Procedures for Non-Renewal | Albright College

Procedures for Non-Renewal

VI.  Procedures for Non-Renewal of Probationary Appointments Prior to ACRT and Chief Academic Officer Tenure

A.   Valid Basis for an Appeal

If a probationary faculty member alleges that a decision not to renew his or her appointment was (1) based in whole or in part on considerations violative of (a) academic freedom or (b) discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status or disability; and (2) that the deliberations on which such determination was based did not conform to the procedures set forth in the Handbook for such deliberation; the Faculty Appeals Committee shall have exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate such allegations, and the Faculty Appeals Committee shall adjudicate such allegations pursuant to the provisions set forth in this Handbook.

B.   Non-renewal of Probationary Appointments Prior to the ACRT and Chief Academic Officer’s Tenure Recommendations 

1.   This section describes the procedural standards that apply only to determinations not to renew probationary appointments made prior to the probationary faculty member’s tenure recommendations by the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer.  It does not apply to non-renewal of such appointments caused by the discontinuance of a department of instruction or a program of instruction; or the grounds of a medical condition precluding the faculty member’s discharge of his or her duties or creating a hazard to the health or safety of members of the College community; or a validly declared state of financial exigency at the College; or professional unfitness for adequate cause (see Section VII. of this Faculty Handbook).

2.   If non-renewal of a probationary appointment is based upon enrollment trends, plans for departments and programs, and budgetary factors, then no full-time faculty replacement shall be hired for three years after the non-renewal without first giving the non-renewed faculty member the first right of refusal.

C.   Notification of Non-renewal

Written notice that a probationary appointment is not to be renewed shall be given to the faculty member in advance of the expiration of her/his appointment, as follows:

1.   Not later than March 15 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that academic year; or, if a one-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination;

2.   Not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that academic year; or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least six months in advance of its termination;

3.   At least 12 months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years of service at the College.

4.   The faculty member’s salary at the time such notice is given shall remain in effect until the termination becomes effective.

D.   Procedure for Filing/Form of a Notice of intention to Appeal

1.   Where the faculty member disagrees with the recommendation of the President, the faculty member shall list the grounds for his or her appeal.  This will include a brief but not necessarily comprehensive summary of facts which are seen as supporting the grounds of the appeal.  An appeal shall be initiated by submission of a notice of intention to appeal  to the Chairperson of the Faculty Appeals Committee, with copies to the President, the Chief Academic Officer, by no later than two weeks following the faculty member’s receipt of notification of non-renewal of his or her appointment. The notice of appeal shall be in the following form: “To the Chair of the Faculty Appeals Committee: I hereby give timely notice of my intention to appeal the non-renewal of my appointment. I base my appeal on the following ground(s):                                                                                          .

2.   If the notice of appeal does not state one or more of the grounds for appeal set forth in Section VI.A. above, it shall be mandatory that the Faculty Appeals Committee conclude, and so notify the appellant, with copies of such notification to the President, the Chief Academic Officer, and the department chair, as follows: “The Faculty Appeals Committee has received your notice of intention to appeal the non-renewal of your probationary appointment. Your notice fails to state one or more valid grounds (as such grounds are set forth at Section VI.A. of this Handbook) for such appeal. The Faculty Appeals Committee is therefore required by the provisions of Section VI.A. of this Handbook to, and hereby notifies you that it does, dismiss your appeal.”

3.   If the notice of appeal does state one or more of the grounds for appeal set forth in Section VI.A. above, the Faculty Appeals Committee shall notify the appellant, with copies of such notification to the President, the Chief Academic Officer, and the department chair as follows: “The Faculty Appeals Committee has received your notice of intention to appeal the non-renewal of your probationary appointment. Your notice states one or more valid grounds (as such grounds are set forth at Section VI.A. of this Handbook) for such appeal. The Faculty Appeals Committee, therefore, hereby notifies you, pursuant to Section VI.E. of this Handbook, that the Committee will adjudicate your appeal. You are directed to submit one signed original and four copies of your appeal to the Chair of the Faculty Appeals Committee by not later than four weeks after the Faculty Appeals Committee’s acceptance of the appeal. The required content of an appeal of the non-renewal of a probationary appointment is set forth at Section VI.E. of this Handbook.”

E.   Content of the Appeal

1.   The appeal shall be accompanied by the following statement, signed by the appellant faculty member: “I understand that adjudication of my appeal of the non-renewal of my probationary appointment requires the Faculty Appeals Committee to receive and examine the entire record of the deliberations upon which such non-renewal was based. I hereby consent to the presentation of all such material to, and the examination of all such material by, all members of the Faculty Appeals Committee.”

2.   The appeal shall be signed and dated by the appellant faculty member. The appeal shall contain the following:

a.   A statement of the grounds upon which the faculty member bases his or her appeal; such statement shall include no grounds not set forth in the faculty member’s notice of intent to appeal.

b.   A summary statement of the facts upon which the faculty member relies in his or her appeal.

c.   A list of such documents or other written material, if any, as the faculty member has included in the appeal and which the faculty member contends contain information that supports the appeal.

d.   A summary of the faculty member’s argument in support of the appeal.

e.   The faculty member’s argument in support of the appeal.

F.   Functions and Procedures of the Faculty Appeals Committee

1.   The adjudication of the appeal by the Faculty Appeals Committee shall determine whether, in the judgment of the Faculty Appeals Committee, the faculty member has established, by clear and convincing evidence properly before the Faculty Appeals Committee, (a) that the decision appealed from was based in whole or in part upon considerations violative of (i) academic freedom or (ii) discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status or disability; or (b) was made on grounds or by a process that failed to conform to the procedures set forth in the Handbook for such deliberation.

2.   The appellant faculty member shall have the burden of proof in establishing, by clear and convincing evidence properly before the Faculty Appeals Committee, one or more of the allegations set forth in Section VI.A above.

3.   The Faculty Appeals Committee shall review all material submitted to it by the appellant and by the Chief Academic Officer to determine whether the appellant has established, by clear and convincing evidence properly before the Faculty Appeals Committee, that one or more of the procedural violations alleged by the appellant to have occurred in connection with the decision not to renew his or her probationary appointment did in fact occur and, if such violation did occur, whether the decision not to renew the appellant’s probationary appointment was based, in whole or in part, upon such violative process or criterion.

4.   If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that the appellant has established by clear and convincing evidence properly before the Faculty Appeals Committee that one or more of the procedural violations alleged by the appellant has occurred, the Faculty Appeals Committee shall so state in writing. Such writing shall include a description of the factual material or analytical statement(s) in the record that the Faculty Appeals Committee finds to be violative of procedures established at the College, as set forth in the Handbook; an explanation of why the Faculty Appeals Committee finds such material or statement(s) violative of such procedures; and instructions with respect to the step or steps to be taken by the Chief Academic Officer, upon reconsideration of the decision, to assure that the decision following such reconsideration has been arrived at solely on the basis of information and through such analysis as conform(s) to the procedures and criteria of the College, as set forth in this Handbook.

5.   If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that the appellant has not established by clear and convincing evidence properly before the Faculty Appeals Committee that one or more of the procedural violations alleged by the appellant has occurred, the Faculty Appeals Committee shall so state in writing.  Such writing shall include a description of the Faculty Appeals Committee deliberations, set forth with sufficient specificity to permit a subsequent, determination of the adequacy of the consideration given by the Faculty Appeals Committee to the appeal.

6.   A copy of the Faculty Appeals Committee statement, signed by all members of the Committee concurring with the statement, shall be transmitted to the appellant, to the Chief Academic Officer and to the department chair.  There shall be no further appeal of the decision.  The Chief Academic Officer shall have the opportunity to respond to the Faculty Appeals Committee statement.  This response shall become part of the written record.

G.   Reconsideration of a Non-Renewal Decision

If, upon reconsideration, the non-renewal decision is reaffirmed, there is no further appeal.