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3.16 Tenure

3.16.0 Tenure and Related Appeal Procedure of January 29, 1969, as Amended and Current Status (SB)

Any qualified faculty employee of the VCCS who was granted tenure in 1970, 1971, or 1972 may elect to retain tenure status or accept a multi-year appointment. As long as tenure status is retained, all rules pertaining to tenure apply. Once a tenured employee has accepted a multi-year appointment, however, he may not elect to return to tenured status.

3.16.1 Tenure (SB)

  1. Tenure shall terminate at the normal retirement age under the State Retirement Act.*
  2. Termination of employment of tenured faculty in the event of a budget cut, loss of enrollment, or a change of curriculum is recognized, but should only be used in cases of absolute necessity. Under such circumstances, tenured faculty will be given first opportunity for openings anywhere in the System for which the faculty member is qualified.
  3. In a multi-campus college of the System, tenure shall be considered to be with the whole college, and service on one campus shall transfer to other campuses within the same college.
  4. Upon voluntary transfer from one college to another in the System, the faculty member may retain tenure after a one-year probationary period at the new college.
  5. Promotion and salary are not part of the tenure system.
  6. No later than thirty (30) days following adjournment of the Annual** Session of the Virginia General Assembly, the faculty member will be informed in writing of the president's recommendation of salary and faculty rank for the coming year, subject to approval by the State Board for Community Colleges. The faculty member will have thirty (30) days in which to accept or reject in writing the proffered employment.
  7. Permissible grounds for suspension or termination of appointment of a faculty member who has tenure or whose term of appointment has not expired shall include, but are not limited to, incompetence, neglect of duty, and conduct of such a nature as to indicate that the person is not suitable to continue as a member of the faculty.
  8. When reason arises to question the continued employment of a faculty member who has tenure or whose term of appointment has not expired, the procedure shall be as follows:
    1. An appropriate administrative officer(s) of the college shall discuss the matter with the faculty member in one or more personal conferences.
    2. If adjustment does not result, the faculty member or the administration of the college may ask an informal faculty committee to assist in resolution of the problem and submit its findings of fact to the president.
    3. The president then will make a decision to retain the faculty member or to terminate his employment.
    4. If the president decides to terminate the faculty member's employment, the faculty member will be given a written statement of the charges and notice of his right to a hearing.
    5. Within ten (l0) days after notification, the faculty member may request a hearing by written notice to the president of the college. If no request is made within that time, the president may proceed to terminate the faculty member's employment without a hearing.
    6. If the faculty member requests a hearing, a written response addressing each of the president’s charges must be presented to the president within ten (10) days after the request for a hearing.
    7. The hearing shall be held by a joint faculty and administrative ad hoc committee of the college. It is recommended that this committee consist of no less than three (3) nor more than fifteen (15) persons. Two-thirds of the committee shall be faculty members selected by the faculty. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the president from the administrative staff and/or faculty. The hearing shall be upon written charges submitted by the president. The hearing committee shall meet within thirty (30) days after the faculty member responds to the charges. The faculty member shall have the right to counsel at his own expense, the right to present and cross-examine witnesses, the right to examine all documents and demonstrative evidence, and the right to a copy of the transcript of the proceedings furnished at no expense to him. The president, or his delegate or counsel, may participate in the hearing, present evidence, and present and cross-examine witnesses.
    8. In reaching its decision, the hearing committee shall consider only evidence presented at the hearing and such oral or written arguments as the committee, in its discretion, may allow. Evidence regarding the general competence and professional and moral fitness of the faculty member shall always be deemed relevant. The committee shall decide by majority vote whether the evidence, considered in the light of the faculty member's general competence and professional and moral fitness, justifies a finding that the faculty member is unfit to continue as a member of the faculty. It shall make its written recommendation accordingly, and shall transmit the recommendation to the faculty member and to the president. The president shall take such action on the recommendation(s) as he deems appropriate.
    9. Within ten (10) days after written notice to him of the final decision of the president, the faculty member may appeal in writing the president's decision to the college board, and the college board may accept or reject jurisdiction of the case.
    10. If the faculty member is dissatisfied with the college board's decision, or should the college board decline to accept jurisdiction of the case, within ten (10) days after receipt of the written notice of the board's final decision, the faculty member may appeal in writing to the Chancellor of the Community College System.
    11. If in appealing to the Chancellor, the faculty member requests in writing a hearing, the Chancellor of the Community College System shall conduct the hearing or, at his discretion, he may appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The president may appoint legal counsel or other designated representative to present the college's case, and the faculty member shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel or by other representative(s) of his choice at his own expense.

      A transcript of evidence from the earlier hearing will be made a part of the record. In addition, only new evidence not available at a previous hearing may be introduced by the faculty member, but additional evidence deemed to be necessary by the Chancellor or his representative may be presented at the hearing. The faculty member shall have the right to present and cross-examine witnesses and the right to examine all documents and demonstrative evidence.

    12. If requested in writing within ten (10) days after the Chancellor's final decision, the faculty member shall have an appeal as a matter of right to the State Board for Community Colleges whose decision shall be final. No new evidence may be presented, except by the mutual consent of the parties, and the case shall be considered on the record of all preceding hearings.

3.16.2 Tenure Appeal Procedures (SB)

For tenured faculty dismissed prior to completion of an appointment, the appeals procedure shall be as stated in 3.16.1 - h. 4. of the Tenure Policy.

*At the time the Tenure Policy was approved by the State Board, the mandatory and normal retirement age were both age 65. The 1987 General Assembly revised Section 51-111.54 of the Code of Virginia by removing the mandatory retirement age. Section 5l-lll.l0 of the Code of Virginia defines the normal retirement age as age 65. Tenure will terminate effective with the retirement of the tenured faculty member.

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