX.D., the faculty member’s compensation and benefits may be terminated immediately or continued for a stated period after his or her appointment has been terminated as the President specifies in his or her written decision.