Resignations and Terminations

Reason for Policy: 

This policy outlines certain matters relating the resignation and/or termination of academic staff members.

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

All faculty at the UO and individuals who work with faculty.

Enactment & Revision History: 

Technical revisions enacted by the University Secretary on August 31, 2015.

Section E (formerly OAR 580-021-318) amended by the President upon recommendation of the Senate on March 22, 2015.

Became a University of Oregon Policy by operation of law on July 1, 2014.

Former Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 580 Division 21, Sections 0300 through 0470.

Policy: 

A. Resignations

Notice of resignation shall be filed in the President’s office as early as possible but in no event later than one month before the resignation is to take effect.

B. Timely Notice

(1) If any appointment of a full-time academic staff member who is on an annual tenure appointment as defined in UO Policy 580.021.0100-135 Section (1)(b)(A) is not to be renewed for reasons other than for cause or financial exigency, timely notice of nonrenewal shall be given in writing as follows: during the first annual appointment, by March 15 for those whose contracts expire June 15, or at least three months' notice given prior to expiration of the appointment; during the second year of service, by December 15 for those whose contracts expire on June 15, or at least six months given before expiration of the appointment; in the third and subsequent years, at least 12 months' notice that may be given at any time. In the event that notice is given to faculty members who are in the first or second year of an annual tenure appointment after the prescribed deadline, they shall also receive 12 months' notice of nonrenewal.

(2) Timely notice shall be given to part-time academic staff members on annual appointments on the same basis as to full-time faculty members cited above, except that the length of timely notice for part-time faculty members shall be calculated in terms of FTE years of service rather than in calendar years.

C. Terminations

Terminations can be either for cause or not for cause. Policies regarding terminations for cause and other sanctions apply to all members of the academic staff, both those having indefinite tenure and those not having indefinite tenure.

D. Termination Not for Cause

Termination not for cause is defined as any termination other than for cause as set forth in Section F:

(1) Staff Members with Indefinite Tenure:

(a) The appointment of an academic staff member with indefinite tenure will not be terminated for reasons other than for cause, except for financial exigency or program or department reductions or eliminations. Before the appointment of any academic staff member on indefinite tenure can be terminated for financial exigency, a bona fide determination will be made by the President that a financial exigency does exist, and that sufficient funds are not available for payment of compensation for the position concerned. Program or department reductions or eliminations may be made by the President, upon determination, pursuant to University procedures providing for faculty and other appropriate input, that such reductions or eliminations are consistent with University goals and needs;

(b) Responsibility for the decision as to whether a state of financial exigency exists, and the subsequent decision on actions necessary to meet the financial exigency, or the decision as to the necessity for program or department reductions or eliminations resulting in termination of employment of tenured faculty, shall rest with the President. In considering such matters, the President shall confer in a timely manner with appropriate faculty and other University councils and with the Board concerning the issues involved in arriving at decisions in the foregoing areas;

(c) University procedures relating to program or department reductions or eliminations shall reflect a regard for the rights of the affected academic staff member, and such procedures may not be used as a substitute for the provisions of Sections G through S that set forth the procedural protections to be accorded staff members;

(d) If a tenured faculty member's appointment is terminated or if the appointment of a nontenured faculty member is terminated before the end of the period of appointment because of financial exigency, or because of program or department reductions or eliminations, the released faculty member's place will not be filled by a replacement within a period of two years, unless the released faculty member has been offered reappointment and a reasonable time within which to accept or decline it;

(e) If the staff member cannot be retained either in the position in which presently employed or in some alternate position, maximum possible notice of termination shall be provided the academic staff member being terminated for financial exigency, and in the case of faculty terminated because of program or department reductions or eliminations not demonstrably related to a state of financial exigency, 12 months' notice shall be given.

(2) Staff Members without Indefinite Tenure. Appropriate notice of termination shall be provided staff members holding annual tenure appointments as set forth in Section B. If the employment of such staff member is being terminated for financial exigency or program or department reductions or eliminations so as to render impossible the provision of notice as set forth in Section B, maximum possible notice will be provided.

E. Other Personnel Actions Not for Cause

As authorized by statute and by authority delegated to the President, personnel may be transferred or reassigned within an institution in accordance with the staff needs of the institution or other units. Such personnel actions should not be considered sanctions for cause unless they result from actions described in Section G.

F. Termination and Other Sanctions for Cause

The appointment of a tenured or nontenured academic staff member may be terminated, or other sanctions imposed, for cause. Sanctions for cause include oral or written warning or reprimand, removal from an assigned post and reassignment, suspension for a period not to exceed one year and termination. Sanctions more severe than oral or written warning or reprimand shall be imposed in accordance with the procedure in Sections G through S. Sanctions of oral or written warning or reprimand may be imposed in accordance with University procedures.

G. Definition of Cause

(1) "Cause" shall mean:

(a) Conviction of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude during the period of employment by the University (or prior thereto if the conviction was willfully concealed in applying to the University for employment);

(b) Conduct proscribed by UO Policy 580.022.0045; or

(c) Failure to perform the responsibilities of an academic staff member, arising out of a particular assignment, toward students, toward the faculty member's academic discipline, toward colleagues or toward the University  in its primary educational and scholarly functions and secondary administrative functions of maintaining property, disbursing funds, keeping records, providing living accommodations and other services, sponsoring activities and protecting the health and safety of persons in the University community.

(2) Evidence to demonstrate cause under the standard set forth in subsection (1)(c) of this definition of "cause" may include, but is not limited to, evidence of incompetence; gross inefficiency; default of academic integrity in teaching, research or scholarship; intentional or habitual neglect of duty and failure to perform adequately for medical reasons.

H. Initiation of Formal Proceedings

If the President determines that there is probable cause to impose a sanction or sanctions more severe than an oral or written warning or reprimand on an academic staff member, the President shall attempt to reach a satisfactory resolution of the matter. If no satisfactory resolution is reached within a reasonable time, the President shall authorize the preparation of formal charges in accordance with University procedure. The charges shall specifically state the facts believed to constitute grounds for imposition of a sanction or sanctions. The person authorized to prepare the charges shall not participate in evaluating the charges. Charges shall be filed with the President, and a copy personally delivered, or sent by certified mail, to the academic staff member within ten days after the authorization of preparation of charges. The charges or a notice accompanying the charges shall inform the academic staff member of the right to a formal hearing on the charges and of the academic staff member's duty to notify the President within ten days after the charges have been delivered or sent whether such hearing is desired.

I. Temporary Suspension of Academic Staff Member

No restraints shall be placed on the academic staff member between the filing of charges and the President’s action on the hearing committee's report. However, if at any time during the pendency of charges against an academic staff member, the President makes a written finding stating the reason that there is a clear and present danger that the academic staff member's continued performance of duties will be harmful to the University, to the academic staff member or to the public at large, the President may suspend the academic staff member, without loss of compensation, from some or all duties.

J. Academic Staff Member's Request for a Formal Hearing

Within ten days after the personal delivery or mailing of a copy of the charges to the academic staff member, the academic staff member who is so charged shall state in writing to the President whether a formal hearing on the charges is desired. This ten-day period may be reasonably extended by the President. If the academic staff member requests in writing that a formal hearing not be held, the President may impose an appropriate sanction or sanctions on the academic staff member to be effective as determined by the President. The President shall promptly give written notice thereof to the academic staff member provided, however, that the appointment of an academic staff member shall not be terminated except as provided in Section O.

K. Hearing Committee

Unless the academic staff member requests in writing that a formal hearing on the charges not be held, such hearing shall be held before a special ad hoc committee of from three to five members. Committee members shall be selected in the following manner: the advisory council, faculty senate or other proper elective faculty body shall appoint one or more permanent panels each consisting of ten faculty members; from one, or if necessary, two, of the permanent panels, the same elective body will name from three to five to serve as the hearing committee. The academic staff member and the administration are each allowed one peremptory challenge; a committee member so challenged will then be replaced from the same panel or panels of ten each by the elective body initially charged with impaneling. The committee shall be constituted promptly and shall complete the hearing and its report within 30 days of its constitution, if possible. The hearing committee shall elect a chair from among its members.

L. Conduct of Hearing

(1) The committee shall set a date for the hearing, giving the academic staff member and the administration sufficient time to prepare the case. The academic staff member and the administration shall have the option of assistance by counsel, both in preparing for and at the hearing. Not less than one week before the hearing date, the academic staff member shall file with the committee any written statement regarding the case. The committee shall review the charges and the academic staff member's statement, if any, prior to the hearing.

(2) The committee shall consider the case on the basis of the obtainable information and decide what, if any, sanction or sanctions it will recommend be imposed on the academic staff member. The academic staff member shall have the option of a public or private hearing. The conduct of the hearing shall be under the control of the committee chair, subject to the requirements of this chapter and the procedure of the committee. The committee chair shall have the powers of a hearing officer as defined in Section Y.

(3) A verbatim record of the hearing shall be kept. At the hearing, the committee shall receive the testimony of witnesses, on oath or affirmation, and other evidence concerning any disputed facts. The administration shall have the burden of proving its formal charges against the academic staff member, and the committee findings shall be according to the preponderance of the evidence.

(4) The committee shall not be bound to follow court procedures or rules of evidence, except as otherwise required by law. The academic staff member shall have the right to appear, to participate in the hearing, and to present relevant evidence to the committee. The academic staff member may be represented by counsel with or without being present. The academic staff member and the administration shall have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Insofar as possible, the administration will secure the cooperation, for attendance at the hearing, of witnesses requested by the academic staff member. The academic staff member and the administration shall be given reasonable opportunity to submit rebuttal testimony or other evidence. At the conclusion of the testimony, the committee may permit each side to make an oral or written summation; if the privilege is extended to one side, it must be extended to the other side. When the committee is satisfied that all pertinent and available evidence has been received, and that such summations as it deems appropriate have been presented, the hearing will be adjourned. The committee will then go into executive session for the purpose of deliberation.

M. Committee’s Report

The committee, by agreement of a majority of the members thereof, shall make explicit findings based on the hearing record with respect to each specification in the formal charges lodged against the academic staff member. Within ten days following determination of its findings, the committee shall recommend, by agreement of a majority of its members what, if any, sanction or sanctions shall be imposed on the academic staff member. The President and the academic staff member shall be given copies of the findings and recommendation. The verbatim record of the hearing shall be made available to the President and to the academic staff member. A copy shall be made available at cost on request by the academic staff member.

N. Action by the President

If deemed necessary, the President may refer the matter back to the committee for further findings of fact. The President shall, promptly after receipt of the committee's final report and after reasonable opportunity to consult with the Board and others, give the academic staff member and the Board written notice of the decision. If the decision is to impose a sanction or sanctions on an academic staff member, the notice shall include the reasons therefor, and when it is to be effective, provided, however, that the appointment of an academic staff member shall not be terminated except as provided in section O.

O. Date of Termination

If the appointment of an academic staff member is to be terminated for cause, the appointment shall neither be terminated earlier than one month nor later than one year from the date of the written notice of the President’s decision, provided however, that an academic staff member having indefinite tenure whose appointment is terminated for cause other than misconduct shall continue to receive salary at the current rate for one year from the date of the written notice of the President’s decision.

P. Review of the Board

(1) The Board shall review any case involving imposition of a sanction or sanctions on an academic staff member having indefinite tenure on written notice of appeal by the academic staff member. The appeal shall be filed with the Board Secretary within ten days (or within such extension of time as permitted by the Chair) of the date of the written notice of the President’s decision, stating grounds for the appeal, with a copy to the President. The Board may on its own initiative review any case involving the question of imposing a sanction or sanctions on an academic staff member. On receiving written notice of appeal by an academic staff member having indefinite tenure or on notice of the Board's decision to review a case, the President shall forward to the Board Secretary a copy of the charges in the case and the academic staff member's written statement, if any, in answer thereto, and the verbatim record of the hearing, and any exhibits, the committee's findings and recommendations and a copy of the notice of the President’s decision.

(2) The Board may review the case on the record only; return the case to the institution from which it came for the receipt of further evidence or testimony; conduct such hearings as it deems proper for its review; refer the matter to a committee of Board members for consideration, including possible hearings, and recommendations; or refer the matter to a hearing officer for hearings and recommendation. The Board shall make such determination of the case, pursuant to its policies, as it deems just.

(3) If the Board sustains the decision to impose a sanction or sanctions on the academic staff member, the sanction or sanctions shall be effective at the date originally named by the President, or such later date as determined by the Board.

Q. Board's Initiative in Bringing Investigation or Charges

On any occasion when it appears to the Board that there is probable cause to impose a sanction or sanctions on an academic staff member, the Board may direct the President to determine whether there is such probable cause. If the President finds that there is probable cause to impose a sanction or sanctions on the academic staff member, the President shall have formal charges prepared and proceed with the case as provided in Section H. If the President finds that there is not probable cause to impose a sanction or sanctions on the academic staff member, the President shall transmit such report to the Board, including a full statement of reasons for the finding. If the Board, after receipt of the report, deems that the facts of the case warrant the filing of formal charges, the Board shall provide the President with a statement explaining its exceptions to the findings and may direct the President to have formal charges prepared or, at the request of the president, the Board may direct some person within the University to prepare the formal charges. The subsequent procedure shall be the same as if charges were initially authorized to be prepared by the President.

R. No Reprisals

No employee of the University shall be subject to any reprisals by the University for appearing as a witness or for participating as a member of a committee in any of the proceedings provided for in this division.

S. Personnel Records

No notation shall be made in the personnel record of an academic staff member of any investigation that has not resulted in formal charges being brought against the academic staff member under Sections F through Q or that has not resulted in the imposition or a sanction of oral or written warning or reprimand in accordance with University procedures, as provided in Section F.

T. Construction

These rules shall be liberally construed to secure just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of the issues presented. These rules are intended to carry out the intent of the Oregon Administrative Procedure Act and are to be interpreted consistent therewith. Any situation not provided for in this policy shall be governed by the Act and, to the extent applicable, by the law applicable to suits in equity in the circuit courts of Oregon.

U. Notice of Hearing

If a contested case hearing is to be held by the Board, or by a hearing officer designated by the Board, the Board shall ascertain the time most convenient for the hearing and shall give all parties thereto at least ten days' notice of the time, place and nature of the hearing. The time may be shortened or extended by stipulation of all parties.

V. Subpoenas

Subpoenas requiring attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary or tangible evidence at a hearing may be issued by the Board, when authorized by law, on request by any party to the proceeding, including the Board itself, on proper showing of general relevance or reasonable scope of the evidence sought.

W. Assignment to Hear Proceedings

(1) The hearing shall be before the Board except in those cases assigned by the Board to a hearing officer.

(2) The word "Board" in this policy shall include hearing officer wherever applicable.

X. Disqualification

Any party to a proceeding before the Board may file an affidavit of personal bias against any officer conducting the hearing. Any hearing officer may withdraw from the proceeding because of personal bias or for any reason deemed sufficient by the Board. The Board, in its discretion, may order a hearing on a question of disqualification of a hearing officer.

Y. Powers of Hearing Officers

(1) A hearing officer or the Board when authorized by law shall have the following powers:

(a) To give notice of and hold hearings;

(b) To administer oaths and affirmations;

(c) To examine witnesses;

(d) To issue subpoenas;

(e) To rule on offers of proof and receive evidence;

(f) To regulate the course of the hearing, including the power to eject any person who in any manner interferes with the orderly procedure of a hearing;

(g) To hold conferences, before or during the hearing, for the settlement or simplification of issues, with consent of the parties;

(h) To dispose of procedural requests or similar matters;

(i) To make initial decisions;

(j) To take any other action proper under this policy, including the making of findings of fact, and recommendations to the Board.

(2) The hearing officer's authority in each case will terminate when:

(a) The hearing officer withdraws from the case for any reason;

(b) The time for appeal has terminated.

Z. Who May Appear

(1) Each party may be represented by counsel.

(2) Any individual may appear for himself or herself, and any member of a partnership that is a party to any proceeding may appear for such partnership on adequate identification.

AA. Standard of Conduct

Contemptuous conduct by any person present at a hearing shall be grounds for exclusion from the hearing by the hearing officer.

BB. Hearing Recorder

The official record of the hearing shall be stenographically or mechanically recorded by a person or persons assigned by the Board capable of doing such recording. The method used shall be in the discretion of the Board.

CC. Transcript of Testimony

A transcript of the official record shall be furnished by the Board for the purposes of rehearing or judicial review. The cost of the record shall not be taxed to parties other than the Board except as is specifically provided in ORS 183.415(8).

DD. Continuances and Postponements

Motion for continuance or postponement of any hearing may be granted by the Board for good cause.

EE. Evidence

(1) In general:

(a) The testimony of witnesses at a hearing shall be on oath or affirmation administered by an officer of the Board authorized to administer oaths and shall be subject to cross-examination;

(b) Any witness may, in the discretion of the Board, be examined separately and apart from all other witnesses except those who are parties to the proceeding;

(c) The Board may limit oral argument in its discretion.

(2) The oath or affirmation taken by a witness before testimony shall be in the same form and manner as is provided by law.

(3) Every party shall have the right to present a case or defense by oral, documentary, or other satisfactory evidence, to submit evidence in rebuttal, and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and complete disclosure of the facts.

(4) The party having the affirmative of the issue shall have the burden of proof.

(5) Admission and exclusion of evidence:

(a) Evidence of a type commonly relied on by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their serious affairs shall be admissible, but irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded;

(b) Hearsay evidence shall not be admissible over an objection based on lack of opportunity to cross-examine;

(c) The Board may limit expert and opinion evidence in its discretion.

(6) If a party objects to the admission or rejection of any evidence or to the limitation of the scope of any examination or cross-examination, that party shall state briefly the grounds of such objection, whereupon the Board shall give the party adversely affected by its ruling on the objection an automatic exception.

(7) After first advising all parties of its intention to do so, the Board may take notice of judicially cognizable facts as is provided by law and of general, technical or scientific facts within the specialized knowledge of the Board members.

FF. Informal Disposition

Informal disposition may be made of any contested case by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order, or default, unless precluded by law.

GG. Record

The stenographic or mechanical record of the testimony and exhibits, together with all pleadings, motions, and rulings filed in the proceedings, all stipulations, statements of matters officially noticed, questions, and offers of proof, objections and rulings thereon, and proposed findings and exceptions, shall constitute the exclusive record for decision. The record shall also include any Board proceeding on disqualification of any hearing officer and the proposed, intermediate or final order, if any.

H. Decision

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the Board shall render its decision within 60 days after completion of the hearing. The decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law. A copy of the decision and the findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be mailed to each party.

(2) If a majority of the Board officials has not heard the proceedings or read the transcript, a proposed decision of the Board, including findings of fact and conclusions of law, shall be mailed to each party, who shall have 15 days after receipt to submit written exceptions to the proposed decision to the Board and to request an opportunity to present argument to the Board. The Board shall grant such opportunity for argument as soon as it can reasonably be arranged. The Board shall render its decision, accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law, within 60 days after presentation of the argument.

Chapter/Volume: 
Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 541-346-3081

Original Source: 
Oregon Administrative Rule