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UMB POLICY ON FACULTY RETRENCHMENT
Faculty | Approved April 10, 1997
Approved by the President April 10, 1997
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and its professional schools must make optimal use of faculty resources in fulfilling their respective missions and requirements. This may require a reduction in or reallocation of faculty for various reasons, e.g., shifting enrollment patterns, changing program directions, restricted funding. The term "retrenchment" means the termination of a faculty appointment as authorized in the November 29, 1990 University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents Policy on Faculty Retrenchment (II-8.00) (hereinafter "USM Retrenchment Policy"). For the purposes of these procedures, "restricted funding" as used in the USM Retrenchment Policy shall mean as applicable (i) the lack of appropriations or other funds with which to support the appointment, as set forth in the University System of Maryland Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty, Section I.C.9 or (ii) other meanings set forth in corresponding sections of earlier faculty appointment agreements which are still in effect. These Procedures are applicable only to persons appointed to a rank identified or permitted under the USM Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty (II-1.00) of the USM Bylaws, Policies and Procedures of the Board of Regents.
Faculty retrenchment may be necessary in the event of externally imposed conditions, e.g., State-mandated budget cuts and reduction or elimination of grant, contract, or other income, that might impact upon the enrollment, programs, faculty, and finances of UMB. Retrenchment may also be necessary due to shifting enrollment patterns or changing program directions in a particular school, program, or department.
It is the policy of UMB to avoid retrenchment of faculty members whenever feasible by such measures as leaving unfilled positions vacant, reducing the use of part-time and temporary appointments, transferring faculty to other departments, and encouraging early retirement. If such actions are inadequate, UMB as a whole or one or more of its schools may find it necessary to terminate the appointments of non-tenured or tenured faculty members.
The USM Retrenchment Policy and these Procedures are in addition to and not in limitation of other USM and UMB policies and procedures concerning faculty appointments nor are they in limitation of any USM or UMB policies on academic program review. Program review is a part of routine institutional 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.
II. RETRENCHMENT PROCEDURES
A. The President has the sole authority within UMB, subject to the authority of the Board of Regents, to initiate retrenchment. The President shall initiate retrenchment when the President determines, after appropriate consultation with the Dean(s) Whose school(s) is (are) affected and appropriate consultation with officers of the Faculty Senate, that retrenchment is necessary, consistent with the USM and UMB policies on Appointment, Rank and Tenure. Except as provided in II.C., the President, acting in consultation with officers of the Faculty Senate, shall employ retrenchment, if necessary, only after having considered and initiated any reasonable alternative measures.
B. Except as provided in II.C., a Faculty Retrenchment Plan Committee ("Plan Committee") shall be established in each affected school when the President initiates faculty retrenchment.
1. The Plan Committee for a school shall consist of the Dean or his/her designee and four full-time faculty members from the school elected by the appropriate faculty governance body of the school. The precise composition of the faculty members of the Plan Committee shall be determined by each school's own faculty governance body but shall include both tenured and non-tenured faculty members. The Faculty Senate shall appoint one additional observer-member of the Plan Committee, from the faculty of a school other than the affected school, who shall be non-voting but shall otherwise be a fully participating member of the Plan Committee and whose primary purpose shall be to keep the Faculty Senate informed generally as to the procedures and deliberations of the Plan Committee. The chairperson shall be the Dean or his/her designee. If the faculty governance body declines to elect faculty members or does not do so in a timely manner, the President, after consultation with the Dean, shall appoint faculty members to serve on the Plan Committee.
2. The Plan Committee shall develop a faculty retrenchment plan for the school, taking into account the following factors, in accordance with both UMB's and the school's missions and requirements:
a. UMB's and the school's programmatic needs;
b. UMB's and the school's budgetary constraints;
c. The current and projected needs and demands of the students;
d. The impact of any proposed action on the faculty;
e. The centrality or fit of the unit to the mission or function of UMB or the school or department within which it is located;
f. The academic strength and quality of the unit, and of its faculty in terms of national ratings and other criteria; and
g. Such other stated factors as the President may deem proper after appropriate consultation with the deans and officers of the Faculty Senate.
3. The Plan Committee shall investigate and consider reasonable alternatives to faculty retrenchment. 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 and long-range educational planning, and may call for program reductions and/or program eliminations. The Plan Committee may consider selective units for retrenchment. Retrenchment units may be schools, departments, divisions, centers, institutes, programs, clinics, certificate programs, specializations, curricular concentrations, or other established and objectively identifiable academic, research, clinical care, or public service units, including units established after approval of these Procedures. No unit may be established in contemplation of retrenchment of its faculty. A Plan Committee shall recommend, subject to the President's approval, what retrenchment unit or units shall be involved in a retrenchment action. The President may direct a Plan Committee to meet with other schools' Plan Committees to consider the combination of retrenchment units across school or unit lines.
4. The Plan Committee shall submit its faculty retrenchment plan to the President for approval at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the date that termination notices will be issued, as established by the President. The Plan Committee shall report to the President its recommendations, the justification for these recommendations, and the names of individual faculty members recommended for termination in accordance with Section IV of these procedures. When making the list of faculty appointments within a particular retrenchment unit, the only faculty members to be included on the list are those whose appointments are made within the department or school in which the retrenchment unit is located. The list shall not include faculty members assigned to the retrenchment unit but whose appointment is in another school or department.
C. If the President determines that faculty retrenchment is necessary in a retrenchment unit due to a reduction or elimination of income from research contracts, service contracts, gifts, grants, or development funds from faculty practice plans, the Dean, working with the appropriate department chair or program director, shall develop a retrenchment plan. If income from research contracts, service contracts, gifts, grants, or development funds from faculty practice plans have been reduced, but not eliminated, the Dean and/or department chair or program director shall consult with the funding agency or entity concerning its priorities for use of remaining funds. Then, with primary consideration given to the essential purposes/scope of work of any grant or contract and/or the purpose of any gift, the retrenchment plan should be developed in accordance with Section IV of these Procedures. The recommendations for retrenchment should be submitted to the President by the Dean by the deadline established by the President.
1. The President has final authority to make any decision or determination under these Procedures. In addition to seeking the advice of the Plan Committees established under these retrenchment procedures, the President may seek the advice of any individual, group, or office within UMB, or outside the institution. The President may adopt a recommended plan as submitted from any Plan Committee or Dean, adopt a recommended plan with modifications, or reject a recommended plan and substitute a plan developed by the President.
2. The President shall have the right to adjust any schedules referenced in these Procedures except for those pertaining to the notice for termination and 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 Procedures.
3. The President shall report the retrenchment plan to the Plan Committee(s) and the institution.
E. Upon approval of a plan by the President, any faculty member whose employment is to be terminated shall be notified by the President or his/her designee by U.S. certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the last address that the terminated faculty member has on record with the UMB Office of Human Services. Notice shall be effective on the date the notice is mailed. The termination notice shall include:
1. notification that the appointment is being terminated pursuant to these Procedures;
2. the effective date of termination;
3. the applicable notice period;
4. if applicable, a statement that deviation was made from the order of termination and the circumstances of the deviation;
5. notification of the right of the faculty member to appeal the termination of appointment, and a copy of these Procedures;
6. a statement that USM administration shall endeavor in good faith to 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 UMB; and
7. a statement that UMB shall endeavor in good faith to send, for a period of two years, written notice of faculty openings within UMB to the last address that the faculty member has on record with UMB.
F. Once the conditions which led the President to determine the need for faculty retrenchment no longer exist, as determined by the President, a retrenchment plan developed under these Procedures shall be given no further effect. A state of fiscal crisis is effective at most for a period of one year from the date of declaration and may be renewed for subsequent periods of one year only upon review by the President and determination that conditions still exist that warrant a declaration of fiscal crisis.
III. NOTICE OF TERMINATION
A. For the purpose of these Procedures, the applicable termination notice period is determined by the status of the faculty member at the time the notice of termination is given. The notice period may be reduced so that a non-tenured faculty member 50% or more of whose compensation is derived from research contracts, service contracts, gifts, or grants, shall be subject to termination upon expiration of the research funds, service contract income, gifts, or grants from which the compensation is payable in accordance with Section I.C.10. of the USM Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty, or corresponding sections of earlier faculty appointment contracts which are still in effect, as applicable. Gifts or grants include, e.g., development funds given to UMB by faculty practice organizations.
B. Non-tenure track faculty, as defined in the University System of Maryland Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty, shall be given notice of up to one (1) year but not less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the date of termination of their appointments.
C. Non-tenured, tenure track faculty shall be given notice at least one (1) year prior to the date of termination of their appointments.
D. Full-time faculty having the title of Instructor or Lecturer, with seven or more years of continuous service to the institution, commencing July 1, 1984, shall be given notice at least one (1) year prior to the date of termination of their appointments.
E. Tenured faculty members shall be given notice at least one (1) year prior to the date of termination of their appointments in accordance with Section I.C.9 of the USM Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty or corresponding sections of earlier faculty appointment agreements still in effect, as applicable.
F. UMB shall offer within three (3) years to a faculty member whose appointment was terminated pursuant to these retrenchment procedures any new or open positions with equivalent duties and responsibilities within the retrenchment unit or, when appropriate, outside the retrenchment unit (including positions in other UMB schools) for which the terminated faculty member may be qualified, prior to hiring another person, provided that a faculty member whose previous appointment was in the same unit as the new or open position shall have priority over a faculty member from outside the unit. The order and status of faculty subject to a given reappointment shall be as follows:
1. Faculty members shall be offered reappointment in order of tenure, rank, and seniority as described in Section IV below.
2. In the event that the new or open position is substantially the same position as previously held, a faculty member shall regain the tenure status, rank, and seniority possessed at the time of termination. If a faculty member agrees to accept a position with lesser status as to tenure, rank, or seniority, the president shall review the appointment to assure that these procedures have not been abused.
3. In determining whether the position is within the same unit as the position previously held, positions within the same unit for purposes of granting tenure are presumed to be within the same unit for purposes of reappointment.
IV. ORDER OF TERMINATION
A. Within a retrenchment unit, the usual order of termination shall be as follows:
1. Faculty members on temporary appointments (full-time or part-time appointments made for one year or less) in reverse order of seniority; thereafter,
2. Untenured faculty members (except as provided in IV.A.3) by reverse order of rank, and within rank by reverse order of seniority since obtaining that rank at UMB; thereafter,
3. Tenured faculty members and full-time faculty having the title of Instructor or Lecturer with more than seven years of continuous service at UMB in that rank and title, by reverse order of rank, and within rank by reverse order of seniority since obtaining that rank at UMB.
B. In determining seniority:
1. If two or more faculty members of the same rank are under consideration, the faculty member holding the rank for the longer time will be deemed to have seniority.
2. If two or more faculty members of the same rank have the same length of continuous service at UMB at that rank, the faculty member with the greater period of service in UMB's employment will be deemed to have seniority. If two or more faculty have the same seniority, then the President or his/her designee will determine the order among them using the criteria set forth in IV.C.
3. Periods of service for part-time faculty members who are employed at 60 percent or greater effort shall count as full years of service for measuring seniority and time in rank. Periods of service at less than 60 percent of effort will be counted as partial years of service on a proportional basis (e.g., 12 months at 50 percent effort will be counted as six months) for purposes of measuring seniority and time in rank under these Procedures.
4. Geographic full-time appointments will be considered as full-time appointments.
C. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Procedures, deviations from the order of termination may be made only when the President makes a determination that the termination of the appointment of the faculty member would significantly impede the ability of UMB, a school, or a retrenchment unit (1) to fulfill its mission or goals, or (2) to fulfill commitments under grants and contracts. The reasons and basis for making a decision to deviate from the order of termination shall be adequately documented.
Consistent with applicable law, deliberations about specific personnel decisions of any committee, including Plan Committees and the Appeals Committee, shall be confidential.
VI. APPEALS PROCESS
A. Faculty Retrenchment Appeals Committee
The President shall establish a campus Faculty Retrenchment Appeals Committee ("Appeals Committee") pursuant to the USM Retrenchment Policy. The Appeals Committee shall consist of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and seven tenured faculty members (none of whom have served on a Plan Committee). The appropriate faculty governance body of each school shall each select one member of the Appeals Committee and the UMB Faculty Senate shall select one member. If any of these groups decline to select a faculty member or do not do so in a timely manner, the President may appoint a substitute member. The Appeals Committee shall consider the appeal of any faculty member terminated under a retrenchment plan. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be the Appeals Committee chair and shall participate in all of the deliberations but shall not vote except to break a tie vote.
B. Filing an Appeal
A faculty member whose employment is to be terminated under these Procedures shall have a right to appeal in accordance only with these Procedures. No other appeal procedures within UMB are applicable. A request for appeal must be filed with the President within ten (10) working days after the effective mailing date of the notice of termination. The appeal must be in writing, include all grounds for the appeal, and state whether a hearing on the appeal is requested. The filing of an appeal shall not alter the effective date of termination.
C. Grounds for Appeal
The grounds for appeal of termination shall be limited to:
1. Error in the application of the order of termination of appointment;
2. Procedural error;
3. Insufficiency of notice of termination;
4. Whether any deviation from the usual order of termination was made without reasonable grounds for support under Section IV.C. of these Procedures; and/or
5. The termination was otherwise unlawful.
The Appeals Committee shall not consider the merits of the decision of the President concerning the initiation of retrenchment in general or the initiation of retrenchment within a particular school, program, or department. Those decisions are not appealable under these procedures. These procedures shall not prejudice any other rights that the faculty member may have as a matter of law.
1. The written appeal and supporting documents shall be forwarded by the President to the Chair of the Appeals Committee.
2. Within ten (10) working days after the President's receipt of the written appeal, the Chair of the Appeals Committee shall inform the faculty member in writing of (a) the date, time, and place for the hearing, if the faculty member requested a hearing; (b) the faculty member's right to provide the Committee with a detailed written statement of facts; and (c) the faculty member's responsibility to provide a list of witnesses and documents the faculty member plans to introduce at the hearing. The Appeals Committee must schedule the hearing to occur no earlier than 30 calendar days and no later than 45 calendar days after the President's receipt of the appeal. The Dean or his/her designee shall have the opportunity to respond to the faculty member's arguments, provide supporting materials, an answer any questions posed by the Appeals Committee.
3. No later than five (5) working days before the hearing date, the faculty member shall provide the Appeals Committee Chair and the faculty member's dean with a written statement of facts on which the appeal is based and a list of witnesses and documents to be introduced at the hearing.
4. Throughout the proceedings, the faculty member may be represented by legal counsel at the faculty member's expense. UMB will be represented by the Office of the Attorney General or its designee.
5. Each party may call and cross-examine witnesses and may present documentary evidence. Appeals Committee members 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. The Appeals Committee may exclude irrelevant or repetitious testimony.
6. The UMB administration shall cooperate with the Appeals Committee in securing witnesses and making available necessary evidence and documents. In the event that witnesses cannot appear, the Appeals Committee will determine whether, in the interest of justice, a written, notarized statement from an identified witness shall be admissible. Postponement of the hearing may be granted at the discretion of the Appeals Committee Chair upon the written request of the faculty member. The faculty member's failure to appear at the hearing shall be deemed a voluntary dismissal of the appeal.
7. The hearing shall be audio tape-recorded and a copy of the tape shall be made available to the faculty member upon request, at the faculty member's expense. Accidental erasures or poor quality of the tape-recording or failure of tape-recording equipment will not invalidate Appeals Committee determinations.
E. Final Decision Process The Appeals Committee shall make its findings by majority vote based on the record before it and shall report its findings in writing to the President with copies to the faculty member and appropriate dean, no later than ten (10) working days after the date of the conclusion of the hearing. Within ten (10) working days after the President's receipt of the Appeals Committee's findings and recommendation, the President shall issue a final written decision and mail a copy to the faculty member by U.S. certified or registered mail, return receipt requested.