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FACULTY & STAFF | FACULTY MANUAL | OFFICE OF FACULTY SENATE

Tenured Review Board

III. TERMINATION OF TENURED FACULTY CAUSES

Termination or dismissal of a tenured member of the faculty shall be only for cause. Cause shall mean one or more of the following:

  1. failure to perform adequately the duties of the position so as to constitute incompetence and/or habitual neglect of duty;
     
  2. misconduct related directly and substantially to the fitness of the faculty member in the professional capacity as teacher or researcher;
     
  3. conduct or action not protected by the Constitution or laws and which is a clear interference with the academic functions of the University;
     
  4. prolonged inability for medical reasons to perform the duties required for the position; termination of a tenured member of the faculty for medical reasons will be based upon clear and convincing medical evidence that the faculty member cannot continue to fulfill the terms and conditions of appointment;
     
  5. lapse or withdrawal of licensure to practice in the state of South Carolina or withdrawal of admitting privileges to affiliated teaching hospitals with respect to clinical faculty in the School of Medicine; the loss of licensure in any other professional area may also be considered as a cause for termination if the license is necessary for the performance of one's academic duties;
     
  6. bona fide reduction in staff, which may be caused by financial exigency or by discontinuance or reduction in size of a program or instructional unit for reasons not related to financial exigency.

    Failure to make substantial progress toward meeting the performance goals of a development plan established through the post-tenure review process may expose a faculty member to proceedings for termination of tenure under this chapter.
PROCEDURES

A. TERMINATION FOR FAILURE TO PERFORM DUTIES DUE TO INCOMPETENCE AND/OR HABITUAL NEGLECT OF DUTY; TERMINATION FOR CONDUCT AS SPECIFIED IN 2 AND 3 ABOVE; MEDICAL REASONS; TERMINATION FOR LAPSE OR WITHDRAWAL OF LICENSE.
  1. Discussion with the president.

    After it becomes evident to the president that termination may be desirable, there must be discussion between the faculty member and the president with the intent of arriving at a mutually agreed upon resolution.
     
  2. Re-Assignment.

    The president may assign the faculty member to new duties if the faculty member's continuance in normal duties threatens immediate harm to that faculty member or to others.
     
  3. Faculty Advisory Committee Review.

    If the president and the faculty member are unable to reach a resolution, the president shall inform the Faculty Advisory Committee of his or her desire to terminate a tenured member of the faculty. The president shall give this committee a statement of charges, framed with reasonable particularity, and the factual basis for these charges, also stated with reasonable particularity. The function of the committee shall be to determine whether the facts alleged, if true, would establish the charge and whether the charge is of such a nature as to warrant termination. The discussions, records, and recommendations of the committee shall remain confidential.

    The committee shall inform in writing both the president and the faculty member of its recommendations and its reasons therefore. Should the president then wish to pursue termination proceedings he or she shall, by letter, inform the faculty member of the intention to terminate, including a precise statement of specific charges. The letter shall also inform the faculty member of the member's right to request a hearing on this decision by the Tenure Review Board. (See below)

    If the faculty member takes no action within ten days of receipt of notification by the president, the president, without recourse to further proceedings, may send a written letter of termination.
     
  4. Tenure Review Board Hearings.

    If the faculty member desires a hearing by the Tenure Review Board, the member must so inform the board and the President in writing within ten days of receipt of notification by the president of the proposed termination.

    Upon receipt of a written request for a hearing, the chair of the Tenure Review Board shall schedule a hearing no sooner than 20 days and no later than 60 days from the date of receipt. All parties must be given written notice as to time, date, and place.

    The board may hold joint pre-hearings with the parties in order to simplify the issues, effect stipulations of facts, or for other appropriate objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious. At this stage, members of the board may disqualify themselves for bias or interest, and the parties involved may raise the question of disqualification. The Senate Steering Committee shall appoint new members to fill vacancies created on the Tenure Review Board for this particular hearing.

     The following standards and procedures shall apply in the conduct of the hearing:
     
    1. The hearing shall be closed.
       
    2. A verbatim record of the hearing or hearings will be taken
      and a copy made available to the faculty member on request and without cost.
       
    3. The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the president and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record, as established at the hearing, considered as a whole.
       
    4. The faculty member may choose an academic advisor and/or counsel to be present during the proceedings.
       
    5. The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The president will cooperate with the board in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence.
       
    6. The board may grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence to which a valid claim of surprise is made.
       
    7. The faculty member and advisor or counsel and the president or representative will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear but the board determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the board will identify the witnesses, disclose statements, and, if possible, provide for interrogatories.
       
    8. The board will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
       
    9. The findings of fact and the decision of the board will be based solely on the hearing record.

      If the Tenure Review Board concludes that adequate cause for termination has been established, it shall so inform the President and the faculty member.

      If the board concludes that action short of termination would be more appropriate, it shall so inform the president and the faculty member, together with supporting reasons, and the termination proceedings shall stop at this point.

      If the board concludes that adequate cause for termination has not been established, it shall so inform the president and the faculty member, together with supporting reasons, and the termination proceedings shall stop at this point.
       
  5. Final Disposition and Appeals

    Within ten days of receipt of the board's report, the president shall inform in writing the faculty member and the board of his or her decision together with supporting reasons. The president shall inform the faculty member of the right to appeal an adverse decision to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, sitting in consultation with the Faculty Liaison Committee. If the faculty member takes no action within ten days of receipt of notification by the president, the president may send a letter of termination.

    The decision by the Academic Affairs Committee is final within the university. If the committee's decision is to support the intention of the president, the president may then send formal notification of termination.
From: THE FACULTY MANUAL
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA COLUMBIA

Latest Revision Date: June 29, 2006
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