4.31 Appointment, Reappointment, Discipline and Dismissal of Full-Time Professional Employees - Updated 7/27/15

See version history

I. Definitions of Contract Types

A. Professional Short-Term Contract: A contract awarded to a Professional employee at the volition of the College for an appointment of no more than twelve months to a position which has been so designated by the President or to a position which is supported by a grant or other temporary source of funds.

B. Professional Term Contract: A contract awarded to a Professional employee at the volition of the College for an appointment of no more than twelve months to a position which has been so designated by the President, including all Professional appointments made on or after October 1, 2010, or to a position which is supported by a grant or other temporary source of funds. Credit toward an extendible contract will not be awarded an individual for service under one or more term contracts.

C. Professional Extendible Contract: A contract issued prior to October 1, 2010 for all Professional employees (or issued after July 27, 2015 for all Counselors) extendible annually, designed to provide reasonable assurance of continuing employment except as stipulated in this policy.

II. Professional Appointment and Reappointment

A. Professional Term Contracts

The initial appointment of a Professional employee hired after October 1, 2010 (or for a Counselor hired after July 27, 2015) shall be for a period of no more than twelve months and will be made according to the procedure stated in Policy 4.02 Employment of Full-time Personnel. Generally, contracts are issued for a fiscal year. If warranted by special circumstances, contracts for periods up to 36 months may be issued at the discretion of the President.

B. Professional Extendible Contracts

A Professional extendible contract that was awarded prior to October 1, 2010 (or after July 27, 2015 for a Counselor) shall be extended annually, unless the Professional changes employment to a position for which a term contract is awarded or to a Classified position.

III. Non-Reappointment and Dismissal

A. Non-Reappointment of Professional Short-Term Contracts

The appointment of an individual employed under a short-term contract expires at the end of the contract term. Reappointment or non-reappointment at the expiration of the short-term contract will be at the volition of the College in its sole discretion. However, a short-term contract applicable to a position that is supported by a grant or other temporary source of funds may be terminated, with or without notice, at the time of any cessation or suspension of the supporting grant or temporary funding. The affected employee does not have access to institutional due process as defined in 4.36 Due Process Policy.

B. Non-Reappointment of Professional Term Contracts

The appointment of an individual employed under a term contract expires at the end of the contract term. Reappointment or non-reappointment at the expiration of the term contract will be at the volition of the College in its sole discretion. If it is the decision of the College not to reappoint the individual, the President will give written notice to the employee by June 1. However, a term contract applicable to a position that is supported by a grant or other temporary source of funds may be terminated, with or without notice, at the time of any cessation or suspension of the supporting grant or temporary funding. The affected employee does not have access to institutional due process as defined in 4.36 Due Process Policy.

C. Dismissal of a Professional Employee on an Extendible Contract

1. The reasons and procedures for dismissal of a person who has a Professional extendible contract are specified in Section VII. and VIII. of this policy. Notification of intent not to reappoint an employee who has a Professional extendible contract shall be given to the employee by the President by certified mail, postmarked on or before June 1. The affected employee has access to institutional due process as defined in 4.36 Due Process Policy.

2. Professionals on extendible contracts who accumulate, consecutively or non-consecutively, two "Unsatisfactory" annual performance ratings during any consecutive four-year period shall have their contract terminated on June 30 of the year in which the second "Unsatisfactory" rating was given.

IV. Regulations

A. All Professionals shall be hired through the procedure set forth in Policy 4.02 Employment of Full-time Personnel and in accordance with the College's Equal Opportunity Program Policy.

B. The terms of employment for Professional staff shall be in accordance with Policy 4.06 Length of Contracts.

V. Corrective Discipline

The appointment, reappointment, discipline, and dismissal of full-time Administrators shall generally occur in accordance with this policy. However, in accordance with 4.64 Sexual Misconduct Policy, some forms of harassment may also violate the College’s policy against Sexual Misconduct under Title IX. When a report of harassment is received, the Title IX coordinator will determine whether it shall proceed under this policy or the Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.

A. Supervisory/administrative efforts should, whenever possible, be concentrated on preventing serious job performance and/or conduct problems from occurring rather than on disciplining employees. If disciplinary measures are necessary, it is essential that:

1. Each problem is investigated by the immediate supervisor/administrator so that the facts of the situation are known.

2. Whenever possible, any action taken is primarily corrective rather than punitive and is appropriate to the offense.

3. The dignity of the employee is respected.

B. Categories of Corrective Discipline

The College administration will determine which step of discipline is required based upon the nature and/or severity of the offense. If an offense is of sufficient severity, disciplinary action may begin at a more advanced stage, up to and including immediate dismissal. Therefore, the College maintains the right to dismiss any employee, as outlined in this policy, without providing for any or all of the following corrective disciplinary measures.

1. Counseling

Counseling by an employee's immediate supervisor/administrator will normally be the first effort to correct the employee's performance or conduct deficiencies. When an employee's work or conduct is unsatisfactory and if counseling does not correct the situation, progressive discipline consisting of increasingly stronger disciplinary action will normally be followed.

2. Verbal Warning

A verbal warning may be issued in an attempt to correct relatively minor occurrences of inappropriate performance and/or conduct.

3. Written Warning

A written warning may be issued for repetition of an offense covered in a previous verbal warning or the first occurrence of a more severe offense.

4. Final Written Warning

A final written warning (with or without unpaid suspension) may be issued for the first occurrence of a very serious offense(s) or may be issued for repeated lesser offenses which have been identified by the immediate administrator and not corrected by the employee despite previous disciplinary action(s).

a. The final written warning is considered a last chance and if an employee does not achieve improvement in performance/conduct, dismissal will normally be the result.

b. The Unit Vice President (or designee) and the Associate Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) must review the final written warning prior to it being issued to the employee.

c. If deemed appropriate, an unpaid suspension may also accompany the final written warning as a severe reprimand.

5. Involuntary Reassignment or Demotion

An involuntary reassignment or demotion may be issued as a method of addressing employee performance and/or conduct matters.

a. Involuntary reassignments and demotions must be reviewed by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) and approved by the Unit Vice President (or designee) and the President prior to implementation.

b. Involuntary reassignment or demotion shall be documented by written notification addressed to the employee. The notification will include reasons for the reassignment or demotion as well as the consequences of continued or additional performance and/or conduct problems.

VI. Administrative Leave

An employee whose continuing presence is not considered to be in the best interest of the College may be placed on administrative leave in accordance with Policy 4.28 Administrative Leave.

VII. Reasons for Dismissal of Professionals During the Term of a Contract

Any employee, including those on employment contracts of any type, may be dismissed at any time with or without previous disciplinary action for any of the following reasons:

A. Dereliction of Duty

1. Dereliction of duty shall include, but not be limited to, prolonged neglect of job responsibilities or failure to perform in a proper and acceptable manner such duties as are prescribed by the Board of Trustees or administration of the College.

2. Professionals dismissed during the term of a contract for dereliction of duty shall have access to institutional due process.

B. Serious Misconduct

1. Serious misconduct shall include, but not be limited to, conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude resulting from actions taken on or off College premises; conduct amounting to culpable negligence; willful disregard of express directives of the College; or a refusal to follow written policies, rules, regulations, and procedures of the College.

2. Professionals dismissed during the term of a contract for serious misconduct shall have access to institutional due process.

C. Impairment

1. Impairment shall include, but not be limited to, a declaration of judicial incompetence or the lack of ability to perform normal and requisite job duties and responsibilities due to continuous physical and/or mental disability for a period of more than eight months.

2. Professionals dismissed during the term of a contract for impairment shall have access to institutional due process.

D. Position Elimination

1. Position elimination may be necessary at any time if the position to which the employee is assigned is discontinued as a result of institutional financial exigency, reorganization, or program reduction.

2. Professionals whose positions are eliminated during the term of a contract shall not have access to institutional due process.

E. Reduction in Force

1. A reduction in force may be necessary at any time if multiple positions are eliminated as a result of institutional financial exigency or program reduction.

2. Professionals dismissed during the term of a contract due to a reduction in force shall not have access to institutional due process.

VIII. Procedures for Dismissal of a Professional During the Term of a Contract

A. When, in accordance with the College's policies, it is necessary to propose dismissal of an employee on a Professional Term or Professional Extendible contract during the term of an employment contract, the employee’s supervisor, department administrator, and/or other administrator in the supervisory chain shall consult with the Human Resources Department to discuss whether dismissal is warranted and appropriate.

B. If it is determined that dismissal is warranted and appropriate, the supervisor and/or administrator will recommend to the Unit Vice President (or designee) that the employee be dismissed. This recommendation will state the grounds for the proposed action and the relevant College policies, with a copy of the recommendation forwarded to the affected employee. The employee will be placed on administrative leave in accordance with Policy 4.28 Administrative Leave pending investigation and final decision.

C. Within ten working days after receipt of the recommendation, the Unit Vice President (or designee) will schedule and conduct an informal conference to be attended by the affected employee, the supervisor, and/or administrator recommending dismissal. The Unit Vice President (or designee) will confirm that the affected employee has received a copy of the recommendation and will afford the employee an opportunity to address the matters set forth in the recommendation. The Unit Vice President (or designee) may make any necessary inquiry of the affected employee or the involved supervisors/administrators.

D. Within ten working days following the informal conference, the Unit Vice President (or designee) will advise the affected employee by certified mail whether he/she will recommend to the President that the dismissal recommendation be upheld. The Unit Vice President (or designee) reserves the right to deny the recommendation, determine that a different course of action is necessary, that more time is needed to review the matter, and/or suspend the employee without pay pending his/her decision.

1. If the Unit Vice President (or designee) recommends that the employee be dismissed, he/she will notify the affected employee of the decision and the employee’s rights under 4.36 Due Process Policy.

2. If the employee elects to pursue the right of due process, the employee will notify the Unit Vice President (or designee) and the Executive Assistant to the President within ten working days of the date of the notification. The matter will then proceed in accordance with 4.36 Due Process Policy.

3. If the affected employee does not request a due process hearing, then the Unit Vice President (or designee) will forward a recommendation to the President for implementation.

4. The President reserves the right to deny the recommendation, determine that a different course of action is necessary, that more time is needed to review the matter, and/or suspend the employee without pay pending his/her decision. The President's decision will be served upon the affected employee by certified mail postmarked no later than ten working days after receipt of the Unit Vice President’s (or designee’s) recommendation. If the President upholds the dismissal recommendation, the employee’s employment shall be terminated effective as of the date the President’s decision is sent.

Changes approved by Cabinet on July 26, 2010; July 27, 2015