4.31 Appointment, Reappointment, Discipline and Dismissal of Full-Time Professional Employees

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I. Definitions of Contract Types

A. 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.

B. Professional Extendible Contract: A contract issued prior to October 1, 2010, for an appointment extendible annually, designed to provide reasonable assurance of continuing employment except as stipulated in this policy.

C. Professional Performance Improvement Plan: A section of the annual performance development plan which specifies certain improvements an employee must make in order to continue employment.

II. Professional Appointment and Reappointment

A. Professional Term Contracts

The initial appointment of a professional employee hired after October 1, 2010, shall be for a period of no more than twelve months and will be made according to the procedure stated in
Policy 4.02 of CPCC Policies and Procedures. 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.

D. Professional Extendible Contracts

A professional extendible contract that was awarded prior to October 1, 2010, shall be extended annually, unless the professional changes employment to a position for which a term contract is awarded, or has received an "Unsatisfactory" rating as determined by the annual performance rating obtained through the evaluation system in effect at that time. However, the College may refuse to extend a contract for one or more of the reasons specified in this policy.

III. Non-Reappointment

A. 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 May 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.

B. Non-Reappointment of Professional Extendible Contracts

1. The reasons and procedures for non-reappointment of a person who has a professional extendible contract are specified in Section VI and VII 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 May 1. The affected employee has access to institutional
due process as defined in Policy 4.36.

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 Employment Program.

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

V. Corrective Discipline

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

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. 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 counseling and/or any or all of the following corrective disciplinary measures.

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 a 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 performance/conduct probation and/or 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.

6. Suspension

a. An employee whose continuing presence is not considered to be in the best interest of the College may be suspended with or without pay in accordance with
Policy 4.28 Administrative Leave.

b. Such action shall be taken by the Unit Vice President (or designee) based upon the written recommendation of the employee's supervising administrators and shall require the approval of the President.

c. In the event of a suspension pending the final decision of a dismissal issue, if it is finally decided that the employee is not to be dismissed, the employee shall be entitled to receive any pay which has been withheld and shall be reinstated without loss of status or benefits, unless unpaid suspension is imposed as disciplinary action.

VI. 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 (or may not be reappointed for the following fiscal year), 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. Discontinuation of a Position

1. Discontinuation of a position 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 discontinued 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 discontinued 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.

VII. 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 a professional during the term of an employment contract, or to propose during the term of an extendible that no additional contract be issued in accordance with this policy, the employee’s supervisor and/or department administrator shall recommend  such action.

B. After consultation with the Human Resources Department, the employee's immediate supervisor and/or department administrator, as applicable, will make their recommendations to the Unit Vice President (or designee) that the employee be dismissed or that the College refuse to grant an additional extendible contract. These recommendations will state the grounds for the proposed actions and any policy violations, with a copy of the recommendations forwarded to the affected employee.

C. Within ten working days after receipt of the recommendations, the Unit Vice President (or designee) will schedule and conduct an informal conference to be attended by the affected employee, the immediate supervisor/administrator, and the responsible second-level supervisor/administrator, if applicable. The Unit Vice President (or designee) will ascertain that the affected employee has received a copy of the recommendations and will afford the employee an opportunity to address the matters set forth in the recommendations. The Unit Vice President (or designee) may make any such inquiries of either the affected employee or the involved supervisors/administrators as may be deemed appropriate.

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 with or without pay pending his/her decision.

1. If it is recommended that the employee be dismissed, or that the College refuse to grant an additional extendible contract, the Unit Vice President (or designee) will specify the recommended effective date of the dismissal. The notification will refer the employee to CPCC
Policies and Procedures 4.36 Due Process Policy for his/her option to have the recommendation to dismiss or refusal to grant an additional extendible contract considered by the appropriate panel.

2. If the employee does elect 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 receipt of the notification. The employee will then refer to
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 with or 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.

Approved by Cabinet on July 26, 2010