Montana State University
SECTION CONTENTS

1410.00  Resignation

1420.00  Non-Renewal of Probationary Appointments

1430.00  Termination of Tenurable Faculty
1431.00    Board of Regents Policy on Retrenchment
1432.00    Board of Regents Policy on Termination for Cause

1410.00 Resignation

Employees on Board of Regents contracts or Letters of Appointment shall complete the term of service stated in their contract. Only under exceptional circumstances may an employee request release from their contract. Such a request should be made at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the end of service.

Employees must submit a written letter of resignation to their immediate supervisor, indicating the reason for resigning and the effective date of their resignation. If the supervisor agrees to the contract release, he or she shall process a Personnel Record Form effecting the termination and attach a copy of the letter of resignation.


1420.00 Non-Renewal of Probationary (Tenure Track) Appointments
[MUS Policy 706.1 (3), [Effective November 18, 1999; Issued December 10, 1999]

A TENURABLE APPOINTEE WITH PROBATIONARY STATUS (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS A PROBATIONARY APPOINTEE) HAS THE RIGHT TO SERVE THE SPECIFIED TERM OF THE APPOINTMENT AND MAY NOT BE DISCHARGED WITHOUT CAUSE DURING THAT TERM.

REAPPOINTMENT OF PROBATIONARY APPOINTEES SHALL BE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE EMPLOYER. WRITTEN NOTICE OF NON-RENEWAL OF A PROBATIONARY APPOINTEE SHALL BE MAILED OR GIVEN BY THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR OR HIS DESIGNEE BY MARCH 1 OF THE FIRST YEAR OF SERVICE, BY DECEMBER 15 OF THE SECOND YEAR OF SERVICE, AND BY JUNE 30 PRIOR TO THE FINAL YEAR OF APPOINTMENT IN THE THIRD OR LATER YEARS OF SERVICE.

FAILURE TO PROVIDE A PROBATIONARY APPOINTEE WITH THE REQUIRED NOTICE PERIOD SHALL NOT RESULT IN AUTOMATIC REAPPOINTMENT OR CREATE ANY RIGHT FOR AN ADDITIONAL TERM. THE EMPLOYER SHALL HAVE THE OPTION OF PROVIDING EMPLOYMENT OR SEVERANCE PAY IN LIEU OF ANY PORTION OR ALL OF THE NOTICE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED, SO LONG AS THE EXTENSION OF EMPLOYMENT OR SEVERANCE PAY IS COMMENSURATE WITH THE NOTICE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS OTHERWISE ENTITLED.


1430.00 Termination of Tenurable Faculty

1431.00 Board of Regents Policy on Retrenchment
[MUS Policy 710.2.1, March 10, 1980; Effective November 18, 1999; Issued December 10, 1999]

Policies and procedures governing nonrenewal of deans, assistant and associate deans, directors, department heads, and others performing administrative functions are found in Section 750.30 of the Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual.

THE BOARD OF REGENTS MAY TERMINATE TENURED FACULTY MEMBERS OF A CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM FOR REASONS OF FINANCIAL EXIGENCY OF THAT CAMPUS OR DISCONTINUANCE OR REDUCTION OF A PROGRAM OR DEPARTMENT OF INSTRUCTION.

1. FINANCIAL EXIGENCY

FINANCIAL EXIGENCY EXISTS WHEN A UNIVERSITY SYSTEM CAMPUS'S BUDGET FOR FACULTY MEMBER SERVICES IS INSUFFICIENT TO SUSTAIN THE CURRENT NUMBER OF FACULTY POSITIONS TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ANTICIPATED ATTRITION AND NON-RENEWAL OF PROBATIONARY APPOINTMENTS.

2. PROGRAM REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE

STAFFING IN A PROGRAM OR DEPARTMENT MAY BE DISCONTINUED OR REDUCED FOLLOWING:

A. A SYSTEM-WIDE OR CAMPUS LEVEL REVIEW OF THE PARTICULAR PROGRAM OR DEPARTMENT, OR

B. A SUSTAINED DECLINE IN ENROLLMENT OR SHIFT IN STUDENT INTERESTS ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE PROGRAM OR DEPARTMENT.

EACH CAMPUS MAY DEVELOP SEPARATE PROCEDURES TO IMPLEMENT THESE POLICIES.

IN THE ABSENCE OF SEPARATE CAMPUS PROCEDURES APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS UPON RECOMMENDATION BY THE COMMISSIONER THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES SHALL APPLY.

PROCEDURES:

THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR WILL PREPARE A PRELIMINARY REPORT WITH RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN HE BELIEVES TERMINATION OF TENURED FACULTY AT HIS CAMPUS IS NECESSARY UNDER THIS POLICY. THE REPORT SHALL EXPLAIN THE NEED TO INVOKE THIS POLICY, AND SHALL INCLUDE A PROJECTION OF THE NUMBER OF TENURED FACULTY INVOLVED, THE PROGRAMS OR DEPARTMENTS WHERE THE TERMINATIONS WILL OCCUR, AND ANY RELEVANT DATA. THIS REPORT SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO AN AD HOC CAMPUS COMMITTEE AT LEAST 60 DAYS BEFORE THE MATTER IS CONSIDERED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND BY THE BOARD.

IN DETERMINING WHETHER THIS POLICY SHOULD BE INVOKED AND IN SELECTING THE AREAS WHERE THE TERMINATIONS WILL OCCUR, CONSIDERATION SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE CAMPUS'S RESPONSIBILITY TO OFFER AN APPROPRIATE RANGE OF COURSES AND PROGRAMS AND TO MAINTAIN A BALANCED INSTITUTIONAL EFFORT THAT IS RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS AND THE STATE.

THE AD HOC COMMITTEE SHALL CONSIST OF SIX FACULTY MEMBERS, THREE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR, THREE APPOINTED BY THE FACULTY SENATE, AS WELL AS ONE STUDENT APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE STUDENT GOVERNING BODY. NO MEMBER MAY BE FROM ANY PROGRAM OR DEPARTMENT AFFECTED BY THE PRESIDENT'S REPORT. THE MEMBERS MUST BE APPOINTED BY THE APPROPRIATE APPOINTING AUTHORITY WITHIN 5 DAYS FOLLOWING REQUEST BY THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR. THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR SHALL MAKE THE APPOINTMENTS IF THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY FAILS TO DO SO.

THE AD HOC COMMITTEE SHALL AFFORD AFFECTED PROGRAMS AND DEPARTMENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR'S AND COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDATIONS. THE COMMITTEE SHALL COMPLETE ITS WORK WITHIN 45 DAYS AFTER THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR HAS SENT HIS REPORT TO COMMITTEE MEMBERS. THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR AND THE COMMITTEE MAY AGREE UPON A SINGLE REPORT, OR MAY SUBMIT SEPARATE REPORTS TO THE COMMISSIONER AND BOARD. IF THE COMMITTEE FAILS TO SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR WITHIN 45 DAYS, THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR WILL SUBMIT HIS REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER AND THE PROCEDURE WILL CONTINUE.

THE BOARD WILL MAKE THE FINAL DECISION ON TERMINATION OF TENURED FACULTY UNDER THIS POLICY FOLLOWING REVIEW AND CONSIDERATION OF THE COMMITTEE'S AND PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR'S REPORT(S) AND THE COMMISSIONER'S RECOMMENDATIONS.

TERMINATIONS WILL BE IN REVERSE ORDER OF SENIORITY BY THE DEPARTMENT OR PROGRAM WHICH HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BY THE BOARD, UNLESS AN EXCEPTION TO THE ORDER OF SENIORITY IS NECESSARY TO ASSURE THAT THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE REMAINING APPOINTEES MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROGRAMS TO BE RETAINED. SENIORITY IS MEASURED BY THE FACULTY MEMBER'S FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AT THE CAMPUS. SERVICE AS A GRADUATE ASSISTANT OR STUDENT EMPLOYEE DOES NOT COUNT AS SERVICE FOR SENIORITY PURPOSES. BETWEEN FACULTY MEMBERS OF EQUAL LENGTH OF SERVICE, THE MEMBER WITH THE GREATER NUMBER OF YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE HIGHER RANK SHALL HAVE RETENTION PRIORITY. THE ACADEMIC YEAR SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE A YEAR OF SERVICE AND NO ADDITIONAL SENIORITY SHALL BE ACCRUED FOR ANY ASSIGNMENT BEYOND THE ACADEMIC YEAR. NO TENURED FACULTY MEMBER SHALL BE TERMINATED IF NON-TENURED FACULTY MEMBERS ARE RETAINED IN THE SAME DISCIPLINE TO TEACH COURSES THE TENURED FACULTY MEMBER IS QUALIFIED AND CAPABLE OF TEACHING AS DETERMINED BY THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR.

BEFORE TERMINATING A TENURED FACULTY MEMBER UNDER THIS POLICY, THE CAMPUS WILL MAKE A REASONABLE EFFORT TO PLACE THE AFFECTED MEMBER IN ANOTHER ACADEMIC POSITION FOR WHICH HE/SHE IS QUALIFIED AT THE CAMPUS. THE POSITION OF ANY TENURED FACULTY MEMBER TERMINATED UNDER THIS POLICY WILL NOT BE FILLED FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS UNLESS THE PERSON TERMINATED HAS BEEN OFFERED REINSTATEMENT. THE PERSON SHALL HAVE THIRTY DAYS IN WHICH TO ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REINSTATEMENT.

ANY TENURED FACULTY MEMBER SELECTED FOR TERMINATION UNDER THIS POLICY SHALL BE SO INFORMED A MINIMUM OF TWELVE MONTHS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF TERMINATION. ANY TENURED FACULTY MEMBER NOTIFIED OF TERMINATION MAY APPEAL THE TERMINATION TO THE COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE BOARD OF REGENTS PURSUANT TO THE BOARD POLICY IN EFFECT WHEN THE NOTICE IS GIVEN, BUT ONLY ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE PROCEDURES CONTAINED IN THIS POLICY WERE VIOLATED.

1432.00 Board of Regents Policy on Termination for Cause
[MUS POLICY 710.2.2, MARCH 10, 1980; Effective November 18, 1999; Issued December 10, 1999]

TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT OF A FACULTY MEMBER ON CONTINUOUS TENURE, OR OF A SPECIAL OR PROBATIONARY APPOINTMENT BEFORE THE END OF THE SPECIFIED TERM OF EMPLOYMENT, MAY BE EFFECTED BY AN INSTITUTION FOR ADEQUATE CAUSE. THE EXERCISE OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM OR CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED CIVIL RIGHTS WILL NOT BE USED AS A BASIS FOR TERMINATION.

 

ADEQUATE CAUSE FOR TERMINATION INCLUDES: (A) CONVICTION OF A FELONY OR A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE SINCE COMMENCING OF EMPLOYMENT AT THE CAMPUS OR THE WILLFUL CONCEALMENT OF SUCH CRIME IN MAKING APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT; (B) UNREASONABLY ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OR UNETHICAL EXPLOITATION OF STUDENTS, EMPLOYEES OR CAMPUS VISITORS; (C) SUBSTANTIAL FAILURE TO CARRY OUT RESPONSIBILITIES OF A FACULTY MEMBER AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE; (D) FRAUD OR MISREPRESENTATION OF PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION, ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR EXPERIENCE IN CONNECTION WITH INITIAL HIRING OR IN THE SUBMISSION OF MATERIALS FOR EVALUATION FOR PROMOTION, TENURE, OR SALARY ADJUSTMENT PURPOSES; OR (E) GROSS INSUBORDINATION.

A DECISION TO TERMINATE A FACULTY MEMBER FOR CAUSE WILL BE MADE BY THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR, AFTER THE FACULTY MEMBER HAS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE, AND IF A HEARING OCCURS, FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE. THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR SHALL REVIEW AND CONSIDER THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE PRIOR TO TAKING A DECISION. THE DECISION AND ACTION OF THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR MAY BE APPEALED TO THE COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE BOARD OF REGENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH BOARD POLICY IN EFFECT WHEN THE APPEAL IS INITIATED. THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, TERMINATE THE FACULTY MEMBER PENDING APPEAL.

PROCEDURES:

(1) NOTICE. IN ALL CASES INVOLVING TERMINATION FOR CAUSE, THE PRESIDENT, CHANCELLOR OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE SHALL PREPARE A FORMAL STATEMENT OF CHARGES, FRAMED WITH REASONABLE PARTICULARITY, AND SETTING FORTH THE GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION. SAID STATEMENT OF CHARGES SHALL BE MAILED OR SERVED UPON THE FACULTY MEMBER AND A COPY SENT TO THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE. WITHIN 20 DAYS OF THE RECEIPT OF SERVICE OF THE STATEMENT OF CHARGES, THE FACULTY MEMBER WILL SUBMIT A WRITTEN RESPONSE TO THE STATEMENT AND SHALL INDICATE WHETHER HE/SHE DESIRES A FORMAL HEARING. IF NO WRITTEN RESPONSE IS RECEIVED, OR IF A FORMAL HEARING IS NOT REQUESTED WITHIN THE SPECIFIED TIME, SUCH FAILURE CONSTITUTES THE WAIVER OF THE RIGHT TO A FORMAL HEARING BY THE FACULTY MEMBER. IF THE FACULTY MEMBER HAS REQUESTED A FORMAL HEARING, THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE SHALL SET THE DATE AND TIME FOR THAT HEARING NO SOONER THAN FIVE DAYS FROM THE DATE THE FACULTY MEMBER'S RESPONSE IS RECEIVED.

(2) SUSPENSION. UNTIL THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE HAS FULLY HEARD THE TERMINATION FOR CAUSE AND MADE ITS RECOMMENDATION, THE FACULTY MEMBER MAY BE SUSPENDED, OR ASSIGNED TO OTHER DUTIES IN LIEU OF SUSPENSION, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR. THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR MAY SUSPEND A FACULTY MEMBER WHEN, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR, MATERIAL HARM OR PREJUDICE TO THE FACULTY MEMBER, THE CAMPUS, OR OTHERS IS A CONCERN. SALARY WILL CONTINUE DURING THE PERIOD OF SUSPENSION. ANY FACULTY MEMBER MAY BE SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY UPON CONVICTION IN A COURT OF LAW OF A FELONY OR A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE, OR WHEN THE FACULTY MEMBER IS ABSENT WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION OR JUSTIFICATION FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF FIVE CONTINUOUS CLASS OR REGULAR WORKDAYS.

(3) COMPOSITION OF THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE. THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE SHALL BE COMPOSED OF THREE TENURED FACULTY MEMBERS ONE APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONER, ONE BY THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR, AND ONE ELECTED BY THE FACULTY. THEY SHALL SERVE STAGGERED THREE-YEAR TERMS BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 1. MEMBERS WHO BELIEVE THEY MAY BE BIASED OR HAVE ANOTHER CONFLICT ON A SPECIFIC CASE MAY BE EXCUSED AND THEIR ALTERNATE(S) APPOINTED. ALTERNATE(S) NEEDING TO WITHDRAW WILL BE EXCUSED AND A TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT WILL BE NAMED BY THE APPROPRIATE APPOINTING AUTHORITY. EACH PARTY TO THE HEARING SHALL HAVE ONE PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE, WHICH ALLOWS EACH TO DISMISS, WITHOUT CAUSE, ONE MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE FROM TAKING PART IN THE HEARING. ANY PEREMPTORILY CHALLENGED MEMBER WILL BE REPLACED BY HIS/HER ALTERNATE, OR IF NECESSARY, A SUBSTITUTE APPOINTED BY THE APPROPRIATE APPOINTING AUTHORITY.

(4) PRIVACY. THE COMMITTEE, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR OF THE CAMPUS AND THE AFFECTED FACULTY MEMBER, WILL EXERCISE ITS JUDGMENT AS TO WHETHER THE HEARING SHOULD BE PUBLIC. HOWEVER, THE FACULTY MEMBER'S REQUEST THAT THE HEARING BE PUBLIC SHALL BE BINDING ON THE COMMITTEE. EXCEPT FOR SUCH ANNOUNCEMENTS AS MAY BE REQUIRED, NOTING THE TIME AND PLACE OF THE HEARING, STATEMENTS ABOUT THE CASE BY EITHER THE FACULTY MEMBER OR THE CAMPUS'S ADMINISTRATION WILL BE LIMITED SO FAR AS POSSIBLE UNTIL THE PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED THROUGH FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW.

(5) REPRESENTATION. DURING THE HEARING, THE FACULTY MEMBER MAY BRING AN ACADEMIC ADVISOR AND/OR COUNSEL AT HIS/HER OWN EXPENSE TO THE PROCEEDINGS. A RECORD OF THE HEARING WILL BE MADE, AND UPON REQUEST, A COPY WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE FACULTY MEMBER AT HIS/HER COST.

(6) EVIDENCE. THE FACULTY MEMBER WILL BE AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN AND PRESENT NECESSARY WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTARY OR OTHER EVIDENCE. THE FACULTY MEMBER AND THE CAMPUS WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONFRONT AND CROSS-EXAMINE ALL ADVERSE WITNESSES. WHEN A WITNESS CANNOT OR WILL NOT APPEAR, BUT THE COMMITTEE DETERMINES THAT THE INTERESTS OF JUSTICE REQUIRE ADMISSION OF HIS/HER AFFIDAVIT, THE COMMITTEE WILL IDENTIFY THE WITNESS, DISCLOSE HIS/HER AFFIDAVIT AND GIVE SUCH STATEMENT APPROPRIATE PROBATIVE WEIGHT IN VIEW OF EITHER PARTY'S INABILITY TO CROSS-EXAMINE. WHENEVER APPROPRIATE, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE COMMITTEE ON SERVICE, ADJOURNMENTS MAY BE GRANTED TO ENABLE EITHER PARTY TO INVESTIGATE EVIDENCE AS TO WHICH A VALID CLAIM OF SURPRISE IS MADE. THE COMMITTEE WILL NOT BE BOUND BY RULES OF LEGAL EVIDENCE, AND MAY ADMIT ANY EVIDENCE WHICH IS OF PROBATIVE VALUE IN DETERMINING THE ISSUES INVOLVED PROVIDED HOWEVER, EVERY REASONABLE EFFORT WILL BE MADE TO OBTAIN THE MOST RELIABLE EVIDENCE AVAILABLE.

(7) REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE. THE COMMITTEE SHALL PREPARE A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF FINDINGS OF FACT AND RECOMMENDATION, WHICH SHALL BE DELIVERED TO THE FACULTY MEMBER AND THE PRESIDENT OR CHANCELLOR WITHIN TEN DAYS FOLLOWING CONCLUSION OF THE HEARING. THE FINDINGS OF FACT SHALL BE BASED ON A PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD CONSIDERED AS A WHOLE, AS DETERMINED BY A MAJORITY OF THE COMMITTEE.

 


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