Faculty Senate Minutes: Special Session

April 11, 2007

 

Officers attending: Nick Reeder, President; Jackie Myers, Vice President; James Brooks, Secretary

 

Senators attending: Moez Ben-Azzouz, Mark Echtner, Luis Gonzalez, Jim Houdeshell, Eric Kraus, Cindy Schoonover, Thomas Singer, Charles C. Williams

 

Senators not attending: Derek Allen, Mohamed Ali, Jennifer Barr, Amanda Romero

 

 

Nick called the special meeting to order at 3:00 pm in Rm. 7342.

 

1. Approval of Minutes

           

As a special session dedicated to a discussion of the Retrenchment Draft, minutes were not presented for approval.

 

2. Request from Tom Huguley

Nick asked for feedback regarding a special request form Tom Huguley to attend the Senate meeting of April 18.  Tom had indicated to Nick that he would like thirty minutes to provide an update about the college’s progress on AQIP.  Senators felt that given the backlog of items on our current agenda, we could not spare the time at the meeting of April 18.  Nick agreed to communicate with Tom and let him know that Senate could not accommodate him at this time.

3. Retrenchment Draft

Before proceeding with the revision of the Retrenchment Draft, Moez shared a formula to use   for the retrenchment of full-time, tenure track faculty based on two factors: date of hire and faculty rank.  Senators expressed support for the model.  Furthermore, they recommended that part-time and annually contracted faculty be removed from the model, as they are considered at-will employees.

The remainder of the meeting was spent working through the final two pages of the draft from the point Senators had left off at the meeting of March 7.  What follows are only the pages revised during the meeting.  Jim agreed to send the entire revised document to Senators prior to the meeting of April 18.

 

Faculty Retrenchment Policy 2.9.8

 

4. Termination Process and Entitlements

 

In developing this process for termination of full-time, tenure track faculty, the College’s ability to provide education of high quality will be the first consideration.  Attention also will be paid to maintaining gains which have been made in equal employment opportunity.  Part-time faculty and annually contracted faculty, as temporary, at-will employees, cannot displace full-time, tenure track faculty.

 

Consistent with these considerations, faculty will be separated using a ranking formula that combines seniority and rank to be applied in the following order:

 

·        full-time tenure track faculty who have not earned tenure (beginning with Instructor)

·        full-time tenure track faculty who have achieved tenure (beginning with Assistant Professor)

 

In all cases, the Dean may submit a request to the Senior Vice President/Provost for special consideration to be given to a particular faculty member if the release of the faculty member would result in a serious distortion of the academic program in which he/she is teaching.  To explain, “serious distortion” would apply if a faculty member had expertise relevant to a particular key course or number of key courses in a program or discipline and no other faculty member(s) had such expertise.

 

Any reduction in force of full-time, tenure-track faculty that occurs as a result of program discontinuance or contraction or financial exigency will occur only after all the following avenues to retain the faculty member have been explored:

 

·        Displaced faculty will be given priority to be rehired in any vacant faculty position for which he/she is qualified, with priority defined as preference with respect to part-time faculty, annually contracted faculty, and full-time, tenure track faculty with a lower ranking, according to the formula referenced above . The faculty member will further retain this first right of rehire for three years following the effective date of termination. If two or more persons terminated have the right to be rehired for a position, the last person identified for termination under these procedures will be offered the position first, and if it is refused, the next-to-last and so on.  In cases of equal rights to a position, the person responsible for hiring will choose the person to receive the first offer of employment. If all terminated faculty members who have rehire rights to a position refuse the employment, the position may be filled by an outside applicant.  Refusal of a position for which the individual is qualified will end a terminated faculty member's preferential right to reemployment. This refusal must be in writing.

 

·        Displaced faculty will be given the opportunity to undergo retraining, at the College’s expense, in order to be rehired in another position for which there is a likely need, provided the retraining can be accomplished within one year of the effective date of termination.  Extensions for special circumstances may be granted through the Office of the Senior Vice President/Provost.

 

In the event the full-time tenure-track faculty member is terminated as a result of retrenchment, the following minimum entitlements, not to exclude other possible benefits, will be in force:

 

 

·        Positions for which the terminated faculty member is qualified cannot be posted for a period of three (3) years unless all eligible faculty members refuse the position first.  If offered a position, the faculty member will have thirty (30) days within which to accept or decline.  If the terminated faculty member accepts the position, he/she shall be recalled at the same rank he/she held at the time of termination, without loss of seniority, rank and/or tenure, sick leave, and any other privileges and benefits achieved at the time of termination.  Further, the salary offered shall not be less than the faculty member’s salary at the time of release, adjusted to include any general salary increases granted since the time of release.  If he/she declines the position, he/she then forfeits his/her preferential rights for call back.

 

·        Faculty terminated as a result of reduction in force are eligible, as are any employees who are terminated for reasons other than gross misconduct, for continuation of medical insurance benefits under the College’s group plan.  However, faculty terminated as a result of retrenchment will be responsible for 50% of the premium, with the college providing the other 50%.  All other terms of continuation of health insurance coverage will remain per federal law.

 

·        Faculty terminated as a result of retrenchment are eligible to apply for merit, promotion, and/or tenure within the year of termination.  If approved, rank and tenure will apply if the terminated faculty member is subsequently reinstated within three years of his/her effective date of termination.  Merit-to-base awards and promotion increases would be applied to the faculty member’s new contract as if there had been no interruption in service to the college.

     

5. Termination Due Process: Notice and Appeal

 

Notice

 

The President of the College shall give written notice no later than February 1 to each full-time, tenure track faculty member affected by retrenchment.  This notice shall include a reasoned analysis of the facts supporting the decision to terminate employment.  The effective date of the termination of employment shall be as follows:

 

·        For full-time, tenure-track faculty members with up to four (4) years of service (per STRS requirements), the effective date of termination will be no earlier than the end of the current contract year.

·        For full-time, tenure-track faculty with more than four (4) years of service (per STRS requirements), or who are tenured, the effective date of termination will be no earlier than the end of the contract year following the one in which the notice to terminate has been given. 

 

Appeal

 

Within (30) days of receipt of a notice of termination, the faculty member may present in writing reasons why the decision should be rescinded or modified. This response shall be addressed to the Senior Vice President/Provost and Faculty Senate President.  Within thirty (30) days of submitting the request for reconsideration, the faculty member will meet with the Senior Vice President/Provost and Faculty Senate President or his/her designee.  Within thirty (30) days of such a meeting, the Senior Vice President/Provost and Faculty Senate President or designee will forward their recommendation(s) to the President, who will sustain or modify the decision based on all available information. The President will respond to the faculty member in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of the recommendation(s) from the Senior Vice President/Provost and President of Faculty Senate or designee.  (Note: The appeal process does not preclude the faculty member’s right to file a grievance pursuant to section 2.10.1 Faculty Grievance Procedure in the Sinclair Faculty Handbook.)

 

4. Announcements

   Next meeting: April 18, Rm. 7342, 2:30 pm.

The meeting adjourned at 4:10 pm.

Submitted by James Brooks

Approved by Senate: April 18, 2007