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Faculty Sanctions

3.12 Faculty Sanctions

Purpose: To provide fair and objective methods of addressing behavior and performance issues that interfere with the maintenance of high standards of professional conduct and work performance.

3.12.0 Definitions

  1. Dismissal -- Dismissal is the involuntary termination of employment of faculty during the terms of their appointment.
  2. Insubordination -- Insubordination is the refusal or deliberate failure to comply with a directive of a supervisor when such directive is within the scope of authority/responsibility of the supervisor.
  3. Misconduct -- Misconduct is any criminal, immoral, or unprofessional act occurring while working for or representing the institution or any such act while on the premises of the institution or at sponsored events. Misconduct shall include, without limitation, unauthorized taking or use of any State property, conflicts of interest, engaging in or contributing to any assault, physical abuse or threats of harm, misusing authority for personal gain or favors, unlawful discrimination, harassment and any act that materially affects or interferes with the performance of one’s responsibilities or the operations of the institution.
  4. Nonreappointment -- Nonreappointment is the decision not to renew the appointment of a faculty member at the end of the current appointment period.
  5. Suspension -- The required absence from work with or without pay that is imposed as part of a disciplinary action or to remove the faculty member from the workplace pending an investigation related to conduct or a court action.

3.12.1 Nonreappointment

  1. Coverage -- Full-time and regular part-time faculty in unrestricted positions are covered by the provisions of this section.
  2. Reasons for Nonreappointment -- Faculty may be nonreappointed only for just cause. Permissible grounds for nonreappointment shall include but are not limited to incompetence, unsatisfactory job performance, insubordination, or misconduct.
  3. Procedure -- The immediate supervisor shall schedule a conference with the faculty member. During the conference, the faculty member shall be informed of the immediate supervisor's intention to recommend nonreappointment and provided a written copy of the reasons for the recommendation. The faculty member shall have up to five (5) business days to discuss and/or respond to the recommendation in writing. If the supervisor recommends nonreappointment after consideration of any response from the faculty member, a copy of the recommendation, response and any other pertinent materials shall be forwarded to the vice president/executive vice president/provost. In circumstances involving a direct report of a vice president/executive vice president/provost, the vice president/executive vice president/provost’s recommendation or decision is binding. In cases involving a vice president, executive vice president, provost, or direct report to the president, the president’s decision is binding. The faculty member shall be notified in writing of the final decision regarding nonreappointment.

    Nothing in the procedure described herein shall prevent the president or the president's designee from taking appropriate action to not reappoint a faculty member.

  4. Time Frames -- The notification of nonreappointment shall be sent to the faculty member not later than the following dates:
    1. March 15 during the probationary, second year of employment, and third year of employment as teaching faculty in the VCCS.
    2. January 15 for teaching faculty in the last year of a multi-year appointment; and other teaching faculty who are on one year appointments, but who are not in their probationary, second, or third year of employment.
    3. January 15 for administrative and professional faculty.

3.12.2 Dismissal

  1. Coverage -- All faculty are covered by this policy.
  2. Use in Dismissal Cases -- Suspension of faculty is not to be used routinely in possible dismissal cases. Such use is justified only if a substantial threat to the welfare of the institution can reasonably be interpreted as meaning that the faculty member’s continuance at the institution will cause immediate harm to the faculty member or others or materially affects or interferes with the performance of one’s responsibilities, or the operations of the institution. The president shall determine whether suspensions are with or without pay, within legal guidelines.
  3. Procedure -- Nothing in the procedure described herein shall prevent the president or the president's designee from suspending a faculty member. Prior to taking such action, vice president/executive vice president/provost shall inform the affected faculty member of the reason for the suspension and provide the faculty member an informal opportunity to respond to the allegations.
  4. Investigations -- The vice president/executive vice president /provost shall ensure that an investigation be conducted and completed within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of the start of the suspension. Upon conclusion of the investigation, court action, or official investigation, the faculty member may be disciplined, dismissed, suspended, or reinstated from suspension as the vice president/executive vice president/provost determines to be appropriate under the circumstances.
  5. Though suspensions are generally with pay, a suspension without pay for up to thirty (30) work days may be utilized as a disciplinary action in lieu of dismissal.

3.12.4 General Provisions

  1. Academic Freedom -- Faculty sanctions shall not be used to restrain faculty in their exercise of constitutional rights or academic freedom as set forth in the Statement of Academic Freedom and Responsibility adopted by the State Board.
  2. Appeals -- Decisions made under the provisions of the Sanctions policy may be appealed through the Faculty Grievance Procedure.
    1. Appeals of nonreappointments, dismissals, and suspensions must be filed within twenty (20) work days after receipt of notification of nonreappointment, dismissal or suspension.
    2. Adjunct Faculty may appeal suspension and dismissal issues to the end of Level Two of the Faculty Grievance Procedure.
    3. Associate Instructors may appeal dismissals and suspension issues to the end of Level Three of the Faculty Grievance Procedure
  3. Extension of Time -- Every effort shall be made by all parties to expedite the process. The time limitations specified for either party may be extended by mutual written agreement.
  4. Delivery of Notices -- When giving notice of action or requesting appeal, it is the author's responsibility to make all reasonable effort to ensure that the person(s) designated to receive such notices and requests receive(s) them personally. Personal delivery by the author or certified mail with return receipt or other delivery forms that provide a receipt should be used for the delivery of notices and requests when appropriate.