This policy governs the employment of instructional personnel, including probationary, part-time, full-time, and adjunct faculty members. It provides for the right to continued employment for full-time and part-time faculty members that have successfully completed their probationary periods, known as “Core Faculty Members.” Probationary faculty and adjunct faculty do not have such a right to continued employment.
Scope and Applicability
This policy applies to all faculty members, including probationary, full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty. It does not apply to non-instructional personnel
The College embraces the philosophy that its employees are its primary asset and therefore uses its best efforts to establish a working relationship with each employee that is stable and predictable. Thus, the College seeks to provide Core Faculty Members with an expectation of continued employment as described in this Policy 4-44.
Probationary and Core Faculty
- A faculty member, except an Adjunct Faculty Member, is initially hired through a Probationary Faculty Contract as a Probationary Faculty Member and serves a Faculty Probationary Period. Typically, the Probationary Faculty Contract is for a term of one year. During the Faculty Probationary Period, the Probationary Faculty Member does not have an expectation of continued employment beyond the term of the Probationary Faculty Contract, and may be terminated during the term of the contract, with or without cause and with or without notice.
- Once the Probationary Faculty Member has successfully completed the Faculty Probationary Period, the faculty member will be considered a Core Faculty Member. As a Core Faculty Member, the employee has an expectation that his or her annual Faculty Contract will be renewed unless good cause exists not to renew the contract. In addition, a Core Faculty Member may only be terminated during the term of his or her Faculty Contract for good cause, including as a result of a reduction in force.
- Teaching assignments and other faculty duties are in the sole discretion of the College. All faculty members, including Core Faculty Members, will be offered assignments based on the faculty member’s qualifications and the needs of the College. If a Core Faculty Member declines to accept an appropriate teaching assignment or other duties, the College is not obliged to offer the faculty member an alternative assignment and the faculty member’s refusal to take the assignment offered shall be considered that faculty member’s resignation.
- A Core Faculty Member has the right to challenge the non-renewal or termination of his or her contract pursuant to this College policy.
Non-renewal or Termination of a Probationary Faculty Contract
If the College elects not to renew the employment contract of a Probationary Faculty Member, it shall deliver a notice of intention not to renew the contract by no later than April 1 of the year in which the contract is due to expire. Unless otherwise provided by its terms, a Probationary Faculty Contract may be terminated during its term with or without cause and with or without notice. A decision not to renew or to terminate a Probationary Faculty Contract is not subject to appeal or review except pursuant to the SFCC Employee Concerns and Complaints Policy 4-3 for a violation of College policy.
Non-renewal or Termination of an Adjunct Faculty Contract
Adjunct Faculty Members are employed on an as-needed basis. As a result, every Adjunct Faculty Contract expires by its terms, whether or not the College provides any notice of non-renewal to the Adjunct Faculty Member. Unless otherwise provided by its terms, an Adjunct Faculty Contract may be terminated during its term with or without cause and with or without notice. A decision not to renew or to terminate an Adjunct Faculty Contract is not subject to appeal or review except pursuant to the SFCC Employee Concerns and Complaints Policy 4-3 for a violation of College policy.
Non-renewal or Termination of a Core Faculty Contract
A Core Faculty Member has an expectation that his or her annual Faculty Contract will be renewed unless good cause exists not to renew the contract. In addition, a Core Faculty Member may only be terminated during the term of his or her Faculty Contract for good cause, including as a result of a reduction in force. The process that the College will follow for non-renewal or termination of a Core Faculty Contract is as follows:
- Prior to termination or non-renewal, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs (VP/ASA) shall serve upon the Core Faculty Member a written notice describing the basis for termination or non-renewal.
- Generally, the written notice shall be served on the Core Faculty Member at a meeting with the VP/ASA or the VP/ASA’s designee. In such cases, the Core Faculty Member shall be granted an opportunity at that meeting to respond to the basis for termination or non-renewal.
- If the written notice is not served on the Core Faculty Member in a meeting with the VP/ASA and the Director of Human Resources, the date of service of the notice shall be the date that the written notice was mailed by Certified Mail, faxed or e-mailed to the Core Faculty Member. In such cases, the faculty member has ten (10) Working Days from date of service of the notice to request in writing a meeting with the VP/ASA. If this request is not made to the VP/ASA within ten (10) Working Days of the date of service of the notice, a termination shall take effect on the sixth working day from the date of service and a non-renewal shall no longer be subject to pre-termination review. The VP/ASA (or designee) shall meet with the faculty member within five (5) Working Days from receipt of the request for a meeting.
- The VP/ASA (or designee) shall inform the faculty member in writing, either at the conclusion of the meeting or within five (5) Working Days thereof, of the VP/ASA’s decision regarding whether his or her contract will be terminated or not renewed. This written decision shall include the effective date of termination, where appropriate.
- Post-Termination Process
1. A Core Faculty Member whose contract was terminated or not renewed may appeal his or her termination by filing a written request for an appeal with the VP/ASA within five (5) Working Days from the date of termination or from the date of service of the notice of the VP/ASA’s decision to not renew the Core Faculty Member’s contract would not be renewed, whichever is earlier.
2. The Office of Human Resources shall provide the Core Faculty Member with a list of the members of the College Hearing Council within five (5) Working Days of receipt of the Core Faculty Member’s request for formal review. The faculty member shall notify the Director of Human Resources in writing of his or her selection of one person from the College Hearing Council within five (5) Working Days of receipt of the list. If the faculty member does not do so within five Working Days, the faculty member shall be deemed to have abandoned his or her request for review. The VP/ASA selects another person from the College Hearing Council and notifies the Director of Human Resources in writing within five (5) Working Days of receipt of the faculty member’s selection. Once two members have been identified, these two select a third member from the pool, who serves as the Hearing Panel Chair. Either the faculty member or the VP/ASA may object to a Panel member selected on the basis of a conflict of interest, such as a current relationship, which might lead to the appearance of bias on the part of the person. Such objection shall be submitted to Human Resources in writing within five (5) Working Days of the Panel member’s selection. Human Resources shall evaluate the possible conflict of interest, make a decision whether the selected Panel member shall serve, and so notify the parties.
3. Human Resources coordinates convening the College Hearing Panel within ten (10) Working Days of the selection of the Hearing Panel Chair. In consultation with the other members of the Panel, the Panel chairperson will then set a date for the hearing within 20 calendar days of being convened by Human Resources. Human Resources will send a written notice to the faculty member, VP/ASA and others who may be appropriately involved in the hearing stating the date and time of the hearing.
4. The Chair shall conduct the hearing. During the hearing, the VP/ASA or designee must demonstrate that good cause exists to terminate or not renew the Core Faculty Member’s contract. Both parties may call witnesses, cross-examine each other’s witnesses and introduce exhibits. Members of the College Hearing Panel may ask questions of all witnesses. The rules of evidence shall not apply and the Chair may exclude evidence that the chair determines is irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitive. The hearing shall be closed to the public. Witnesses (other than the terminated faculty member and the VP/ASA) shall be present only to testify. The terminated faculty member and the VP/ASA may each be accompanied by an attorney or another representative of their choice; however, that attorney or representative may not participate in the hearing, he or she may only advise the terminated faculty member or the VP/ASA.
5. Within five (5) Working Days of the hearing, the College Hearing Panel shall issue a report to the President, including findings of fact and recommendations.
6. The President shall review the College Hearing Panel’s report and, within fifteen (15) Working Days from receipt of the report, issue a final written decision regarding the termination or non-renewal of the faculty member’s contract. The President, in his or her sole discretion, may accept, modify or reject the recommendations of the College Hearing Panel. The President’s decision shall be final and binding upon the parties.
Reduction in Force (RIF) Affecting Core Faculty Members
The College may terminate or not renew the Faculty Contract of any faculty member, including a Core Faculty Member, in cases of bona fide financial emergency or the discontinuation of instructional programs, or the restructuring of a College office or function. Such a reduction in force (RIF) constitutes good cause for the termination or non-renewal of a Faculty Contract. Only Core Faculty Members are entitled to any notice of a RIF, pursuant to College Policy 4-40. That policy governs all RIFs, including RIFs of faculty members.
All faculty members are required to follow all College policies, including the SFCC Code of Conduct. All faculty members are subject to discipline short of termination, including oral and written reprimands and suspensions. Such discipline may only be reviewed pursuant to the SFCC Employee Concerns and Complaints Policy 4-3 for a violation of College policy. The College may conduct an investigation into any alleged misconduct by a faculty member. During this investigation, the College may place the faculty member on administrative leave with pay. Faculty members are required to cooperate with any investigation by the College.
- Adjunct Faculty Member Contracted to teach on a course by course basis. Refer to Policy 4-44: SFCC Employment of Faculty for further description.
- Core Faculty A full-time or part-time faculty member who has successfully completed the faculty probationary period.
- Faculty Contract refers to the agreement by which faculty members are employed by the College. Faculty Contracts are typically for one-year, except for Adjunct Faculty Contracts, which may be for a semester or one or more classes. The employment rights provided by the Faculty Contract, if any, shall vary depending upon whether the faculty member is a probationary, adjunct, or core faculty member.
- Faculty Probationary Period The period of time during which a new faculty member, except an adjunct faculty member, works for the college prior to becoming a core faculty member. Refer to Policy 4-44 SFCC Employment of Faculty for further description.
- Good Cause Shall include, but not be limited to, dishonesty, misconduct, the refusal or unwillingness to perform employment duties and responsibilities, insubordination, prolonged absence of more than three (3) days from duty without the consent of the College, conduct that involves moral turpitude or reflects poorly on the public image of the College or interferes with its educational mission, and any violation of local, state or federal law or violation of College policy. A reduction in force also constitutes good cause for termination (Policy 4-40 Special Circumstances Employment Actions).
- Probationary Faculty Member An employee hired by the college to provide instruction as a faculty member, except an adjunct faculty member, who has not completed the faculty probationary period. Refer to Policy 4-44 SFCC Employment of Faculty for further description.
Statement of Accountability and Responsibility
The President, through the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Academic and Student Affairs Office, shall be responsible for enforcing academic policies and procedures. The Academic and Student Affairs Office shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention and remediation.
SFCC Governing Board approved: 6/28/07