A. FACULTY GOVERNANCE BODIES
The University as a whole and its principal administrative units have faculty committees that determine academic policy and advise the academic administrators on a range of issues. These bodies are established to insure full faculty participation in matters of broad university interest by sharing responsibility with the Administration and Board of Directors in the conduct of university affairs.
1. University Faculty Senate
The University Faculty Senate has members from all three campuses. It formulates academic policy at the University level, and advises the President and Board of Directors on central fiscal and administrative decisions that affect the mission of the University. The President and other officers of the Senate are elected by the Senate. The Constitution of the Faculty Senate is Section III. F. of the Faculty Handbook.
2. Campus Executive Faculties
Each campus has an Executive Faculty which formulates academic policy for the campus as a whole. Their members are selected in different manners, according to their constitutions, from across the campuses they govern. All three advise the Provost or Executive Vice President for their campus on fiscal and administrative matters as well as academic policies. The Executive Vice Presidents of the Medical Center and the Law Center chair their respective Executive Faculties. The Chair of the Main Campus Executive Faculty is elected by its members.
3. School Executive Councils
Each school on the Main Campus has an Executive Council that is the educational policy making body for that school. Members of the Executive Councils are selected from across the school they govern by the procedure specified in their constitution. The Dean of the School is the Chair of its Executive Council.
The Chair of a Department is appointed by the President, based on recommendations of the Department faculty (or a search committee including Department faculty) and the relevant academic officers.
The Chair consults regularly with the Dean(s) of the School(s), to whom he or she is responsible. The Chair is responsible for:
- Ensuring that the Department conforms to all University, Campus, and School policies.
- Establishing and administering all Departmental policies and procedures, and for acting in accordance with all established policies.
- Supervising the members of the Department in academic and technical matters, and promoting the highest possible grade of research and instruction in the Department. The Chair or a designee may visit any class to monitor and ensure the quality of instruction.
- Selecting the courses to be taught in the Department.
- Recommending to the Dean changes in curricula in the light of trends and developments in the Department's area of study.
- Calling and presiding at meetings of the Department, which are normally held monthly throughout the academic year, and seeing to it that minutes are prepared and put on record.
- All expenditures by the Department, and preparing budgets for the next fiscal year.
- All official correspondence of the Department.
- Recommending, in accordance with the Department's procedures, annual merit increases to the Dean(s) for all faculty members and academic staff of the Department.
- Communicating to the Dean(s) the Department's recommendations on faculty candidates for appointment, tenure or promotion.
- The timely purchase and acquisition of textbooks and other educational materials for courses in the Department.
- The purchase of all books, apparatus, equipment, and supplies for the Department, and for their maintenance, storage and inventory.
- The allocation of office and research space.
- In departments with graduate programs, the Chair or a designee recommends to the Graduate Dean all candidates to be admitted to the Department's masters or doctoral programs, as well as all degree candidates, fellowships and terminations.
- The Chair is jointly responsible with the Department faculty and the Dean for the progress and welfare of all students enrolled in the Department. The Chair sees to it that students pursuing degrees in the Department receive adequate direction in their selection of courses and in their preparation for comprehensive exams, independent studies, practica and theses. In the clinical departments of the Medical Center, the Chair sees to it that residents and fellows receive proper direction and supervision.
- The Chair is expected to be available as departmental needs shall require and to appoint an Acting Chair during any extended absence. Once appointed, the Acting Chair has all the powers and responsibilities of the Chair.
Appointment to the University faculty carries with it the rights and responsibilities set forth in this Faculty Handbook or in any policies, contracts, or letters of appointment applicable to the faculty member.
The responsibilities of tenure-line faculty members include teaching, research, and service. The specific responsibilities of other faculty members shall be set out in applicable campus policies and in their individual contracts or letters of appointment.
If a faculty member’s rights are violated by administrative action, he or she may seek remedy through the Faculty Grievance Procedure (Section III.G), the Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure (Section IV.A), or other applicable procedures. Failure to fulfill his or her responsibilities may subject the faculty member to appropriate disciplinary action (Section III.G.C). No failure by administrators or faculty to enforce or exercise the provisions or requirements of this Faculty Handbook shall be deemed a waiver, and no such failure to act shall affect the right at a later time to enforce or exercise these provisions or requirements or to pursue related remedies.
Faculty rights and responsibilities shall include but not be limited to the following:
1. Academic Freedom
Free inquiry and unconstrained publication of the results of inquiry are at the heart of a university. Our University commitment to academic freedom supports all faculty (and professional librarians) in research, teaching, and professional service in and beyond the University by protecting free inquiry and free expression. Faculty enjoy academic freedom in the classroom, the laboratory, the studio, the library, and all the domains of their academic activity. Academic freedom promotes intellectual honesty and requires respect for the academic rights of others. While all faculty enjoy academic freedom, this right is reinforced by the institution of tenure, whereby a select body of faculty are appointed without limit of term and under special conditions (specified elsewhere in this Handbook), and with a responsibility to participate in shared governance. The principles of academic freedom and shared governance give tenured faculty an additional responsibility to help protect all who engage in the University's research, teaching, learning, and service.
Research advances knowledge and understanding, and takes different forms in different fields. It includes scholarly inquiry, scientific investigation, and artistic expression that is published or otherwise disseminated.
a. Compliance with Applicable Regulations
Faculty members have a responsibility to comply with all regulations governing research imposed by law or University policy, including but not limited to the Conflict of Interest Policy and the policies and procedures of the Institutional Review Board, the Radiation Safety Committee, and the Animal Care and Use Committee.
b. Sabbatical Leave
Sabbatical leave is granted by the University in order to allow tenured faculty the periodic opportunity to concentrate on research. With an approved application, eligible faculty may take a sabbatical leave after every six years or twelve semesters of counted service. See section III.C.10.b.
Faculty members have the following specific responsibilities in connection with their teaching:
- To remain current in their subjects and courses.
- To instruct assigned courses, as scheduled or otherwise approved (promptly beginning and ending each class), on the assigned subject, at the assigned level, and with the degree of rigor/standards appropriate to that level.
- To select the materials and approach in assigned courses, make the assignments, and evaluate student academic performance, except when Department or School policy specifies the allocation of authority in team taught or multi-section courses, or when the objectives, materials, and assignments in courses are part of a structured curriculum.
- To have the course approved by a duly authorized faculty review body if required by department, school, or campus policy.
- To set out in writing clear and appropriate expectations for students at the beginning of the course.
- To make arrangements to cover or reschedule any class missed.
- To foster free discussion, inquiry, and expression in the classroom while maintaining the course’s academic standards and objectives.
- To take appropriate steps to ensure that required books and other course materials are accessible when needed.
- To hold office hours, or the equivalent consistent with campus policy, and to be available to students outside the classroom on a regular and reasonable basis throughout the academic year, including registration, reading, and exam periods.
- To complete in a professional, timely and responsible manner all other teaching and academic assignments which the faculty member has accepted as, or been assigned, including for example, submitting grades, mentoring or reading dissertations or theses, administering comprehensive or qualifying exams, writing letters of recommendation, and conducting tutorials.
- To avoid using his or her position as a faculty member to coerce, intimidate, or manipulate students.
- To follow the policies and procedures of the Institutional Review Board whenever applicable to course-related activity.
- To comply with applicable department, school, or campus policies relating to teaching.
Academic freedom includes the faculty member’s right freely to evaluate student academic performance in his or her classes. A faculty member’s teaching responsibilities include providing grades in the manner and within the deadlines specified by the Registrar, doing so honestly, fairly, and without bias, using appropriate criteria and following stated procedures.
a. The grade submitted by a faculty member to the Registrar at the end of the course may be overruled only as the result of an appeal procedure approved by the faculty governance body responsible for academic policy in the campus or school governed by the policy.
i. Any such appeal procedure should be designed to protect students against evaluation in which the professor uses inappropriate criteria or ignores stated procedures and grading standards.
ii. Such procedures should provide for a faculty committee to review the appeal and authorize any resulting change in a grade.
iii. Deans may resolve an appeal only if the faculty committee fails to act in the time specified.
iv. Faculty have a responsibility to cooperate fully with grade appeals conducted according to the approved procedures.
b. The faculty member’s ability to change a grade after it has been recorded by the Registrar is limited by School policy.
c. School policies may also authorize the Registrar or Dean to record administrative Fs when faculty members fail to turn in grades, retroactively withdraw students from courses, and convert letter grades when a course is taken pass/fail.
Through service, faculty members play a central role in shaping the future of the University.
- Service includes a broad range of activities that complement and support teaching and research and contribute to the University, the profession, or the public. Service may be performed in leadership positions (e.g., committee chair, department chair, unit or program director, governance body officer) and in other roles.
- Service may be performed at any level of the University (department, program, school, campus, or University-wide). In any service to the University, faculty members have a responsibility to bring their best judgment of what constitutes good teaching and research, and of the conditions that promote them, to bear on matters of academic policy, institutional priorities, peer evaluation, faculty appointment and promotion, and selection of administrators.
- Faculty members are encouraged to provide service to their profession and the public. Through service to the public, faculty use their academic expertise to promote the public welfare. Service to the profession promotes teaching and research. Service done well involves using time and talent resourcefully to advance the good of the whole University.
- Faculty members who have a service responsibility are expected to accept a reasonable number of service assignments.
- In the evaluation of a faculty member, the quality and quantity of service at all levels of the University, as well as service to the profession or public, will be counted appropriately and equitably.
6. Commencements and Convocations
Faculty members have a responsibility to attend commencements and convocations as directed by their Executive Vice President, Dean, or Chair.
7. The Academic Year
The Academic Year of the Main Campus, the Law Center, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies runs from the beginning of the fall semester to the end of the spring semester as defined by the annual academic calendar approved by the appropriate Executive Vice President. The Academic Year for the Medical Center (except for the School of Nursing and Health Studies) runs for 12 months from July 1 to June 30.
8. Shared Governance
- Faculty members have the right and responsibility to participate in the governance of the University in accordance with the constitutions or bylaws of established governance bodies. (See Section III.A.)
- Voting members of departments and other governance bodies have a responsibility to attend its meetings.
- Faculty members have the right to seek change in department, program, school, campus, or University policy through the appropriate faculty governance body.
- Tenure-line faculty members have voting rights, and the responsibility to exercise those rights, in the academic unit of their primary appointment except as limited elsewhere in the Faculty Handbook. Tenure-line faculty members with secondary appointments may have additional voting rights as specified in campus policies.
9. Outside Professional Activities
- All faculty members are expected to belong to, and participate in the affairs of, the important professional and educational associations and societies in their respective fields.
- To the extent possible, faculty members are expected to deliver papers at meetings of professional and educational organizations and to contribute to professional and educational journals and publications at reasonable intervals. Within the limits of the budget, the Chair of the Department may authorize such active participation of a full-time faculty member in the meetings of an important society. Requests for such travel must be made in due time and must be accompanied by an estimate of cost so that the Chair may have opportunity to consider the budget. All expense accounts for authorized trips, itemized and accompanied by receipts, should be submitted through the Chair to the appropriate University Office for payment. Similar approval must be obtained in cases of travel chargeable to grants or contracts.
- A regular full-time faculty member shall not accept regular or part-time employment as a full- or part-time teacher during the academic year in another institution, without the approval of the Department Chair and the appropriate Dean(s).
- While full-time status will not afford much extra time, faculty members may serve as consultants. Such consultation or other remunerative occupation outside the University, however, should not exceed an average of eight hours a week and must not be undertaken until the Chair of the Department is satisfied that teaching, research, mentoring, and committee and other school obligations will be met.
- Occasional participation in traditional scholarly activities such as, but not limited to, service on study sections and review panels, delivery of academic seminars, the review, presentation or writing of scholarly papers, and service on editorial boards is considered part of the routine academic duty of faculty members. No advance review is required for activities of this type so long as they do not conflict with other faculty duties. Major and ongoing extramural academic commitments that are expected to require commitment of University resources and/or to conflict with other faculty duties do require advance consultation and agreement with the Department Chair, the Dean, or other appropriate administrative officer to assure that teaching, research, mentoring, and committee and other school obligations will be met.
- When Faculty members use University equipment or facilities in professional work for clients outside the University, the University shall be compensated for the actual burden, including direct costs, borne by the University for such use, and such compensation shall be at a rate determined by the Chair of the Department and the Dean of the School in question, or by other officials of the University who are concerned with the matter.
10. Absence and Leave
a. Absence during the Academic Year
Faculty members are expected to meet their applicable academic responsibilities throughout the academic year. However, absences may be necessary and are permissible to the extent that academic responsibilities are met or adequately covered and campus policies and procedures have been observed.
b. Leave Requests and Limits
Requests for leave must be made in writing by the faculty member through the Department Chair or unit director and the appropriate Dean to the EVP or Provost, whose final decision will be addressed to the faculty member in writing. The decision will take into account the proposed activity during the period of the requested leave and the impact of the faculty member's absence.
Leave approval will include a specified term of no more than four semesters (two academic or calendar years). Only in exceptional circumstances will an extended leave be approved for a consecutive period of more than four semesters up to maximum of four years. Such requests will be considered by the Provost or EVP.
Any request for consecutive leave and leave extension for a combined period of more than four years will be granted only if the proposed leave is recommended by the Provost or EVP and approved by the President. Such approval will be granted only in the most exceptional cases.
A faculty member who does not return from approved leave following the specified term will be terminated from his or her position and, as applicable, relinquish tenure.
c. Sabbatical Leave
Tenured faculty are eligible for a sabbatical leave after accruing six years or twelve semesters of counted service. Rules regarding counted semesters of service are determined by campus policy.
An application setting forth a research proposal must be in writing and should be submitted by December 1 of the academic year preceding the year of absence. Sabbatical leaves will be granted when the research proposal is meritorious, the University will not suffer undue academic inconvenience by the absence, and the faculty member is eligible for a sabbatical. Applications will be reviewed by the department chair and deans, as appropriate. Their recommendations will be forwarded to the Provost or Executive Vice President for decision.
The purpose of a sabbatical leave is to promote research. Sabbatical leaves are usually devoted exclusively to carrying out a research project, but may also consist of a course of study designed to learn new research skills essential for future projects. Any teaching or other paid professional activity during the period of the sabbatical leave must be approved by the Provost or Executive Vice President in advance of the activity. Approval will be based on whether the activity complements the approved sabbatical project.
At the Main Campus and Law Center, the terms of sabbatical leave will be either one academic year at half base salary or one semester at full base salary. At the Medical Center, the terms are six months at full base salary or twelve months at half base salary. At the end of the leave period the faculty member is to report in writing on the progress of research or formal study during that time. This report is to be submitted to the Provost or appropriate Executive Vice President upon completion of the sabbatical.
Sabbatical leave is intended to benefit the University and the individual. By the acceptance of a sabbatical leave, faculty members commit to resume their regular academic duties at Georgetown for at least one year. Faculty members who fail to honor this commitment will be required to return any salary received from Georgetown funds during their sabbatical leave.
d. Family Care Leave
Faculty members who are employed by Georgetown University to work at least 75% time are eligible for Family Care Leave.
Family Care Leave can be used for child care during the first year after the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. In the case of a woman giving birth, she first receives paid Disability Leave during the post-partum recovery period, and then she can start Family Care Leave. Family Care Leave can also be used for the serious illness of children, spouses or parents.
Because some faculty members may have close relationships with persons who do not fall exactly within the categories outlined above, but the relationships are very similar in nature to the defined ones, faculty may petition to be granted the Family Care Leave for closely similar circumstances (e.g., the serious illness of an aunt who has been a faculty member's de facto mother). There is no entitlement to such leave, however, and the decision in such cases is left to the discretion of the relevant Executive Vice President.
Applicable leaves will run concurrently with a faculty member's entitlements under the FMLA Leave Policy (link).
1. HOW FAMILY CARE LEAVE WORKS
Under the Family Care Leave policy, a faculty member may take up to four months of leave without pay or work half-time for up to four months at half pay. Upon return, the faculty member will be fully reinstated to his or her position. Also, if the family care required is periodic in nature, such as for recurring chemotherapy treatments, periodic Family Care Leave may be scheduled.
Health and other insurance benefits may be continued throughout the leave if the faculty member pays the employee portion of the premiums.
2. APPLYING FOR FAMILY CARE LEAVE
A faculty member should apply for Family Care Leave as soon as possible before starting the leave. The application must state when the Family Care Leave will start, the faculty member's best estimate of how long it will last (if possible), and the reason for seeking leave. If possible, the faculty member should schedule leave to avoid disruption of his or her responsibilities. Documentation to support the request must accompany the application.
Leave will be granted unless the faculty member's department head or dean receives permission from a committee composed of the 3 Executive Vice Presidents to deny it. If the faculty member's department head seeks permission to deny a Family Care Leave, the faculty member will receive a copy of this request. The faculty member has the right to provide the Executive Vice Presidents with a written statement of the hardship to the faculty member and his or her family which would be caused by a denial. The faculty member may also suggest ways to alleviate his or her department's hardship or state why granting the leave would not cause severe hardship to the department.
3. EXTENSIONS OF FAMILY CARE LEAVE
In certain cases, a faculty member may be able to take up to one year of Family Care Leave, but the department head or dean must approve the extended leave. The request for extension may be denied if, in the opinion of the faculty member's department head or dean, the faculty member's extended absence would seriously diminish the department's functioning. The faculty member may appeal such a denial to the appropriate Executive Vice President.
If the faculty member has used less than four months of Family Care Leave in a period of one calendar year measured from the first date of usage of Family Care Leave, and a new situation arises requiring use of Family Care Leave, the faculty member may ask to use the remaining time. This request may be denied if the faculty member's absence would seriously diminish the department's functioning. The faculty member may appeal such a denial to the appropriate Executive Vice President.
4. OPTIONS FOR UNTENURED TENURE-LINE FACULTY
Untenured tenure-line faculty may have any Family Care Leave of a semester or more excluded from the time counted for the tenure probation period. (A semester's leave means that the entire academic year in which that semester occurred will not be counted toward tenure.)
An untenured tenure-line faculty member who is in a position to take Family Care Leave but cannot afford the loss of salary, may apply to extend the 7 year tenure probationary period by one year. This will allow the untenured faculty member to teach full-time at full salary, fulfill all responsibilities regarding the supervision of students (including the supervision of graduate student research where applicable), and continue his or her service obligations, but reduce his or her research workload for one year.
An untenured faculty member must apply for extension of the tenure probation period at the time of the family care circumstance, and not at the time of seeking tenure. The one year probationary period extension may not be secured retroactively at the time of tenure consideration.
To request a one year extension, the faculty member shall submit a statement detailing his or her reason for requesting the extension. The request shall be given to the appropriate Executive Vice President via the department head and dean. The request may be denied only for lack of substantiation of the circumstances.
11. Professional Conduct
Faculty members must comply with all applicable department, program, school, campus, and University policies, and with applicable law.
b. Fair Treatment
Every member of the University has the right to be treated fairly, courteously, and professionally by students, colleagues, the Department Chair and by all members of the University administration, and to be protected from arbitrary or capricious action on the part of any such persons. Every member has a correlative responsibility to treat other members accordingly.
Faculty members are to be free from arbitrary or capricious action on the part of the University Administration with respect to the determination of his or her own individual annual compensation. In this regard, faculty members have the right to receive full information concerning all factors material to the determination of his or her own individual annual compensation, provided that an individual is not entitled to receive any information concerning the salaries or the factors material to the salaries of others, nor may the faculty member by this provision be entitled to receive any information received by the University in confidence relevant to initial appointment, the grant of tenure, promotion or retention.
Facultymembers must refrain from committing or inciting to acts of physical violence against individuals or property, or acts which interfere with the academic freedom of other persons within the University, or interfere with the freedom of speech or movement of such persons.
c. Private Speech and Action
A Faculty member has rights and responsibilities common to all citizens, free from institutional censorship. In furtherance of this principle, a Faculty member may be held accountable by the University for his or her private acts only as they substantially affect teaching, research or University service. A faculty member should not, however, speak or act for or on behalf of the University, or give the impression of doing so, unless appropriately authorized.
d. Religious Tolerance
Faculty members have a responsibility to respect the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the Georgetown community, and to recognize and respect that Georgetown University is a Jesuit university that is committed therefore to Catholic principles and religious values. Faculty members are under no obligation to conform with respect to their personal beliefs or religious practices.
e. Academic Authority, Supervisory Responsibility, and Impartiality
Faculty members, by virtue of their status in the University, wield significant power and authority over their students and supervisees.
i. Personal Services
A faculty member may not require students or supervisees to perform service that is outside the scope of their class work or job responsibilities.
To avoid unfairly exploiting the power of their position, or appearing to do so, faculty members are cautioned against asking or allowing students or supervisees to perform any service for them outside the scope of their class work or duties. If a student or supervisee does perform such service, the faculty member should ensure that the arrangement is voluntary and beneficial to the student or supervisee, that it does not interfere with the individual's education or work for the University, and that it does not influence the faculty member's evaluation of the student or supervisee.
For similar reasons, faculty members are cautioned against accepting more than token gifts from students or supervisees. (See also the “Financial Conflicts of Interest Policy,” Section IV.C.)
iii. Personal Relationships in General.
If a faculty member has any relationship with a colleague, student, or supervisee outside of the professional relationship that might affect the faculty member’s impartiality, the faculty member shall disclose the relationship to his or her own chair or dean, and may be required to recuse him or herself from certain supervisory and academic responsibilities with respect to that colleague, student, or supervisee. (See also the "Policy on consensual Sexual Relationships Between Senior and Junior Members of the University Community," Section IV.G.
iv. Teaching of Relatives.
Faculty members are prohibited from grading, formally evaluating, or serving as instructor of record for, their own relatives taking Georgetown courses for credit. Similarly, faculty members are prohibited from serving as formal advisor to their own relatives seeking degrees (including serving as a member or chair of their degree committees). Under extraordinary circumstances, the faculty member may request an exception to this policy by making a written request to the dean of the applicable school, indicating why an exception is warranted (and how conflicts of interest will be managed). In the event that the dean is teaching the course in question or has a potential conflict of interest, the written request should be submitted to the appropriate Provost or EVP. The dean or EVP will notify the student and faculty member of his or her decision and, if the exception is approved, may impose any necessary conditions to maintain fairness.
For purposes of this section, a “relative” is a spouse, parent, child, child by adoption, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, cousin, niece or nephew of the faculty member or the faculty member's spouse or child. Relative also includes “step” relationships such as a stepchild and stepparent, and anyone who shares the faculty member’s household.
Faculty members should make themselves aware of various confidentiality requirements imposed by the University and by federal laws, e.g., the University Faculty Grievance Code (Section III. G. infra), the University Procedures for Alleged Misconduct In Research (Section IV. D. infra), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Faculty members are expected to use good judgment in determining which affairs of the University are confidential, and to make conservative decisions in case of doubt. University Counsel can be consulted for advice in this regard.
g. Financial Conflicts of Interest
Faculty members must not allow outside obligations, financial interests or employment relationships to compromise their objectivity as teachers, researchers, clinicians, and administrators. In addition, members of the Georgetown University community who are supported by public funds bear a special obligation to preserve the public trust. To further these ends, Georgetown University has developed a policy for the identification and prevention of financial conflicts of interest. The full text of this policy is set out in Section IV. C.
12. Disciplinary Action
See section III-G-C of the Grievance Code
13. The University Policy Concerning Indemnification of Faculty Members
Georgetown University will defend, indemnify and hold harmless its faculty members from and against any and all expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees and disbursements, judgments or settlements, arising out of any act or failure to act by faculty members acting in good faith within the scope of their employment and in performance of their authorized or assigned duties. The University reserves the right not to defend or indemnify a faculty member where the injury or damage results from intentional wrongdoing, gross negligence, or willful violation or disregard of University policies and procedures. Nor will the University defend or indemnify a faculty member (1) in the event that the action or proceeding on a claim is brought by, on behalf of, or in the right of, the University, or (2) in the event that in the action or proceeding of the claim, the faculty member is aligned as a party adverse to the University. Acts or failures to act by faculty members rendering medical, nursing, legal, or other professional services not within the scope of their employment or not part of authorized or assigned duties are not included herein. In addition, indemnification shall not be available to a faculty member to the extent that any damage or loss is indemnifiable under other insurance covering the faculty member.
Defense and indemnification are conditional upon the delivery to the Office of the University Counsel of the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within 10 working days after service of such document.  Secondly, the University must be given the absolute and continuing right to take charge of the claim or litigation including the right to direct any litigation, to appoint counsel and to settle any and all claims in a manner deemed appropriate by the University. The University shall give prior notification to the faculty member of any settlement proposals and allow the faculty member the opportunity to comment upon the proposal and shall give reasonable consideration of such comments. To the extent that it is within its control the University shall maintain the confidentiality of all settlement proposals and agreements. Finally, the University and its counsel are to be given full assistance and continuous cooperation of the faculty member throughout the defense of any covered claim or litigation.
In deciding whether a faculty member will be defended or indemnified the University shall presume that the faculty member acted in good faith and within the scope of his or her employment until evidence to the contrary proves otherwise.
1. Faculty Appointments
A faculty member is appointed by the President or an Executive Vice President of the University. Ordinarily, a faculty member is appointed to a department, school, or other academic unit, and may have one or more joint appointments. A faculty member’s title, rank, responsibilities, and full- or part-time status are determined by the Executive Vice President or President, and specified in the letter of appointment before the effective date of the appointment.
A tenure-line faculty member is a faculty member who is tenured or tenure eligible as specified in the letter of appointment.  A tenure-line faculty member is full-time and holds one of the four academic ranks: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. The responsibilities of tenure-line faculty members include teaching, research, and university service.
The responsibilities of faculty who are not tenure-line include teaching and/or research, and may include service. They may hold various titles defined in the three campuses in addition to those denoting the academic ranks.
Unless explicitly specified otherwise, the rights and responsibilities set out for faculty in this Handbook are applicable to all faculty, tenure-line or not tenure-line, part-time as well as full-time.
In recognition of their role in teaching and research, individuals appointed as professional librarians share certain faculty rights and responsibilities specified in the Faculty Handbook. Professional librarians are not members of the faculty unless so appointed by the President or Executive Vice President.
2. General Norms for Appointment, Retention and Advancement
Those appointed to the faculty are expected to observe the professional standards and procedures set forth in this Faculty Handbook. Included within these standards is the expectation that all those appointed to the faculty will provide the University with full and accurate information about their credentials.
It is to be expected that all members of the faculty will perform satisfactorily their teaching and other duties. Satisfactory performance does not of itself constitute grounds for retention or advancement in academic rank however. With advancing levels of academic experience, it is expected that faculty members will demonstrate an increasing level of achievement in teaching, scholarship and service, as appropriate.
A faculty member who teaches is expected to have a thorough knowledge of the subject(s) being taught, a demonstrated ability to communicate that knowledge to students, and the skill to stimulate students to reach their potential.
A faculty member whose responsibilities include research is expected to have a wide and critical command of the field of his or her study. The highest indication of scholarship is the ability to make original contributions in one’s field of knowledge. Scholarship is generally evidenced by scholarly publications of high quality, but also may be evidenced in certain areas by creativity and professional contributions demonstrated through the medium of communication customary in that discipline. Consideration will be given to such subsidiary evidence as direction of or significant participation in research projects, particularly in the scholarly activities of learned societies and professional consultative service.
Faculty with a responsibility for service are expected to make contributions that enhance the University, the missions of their unit, and their profession.
Through the institution of tenure, the University seeks to retain outstanding faculty and protect the academic freedom essential to the best research, teaching, and service. Tenure entails a mutually acknowledged expectation of continuing employment that is terminable by the University only for just cause (as for professional incompetence or moral turpitude of the faculty member, for grave economic stringency on the part of the University, or for reasons of major changes in institutional aims). 
Tenure is awarded by the President. Tenure is awarded only following explicit review and never by length of service. Initial appointment, promotion, and the award of tenure are separate actions. Appointment or promotion to any rank does not confer tenure.
A tenured faculty member must hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor.
Requirements for tenure, at any rank, ordinarily include 1) teaching ability rated by one's students and peers as being of high quality, over a period of several years; 2) scholarly accomplishments consistent with the rank, and supportive evaluations of the scholarship by authorities outside the University; and 3) service (both inside and outside the University) commensurate with the rank. The basis for the awarding of tenure extends beyond a distinguished scholarly record achieved during the probationary period or prior to appointment. The award is also contingent upon a strongly favorable judgment of the faculty member’s prospects for continued accomplishment in research, teaching, and service throughout his or her University career. Tenure is warranted only if there is a clear expectation that the candidate’s professional record already does or eventually will justify promotion to Full Professor at Georgetown University.
The recommendations for tenure are submitted for decision by the President. The decision shall be transmitted to the pertinent faculty member in an expeditious and appropriate manner.
Tenure expires at the date of retirement or earlier if the faculty member's employment at the University has been terminated for other reasons. If a faculty member resigns from the University and later returns, his or her situation with respect to tenure should be set forth in clear, unequivocal language in the letter of appointment.
4. The University Committee on Rank and Tenure
The UCRT serves as the President's advisory body on all matters pertaining to the granting of tenure and promotion. The Committee's deliberations are confidential and the Committee reports only to the President. All decisions on tenure and promotion rest with the President of the University.
Membership on the University Committee on Rank and Tenure comes about either by Presidential appointment (half of the membership) or by election by the Faculty Senate. It is offered for a three year term. An individual may serve on the Committee for no more than two terms in succession, and must remain off the Committee for at least one term between appointments.
The UCRT elects its officers, who may serve for no more than three consecutive years. As much as possible, successive chairpersons should come from different campuses of the University.
Individual members of the Committee, as well as its officers, are not available to discuss the business of the Committee except with the President and those designated by him.
5. Applications for Tenure and Promotion
Applications for tenure and promotion can be submitted by all full-time members of the tenure-line faculty who are eligible to be considered for promotion and/or tenure.
In general, evaluation of applications takes place in three stages, at the departmental level, at the school level, and at the level of the University Committee on Rank and Tenure (UCRT). Internal support, whether from the Department or the School, is not a prerequisite for consideration by the UCRT. However, all applications must be forwarded through the Department Chairperson or Dean or other official who normally is responsible for applications.
It is the responsibility of the academic Department or other appropriate faculty committee to secure genuine and timely evaluations of the candidate's scholarship. The candidate may suggest appropriate outside reviewers. However, the ultimate decision on the group of reviewers rests with the academic department or the appropriate faculty committee which, in consultation with other appropriate faculty members, selects impartial and competent evaluators.
Secret votes shall be taken on applications for promotion and/or tenure. These are to be reported to the UCRT. In the case of applications for tenure, all tenured members of the Department are entitled to vote. In the case of applications for promotion of tenure-line faculty, all members holding at least the rank to which the applicant is applying are entitled to vote. Voting should take place at a meeting at which the application can be discussed by the group as a whole. Absentee votes, if permitted by the Department, should be so noted in the transmission of the file to the UCRT.
In Schools or Departments having Executive Faculties or separate committees on rank and tenure, applications will indicate the votes submitted by such bodies as well as votes obtained from the relevant Department(s).
For the current guidelines for submitting applications for promotion and/or tenure, go to: http://governance.georgetown.edu/rank-and-tenure-committee/applications
6. Confidentiality and Transparency of the Rank and Tenure Process
The entire process during which specific individuals are discussed and evaluated for rank and tenure is to be held in strict confidence by all participants. The University takes extensive measures to protect the confidentiality of the sources of information and evaluations used in these proceedings. The opinions expressed in discussions by the school or unit faculty or by internal or external reviewers shall not be shared with parties outside the official internal process. Any breach of these confidences by a participant in the rank and/or tenure process or failure to safeguard rank and tenure materials shall be considered to be a serious violation of the faculty member's responsibilities under this Faculty Handbook.
While maintaining this commitment to strict confidentiality, the University recognizes that faculty benefit from feedback at critical stages in the process.
1. If expressly permitted by campus policy, prior to the department/unit vote a summary of the substance of the outside reviews may be shared with the candidate and the candidate given the opportunity to address any relevant criticisms in those reviews. Sharing the substance of outside reviews is permitted only to the extent that such sharing does not jeopardize the confidentiality of the source’s identity. All candidates within the campus shall be given the same opportunity.
2. After the department/unit vote, the faculty member's department/unit head will share with the candidate (i) whether or not the department/unit vote was majority positive (the vote tally is not to be shared); and (ii) when a decision is negative or significantly divided, a designated statement from the department explaining the rationale for the vote (including strengths as well as weaknesses) that does not jeopardize the confidentiality of the internal or external reviewers, or (unless permitted by campus policy) go into the substance of their reviews. The designated statement must be approved by the voting faculty and appended to the department/unit meeting minutes. In schools with more than one voting body, the provisions of this paragraph would apply to all.
3. The President or Executive Vice President (EVP) will share with the candidate the President’s final decision on rank and/or tenure and will share with the candidate and/or the unit head the substance of the rationale for the decision upon request.
Notwithstanding the above, if there is an allegation of a breach or violation of the process or University policy, properly authorized University officials may review the rank and tenure process and all information related to the process.
7. Request for Reconsideration
Whenever a faculty member receives in writing an adverse decision of the University concerning his/her application for promotion and/or tenure, the faculty member has thirty calendar days to file with the President of the University a petition for reconsideration. The petition should be submitted in writing and list the reasons for the request for reconsideration.
8. Standards for the Academic Ranks
Appointment to the rank of Instructor generally presupposes the following qualifications:
Candidacy for the Ph.D. or possess the degree required for teaching in certain fields.
Proven or presumptive teaching ability.
The potential to progress toward the Assistant Professorship according to ordinary norms.
Those qualities of character and personality expected in a teacher and advisor of students.
Appointment to this rank or promotion from the rank of Instructor presupposes:
- Possession of the Ph.D. or the degree required for teaching in certain fields.
- Evidence of the possession of those qualities of character, personality, and competence expected in a teacher and advisor of students.
- Evidence of scholarship and research
- Expectation or evidence of satisfactory performance of other University responsibilities.
Promotion to this rank from the rank of Assistant Professor requires:
- Excellence in research. This requires a substantial body of scholarship that impartial experts in the candidate’s area of study and the relevant faculty at Georgetown consider to be outstanding. The quality of a candidate’s scholarly work, including contributions to collaborative activities, is crucial. Quality is judged by the contribution that the work makes to a specific body of knowledge and is usually indicated by its scholarly impact or recognition (nationally and often internationally). The candidate’s corpus of scholarly work must demonstrate creativity and originality.
- Excellence in teaching. Quality of teaching is assessed in terms of a thorough knowledge of the subject(s) being taught, a demonstrated ability to communicate that knowledge to students, and the skill to stimulate students to reach their potential.
- Effective professional or institutional service. Service is judged by its contribution to the candidate’s field, to the missions of his or her unit, and to the University as a whole. Given that faculty in the probationary period need to establish a record in teaching and scholarship, service is decidedly less important for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor than either scholarship or teaching. An exceptional service record cannot substitute for outstanding scholarship and excellent teaching.
Initial appointments to this rank shall be based on the standards described in 1-3 above or on professional experience and recognition.
Promotion to the rank of Full Professor requires a sustained level of achievement according to the same indicators of scholarly excellence as those required for the rank of Associate Professor. This rank is awarded in the expectation that the faculty member’s entire professional career will live up to this standard. Substantial accomplishments since appointment or promotion to the prior rank should be clearly demonstrated. Promotion to Professor is recognition of scholarly achievement at a level that meets or exceeds what is generally expected for full professors at peer research universities, a commitment to excellence in teaching, and substantial service and leadership with every expectation of continuing contributions to the University.
Initial appointments at the rank of Full Professor shall be made on the basis described in the previous paragraph or, in exceptional circumstances, may be based on professional experience and recognition.
9. Term of Service
Prompt written notice shall be given by the University to the pertinent member of the tenure-line faculty setting forth the rank of initial appointment, the rank to which one is promoted, the grant of tenure, the denial of tenure, or of any final action taken in regard to rank and tenure.
For one regularly appointed to the tenure-line faculty without tenure, the normal term of employment is one year, renewable annually within the tenure probationary period. (See 7 below)
During the probationary period, notice of non-reappointment will be given in writing to members of the tenure-line faculty in accordance with the following standards.
- Not later than March 1st of the first academic year of service at Georgetown.
- Not later than July 31st in the year prior to termination after two or more years of service.
- Not later than December 15th of the second academic year of service.
If for any reason a member of the tenure-line faculty intends to terminate his or her employment with the University, due notice should be given in writing to the Provost or Executive Vice President of the appropriate campus at least six months prior to the date of termination.
10. The Tenure Probationary Period
- The tenure probationary period for untenured full-time members of the tenure-line faculty is seven academic years. For a faculty member whose term of appointment begins 1 January, or later, the tenure probationary period commences with the academic year following his or her initial appointment. Otherwise the tenure probationary period commences with the academic year of the appointment. The duration of the tenure probationary period is not affected by the status of, or changes in, a faculty member's rank (such as instructor or assistant professor).
- An untenured tenure-line faculty member becomes eligible for tenure review at the end of the third year of his or her tenure probationary period and may request a review in any year of the tenure probationary period after becoming eligible. Untenured tenure-line faculty must confirm in writing no later than the beginning of the sixth year: 1) their intention to apply for tenure in the sixth or seventh year of the tenure probationary period, and 2) their understanding of the remaining tenure probationary period and reappointment limits. A faculty member who is denied tenure in the sixth year of the tenure probationary period and who does not reapply in the seventh year of the tenure probationary period, will be terminated at the end of the seventh year. A faculty member who applies for tenure in the seventh year of the tenure probationary period, may request a terminal appointment for the subsequent year, in case the application is denied. If tenure is denied, the tenured faculty of the relevant unit may, at their discretion, recommend a terminal year appointment with a normal teaching assignment but without tenure-eligibility, provided that the request for the appointment is received prior to course planning for the year of the appointment and that such appointment is consistent with the needs of the department. No application for tenure may be made during a terminal year following expiration of the tenure probationary period.
- The tenure probationary period at Georgetown for an untenured member of the tenure-line faculty with previous employment in a tenure-eligible position at another university will be reduced by the number of tenure-eligible years previously served minus one; provided that the tenure probationary period at Georgetown will never be less than four years. Exceptions must be approved at the time of the faculty member’s initial appointment by the Executive Vice President on recommendation of the Chair and Dean, and explicitly stated in a written agreement between the faculty member and the Executive Vice President. In approving exceptions, consideration shall be given to whether the previous employment provided adequate opportunity for scholarship and teaching.
- The tenure probationary period may be interrupted while a faculty member is on leave to perform public or professional service that does not contribute to the production of academic scholarship of the type normally considered in an application for tenure. Such leave and interruption of the tenure probationary period shall not ordinarily be granted in the seventh year of the tenure probationary period. The Executive Vice President, acting with the advice of the Chair and Dean, will determine if the leave interrupts the tenure probationary period.
- The tenure probationary period may be interrupted as provided in section V “Fringe Benefits” of the 1999 Faculty Handbook, in the New Parent Leave Option for Ordinary Faculty on the Main Campus, or in such other personal and family leave policies that may be adopted from time to time; or as required by District of Columbia, state or federal law.
- For purposes of this policy, references to a particular numerical year of the tenure probationary period are to the adjusted year after accounting for any interruptions described in paragraphs (d) and (e) that have occurred and approved credit for service elsewhere.
- Nothing in this policy shall have the effect of changing the tenure probationary period for any faculty member whose tenure probationary period begins before July 1, 2006. All such faculty will have their probationary period determined by the policies and practices in place at the time of their initial appointment. If such faculty have not received a research or teaching leave that interrupted their tenure probationary period, they may request a terminal non-tenure-eligible year as specified in paragraph (b) above.
11. University Professor
Georgetown University reserves the rank of University Professor for faculty members of extraordinary achievement whose scholarly accomplishments have earned them substantial recognition from their academic peers. The rank is bestowed by the President in recognition of distinguished record of scholarship, teaching, and service to the University and higher education community at large. The rank is recognized as the University's most significant professional honor, and is awarded rarely and only in accordance with the criteria specified in this policy.
To be eligible for appointment to the rank of University Professor a faculty member must satisfy the following criteria:
i. He or she must either hold the rank of professor with tenure at Georgetown University or have been recommended to the President for tenure at that rank in accordance with the University's rank and tenure policies and procedures.
ii. He or she must possess an outstanding record of scholarly accomplishment that establishes him or her at the front ranks of university faculty nationally and internationally.
iii. As a condition of appointment to the rank of University Professor, the faculty member must agree to relinquish any chair or endowed professorship he or she currently holds.
To be appointed to the rank of University Professor, an otherwise eligible faculty member must be selected by the President of the University upon the affirmative recommendation of at least two Executive Vice Presidents or Provost and taking into account the views expressed by members on affected department(s).
d. Privileges of Rank
Appointment to the rank of University Professor will be with tenure. Tenure will reside in the department in which the faculty member serves as a professor.
12. Emeritus Policy
A retired faculty member or professional librarian may be awarded an emeritus title by the appropriate Executive Vice President. The emeritus title would consist of the retiree's pre-retirement title followed by the word 'Emeritus.' To be eligible for such a title, a retiree must satisfy the following criteria:
a. The retiree must have served full time at Georgetown University, ordinarily for at least ten years.
b. The retiree must possess a record of meritorious service to Georgetown University.
Emeritus faculty or librarians are eligible for continuation of library privileges and their email accounts. The provision of additional amenities and facilities, if they are available, is left to the discretion of the relevant administrative officer.
Emeritus faculty or librarians do not receive a salary unless they contract to perform specific services, such as adjunct teaching. They may continue to teach or perform service without pay if such activity is approved by the department chair or other appropriate administrative officer. Approval is not needed to continue research unless that requires university facilities other than the library or involves human subjects.
Emeritus faculty or librarians are not entitled to participate in department meetings, rank and tenure proceedings, or any faculty governance bodies, unless such participation is explicitly specified in the body’s by-laws or constitution.
(Amended May 1993)
1. The Georgetown University Faculty Senate
There is hereby established a Senate of Georgetown University, for the purpose of insuring full Faculty participation in matters of general University interest by sharing responsibility with the University Board of Directors and Administration in the conduct of University affairs.
2. Functions of the Senate
- The Senate shall have authority to discuss and express its views on any matter of general University interest, and to make recommendations to the President and Board of Directors, and to the University Faculties. The Senate shall discharge its functions as a body or through committees or persons duly delegated to act for it.
- Matters may be brought before the Senate by the President or Board of Directors, and the Executive Faculties; University Committees; on petition of any Faculty member or groups of Faculty members; and on the Senate's own initiative. The Senate shall at all times control its own agenda.
- The Senate shall participate in University affairs including the following areas:
- Educational affairs of general University interest;
- The determination of conditions of academic freedom and responsibility, including the recommendations of desirable standards and grievance procedures;
- The formulation and application of standards for rank and tenure, including appointment and promotion procedures and grievance procedures;
- University governance, including consultation with the Board of Directors concerning the appointment of the University President, Executive Vice Presidents of the three constituent Faculties, and Academic Deans, and recommendation of appropriate procedures for the selection of Departmental Chairmen;
- The University budget, including examination of budgets and consultation with respect to the University's financial status and policies;
- Grants of general University interest;
- Faculty and staff salaries, retirement plans, and fringe benefits, including periodic reviews of salary and benefit standards and ranges;
- Faculty research grant and sabbatical leave procedures and policies;
- Student affairs, including liaison with the Office of Student Affairs and with student governments, and recommendations regarding student concerns;
- Physical plant and facilities including planning development;
- University convocations, including recommendations concerning honorary degrees.
- The Senate shall be composed of seventy-five elective members from three constituent Faculties, as set out in Paragraph E.3.b, below and of the following "ex-officio" members: the Executive Vice Presidents of the three constituent Faculties, as set out in Paragraph E.3.b, below; the Senior Vice President; and four Main Campus Deans, selected annually by the Main Campus Council of Deans, the other members of the Council being designated as alternates, with full privileges of Senate membership in the absence of any of the four.
- The elective members shall be apportioned among the three constituent Faculties; the Main Campus, the Medical Center, and the Law Center. The distribution shall be: Main Campus, 45, including at least 2 each from the School of Nursing and Health Studies, the School of Business, the School of Languages and Linguistics, Georgetown College, and the School of Foreign Service; Medical Center, 20, Law Center 10. The Senate shall at reasonable intervals re-examine the apportionments.
4. Election Procedure
- All full-time Faculty members with at least one year of full-time service at the University shall be eligible to vote in elections for the Senate, and to serve as members of the Senate.
- Nominations for seats in the Senate, for full terms or for unexpired terms in the event of vacancies, shall be in writing and bear the signatures of five qualified votes in the constituency of which the nominee is a member of the Faculty.
- Within each constituency the candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be considered elected, except that in accordance with E.3.b, the School of Nursing, the School of Business Administration, the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Foreign Service, shall have a minimum of two representatives each at all times. A tie shall be decided by lot.
- Elections shall be held annually in the spring semester for one-third of the seats in the Senate in each constituency and for the filling of any vacancies.
- For the first election to the Senate, the Chairman of the Provisional Assembly shall appoint an Election Commission representative of the three constituencies, to conduct the election in accordance with the provisions stated above. Thereafter, the Presiding Officer of the Senate shall appoint annually the Election Commission. It shall be the duty of the Election Commission to certify lists of qualified voters, to receive nomination petitions, and certify winning candidates. Vacancies shall be filled at the next regular election.
- The term for elected members of the Senate shall be three years.
- At the first convening of the Senate, following the first election, Senators from each constituency shall be divided by lot into three equal groups, one group to serve for one year, one for two years, and one for three years. Thereafter, all terms shall be for three years.
- Members elected in 1971 shall draw for terms of one, two and three years, the number of each being such as to preserve the constitutional provision that one-third of the Senate in each constituency shall be elected annually.
- When a Senate vacancy occurs, either temporarily due to sabbaticals or leaves of absence or permanently because of retirement, resignations or other causes, the vacancy shall be filled by the runner-up in the most recent Senate election as determined by the Senate Election Committee. When there is no runner-up or when the runner-up is unable or unwilling to serve, the vacancy shall be filled by the respective Caucuses.
6. Officers and Steering Committee
- The Senate shall elect, biennially, from its membership, at the first regular meeting following election of new Senators, a President, three Vice Presidents, (one from each of the three constituent faculties), and a Secretary-Treasurer. Nominations for these officers may be made by a Nominating Committee and from the floor. In the event that a vacancy occurs, there shall be a special election.
- The five officers, the Executive Vice President of the Main Campus, and a second ex-officio member of the Senate, appointed by the President of the University, shall appoint the chairmen of the Senate's standing committees subject to confirmation by the Senate, who, with the officers, and the two ex-officio members, shall serve as the Steering Committee of the Senate.
- The Steering Committee shall have the following authority:
- To receive communications concerning matters to be put upon the agenda of the Senate;
- To establish the agenda for Senate meetings, excepting that any member of the Senate may, at a meeting of the Senate, ask the body to consider a particular matter;
- To refer appropriate matters to the Standing Committees of the Senate, which standing committees shall be free to take up matters on their initiative;
- To select members of the standing and special committees of the Senate;
- To designate a member or members of the Senate to serve as representatives to the Executive Faculties of the University, the designation of such representatives being subject to confirmation by the Senate;
- Subject to confirmation by the Senate, to appoint members of standing and special committees whose jurisdiction and membership are university-wide, including at least half the membership of the Rank and Tenure Committee, the others being appointed the President of the University. For major committees serving more than one Department or School, the Steering Committee shall appoint two voting members, subject to Senate confirmation, the remainder being selected as the President of the University shall designate. In making appointments to University committees, the Steering Committee shall insofar as appropriate give representation to each of the three constituencies.
- To call special meetings of the Senate;
- To manage the budget of the Senate.
7. Senate Committees
- The standing committees of the Senate shall include:
- The Committee on Educational Affairs, whose jurisdiction shall extend to matters described in E.2.c.i,vi,viii,xi.
- The Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, whose jurisdiction shall extent to E.2.c.ii and iii.
- The Committee on University Governance, with jurisdiction over E.2.c.iv.
- The Committee on University Budget and Finance, with jurisdiction over E.2.c.v.
- The Committee on Faculty and Staff Salaries, Retirement Plans, and Fringe Benefits, with jurisdiction over E.2.c.vii.
- The Committee on Student Affairs, with jurisdiction over E.2.c.ix.
- The Committee on Physical Facilities, with jurisdiction over E.2.c.x.
- By majority of those present and voting, the Senate may constitute special committees, and may add to or abolish standing committees.
- The Senate shall elect, biennially, a Nominating Committee for the selection of officers.
- A quorum shall consist of 40 percent of the membership of the Senate.
- No member shall have more than one vote.
- The Senate shall establish and may amend its rules of procedure by majority vote.
- In matters not regulated by this constitution or by the Senate's rules of procedure, Robert's Rules of Order Revised shall be the parliamentary authority. The President of the Senate may appoint a parliamentarian.
- The Senate shall hold four (4) regular meetings during each academic year: one in October, one in December, one in February, and one in April.
- Special meetings may be convened by the President or--in his absence--by one of the Vice Presidents.
- Special meetings shall be convened by the President upon written request by ten members, or upon request from an Executive Vice President of the three constituent Faculties.
- Unless there is an emergency, the calling of a meeting shall be made at least two weeks before the date of the meeting; the call shall be in writing and contain the proposed agenda.
- Constituent Campus Faculty Meetings. A meeting of the Main Campus, Medical Center or Law Center full-time Faculty, may be called, for the discussion of issues of interest to that Faculty in the following two ways:
- By the Officers of the Faculty Senate. Notice of no less than ten days shall be given in the call, and the issue(s) specified as explicitly as possible. OR
- On petition of twenty-five full-time members of the Constituent Campus Faculty addressed to the President of the University Faculty Senate. Upon receipt of such a petition, the President of the Senate shall call such a Faculty meeting no later than two weeks from the date of receipt of the petition. The petition should be as specific as possible concerning the issue(s) to be discussed.
- The President of the Senate, or in his/her absence or illness, one of the three Vice Presidents of the Senate, or in the event of their being unable to act, the Chairman of the Main Campus Caucus of the Senate, shall preside over the Faculty meeting.
10. Amendment Procedure
Amendments to the Constitution shall become effective after having been adopted by two-thirds of the members present and voting, and approved by the President and Board of Directors of the University, and by a majority vote of the full-time Faculties with at least one year of service.
- Ratification of this Constitution requires:
- Approval by a two-thirds majority of those members of the Provisional Assembly present and voting called to consider the Constitution;
- Approval by the President and Board of Directors of the University;
- Approval by a majority voting in each of the three constituencies in a referendum on the Constitution. Qualifications for voters shall be in the same as in E.4.a. As a constituency ratifies the Constitution, it shall be in effect in that constituency.
- When ratified, the Constitution shall become a part of the Statutes of the University, and shall appear in an appendix to the Faculty Handbook.
(Approved by the University Faculty Senate, May 17, 2011)
(Approved by the President and Board of Directors, October 6, 2011)
This code provides the procedures under which a faculty member believing himself or herself aggrieved by department, school or administrative action described herein is able to seek a remedy within the University. The faculty member is obliged to exhaust these procedures with regard to any grievance covered by this Code before pursuing remedies outside the University.
For purposes of this Code, faculty members are defined as all part-time and full-time tenured, tenure eligible and non-tenure eligible, persons who are appointed by the University as faculty to teach and/or conduct scholarly research, and librarians of professional rank.
University administrators and staff, however, are not covered by the Code, except that any such person may invoke the Code if, in his or her capacity as an individual faculty member (and not because of any action or omission in his or her administrative or staff capacity) he or she is subjected to any of the disciplinary actions listed in Sections F.1.a through F.1.g of this Code. Specifically, for example, no such person is entitled to grieve the decision of the University to terminate his or her administrative or staff appointment. Similarly, trainees (e.g., graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, clinical interns, residents and fellows) and employees of MedStar Health or other non-University entities are not covered by the Code except insofar as they have a faculty appointment and the grievance concerns their faculty appointment. 
This Code does not cover conflicts between faculty members, unless the faculty member against whom the grievance is lodged was in that case acting administratively in a manner described by Part F.2 (Grievable Matters).
Resolution of questions concerning which capacity gave rise to the grievance shall be a jurisdictional matter for the Grievance Panel.
No part of a final decision specifically recommended by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee under Section III.G can be grieved under this Code. However, any disciplinary or corrective action taken by the Executive Vice President (or President, as applicable) beyond an action specifically recommended by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, or taken when the Faculty Responsibilities does not recommend disciplinary or corrective action, is covered by this Code. A grievance on these grounds may be filed only after the final decision.
2. Grievable Matters
A grievable matter arises when any of the following department, school or administrative actions involves a violation of academic freedom or of University procedures or of other faculty rights as set forth, for example, in individual faculty contracts, the Faculty Handbook, or other appropriately authorized University documents:
- Recommendation of dismissal
- Recommendation of revocation of tenure
- Recommendation of reduction of academic rank
- Recommendation of reduction of individual salary
- Denial of tenure or promotion or reappointment
- Any other action that significantly harms the faculty member in his or her professional capacity as a faculty member.
In general, this Code does not cover the merits of refusal of tenure, promotion or reappointment. It does, however, require that the rules and regulations applicable to the grant or refusal of tenure or promotion or reappointment promulgated in the current issue of the Faculty Handbook and in other relevant University publications be fully complied with and administered fairly. This Code also covers situations where tenure or promotion or reappointment is denied for reasons that allegedly involved a violation of academic freedom.
This Code also does not cover allegations of discrimination (including discrimination in the denial of tenure, promotion, or reappointment), which are handled by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA). (See Section IVA: Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures.) If discrimination is alleged at any point in a grievance proceeding under this Code, the Grievance Committee Chair shall notify and consult with the Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity. Based on such consultation, the Grievance Committee Chair shall determine the order of proceedings as between this Code and IDEAA’s procedures. Generally, only one process will proceed at a time, and IDEAA’s process will proceed first. However, if the Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity and the Grievance Code Committee Chair both agree that an exception is in order, then the two grievance procedures may proceed simultaneously.
3. Extraordinary Disciplinary Action
Corrective and disciplinary actions specifically recommended by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee under Section III.G are not grievable. If the Executive Vice President (or President) decides to take any of the following disciplinary actions – dismissal, suspension without pay, revocation of tenure, reduction in rank and reduction in salary – and the action is either beyond that recommended by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee or taken when the Faculty Responsibilities Committee has not recommended a disciplinary or corrective action, then such disciplinary action(s) shall take effect only if the faculty member affected by the proposed action does not file a “Notice of Grievance” under this Code within 30 days after he or she is notified of the action that gives rise to the grievance (see section 7.a.i below). A faculty member may, however, be placed on administrative leave with pay in accordance with Section G.2 “Emergency Administrative Actions” of the Faculty Responsibilities Code.
4. Composition of University Grievance Code Commitee
The University Grievance Code Committee shall consist of seventeen tenured members of the faculty, seven from the Main Campus of the University and five from each of the Medical and Law Center campuses of the University. Tenured faculty members simultaneously serving as administrators are not eligible for appointment to or continuing service on the Committee. The Faculty Senate shall elect nine members and the University President shall appoint eight members. The normal term is three years, but members of the Committee are eligible for reelection or reappointment for an unlimited number of terms, and Committee members serving on a Grievance Panel at the expiration of their term or terms shall continue to serve until that Panel has completed its consideration of that particular grievance, including any remand thereof. Terms commence on July 1st and expire on June 30th. The President of the Faculty Senate shall appoint, from the members of the Committee, a Chair and a Vice Chair of the Committee to serve three year terms each. The Senators from each campus shall designate a total of six tenured faculty members (two from the Main Campus, two from the Medical Center Campus and two from the Law Center Campus) to act as an alternate source of members of any Grievance Panel. These members will be used only if the requisite number of panelists from the Committee are not available in a particular case. Members shall serve on this alternate list for a three year period. The names will be submitted to the Chair of the Committee by July 1 of each year.
When in the judgment of the Committee Chair the volume of Committee work demands, he or she may request the designation, in such even number as he or she sees fit, of additional alternate members of the Committee, such designation to be made half by the Faculty Senate President upon the advice of the Faculty Senate caucus of the campus or campuses to which the request is submitted, and half by the Executive Vice President of such campus or campuses. Alternates thus designated shall serve only during the University fiscal year during which they are appointed, provided that, if any is serving on a Grievance Panel at the end of that fiscal year, he or she shall continue to serve until that Panel has completed its consideration of that particular grievance, including any remand thereof. Alternates designated under this procedure shall be, as in the case with previously authorized alternates, from the ranks of tenured faculty. Alternates selected in either of the ways described above have the same rights and duties as a regular Committee member to participate and vote in full Committee proceedings with regard to the decision of a Panel on which the alternate has served.
The President of the University shall convene the Grievance Code Committee at least once a year to give the full Committee its charge.
5. Confidentiality Requirement
Unless confidentiality is waived in writing by the grievant, members of the Committee and participants in all proceedings of this Code shall make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings, but a breach of confidentiality will not invalidate the proceedings. The confidentiality requirement also applies to any communications at any time between the President of the Faculty Senate, or any conciliator (see section F.7.b), and the parties to the grievance
6. Administrative Procedures
The University Grievance Code Committee shall establish operating procedures necessary to implement the code. The procedures include the following:
- The Committee shall establish a hierarchy of members in the order of precedence to act in the absence of the Chair of the Committee.
- The President of the Faculty Senate shall similarly designate one or more Senate Vice Presidents to act in his or her absence.
- Subject to the disapproval of the President of the Faculty Senate the Chair of the Committee shall have discretion, before the expiration of the time limits set by the Code or within ten days thereafter, to enlarge the time or times within which action must be taken under this Code if in his/her judgment such extension of the time is appropriate, as, for example, when Committee members are unavailable due to holiday recess. It shall be the responsibility of the Chair to notify all parties affected by any enlargement of the time granted under this section. Nothing in this set of provisions gives the grievant or respondent a cause of action should the Grievance Committee or Grievance Panels fail to act within applicable time limits under this Code.
- The Committee shall establish any procedures to the extent not defined by this Code such as, but not limited to, balloting, quorum, and time frame of activities. The Committee shall also define any terms not defined in this Code and shall establish any other guidelines to protect equitably the interest of the grievant and the University. The Committee shall file its operating procedures with the President of the Faculty Senate.
- When a grievance proceeding ends, the Chair shall forward the file to the Secretary of the University so that the University may maintain a record of proceedings. The file consists of all written evidence and documentation, including recordings and transcriptions used by any Panel or the Committee in connection with the proceeding, except documents generally circulated, such as the Faculty Handbook. The University Secretary shall keep the contents of the file confidential.
7. Grievance Procedure
a. Filing Procedure
i. Notice of Grievance
A current or former faculty member who believes that he/she has a grievance shall file a "Notice of Grievance" with the President of the Faculty Senate within 30 days after he or she is notified of the action that gives rise to the grievance. The Notice of Grievance shall contain a concise statement of the reasons that lead the faculty member to feel aggrieved, and shall include the name of the administrator whose action has given rise to the grievance.
The President of the Faculty Senate has the discretion to begin the 30 day filing period when the faculty member discovers or reasonably should have discovered the action that gives rise to the grievance.
It is the responsibility of the grievant to properly file his or her grievance within the specified time frame. If the Senate President decides that the 30 day deadline has been exceeded, the faculty member can appeal the decision to the Chair of the Grievance Committee, whose decision regarding the timeliness of the grievance is final.
To qualify as a “former faculty member” eligible to file a grievance, the grievant must have been a faculty member under contract at the time the events occurred that constitute the grievable matter. Grievances may be filed and/or completed after the grievant’s contract expires if the filing is within the 30 day deadline. 
Should the Senate officers be unavailable, the faculty member may file the Notice of Grievance with the Secretary of the University, who shall forward it as soon as possible to the appropriate Senate officer. In any case a copy of the Notice of Grievance shall also be forwarded by the official receiving it to the appropriate Executive Vice President, or, if that Executive Vice President will be a respondent, to the University President. If the University President is a Respondent, the Notice of Grievance shall be forwarded to an Executive Vice President selected by the President of the Faculty Senate from a campus other than the one on which the grievance arose.
The respondent is the administrative officer whose action gives rise to the grievance. If that officer has been replaced, the respondent is his or her successor in office. If more than one administrative officer was responsible for the action, all current office-holders may be named as respondents.
The President of the Faculty Senate shall determine at the outset whether the named respondents are all “properly named respondents,” i.e., whether each is a properly named party in the action giving rise to the grievance.
iii. Letter of Intent
When negotiations between the grievant and the respondent are pending or other circumstances suggest that formal initiation of the grievance procedure would best be deferred in the interest of all concerned, the grievant, at the discretion of the President of the Senate can satisfy this filing requirement by filing a letter of intent with the President of the Faculty Senate within the same 30 day period indicating an intent to file a formal grievance. The President of the Senate will notify the grievant if the request to defer filing has been granted. If the dispute is not resolved within 25 days after the President's approval of a deferral, the President of the Faculty Senate shall notify the grievant and require him or her promptly to submit the Notice of Grievance unless a further extension is agreed to in writing by both the grievant and the respondent.
iv. Dismissal of Grievance
With the consent of the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee, the President of the Faculty Senate can dismiss a grievance if the grievant is not a person covered by Part F.1 Applicability) of this Code. Any such dismissal may be appealed to the full Grievance Code Committee following procedures outlined in Section F.7.h. If not thus dismissed the case shall proceed to a conciliation (Section F.7.b).
Subsequent Filings. After the Notice of Grievance, whenever any notice or written submission is filed by the grievant or the respondent, or by any representative on behalf of either of them, with the Chair of either the Grievance Code Committee or the Grievance Panel, a copy of that notice or submission shall be sent simultaneously to all other parties or to representatives acting on their behalf.
Within three days after receiving a Notice of Grievance from the grievant or from the Secretary of the University judged to be complete by the President of the Faculty Senate, or as soon thereafter as circumstances permit, the President of the Faculty Senate shall appoint a conciliator who shall attempt to resolve informally the issues that gave rise to the grievance. The conciliator shall be a tenured faculty member of this University drawn to the maximum extent possible from a panel of conciliators established by the Faculty Senate. The conciliator shall meet with the grievant and the respondent, either individually or together. Any such meeting shall be closed and confidential. Advisors for the parties are not permitted to have any contact with a conciliator during the conciliation process.
The conciliation process should proceed expeditiously and should ordinarily be completed within fourteen days after the appointment of the conciliator. The process may be extended, however, if in the judgment of the President of the Faculty Senate, and with the agreement of the parties, special circumstances make such an extension desirable. At the conclusion of the conciliation process, the conciliator shall promptly report in writing the results of the process to the President of the Faculty Senate. This report shall not contain a recommendation on the merits of the dispute, but shall simply state whether or not the dispute has been resolved. If the issues that gave rise to the grievance have been resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant and the respondent, the matter is ended. If the issues have not been satisfactorily resolved, the President of the Faculty Senate shall, within three days of receiving the conciliator's report, inform the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee.
c. Initial Review.
i. Appointment of the Panel
When a grievance has not been resolved by conciliation, the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee shall appoint a Grievance Panel to hear the grievance. The Grievance Panel shall consist of three Committee members, with one from the campus on which the grievance arose and two from outside that campus. If the grievance arose on the Main Campus, the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee may alternatively appoint a Grievance Panel consisting of three committee members, one from the school from which the grievance arose, one from another main campus school, and one from outside the main campus, to hear the grievance. The Chair of the Grievance Code Committee shall appoint the Chair of each Grievance Panel.
As to each of these appointments the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee shall seek to assure that appointees are free of bias, conflict of interest, or such previous association with the issues raised by the grievance as would determine that the appointee not serve. Before the appointments are made, both parties—grievant and respondent—shall be afforded the opportunity to challenge the appointment of a Committee member or alternate to the Panel. A grievant’s or a respondent’s challenge must supply evidence that supports the claim of bias or conflict of interest, and the challenge must be submitted to the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee. The Chair of the Grievance Code Committee will decide whether the evidence of bias or conflict of interest is sufficient to exclude a Committee member or alternate from the Panel. The Chair of the whole Committee is permitted under these circumstances to consult with the President of the Faculty Senate. If the Chair himself or herself is alleged to have a relevant bias or conflict of interest, the President of the Faculty Senate shall decide the matter.
The Panel shall begin to review the grievance on a calendar proposed by the Panel Chair. The calendar proposed by the Panel Chair must be approved by the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee. The Panel must begin reviewing the grievance and hold a Panel meeting within 45 days after receiving the grievance from the Chair of the whole Committee, who shall monitor the progress of Panel reviews. Panels shall endeavor to complete reviews within a period of 4 months from the time of appointment of the Panel. Nothing in this set of provisions gives a grievant a cause of action should a deadline be missed. All time frames mentioned in this provision are subject to extension pursuant to section F.6.c of this Code.
d. Mutual Resolution
The parties may reach a mutually agreed resolution to the grievance at any time. If they reach such agreement, the parties shall notify in writing the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee and the President of the Faculty Senate that the grievance has been resolved. The specific terms of the mutually agreed resolution need not be shared. The Chair of the Grievance Code Committee shall inform the Panel of the resolution. The Panel shall cease work upon receipt of such notification and shall have no obligation to enforce the parties’ mutually agreed resolution. Any subsequent complaints from either the grievant or the respondent about failures to satisfy the terms of a mutually agreed resolution reached during the grievance process, shall be addressed to the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee. In the event of such a complaint, the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee shall endeavor to resolve the matter in a timely manner and shall inform the President of the Faculty Senate and the appropriate Executive Vice President of the complaint and the outcome.
e. Access to Information
The Panel may seek additional information or evidence pertinent to the case from appropriate, informed, and relevant sources. However, the conciliation process shall remain confidential. Accordingly, a conciliator shall not be considered an available resource. The Panel shall assess the accuracy, credibility, and relevance of any information it collects. In soliciting information from any third party, rights of privacy and confidentiality shall be protected. This paragraph applies to all decisions the Panel is called on to make.
Advisors for the parties are not permitted to participate in the Initial Review except by written submission.
The Panel shall first decide both whether it has jurisdiction to act and whether the case warrants investigation. If the Panel decides it lacks jurisdiction, or that the matter does not warrant investigation, the Panel shall dismiss the grievance. The merits of the grievance shall be decided only after the Panel determines that it has jurisdiction and that the case warrants investigation, and reports these decisions to the Chair of the Grievance Committee, who shall inform the parties to the grievance and the appropriate Executive Vice President. If there is an appeal of the Panel’s determination that it has jurisdiction or that the case warrants investigation (see section F.7.h), the merits of the grievance shall be decided only after such appeals have been exhausted.
In deciding the merits of the grievance, the Panel shall conduct as many formal hearings (see section F.7.i) as it considers necessary. The Panel shall make its decision as expeditiously as circumstances permit and shall promptly report its decision to the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee who shall inform the grievant, the respondent, and the appropriate Executive Vice President.
h. Appeal from the Initial Review
i. By the Grievant
If the Panel dismissed the grievance on jurisdictional grounds or decides that the matter does not warrant investigation, the grievant may appeal either determination to the full Grievance Code Committee using the procedure in subsection F.7.h.iii.
If the grievant does not appeal, the matter is ended and the Chair of the Committee shall notify the President of the Faculty Senate, the respondent, and the appropriate Executive Vice President.
If the Committee does not sustain the grievant’s appeal, the grievant may appeal to the President of the University using the procedure described in section F.7.m (Appeal to the University President). If the grievant does not appeal, the matter ends.
If the Committee decides that the Panel erred in dismissing the grievance on jurisdictional grounds, the Committee shall remand for a determination as to whether the matter warrants investigation as provided in section F.7.c (Initial Review). If the Committee decides that the Panel erred in deciding that the matter did not warrant investigation, the Committee shall remand the matter for formal hearings, as provided in section F.7.i (Formal Hearings); for such a remand, the Committee shall appoint a new Panel to conduct a formal hearing on the grievance.
ii. By the Respondent
The respondent may appeal a Panel's determination that the grievance falls within the Panel's jurisdiction to the full Grievance Code Committee using the procedure in subsection F.7.h.
If the Committee does not sustain the respondent’s appeal, the case returns to the Panel for formal hearings as provided in section F.7.i (Formal Hearings). No further appeal by the respondent on the jurisdictional issue is permitted until after the Panel decides the merits of the grievance, at the time of appeal (if any) to the University President described in section F.7.m.
If the Committee determines that the Panel erred in finding jurisdiction, the matter is ended unless the grievant appeals to the President per the subsection F.7.h.i.
iii. Appeal Procedure.
To appeal, the grievant or respondent shall, within ten days after receiving notification of the adverse determination, file a “Notice of Appeal from the Initial Review” with the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee. The Notice must be in writing and must state the reasons for appeal. In the absence of the Chair, the grievant or respondent may file with the Secretary of the University or the Faculty Senate President. The Chair shall within thirty days after the filing convene the full Grievance Code Committee to deliberate and decide whether to hear the appeal, and, if so, whether to sustain the appeal. A quorum of at least nine members of the Committee must be in attendance. The Committee’s decisions shall be made according to the majority of members in attendance and voting. The Chair shall report the Committee's decisions to the President of the Faculty Senate, the respondent, the grievant and the appropriate Executive Vice President.
i. Formal Hearings.
A grievance hearing is not a formal judicial proceeding. Its ultimate purpose is to evaluate the fairness of the administrative action that gave rise to the grievance. To achieve that end, the Panel can exclude irrelevant issues or evidence, and can place reasonable limits on argument and the questioning of witnesses.
The Panel can decide when it has enough information to decide the merits of the grievance, except that the Panel cannot decide the merits of a case without holding a hearing unless both parties waive their right to a hearing in writing.
Either party may at any time waive his/her right to a hearing and elect to proceed on the basis of written submission alone. Any such waiver must be in writing, must have the agreement of both parties and must be submitted to the Panel Chair. Written submissions on the merits of the grievance are to be thereafter submitted to the Panel in accord with a schedule prescribed by the Chair, whose duty it is to see that the matter is advanced expeditiously.
If the right to a hearing is not waived, the Panel Chair, after consulting the parties, shall promptly notify them of the time and place of the hearing, which the Panel should hold as promptly as possible after determining that the Committee has jurisdiction and that the matter warrants investigation. The parties may submit written evidence or documentation before the hearing. Each party shall notify the Panel Chair and the opposing party of the witness(es) he/she intends to call no later than five days before the hearing. Each party has responsibility for arranging the attendance of any witness he/she intends to call.
Each party can choose an advisor to accompany him/her to the hearing. Each party can call witnesses or present other evidence; can examine any evidence submitted to the Panel by anyone else; and can question witnesses he/she has not called. The hearing shall be electronically or otherwise recorded verbatim. Upon request, a copy of the recording shall be furnished to either party at the University's expense.
General procedures recommended for conducting a hearing are the following:
- The Panel Chair shall explain to all parties the purpose of the hearing, the procedures to be followed, and the rights of all parties.
- The Panel Chair shall provide the grievant with up to 15 minutes to summarize the major complaint(s) presented in the written evidence or documentation assembled prior to the hearing. The grievant has the right to not make this presentation.
- The Panel Chair shall provide the respondent up to 15 minutes to respond to the representations of the grievant and to add pertinent comments. The respondent has the right to not make a reply or presentation.
- The Panel Chair and the Members of the Panel may ask questions that seek clarification of matters of fact and representations in the written materials and the prior presentations in the hearing. Both the grievant and the respondent shall be given the opportunity to reply to questions and to engage in the ensuing dialogue.
- The Panel Chair shall invite the parties to call witnesses. All parties shall be given the opportunity to ask questions of the witnesses.
- The Panel may adjourn the hearing to permit the parties to obtain further evidence.
- The Panel Chair may terminate discussion of matters that are not relevant to the issues to be decided by the Panel.
- The Panel Chair shall invite the parties to make brief closing statements.
- During hearings on the merits of the grievance, advisors may be present but are limited to off-record consultation with his/her party/advisee, and may make a closing summary of argument within reasonable time limits set by the Panel Chair.
- The Panel shall make a determination as to whether the hearing is complete and whether further evidence needs to be obtained. Parties to the hearing other than Panelists need not be present in the room when this determination is made. In the event of disagreement among Panel members, a majority vote will decide the matter.
- There may be cases in which additional procedures are needed. The Panel will determine which procedures are needed and in which order they should occur. Notification must be given to the grievant and the respondent in advance of the hearing.
- A member of a Panel shall serve until the particular grievance process is concluded, even though his/her term of service on the full Grievance Code Committee has expired.
j. The Panel Report.
Within fifteen days after the conclusion of the hearing, or of written submission in lieu of a hearing, the Panel shall submit a report of its findings and decision to the Committee Chair who shall immediately send the Panel Report to the grievant, the respondent, the appropriate Executive Vice President, the President of the Faculty Senate, and other members of the Grievance Code Committee.
The Panel’s report must include a narrow ruling for or against the grievant along with a comprehensive rationale for the decision. The report shall not include a recommendation regarding a remedy for the grievant, as this responsibility is the purview of the full Grievance Code Committee. Nevertheless, if the Panel believes information pertinent to the formulation of a remedy should be conveyed to the Grievance Code Committee, the Panel may include such guidance within the report.
The Panel is at liberty to make broader comments about policies, procedures and circumstances that may have contributed to the conflict, and to recommend to the University changes that might prevent future conflicts of the same type. All such recommendations shall be characterized as recommendations by the Panel Chair and forwarded (in a mailing separate from the Panel’s decisions in the case) to the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee and the President of the Faculty Senate.
k. Appeal from the Panel Report.
To appeal, the grievant or respondent shall, within ten days after receiving the Panel Report under section F.7.j, file a “Notice of Appeal from the Panel Report” with the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee. In their absence the grievant may file the Notice with the Secretary of the University or the President of the Faculty Senate. The Notice must be in writing and must state the reasons for appeal. The Chair shall within thirty days after the filing convene the full Grievance Code Committee to deliberate and decide whether to hear the appeal, and, if so, whether to sustain the appeal. The Committee may reverse the Panel’s decisions or may remand the matter with appropriate instructions to the Panel. Such action shall be taken on the basis of the existing record and without further hearing or fact-gathering. A quorum of at least nine members of the Committee must be in attendance. The Committee’s decisions shall be made according to the majority of members in attendance and voting. The Chair shall report the Committee's decisions to the President of the Faculty Senate, the respondent, the grievant, and the appropriate Executive Vice President.
l. Decision on Remedy.
The Grievance Code Committee shall decide on the remedy in all cases when there is a final ruling in favor of the grievant. A quorum of at least nine members of the Committee must be in attendance. The Committee’s decisions shall be made according to the majority of members in attendance and voting. A decision on remedy, along with both the assenting and dissenting vote count, will become part of the decision record. The Chair shall report the Committee's decisions to the President of the Faculty Senate, the respondent, the grievant, and the appropriate Executive Vice President. The decision on remedy will be considered a final decision of the Grievance Code Committee, with appeal only to the University President, as provided under section F.7.m.
All remedies resulting from the procedures prescribed by this Grievance Code must comply with, and are subject to, applicable law and must be consistent with the University’s contractual and other legal obligations and University policy.
m. Appeal to the University President.
Should either party desire to appeal the Committee's decision to the President, he or she shall file a "Notice of Appeal" within 15 days after the Chair has sent the Committee's decision to the parties. The party shall file the Notice of Appeal with the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee, concurrently sending a copy to the adverse party. The Notice of Appeal, shall contain a concise written statement of the reasons that lead the party making the appeal to believe that the Panel's or Committee’s determinations were erroneous, and shall include a designation by the appealing party of which papers in the file he/she wishes forwarded to the President of the University. Upon the filing of the Notice of Appeal, the file on the grievance shall be forwarded by the Committee Chair to the President of the University. The file consists of such parts of the record as may be designated by the parties, but the Committee Chair is authorized to place fair and reasonable limits on the size of the record forwarded. At the President's discretion, but not later than ten days after receiving the file on the grievance, the President may remand the matter to the Committee or to the Panel for further deliberations. If the matter is remanded, the Chair of the Committee shall report to the President as soon as possible on the outcome of the Panel's and/or the Committee's further deliberations.
Within twenty days of receipt of the Notice of Appeal, or, if there has been a remand, within twenty days of the receipt of the Committee's additional report, and after such consultation as he or she deems appropriate, the President shall accept or reject the findings and decision of the Committee, including the finding of jurisdiction and shall state in writing the reasons for acceptance or rejection. Review by the President shall be confined to evidence considered by the full Committee, in addition to whatever arguments the parties may make with regard thereto.
If the President is unavailable to act within the time provisions of this section, then the President shall appoint an Executive Vice President from a campus other than the campus from which the grievance arose to review the appeal in the manner described. If the President is in a situation of conflict of interest, then the President of the Faculty Senate shall designate an Executive Vice President from a campus other than the campus from which the grievance arose to review the appeal. The President or the Executive Vice President who reviews the appeal may at his/her discretion appoint a senior member of the faculty as a "Master" to assist with the review.
In a grievance in which the University President is a properly named respondent, the appeal process prescribed in this section shall not be altered. All respondents shall be treated alike, without exception.
The President or Executive Vice President conducting such a review shall communicate his or her decision to the adverse parties, to the Chair of the Grievance Code Committee, to the President of the Faculty Senate and to the appropriate Executive Vice President. In the extraordinary event that the President or other officer designated above does not act within the time limits imposed by this section, the Committee’s decision shall become final and shall be immediately implemented by the appropriate University authorities.
The Code may be amended only after:
(1) an advisory vote of a majority of the University Faculty Senate present at a meeting after the matter has lain on the table for at least one meeting and proposed amendment has been publicized to the full Faculty
(2) approval by the University Board of Directors.
Every five years the University President shall appoint a six member committee to review this Code. The President shall select three members and the University Faculty Senate shall select three members.
The Faculty Handbook identifies both faculty rights and faculty responsibilities. The present Code provides for a University-wide Faculty Responsibilities Committee to handle complaints that faculty members have failed to meet a responsibility stated in the Faculty Handbook. This Code also presents policies and procedures to aid faculty members in correcting deficiencies of conduct and to sanction, if necessary, serious or persistent failures by faculty to meet their responsibilities. A persistent failure is one that continues after written notice to a faculty member from his or her Unit Head or higher administrator that a responsibility has not been fulfilled. The rights and responsibilities stated in the “Faculty Rights and Responsibilities” section of the Faculty Handbook remain unaltered.
Evaluation of research, teaching, and service occurs during the annual merit review process by the relevant academic unit. This and other processes of evaluation are separate from the policies and procedures described in this Code, which is intended to ensure that credible complaints of Faculty Misconduct are investigated and addressed fairly, impartially, and with keen sensitivity to the importance of academic freedom and collegial respect. This process is founded on the principle that the faculty must be involved in self-regulation and, when necessary, censure of colleagues.
Key sections describe 1) the process that members of the University must use when an allegation of Faculty Misconduct arises, 2) processes for investigating and adjudicating allegations of Faculty Misconduct, and 3) the range of corrective steps and disciplinary actions available to address substantiated findings of Faculty Misconduct.
The capitalized terms used throughout this Code are defined in Section G.15 (“Definitions”).
1. FACULTY MISCONDUCT
Faculty Misconduct occurs if one of the following conditions is present: 1) serious or persistent failure to meet a faculty responsibility stated elsewhere in this Handbook (and not handled through merit review and related reviews established in individual units of the university); 2) serious or persistent failure to comply with the terms of a faculty member’s contract or letter of appointment or failure to comply with applicable department, program, school, campus, or University policies; or 3) conduct that seriously, demonstrably, and unjustifiably impairs the effective operation of the University. A persistent failure is one that continues after written notice to a faculty member from his or her Unit Head or higher administrator that one or more responsibilities are not being fulfilled.
Concerns about minor deficiencies of Faculty conduct should be resolved in an early, local, and informal process by a supervisor, typically a Unit Head. Trivial or frivolous concerns about a faculty member’s conduct should be handled at this administrative level. The goal for a Unit Head or other supervisor is to help faculty correct a deficiency that might later be subject to a formal corrective or disciplinary action.
This Code specifies the scope of the work of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee. It does not alter the jurisdiction or the responsibilities of other University offices or committees. For example, with the exception of Section G.2, below, this Code does not cover allegations of unlawful discrimination or harassment (including discrimination in the denial of tenure, promotion, or reappointment), which are handled by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA). If any other University office or committee has jurisdiction over some of the allegations that arise, the Faculty Responsibilities Chair and the responsible office or committee will consult and determine the order of proceedings. See also Section G.12, below.
Faculty members and administrators may not retaliate against those who make allegations of Faculty Misconduct or against anyone who participates in the process set forth in this Code. Retaliation may be grounds for an allegation of Faculty Misconduct under the provisions of this Code, or grounds for a grievance according to the Faculty Grievance Code.
2. EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS
If an Executive Vice President concludes that an allegation of Faculty Misconduct requires immediate action that cannot wait for normal processes of review because a faculty member’s conduct currently poses a serious risk to safety or to the effective operations of the University, the Executive Vice President may place the faculty member on administrative leave with pay. A Formal Charge must be submitted, or an investigation initiated by IDEAA or other appropriate office or committee, within 10 days after the administrative leave begins or the faculty member must be reinstated. The Executive Vice President may require that the administrative leave continue until the full process described in this Code is concluded and/or the matter is fully resolved.
3. COMPOSITION AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES COMMITTEE
1. Composition. The Faculty Responsibilities Committee is a standing committee consisting of seventeen tenured members of the faculty, nine of whom are appointed from the Main Campus of the University and four of whom come from each of the Medical and Law Center campuses of the University. The Faculty Senate must appoint nine members and the University President must appoint eight members. A faculty member accused of misconduct who is not a Georgetown employee may request the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee to appoint an additional faculty member for the handling of his or her case. If the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee decides that the request is appropriate, he or she should appoint an additional faculty member (who need not hold tenure) with relevant expertise and knowledge of the professional situation to serve on an ad hoc basis as a non-voting member of a Panel appointed to conduct an investigation (see Section G.9).
2. Administrator Eligibility. Tenured faculty members simultaneously serving as administrators are eligible to serve on the Committee, except that current Unit Heads, Deans, and Executive Vice Presidents are not eligible to serve. Administrators appointed to the Committee must be recused for cases that originate in any unit in which they have an appointment.
3. Duration of Term. Terms commence on July 1st and expire on June 30th. The normal term is three years. Members of the Committee are eligible for reappointment to a second term, after which they may not serve for a third term. Following one full term (3 years) off the committee, former members are eligible for reappointment.
4. Chair and Vice Chair. The President of the Faculty Senate must appoint, from the members of the Committee, a Chair and a Vice Chair of the Committee, each to serve a three-year term, with the terms staggered. These appointments may be renewed.
5. Removal. If the Chair, Vice Chair, or any member of the Committee fails to effectively perform the responsibilities delineated in this Code, he or she may be removed by the President of the Faculty Senate after consultation with the President of the University.
4. CONFIDENTIALITY REQUIREMENTS
Members of the Committee and others privy to confidential information about the proceedings (including individuals raising concerns about Faculty Misconduct, witnesses, and Advisors) must maintain confidentiality about the initiation, investigation, and resolution of the matter, except:
1. when confidentiality is waived by a written agreement of the Parties;
2. when the Dean, as appropriate, shares information about the progress or the outcome of the process with the individual(s) who brought forward the allegation of Faculty Misconduct;
3. if a matter handled by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee is grieved because the Executive Vice President or President has taken an additional action beyond that specifically recommended by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee may share with the Grievance Committee: the Panel Report; any report from an appeal; and any other Faculty Responsibilities Committee information that the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee and the Chair of the Grievance Committee both deem necessary (or, in cases of disagreement between them, that the President of the Faculty Senate, whose decision is final, also deems necessary);
4. if a Panel discovers information that appears to be evidence of potential Faculty Misconduct during its investigation that is outside the scope of the Formal Charge, the Panel may, at its discretion, refer that information to the appropriate dean to conduct the Dean’s Review as set forth in Section G.6, below, including amending the Formal Charge, initiating a new Formal Charge, or dropping the Formal Charge; or
5. as required by law.
Any participant who is not a faculty member, student, or staff member of Georgetown University must sign a confidentiality agreement to be provided by the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee before participating. A breach of confidentiality may be grounds for an allegation of Faculty Misconduct under this Code or for a grievance as covered by the Faculty Grievance Code, and may be grounds for other remedial action, but it does not invalidate the proceedings.
5. STAGES IN PROCESSING ALLEGATIONS OF FACULTY MISCONDUCT
Five stages in the processing of allegations of Faculty Misconduct are distinguished in the following sections:
Stage 1: Initial Review
Stage 2: Formal Charges
Stage 3: Conciliation and Mutual Resolution
Stage 4: Formal Investigations, Hearings, and the Resolution of Allegations
Stage 5: Appeals and Final Decision-Making Authority.
6. STAGE 1: INITIAL REVIEW
The Unit Head’s Role
Anyone—including students, faculty, staff, and administrators—with a concern that a faculty member may not be fulfilling his or her responsibilities may express the concern to the appropriate Unit Head, who must attempt to resolve the matter or take the matter to the Dean within 5 days. If the concern is about the Unit Head’s conduct, or the Unit Head has a potential conflict of interest, the person raising a concern about Faculty Misconduct may take the concern directly to the Dean.
The Dean’s Review
If the issue is not resolved through the Unit Head’s efforts, either the Unit Head or the person raising a concern about Faculty Misconduct may take the concern directly to the appropriate Dean (where the “appropriate Dean” is determined by each school or campus) or to the Dean’s designee, who must be a tenured member of the faculty. The following course of action must then be taken.
1. The Dean must determine whether the allegation of Faculty Misconduct, if substantiated, would constitute a failure on the part of the faculty member to fulfill one or more faculty responsibilities.
(a) If it would not constitute a failure, further action is not required.
(b) If it would constitute a failure, the Dean must gather the relevant information and assess the evidence.
i. If the Dean determines that there is insufficient evidence that the alleged conduct occurred, further action is not required.
ii. If the Dean determines that sufficient evidence exists that the faculty member failed to meet a responsibility and that the failure was not sufficiently serious on its own to constitute Faculty Misconduct, but would be Faculty Misconduct if it were persistent, the Dean must make a record of the determination and provide written notice to the Faculty member.
iii. If the Dean determines that sufficient evidence exists of Faculty Misconduct to warrant a formal investigation, the Dean must file a Formal Charge.
2. The Dean must, within 10 days after the day the Dean receives the concern, conclude his or her review and file a Formal Charge, if warranted, with the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, and with a copy to the Respondent. The Dean has the discretion to inform the individual(s) who brought forward the concern about faculty conduct (see also Section G.4.2, above).
3. If, during the Dean’s review, a resolution is achieved through an agreement to the satisfaction of the Dean and the accused faculty member(s), the Dean must document the resolution and maintain the documentation in the Dean’s files, which must be made available to his or her successors as Dean.[vi]
4. If the Dean decides not to advance the concern to a Formal Charge, he or she must notify the accused faculty member(s) and the individual(s) who brought the concern to the Dean. For the Law Center, the Dean’s decision is final. For all other campuses, if an individual who brought the concern to the Dean is not satisfied with the Dean’s decision, he or she may petition the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee to proceed with a Formal Charge. The Chair then must review the Dean’s decision. If the Chair agrees with the Dean, the decision is final and the matter is ended. If the Chair disagrees with the Dean, the Chair must appoint an impartial senior administrator who is a tenured faculty member to proceed with a Formal Charge.
7. STAGE 2: FORMAL CHARGES
A Formal Charge must provide a precise statement of the alleged Faculty Misconduct, identifying the Respondent and, if possible, all individuals with relevant knowledge. All evidence assembled by the Dean during the course of the Dean’s review must be attached to the Formal Charge and submitted to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee.
Upon receipt of a Formal Charge, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must thereafter monitor the process to ensure that all processes and requirements delineated above and below are followed.
The Respondent may submit a written Answer to the Formal Charge to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee and the Dean within 10 days after receipt of the Formal Charge. In the Answer the Respondent has the right to respond in depth, and at length, in his or her defense and to challenge the evidence submitted. The Respondent may offer countervailing materials and identify individuals with relevant knowledge. The Respondent may respond to the Formal Charge even if the Respondent’s contract with the University expires during the course of this process or had previously expired.
8. STAGE 3: CONCILIATION AND MUTUAL RESOLUTION
If an Answer has been submitted, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must, within 5 days after receipt of the Answer, or as soon thereafter as circumstances permit, appoint a Conciliator to attempt to reach an informal resolution of the issues. A Conciliator must be a tenured Georgetown faculty member. If the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee judges in his or her sole discretion that the facts of the case indicate that Conciliation would be unproductive or inappropriate, it should not be attempted.
The Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must provide to the Conciliator the Formal Charge and the Respondent’s Answer. All meetings with a Conciliator must be closed, and all communications must be kept confidential. Advisors for the parties are not permitted to have any contact with a Conciliator during the process of conciliation.
The Conciliation must be completed within 10 days after the appointment of the Conciliator. The process may be extended by the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee. The Conciliator must destroy his or her copies of documents and related materials after completion of the conciliation process.
The Conciliation Outcome
At the conclusion of the Conciliation process, the Conciliator must, within 3 days, report in writing the results of the process to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, stating whether the issues raised in the Formal Charge have or have not been resolved.
If a resolution has been reached, the Conciliator must draft a document describing the specific terms of the agreed resolution. This document must be signed by the Parties, and within 10 days of reaching resolution, must be sent to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee. The Chair must then terminate the Formal Investigation unless the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee determines that this agreement does not adequately resolve the matter, in which case the Chair will notify the Parties.
If the Conciliator determines that no resolution can be reached, the Conciliator must so inform the Parties and the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, who then must proceed with a Formal Investigation.
Apart from the Conciliation process, the Parties may, at any time (including during Stage 4; see Section G.9), reach a mutually agreed resolution of the issues raised in the Formal Charge. In some cases, a resolution may be achieved through an agreement between the Respondent and the Dean, such as an agreement on a set of corrective actions (see Section G.10). If an agreement is reached, the Dean and the Respondent must draw up a document stating its specific terms. This document must be signed by the Dean and the Respondent before it is sent to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee. The Chair must terminate the Formal Investigation unless the Chair determines that this agreement does not adequately resolve the matter, in which case the Chair will notify the Parties.
Record-Keeping and Monitoring
The Dean and the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must maintain a copy of all documented resolutions of Formal Charges, including resolutions by conciliation. The Dean and the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee are both responsible for monitoring subsequent events to ensure that the conditions of the resolution are met. If the Dean concludes that a significant condition of the resolution has not been met, the Dean can consult with the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, who has authority to re-open the Formal Investigation.
If a mutual resolution is reached after a Panel has been formed (see Section G.9), the Panel may cease work, but must leave an orderly and complete record of what the Panel learned during its Formal Investigation. The records must be forwarded to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, who has authority to reinstate the Panel if problems arise with enforcement of the mutual resolution.
9. STAGE 4: FORMAL INVESTIGATIONS, HEARINGS, AND THE RESOLUTION OF ALLEGATIONS
This section delineates steps and processes in the investigation of Formal Charges, hearings by faculty panels, and the formulation of decisions and recommendations pertaining to the resolution of allegations of Faculty Misconduct.
Panels: Their Nature and Appointment
The goal of the Formal Investigation is to determine whether the Respondent has engaged in Faculty Misconduct and, where necessary, to recommend an appropriate form of correction or discipline.
The Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must appoint a 3-member Panel to conduct a Formal Investigation of the Formal Charge.[vii] Panels consist of three impartial faculty members from the Faculty Responsibilities Committee. Parties have the right to object to the appointment of one or more Committee members to the Panel on grounds of improper partiality, typically a bias or conflict of interest. In an objection, specific reasons must be stated in writing. The objection must be made to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee within five days of receiving notification that Conciliation has failed or will not be attempted. The Chair must wait until the end of the five-day period to make panel appointments, and must take the reasons presented in an objection into account. Within the next five days, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must appoint the Panel. The decision of the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee is final.
The Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must designate one member to serve as Panel Chair and must provide the Panel with the Formal Charge, the Respondent’s Answer, and any other documentation or information that the Chair deems helpful and consistent with the confidentiality provisions of the Faculty Handbook.
Unless waived by all Parties, the Panel must hold a hearing.
The Panel Chair, after consulting the Parties, must notify the Parties of the time and place of the hearing, which the Panel must hold as promptly as possible. Prior to the hearing, the Parties may make a submission containing arguments, written evidence, or other documentation—including new information—that they believe relevant. In addition to the deadlines specified below, the Panel Chair must state the date by which this filing of documents must be submitted, but no later than 10 days before the hearing. Each Party must email his or her full submission to the Panel Chair and the other Parties. No documentation may be submitted after the deadline.
No later than 5 days before the hearing each Party must notify the Panel Chair and the other Party of witnesses he or she intends to call. Each Party bears responsibility for arranging the attendance of witnesses. The Panel has the sole authority to determine the information relevant to its investigation. The Panel has discretion to meet as it sees fit in preparation for the hearing and to determine what it needs, how many and which of the witnesses proposed by the Parties are to be heard, the scope of appropriate questioning by Parties, and how to conduct the hearing. The Panel may call its own witnesses and must provide notice of these witnesses to the Parties no later than 2 days before the hearing.
The hearing must be electronically or otherwise recorded verbatim. Upon request of a Party, a copy of the recording must be furnished to the Parties at the University's expense.
Each Party has the option of selecting one Advisor to accompany him or her to the Panel hearing, and must notify the Panel Chair and the other Parties of the Advisor’s name and whether he or she is an attorney. If either Party indicates that they will be accompanied by an Advisor who is an attorney, the Chair of the Panel must notify the Office of General Counsel and the other Party. During Panel hearings, Advisors may not speak on behalf of the Party or otherwise represent the Party, but may consult with the Party when not in the presence of the members of the Panel, including off-record consultation during a break in a hearing. If an Advisor speaks during a hearing, he or she may be dismissed from the hearing by the Panel Chair.
Each Party and the Panel may present evidence, may examine evidence submitted to the Panel at the hearing by anyone, and may question witnesses as they appear.
General procedures recommended for conducting a hearing are the following:
a. The Panel Chair should explain to both Parties the purpose of the hearing, the procedures to be followed, and the rights of the Parties.
b. The Panel Chair should provide a reasonable opportunity for the Parties to be heard.
c. The Panel and the Parties should have a reasonable opportunity to question the Parties and all witnesses.
d. The Panel may adjourn the hearing to as needed to gather additional evidence.
e. The Panel Chair may terminate discussion during the hearing of matters that are not relevant to the issues before the Panel.
f. The Panel Chair should give the Parties an opportunity to make brief closing statements.
g. The Panel should deliberate in private after the closing statements.
Within 15 days after the date the hearing is closed, the Panel must submit to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee a Panel Report of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations. The 15-day period may be extended by the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee at the request of the Panel, but the extension should not be granted beyond 10 additional days unless the record of the Formal Investigation reflects exceptional conditions and the reasons for the requested extension are documented.
The Panel Report must contain the Panel’s factual findings and recommendations. The Panel must decide, by a vote of a majority of the Panel, based on the preponderance of the evidence, whether one or more Respondents have engaged in Faculty Misconduct. If the Panel decides that Faculty Misconduct has occurred, it must make a recommendation of appropriate corrective or disciplinary action(s) (see Section G.10).
Within 3 days after receipt of the Panel Report, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must forward the Report to the Parties.
10. CORRECTIVE AND DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
When a Panel makes a finding of Faculty Misconduct, it should recommend either 1) corrective action, 2) disciplinary action, or 3) some combination of 1) and 2). The Panel should recommend actions that are proportionate to the severity of the Misconduct and designed to ameliorate, improve, or punish the Misconduct.
Corrective actions are intended to facilitate a Respondent’s compliance with his or her faculty responsibilities or to ameliorate the effects of past non-compliance. Possible corrective actions, which may be combined, include, but are not limited to:
• a tailored intervention such as training, coursework, mentoring, review of syllabi, evaluation of course materials or teaching, or participation in faculty research workshops or support groups;
• monitoring of progress in the correction of behavior;
• an apology by the Respondent to the individual(s) harmed by the Faculty Misconduct; and
• a recommended course of counseling, monitored for compliance.
Disciplinary actions are institutional responses to Faculty Misconduct that call for more than a corrective action. Disciplinary actions generally have a punitive, and perhaps deterrent, purpose, not merely a corrective purpose. Possible disciplinary actions, which may be combined, include, but are not limited to:
• a letter of reprimand;
• loss of faculty privileges;[viii]
• denial of a salary increase, bonus, or other remuneration;
• reduction of salary;
• unpaid suspension from work for a stated period of time;
• removal of duties, with commensurate reduction in pay;
• reduction of rank;
• termination of employment; and
• revocation of tenure.[x]
11. STAGE 5: APPEALS AND FINAL DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY
If the Panel recommends only Corrective Action(s), the Panel’s findings and recommendations may be appealed by the Parties, but only on grounds of significant procedural error or evidence unavailable to the Parties at the time of the hearing.
If the Panel recommends a Disciplinary Action, the Panel’s findings and recommendations may be appealed on grounds of significant procedural error, evidence unavailable to the Parties at the time of the hearing, factual error pertaining to a fundamental issue, or the inappropriateness of the recommended disciplinary action given the findings of fact.
Appeals and Reviews
To appeal the Panel’s decision, a Party must submit a written appeal to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee within 10 days of receipt of the Panel Report. This appeal must not exceed 3,500 words and must state the grounds for appeal and provide any new evidentiary materials (which are not counted in the 3,500 word limit) that form the basis for the appeal. The Party must email his or her appeal to the other Party and to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee. The other Party has 10 days from receipt of the written appeal to send a response by email (limited to 3,500 words) to the Committee Chair and the other Party.
Within 15 days after receipt of both the appeal and the response(s), the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must convene the Committee to consider the merits of the appeal, any responses received, and the full record assembled by the original Panel. Members of the original Panel may participate in the Faculty Responsibilities Committee’s discussion of the appeal but must not vote on the appeal. All other members of the Committee, including the Chair, may vote.
The Faculty Responsibilities Committee must decide whether the reasons presented in the appeal are legitimate grounds for an appeal and sufficient to reverse or revise all or part of the Panel’s decision(s). The Panel’s finding(s) of fact may be overturned or remanded if and only if the Faculty Responsibilities Committee finds them to be clearly erroneous. In the event of disagreement among members of the Committee, a majority vote of members in attendance decides the matter. The Faculty Responsibilities Committee may 1) uphold the Panel’s findings and recommendations, if any, regarding corrective or disciplinary action; 2) uphold the findings but adjust the recommendations for correction or discipline; 3) overturn the findings and recommendations and, if necessary, recommend different corrective or disciplinary action(s); or 4) remand the case to the Panel with instructions to act.
If the case is not remanded, the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must issue a report containing its decision, including supporting reasons, within 10 days after the Committee reaches its decision.
Final Decision-Making Authority
After the Faculty Responsibilities Committee has decided an appeal, or the period to appeal expires without appeal, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must within 10 days provide the report to the Parties and the Executive Vice President of the Respondent’s campus. The Chair must transmit the full record in the case to the relevant Executive Vice President.
The Executive Vice President must issue a written decision in the case within 15 days after receipt of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee’s report and must forward it to the Parties and the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee. The Executive Vice President has the option of remanding the case to the Faculty Responsibilities Committee with instructions about further proceedings. The Executive Vice President has the authority to deviate from the recommendations of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, but he or she should do so only in exceptional circumstances and for reasons that are communicated to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee and distributed to all members of the committee.
The Executive Vice President’s decision is final.
When a decision about a proper corrective or disciplinary action has been reached and communicated to the affected faculty member, he or she must comply with the requirements of the corrective or disciplinary action and must not engage in further Faculty Misconduct.
The Respondent’s Dean and the Executive Vice President are jointly responsible for ensuring that corrective or disciplinary action is properly carried out. When the Respondent believes the corrective requirements have been fulfilled, he or she must submit documentation to the Dean demonstrating that he or she has satisfied the requirements.
12. RESULTS OF OTHER UNIVERSITY PROCESSES
If there are allegations against a faculty member that are referred under Section G.1, above, to IDEAA or another University office or body, and that review results in a finding(s) that a faculty member violated the University’s policies, the Executive Vice President may submit the results to the full Faculty Responsibilities Committee for the purpose of recommending corrective or disciplinary action.
In such cases, the Executive Vice President has the authority to deviate from the recommendations of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, but he or she should do so only in exceptional circumstances and for reasons that are communicated to the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee and distributed to all members of the committee. The Executive Vice President’s decision is final.
13. GRIEVANCES OF CORRECTIVE AND DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
No part of a final decision specifically recommended by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee can be grieved under the Faculty Grievance Code. However, any disciplinary or corrective action taken by the Executive Vice President (or President, as applicable) beyond an action specifically recommended by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, or taken when the Faculty Responsibilities Committee has not recommended disciplinary or corrective action, is subject to the Faculty Grievance Code. A grievance on these grounds may be filed only after the final decision.
14. FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES COMMITTEE RECORD KEEPING
The Dean and the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee must keep a copy of all documentation pertaining to the processing of a Formal Charge, and the Chair must forward a copy to the Secretary of the University as a record of the proceedings at the conclusion of the matter.
15. GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES
The following administrative procedures and rules govern the Faculty Responsibilities Committee.
1. The Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee has discretion, before the expiration of the time limits set by this Code or within ten days thereafter, to extend the time or times within which action must be taken under this Code if in his or her judgment such extension of the time is appropriate—as, for example, when Committee members are unavailable due to a holiday recess. A time extension might be needed in addition to other provisions for time extensions provided herein. The Chair must notify all Parties of an extension of a time limit that is specified under this Code.
2. No proceeding, decision, or determination made during the course of proceedings under this Code may be invalidated for failure by the Faculty Responsibilities Committee, one of its Panels, or an administrator to act within applicable time limits under this Code.
3. Members of Panels must be attentive to actual and apparent bias and conflict of interest and must recuse themselves if they have an apparent bias or conflict of interest. Panel members bear a burden to recuse themselves, as appropriate, but, as in Section G.9, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee has the discretion to recuse panel members when the Chair determines that they have a bias or conflict of interest.
4. If the Chair has a bias or conflict of interest in a case, the Vice Chair must assume the responsibilities of the Chair for that particular case.
5. The Committee has a right to establish, by majority vote, any procedures to the extent not defined by this policy such as, but not limited to, rules related to balloting, quorum, and the time frame of activities. The Committee may define any terms not defined in this policy and may establish additional guidelines to protect the interests of individuals who allege Faculty Misconduct, Respondents, and the University.
6. All participants are required to cooperate with the processes delineated in this Code. If a participant refuses to cooperate, the processes must continue without his or her participation.
The following definitions of terms are used for the purposes of this Code:
1. Advisor: An individual who is designated by and gives advice to a Party.[xi]
2. Answer: A response to Formal Charges that the Respondent has an opportunity to submit at the commencement of a Formal Investigation.[xii]
3. Conciliation: The process of mediation entrusted to a Faculty member (the Conciliator) that normally follows the filing of a Formal Charge and precedes a Formal Investigation.
4. Day: Throughout this Code the words “day” and “days” refer to working days, excluding University holidays.
5. Faculty: For purposes of this Code, “Faculty” refers to all persons appointed by the University as faculty to teach or conduct scholarly research except those whose employment at the University is governed by a collective bargaining agreement.
6. Faculty Misconduct: 1) Serious or persistent failure to meet a faculty responsibility stated elsewhere in this Handbook (and not handled through merit review and related reviews established in individual units of the university); 2) serious or persistent failure to comply with the terms of a faculty member’s contract or letter of appointment or failure to comply with applicable department, program, school, campus, or University policies; or 3) conduct that seriously, demonstrably, and unjustifiably impairs a significant department, program, school, campus, or University function.
7. Formal Charge: A written document that a Dean files after conducting an initial investigation and that initiates a Formal Investigation of an allegation of Faculty Misconduct.
8. Formal Investigation: A careful gathering of information and critical scrutiny of the merit of the Formal Charge conducted by a Panel of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee.
9. Panel: A subset of three faculty members of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee charged with conducting an investigation of a Formal Charge, holding hearings, reaching findings, and formulating recommendations.
10. Panel Report: A report issued by a Panel regarding its findings and recommendations after it concludes the Formal Investigation.
11. Parties: The Respondent and the Dean or other university official who brings the Formal Charge.
12. Respondent: A faculty member or group of faculty members against whom an allegation of Faculty Misconduct has been made to a Unit Head or Dean.
13. Unit Head: An academic administrator to whom the Respondent directly reports or is accountable, typically at the level of a department chair or Dean of the unit in which the Respondent holds his or her primary faculty appointment.
Any revision to the Board-approved policies defining rights and responsibilities of faculty members, or any addition to or deletion of any such policy, may be proposed by the Faculty Senate, any Executive Vice President, the President, or the Board of Directors. Before the Board of Directors votes on the issue:
- The proposed revision shall be made available for review to all members of the faculty, The Faculty Senate, the Executive Vice Presidents, and the President;
- The Faculty Senate shall have the opportunity to deliberate on the proposed revision and submit its recommendations to the President and Board of Directors;
- The President shall have the proposed revision reviewed by designated advisory bodies.
A proposed change that has been submitted to the Faculty Senate for review may be taken up by the Board of Directors without a Senate recommendation if the Senate fails to act in a timely manner. In extraordinary circumstances, if the Board of Directors determines that there is insufficient time for a full review by the faculty and Senate, the Board shall make every effort to consult with the Senate Officers.
A change becomes final when approved by the Board of Directors. After the Board of Directors approves a change to the policies defining rights and responsibilities of the faculty, the Executive Vice Presidents, the Faculty Senate, and all members of the faculty shall be informed. Updating of the Faculty Handbook website in which such policies are published is the responsibility of the Provost.
Some Board approved policies defining rights and responsibilities of faculty members have additional requirements for revision, such as the Faculty Senate Constitution. Any additional requirements are stated in those policies.
The 10-day rule may be waived on a showing of good cause. (Return to text)
Earlier editions of this handbook used the term “Ordinary” for tenured or tenure-eligible faculty. (Return to text)
Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide. (Return to text)
This clause restricting tenure to Associate Professors and Professors does not apply to faculty who were granted tenure prior to February 14th 2008. (Return to text)
If a person not expressly covered by this Code or any other University grievance code is aggrieved in circumstances where considerations of academic freedom indicate the Code should nonetheless apply, the appropriate Campus Executive Vice President is authorized, at his/her discretion, to extend the coverage of the Code at that person’s request. (Return to text)
As used throughout the text of the Code, the word “day” refers to working days, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. (Return to text)
Issues about remedies for a former employee will be handled in the same manner that remedies for current employees are handled (see Section F.7.l). (Return to text)
For purposes of these procedures, if the Executive Vice President is a respondent, the University President will be informed of the results and take the required actions. (Return to text)
See further the introduction to faculty responsibilities found in the Faculty Handbook, III.C, “Faculty Rights and Responsibilities.” (Return to text)
As supplemented or amended by the policies, contracts, or letters of appointment applicable to individual faculty members. (Return to text)
Examples include flagrant interferences with the exercise by colleagues or students of their rights of free inquiry and expression. (Return to text)
If an administrator other than the Dean has been designated by the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee because the Respondent’s Dean is conflicted or otherwise unavailable, the designated administrator will ensure that the proper documentation is provided to the Respondent’s Dean in a form suitable for filing. (Return to text)
If the Formal Charge relates to a prior Formal Charge that is under investigation by a Panel, the Chair of the Faculty Responsibilities Committee has the authority to assign the new Formal Charge to the same Panel. (Return to text)
Examples include removal from office, project, or home unit; loss of office space; research funding; access to Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants; attendance at faculty meetings; and voting rights. (Return to text)
This term here means a period of monitoring behavior to ensure good behavior under supervision. Inappropriate behavior during the period presumably calls for more severe sanctions. (Return to text)
The grounds for revocation of tenure are delineated in the Faculty Handbook, III.D.3. (Return to text)
The Answer includes evidentiary materials submitted with the Answer. (Return to text)