Policies and Procedures
  • Section II - 1.00(E) UMB POLICY AND PROCEDURES ON TERMINATION FOR CAUSE OF NON-TENURE TRACK FACULTY
  • (Approved by the President, August 20, 1998)

    PART I. SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS

    1.1. This Policy and Procedures ("Procedures") apply to termination for cause of non-tenure track faculty appointments at the University of Maryland, Baltimore ("UMB"). These Procedures do not apply to termination of appointments by non-renewal, retrenchment, layoff or expiration or termination of contract.

    1.2. If charges against a faculty member have been heard under another campus procedure, e.g. the procedure for investigation of scholarly misconduct or a school judicial code, and in the judgment of the Vice President for Academic Affairs ("VPAA"), that procedure provided sufficient due process and consideration of the issues which are the basis of a request to terminate for cause, the VPAA may waive all parts of these Procedures, except Part II, sections 2.16 to 2.19, and may make a decision on a request for termination based on the findings in the prior procedure.

    1.3. "Business day" means a weekday on which UMB offices are generally open for business, and does not include UMB recognized holidays and vacation periods.

    1.4. Good faith departures from these Procedures that do not materially prejudice the rights of an Appointee will not invalidate findings at hearings or other actions taken in implementation of these Procedures.

    PART II. POLICY ON TERMINATION FOR CAUSE

    2.1. Upon the written recommendation of the Dean of a school at UMB, the VPAA may terminate the appointment of a non-tenure track faculty member ("Appointee")1 of that school for cause. Causes for termination include, without limitation, moral turpitude, professional or scholarly misconduct, incompetency, insubordination, willful neglect of duty, inability to perform (with reasonable accommodation) essential functions of the position, willful abandonment of professional responsibilities, inability to carry out professional responsibilities due to circumstances such as loss of professional licensure or professional liability insurance, and absence from work following exhaustion of all sick leave and other available leave. For joint appointments, such a recommendation may come from one or both Deans involved.

    1 At UMB, the only faculty ranks which are either tenure track or tenured are Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor. Appointments to all other ranks, including any qualified rank in which an additional adjective is introduced (such as "Clinical Professor," "Nursing School Assistant Professor," or "Research Associate Professor"), are non-tenure track appointments. In the School of Medicine, the titles Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor can be held by non-tenure track faculty.

    2.2. Before the VPAA terminates a faculty appointment under these Procedures, the Appointee must be provided with written charges and given an opportunity to request a hearing. The termination notice given by the VPAA shall specify an effective date. If a hearing is not requested in a timely manner as specified in Section 2.4 and

    2.5, the termination shall be effective as provided in the notice. If a hearing is requested, termination shall be deferred pending final action by the VPAA after the hearing.

    2.3. Notice of the charges for termination and any other notices or communications to an Appointee required by these Procedures shall be effective upon delivery to the faculty member's designated campus address, with a copy sent by first class mail to the home address of the Appointee that is on record at the Office of Human Resource Services.

    2.4. Upon notice of charges for termination, the Appointee shall have five (5) business days to make a written request to the VPAA for a hearing.

    2.5. A request for a hearing and any other communication from the Appointee to the VPAA required by these Procedures must be delivered to the office of the VPAA and will be considered given as of the date of delivery.

    2.6. A requested hearing shall be scheduled promptly, but shall not be held sooner than five (5) business days after receipt of a request for hearing unless the VPAA and the Appointee agree to expedite the hearing schedule.

    2.7. Pending a hearing and decision by the VPAA, the Dean(s) of the School(s) where the Appointee has an appointment may direct that the Appointee be relieved of some or all faculty duties, and/or reassigned to other duties, without loss of compensation. Following consultation with the VPAA, the Dean(s) may suspend the Appointee without compensation. None of these described interim actions will prejudice the final decision of the VPAA with respect to termination of the faculty appointment. The VPAA may direct restitution of salary if it is decided not to terminate the appointment of an appointee who has been suspended without pay. Suspension without pay may result in a loss of income attributable to clinical activities under a faculty practice plan. Restitution of such income is at the discretion of the practice plan organization.

    2.8. Types of Hearing

    • a. A part-time appointee, or a full-time appointee with less than seven (7) years of continuous full-time service, in the UMB faculty is entitled to a hearing conducted by a Hearing Officer ("Hearing Officer"). The VPAA shall appoint a Hearing Officer.

    • b. A full-time Appointee with seven (7) or more years of continuous full-time service is entitled to a hearing by a Faculty Review Board ("Faculty Review Board"), appointed by the VPAA.

    • c. Geographic full-time appointees are considered full-time appointees for purposes of interpreting this section of these Procedures.

    2.9. The VPAA may not appoint as Hearing Officer or as a member of the Faculty Board any person who has had direct involvement in the matter which is the basis of the charges to terminate the Appointee's faculty appointment.

    2.10. A Faculty Board shall have three members, at least one of whom must be a tenured member of the faculty in the School where the Appointee has a primary faculty appointment. If the Appointee has a joint appointment, at least one other member must be from the School where the Appointee has a secondary appointment. The VPAA shall name the Faculty Board and choose one of its members as its Chairperson.

    2.11. It is the responsibility of the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board to make recommended findings of fact and to recommend, in addition, whether the Appointee's employment be terminated and/or other disciplinary action be taken against the Appointee. The recommendations must be based only upon the evidence admitted into the record at the hearing, and upon consideration of any other information about Appointee contained in any University record or, for an Appointee with clinical responsibilities, records of an affiliated health care organization (e.g. University of Maryland Medical System Corporation).

    2.12. A hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Part III of these Procedures.

    2.13. The Hearing Officer or Faculty Board must convey in writing a recommendation that the Appointee be disciplined by action short of termination of appointment. Discipline which the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board may recommend includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • a. formal reprimand

    • b. suspension, with or without pay

    • c. demotion and/or salary reduction

    • d. elimination of administrative responsibilities

    • e. curtailment of faculty privileges (e.g., travel, conference attendance)

    • f. restitution of damages caused the institution

    • g. retractions

    This discipline may be in addition to termination of employment or alternative to termination of employment.

    2.14. If the Appointee was suspended without compensation by a Dean, the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board shall include with its findings a recommendation as to whether the Appointee should receive back compensation.

    2.15. The recommendations of the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board shall be communicated to the VPAA, the relevant Dean(s), and the Appointee in writing within five (5) business days of the close of the hearing. The Appointee and the relevant Dean(s) may provide written responses to the recommended findings and administrative actions, provided that such responses are delivered to the VPAA not later than ten (10) business days after the close of the hearing. The VPAA will review the Hearing Officer's or Faculty Board's recommendations, and any timely responses of the Appointee, and reach a decision on findings and action affecting the Appointee.

    2.16. In reaching a decision, the VPAA is not bound by the recommendations of the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board. The VPAA shall consider only information that is on the record as a result of the hearing or the responses; any information about Appointee contained in any University record or, for an Appointee with clinical responsibilities, records of an affiliated health care organization (e.g. University of Maryland Medical System Corporation); past disciplinary action against the Appointee; and the findings of any institutional procedures in which the same issues were the subject of a proceeding affording due process to the Appointee. The VPAA's decision is final, subject only to an appeal to the President.

    2.17. If the Appointee was suspended without compensation by a Dean, the VPAA's decision shall include determinations as to whether the Appointee should receive any back compensation and the amount of such compensation.

    2.18. The VPAA's decision shall be communicated to the Appointee in writing within five (5) business days of the VPAA's receipt of the responses (if any) to the findings and recommendations or within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the findings and recommendations, should there be no responses. The Hearing Officer or the members of the Faculty Board, and the Dean(s) of the appropriate School(s), shall be sent a copy of the written notification. As appropriate, the VPAA and the Dean(s) shall impose any sanctions which are specified by the decision.

    2.19. The VPAA's decision may be appealed to the President by the Appointee only upon grounds that the decision was motivated by illegal bias or was a denial of due process. Any appeal must be submitted in writing to the VPAA not more than ten (10) business days after the date of the VPAA's decision. The effective date of termination or other discipline will not be delayed due to an appeal.

    PART III. HEARING PROCEDURES

    3.1. A hearing shall take place only in the presence of the Hearing Officer or all members of the Faculty Board. The Appointee shall have the opportunity to be present throughout the hearing.

    3.2. Charges against the Appointee shall be presented by a Dean who has recommended termination or the Dean's designee. The Dean may designate legal counsel to UMB to present charges at the hearing.

    3.3. The Appointee may elect to be represented by legal counsel of the Appointee's choice throughout the hearing

    .

    3.4. The Hearing Officer or Faculty Board may consult with legal counsel, who may be present at the hearing as advisor to the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board. Generally this legal advisor shall be an Assistant Attorney General who has had no prior involvement in the preparation or presentation of the charges against the Appointee.

    3.5. The hearing shall be closed, except that the following persons may be present at all times:

    • a. The Appointee and the Appointee's attorney;

    • b. The Dean(s) from the Appointee's School(s), and/or the Dean's designee, and any attorney working with UMB to present the charges.

    • c. Counsel to the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board.

    • d. One or more persons employed by UMB who shall be responsible for audio or video taping the hearing, managing exhibits, and carrying out other administrative tasks incident to the hearing.

    3.6. Witnesses

    • a. It is the responsibility of the Appointee and the Dean(s) involved to arrange for the presence at the hearing of any person to be called by the Appointee or UMB as its witness. UMB employees will be encouraged to attend if requested by either the Appointee or UMB.

    • b. Absent exceptional circumstances, the unavailability of proposed witnesses shall not be grounds for postponing, delaying or otherwise continuing the hearing. Notarized affidavits of witnesses (other than the Appointee) will be considered at the hearing if it is not practical to secure the appearance of the witnesses.

    3.7. The Hearing Officer or Faculty Board also may call witnesses (including expert consultants) whose testimony may be relevant to the issues.

    3.8. Evidence

    • a. At least two (2) business days before the hearing, the Appointee shall have the opportunity to review all available documentary and physical evidence, the witness list and the general nature of each witness's testimony which will be presented in the case in chief in support of the charges.

    • b. The Hearing Officer or the Chairperson of the Faculty Board shall conduct the Hearing informally, allowing the Appointee and UMB the opportunity to present evidence and arguments. A departure from these Procedures shall not invalidate a hearing unless significant prejudice to the Appointee or to UMB results from the departure.

    • c. The Appointee or the Appointee's counsel, and a UMB representative or UMB's counsel, may question all witnesses. The Hearing Officer or members of the Hearing Board may question all witnesses.

    • d. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. The Hearing Officer or Faculty Board may receive documentary evidence in the form of copies or excerpts as well as originals.

    • e. The Hearing Officer or Chairperson may refuse to hear evidence on grounds of immateriality or insufficient relevance or undue repetition, and may exclude written statements proffered solely in lieu of testimony of persons who are reasonably available to testify.

    • f. The Hearing Officer or Faculty Board may set reasonable time limits for the presentation of testimony and evidence.

    • g. The case for termination of appointment must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

    • h. A verdict of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere in a criminal proceeding against an Appointee shall be taken as conclusive evidence that the Appointee has done the acts charged in the criminal proceeding. Similarly, Appointee's admission(s) that the act giving rise to the charge occurred shall be taken as conclusive evidence that the Appointee has done the act admitted. If the same acts are the basis of a charge for termination, no evidence beyond the verdict, plea or admission need be taken at a hearing on charges of termination. However, evidence relating to determination of appropriate sanctions by UMB will be accepted.

    3.9. Record of Hearing

    A record of the hearing, including all testimony and exhibits, shall be maintained by the Hearing Officer or Faculty Board. All oral evidence shall be tape-recorded by audio or video taping. A copy of the tape and all written evidence or physical evidence shall be kept on file by the Office of the VPAA for at least five years. Accidental erasures or poor quality of the tape-recording will not invalidate findings at a hearing.

    3.10. Continuances and Extensions of Time

    A request from the Appointee or the Dean(s) for a continuance shall not be granted by the Hearing Officer or Chairperson except for good cause shown. The Hearing Officer or Chairperson may extend any deadline for good cause shown if the extension is not unduly prejudicial to the Appointee.

    3.11. No Effect on Appointment Term

    These Procedures shall not be applied to extend the term of a faculty appointment which ends while an appeal is pending.