E22.0 Policy on the Impact of Financial Exigency on Faculty
Scope: All tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty on multiple year contracts
The financial health of RIT is primarily the responsibility of university senior administration and the board of trustees. The faculty is provided the duty to present analyses and recommendations on university budget and other financial matters by means of the university Resource Allocation and Budget Committee (B02.0 10.8).
This policy outlines the steps that shall take place if, despite the work of those governing bodies, a university-wide financial crisis arises that threatens the survival of the entire university and cannot be addressed by less drastic means such as provided in E20.0 Policy on Discontinuance, Reduction, or Transfer of Academic Programs. In that extraordinary circumstance, the board of trustees may choose to formally declare a state of financial exigency.
The decision to formally declare a state of financial exigency lies with the board of trustees, but the response to such a declaration must include all deliberate steps to safeguard the university’s academic mission first and foremost, and shall include the participation of the university faculty, as outlined in this policy.
II. General Statement
If the board of trustees declares that a state of financial exigency exists, the president shall inform the entire campus community within five (5) business days of the declaration in order to outline what led to the financial crisis, the scope and scale of the crisis, the potential impact on students, faculty, and staff and the range of remedies being considered. Within five (5) business days of the president’s notification to the RIT community, the Faculty Senate, Staff Council and the Student Government shall each meet to discuss the range of remedies and submit a written report that addresses the impact of the proposed remedies, options for implementing such remedies, or suggests alternative remedies to the president and chair of the board of trustees. These written reports shall be supported by a majority vote of each governance group and include a tally of the vote and dissenting reports, if any.
Due to the urgency of the situation, failure to adhere to the stated time frame shall not delay this process.
Ten (10) business days after the president informs the campus community of the declaration, the president shall convene a select committee composed of the provost, three (3) faculty members, two (2) staff members, and one (1) student each selected by a vote of their respective governance groups for the purpose of providing feedback on the proposed remedies. The select committee’s deliberations shall be based on the university’s mission and the educational interests of the students. The select committee shall respond in writing to the president and the chair of the board of trustees within ten (10) business days of receiving the reports from the president.
Within five (5) business days of receiving the select committee report, the president shall release an action report outlining the remedies, in specific detail, which are to be put in place.
III. Termination of a Faculty Member Due to Financial Exigency
If the president’s action report (see II.C.) results in the termination of faculty appointment(s) before the end of a specified term or release of tenured faculty member(s), the following process shall be followed.
Within ten (10) business days of the president’s action report, the dean of each affected college or unit shall convene a meeting of the department heads and the college tenure committee to submit one list of the specific faculty recommended for termination. When determining which faculty to recommend for termination, the deans, department heads, and college tenure committees shall consider all of the following:
The faculty members’ knowledge and background for the courses required for degree completion in the programs being retained or reduced, including courses required to satisfy general education requirements
Recent performance ratings (up to the past six years)
Length of service
The department heads and college tenure committees shall vote on the faculty recommended for termination. The dean shall submit this list with the vote to the provost for review with a university-wide perspective. Within five (5) business days of receiving the last submitted list by the deans, the provost shall forward the college lists and votes along with the provost’s recommendation to the president.
A tenured faculty member shall not be terminated in favor of retaining a tenure-track faculty member who is not yet tenured or a non-tenure-track faculty member except in the case where the termination of the non-tenured faculty member would seriously distort the college's academic mission. The president shall consult with the provost, the Office of Legal Affairs, and the Department of Human Resources before making the final decision on the list of faculty to be terminated.
The president shall give notice by electronic and certified mail on the same day to each of the faculty on the list to be terminated. From this date:
Tenured faculty who are selected for termination shall continue to be employed (or receive equivalent salary and benefits) for twelve (12) months from the date the notification of termination is sent.
Tenure-track faculty who are not yet tenured and non-tenure-track faculty on multiple-year appointments who are selected to be terminated before the end of their current appointment period will continue to be employed (or receive equivalent salary and benefits) for six (6) months from the date the notification of termination is sent.
Non-tenure-track faculty on single year appointments and adjuncts shall continue to be employed (or receive equivalent salary and benefits) for the remainder of the current semester.
The position or similar position of a tenured faculty member shall not be filled by full- or equivalent part-time appointments within three years after the notification of termination unless the affected tenured faculty member has been provided a written offer of reinstatement at the same rank, tenure status, and at least the same salary as at the time of termination and given one month in which to decide to accept or decline the offer. If faculty salaries were impacted by remedies approved during exigency, the same remedy shall be applied to the tenured faculty’s salary upon rehire. The affected faculty member shall be given ten (10) business days to decide to accept or decline the written offer in writing.
In the event an adjunct appointment to teach a course(s) that is the same or similar to course(s) previously assigned to the terminated tenure-track faculty member arises within two (2) years of termination, the adjunct appointment must be first offered in writing to the terminated tenure-track faculty member at the current rate of pay for adjunct faculty. The affected faculty member shall be given ten (10) business days to decide to accept or decline the written offer.
A faculty member who alleges that the policies and procedures set forth above have not been properly applied may seek review of the alleged violations through the appropriate Faculty Grievance Policy, (E24.0).