- Full-Time Tenure Track Faculty (first three years of service): Full-time faculty during the first three years of service at Limestone University may be terminated without stated cause. Faculty terminated during the first three years are eligible to appeal in writing the decision of the University to the President. Faculty members who are terminated will be notified in writing by the Provost. Written notice that appointment is not to be renewed will be given to the faculty member in advance of the expiration no later than April 1 of the first or second academic year of service or December 1 of the third academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if one-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three (3) months in advance of its termination.
- Tenure Track Faculty (more than three years of service): If the department chairperson, or the dean of the school, has found that there is sufficient reason for termination, he/she shall submit a written recommendation to the Provost stating the faculty member should be terminated. The Provost will forward that recommendation, along with their own, to the President, who will make the final decision. Written notice with stated reasons that the appointment is not to be renewed will be given to the faculty member in advance of the expiration of the appointment as follows:
- At least twelve (12) months before the expiration of an appointment after three or more years of service at Limestone University. Limestone University will normally notify faculty members of the terms and conditions of their contract renewals by May 1.
- The full-time faculty member who has received notification of non-renewal of contract has the right of appeal as specifically described under “Due Process and Appeals Procedures.”
- In addition, faculty may be terminated for “cause,” that is, for professional incompetence, general ineptitude, insubordination, moral turpitude, criminal acts, and/or actions incompatible with the ideals of the University, and/or failure to comply with reasonable administrative directions. Immediate suspension may result from conviction for serious crimes or moral turpitude.
- Non-tenure Track Faculty: Full-time, non-tenure track faculty are employed on annual contracts and may be terminated without stated cause at any time during their period of service to the University. Faculty so terminated are eligible to appeal in writing the decision of the University to the President. Faculty members who are terminated will be notified in writing by the Provost.
- Tenured Faculty: For years there has been a tenure policy at Limestone. Tenure may be granted judiciously by the Board of Trustees on the basis of its value to the University as well as to the faculty. The Board of Trustees determines the number of total tenured positions to be offered.
- After gaining the status of tenure, the faculty member will have permanent and/or continuous employment at the University. However, tenured faculty can be subject to termination for “Cause” based on the following areas: professional incompetence, general ineptitude, insubordination, moral turpitude, criminal acts, and/or actions incompatible with the ideals of the University, and/or failure to comply with a reasonable administrative directive. Immediate suspension may result from conviction for serious crimes or moral turpitude.
- Material substantiating the tenured faculty member’s unfitness for continued employment due to professional incompetence and/or general ineptitude may originate from a variety of sources. Usually, the department chairperson will initiate this process with the assistance of the dean of the appropriate college. Regardless of the origin of the source of the information, material must be submitted to the Provost who in turn will forward the information to the Faculty Development Committee for review. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Provost regarding the tenured faculty member’s professional incompetence and/or general ineptitude. The Provost will make a recommendation regarding continued employment to the President, who will make the final decision subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. A tenured faculty member who has been notified of non-renewal of contract has the right of appeal according to the Due Process and Appeals Procedure.
- The principle of tenure imposes reciprocal responsibility on the University and the faculty member. The University has the responsibility of maintaining academic freedom and therefore provides tenure in order that the faculty member may be secure to do his/her scholarly work. Tenure means that an experienced faculty member may expect to continue in his/her academic position unless “cause” is demonstrated in a fair hearing, following established due process. Faculty members have the responsibility to remain current in their respective fields and to offer instruction of the highest quality. Faculty members also have the responsibility to assist the University in all recruiting activities insuring an adequate enrollment in their instructional area.
- Addition or Elimination of a Faculty Position:
- A recommendation that a faculty line be added or eliminated may come from the department, dean of a college, Provost, or President. Recommendations should be sent to the Provost by the September 15 prior to the academic year the addition or elimination of the faculty position is to occur.
- The Provost, the department chairpersons, and the dean will review the recommendation, taking into consideration its impact on the mission of the University, the academic program, finances and budget, and student enrollment. In so doing, all relevant information from the school (faculty and students) and other sources deemed important should be reviewed.
- A decision by the Provost, the department chairpersons, and the dean should be forwarded to the President, the department and school by October 1. Any faculty member or school affected by the elimination of a faculty position may appeal the decision to the President by October 15.
- The President should notify the Provost who will inform the department chairperson, dean, and the school of the President’s decision on the matter by November 1.
- In keeping with the AAUP guidelines, if a tenured faculty member’s position is eliminated, it may not be refilled within a three (3) year period without giving first priority to that faculty member.
- Financial Exigency:
- “Financial exigency” is defined in the “Recommended Institutional Regulations” of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) as “an imminent financial crisis which threatens the survival of the institution as a whole and which cannot be alleviated by less drastic means” (AAUP, 2006-page 24). The meaning of this “survival” standard is that, without removal of tenured faculty, the institution would have to close its doors; further, it implies that the institution has first tried other remedial measures before resorting to such drastic action; that a declaration of exigency is not being used as a subterfuge for anti-tenure bias; and that termination resulting from exigency are applied evenly, using objective standards.
- In the event that the Board of Trustees of Limestone University determines, and declares publicly, that financial exigency exists, the Provost and the Dean’s will seek input from faculty and will make a recommendation to the President regarding reduction in force. The President will, in turn make a final recommendation to the Committee on Instruction and Academic Policies of the Board of Trustees.
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