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7.12 Hearing Procedures for Charges of Professional Misconduct as to which a Severe Sanction is Sought

Approved by Academic Council, Administration

The procedures described in this section shall be followed in the hearing on a charge against a faculty member that proposes a severe sanction. No severe sanction shall be imposed with finality unless these procedures have first been followed, except when the faculty member waives their application. An interim suspension under section 7.10.7.c shall not be considered imposition of a severe sanction with finality.

7.12.1 The faculty member shall receive a written statement of specific charges and proposed severe sanction, framed with reasonable particularity, and shall be given adequate time to prepare a defense. In general, hearings shall commence within 45 days of transmittal to the faculty member of the written statement of charges.

7.12.2 The hearing shall be conducted by a Discipline Review Panel (DRP) consisting of five members. For any matter, the DRP shall be established as follows: The Chair of the Grievance Committee shall identify a draft roster of 15 tenured faculty members, drawn at random from among the members and former members of the Grievance Committee described in section 7.10.2 above who are eligible to serve in the matter. The Chair of the Grievance Committee shall forward to the Provost and the faculty member the roster. The Chair shall disqualify any individual by reason of bias, interest, or other cause, on request by the Provost, the charged faculty member, or on the Chair’s own motion. The Chair shall thereafter transmit a revised roster identifying at least 12 individuals. The Provost and the faculty member, respectively, shall each thereafter confidentially nominate seven individuals from the revised roster to serve on the DRP. The Chair shall notify each party of the other’s nominees after the Chair has received all such nominations. The Chair shall in all cases appoint to the DRP any individual who has been nominated by both the Provost and the faculty member, unless there are more than five such individuals, in which case only five shall be appointed. If there are three or fewer individuals appointed in such manner, the Chair shall complete the appointments of the DRP from the revised roster by appointing at least one other member nominated by the Provost and at least one other member nominated by the faculty member. The Chair shall fill any remaining vacancies on the DRP by making additional appointments off the revised roster. The hearing panel shall choose its own Chair.

7.12.3 The Chair of the Grievance Committee shall convene a meeting of the Provost, the faculty member and their respective representatives at least one week before the hearing, in order to attempt to resolve the charges by mutual agreement.

7.12.4 The DRP shall not be bound by formal rules of evidence.

7.12.5 The Provost shall have the burden of proving the charges. Both the Provost and the faculty member shall be permitted to present evidence, to examine all evidence presented, to confront and question all witnesses, and to present arguments orally and in writing. The Provost shall designate the University employee or employees who will participate on behalf of the Provost. The faculty member may act on his or her own behalf, or may utilize the assistance of another faculty member. If the Provost is seeking to impose the severe sanction of termination from the University for disciplinary reasons, the DRP shall permit the faculty member to be represented by an attorney if the faculty member, the Provost, and the DRP all agree that this would contribute to a fair and regular hearing; and if so, the Provost may have attorney representation as well. Absent the agreement of the Provost and the faculty member, the hearing shall be open only to those directly involved in the proceedings.

7.12.6 A verbatim record of the hearing shall be prepared in the form of an audio tape, a videotape, or a written transcript, and a copy shall be made available to the faculty member at no cost

7.12.7 After the hearing, the DRP shall promptly prepare a report containing its findings, conclusions, and recommendation, which shall be transmitted to the parties, to the Provost, and to the Chair of the Grievance Committee. Unless an extension is granted by the Chair of the Grievance Committee upon a showing of good cause, the DRP shall forward its report within 30 days of the end of the hearing.

7.12.8 If the DRP determines that a charge of professional misconduct as defined in 7.9.2 has not been established, it shall provide the parties and the Chair of the Grievance Committee with a written report stating its conclusions and explanation. The Provost shall thereupon dismiss any such charge. If the DRP determines that any charge of professional misconduct as defined in section 7.9.2 has been established, it shall provide the parties and the Chair of the Grievance Committee with a written report stating its conclusions and explanation, including a recommendation with regard to the sanction to be imposed. The Provost shall impose the sanction recommended by the DRP unless the Provost finds compelling reasons for adopting a different result. In the event that the Provost decides that no sanction is warranted or that a different sanction should be imposed than that recommended by the DRP, the Provost shall issue a written decision stating the considerations that justify departing from the recommendation of the DRP and forwarding a contrary decision to the President. In any case in which the Provost imposes a severe sanction, the faculty member shall have the opportunity to transmit a response to the President prior to the President’s determination. The President shall accept the Provost’s decision unless the sanction imposed is manifestly unjust or the product of one or more serious procedural defects. The President may return a matter to the DRP or the Provost for whatever further proceedings the President identifies as appropriate to correct serious procedural defects or produce a record adequate to allow the President to make a determination. If the President affirms a sanction which results in the involuntary dismissal of the faculty member, the faculty member shall have the right to have the record of the case transmitted to the University Board of Regents for review, and the right to binding arbitration under the procedures of section 7.14.

7.12.9 If the Provost is personally involved in the incident giving rise to a grievance or charge, the President shall carry out the responsibilities assigned to the Provost in these procedures. If the President’s personal involvement in the events giving rise to a grievance or charge is substantial, or if the President is alleged to be biased with regard to a grievance or charge or to have committed a serious procedural error with regard to a grievance or charge, the Chair of the Grievance Committee shall have the authority to bring the allegations to the attention of the Board of Regents, so that the Board may, if the circumstances warrant, designate a replacement to carry out the responsibilities assigned to the President in these procedures.