Article 17 – Disciplinary Action

17.1 Policy. The purpose of this Article is to provide a prompt and equitable procedure for disciplinary action taken with just cause.

(a) Just cause is defined as

(1) incompetence, or

(2) misconduct.

(b) A faculty member’s activities which fall outside the scope of employment will constitute misconduct only if such activities adversely affect the legitimate interests of the University. 

17.2 Progressive Discipline. Both parties endorse the principle of progressive discipline as applied to professionals. When administering discipline, the University will consider the faculty member’s disciplinary history, along with facts and circumstances of the faculty member’s misconduct and /or job performance.

17.3 Notice of Intent to Suspend or Terminate. When the President or representative has reason to believe that a suspension or termination should be imposed, the President or representative will provide the faculty member with a written Notice of Intent to Suspend or Terminate and the reasons therefor.

(a) Notice of Intent to Suspend or Terminate will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered in person with written documentation of receipt obtained.

(b) The faculty member will be given ten (10) days in which to respond in writing to the President or representative before the proposed action is taken.

(c) After the ten (10) day period, the President or representative may issue a Notice of Disciplinary Action.

(d) If the President or representative does not, within forty-five (45) days of the date of the Notice of Intent to Suspend or Terminate, either

(1) issue a Notice of Disciplinary Action or

(2) advise the faculty member that he or she will not be disciplined, the faculty member may request a decision of the President or representative. In response, the University may take the action specified in (1) or (2), above, or may request an extension of up to forty-five (45) days. The University will provide this response within three (3) days. Such extension will be granted by the UFF and additional extensions may be requested, if needed, and will be granted by the UFF.

(e) If the President or representative does not issue any Notice of Disciplinary Action, the Notice of Intent to Suspend or Terminate will not be retained in the faculty member’s master evaluation file or personnel file.

(f) The faculty member has the right to union representation during investigatory questioning that may reasonably be expected to result in disciplinary action.

17.4 Notice of Discipline.

(a) All Notices of Disciplinary Action will include a statement of the reasons therefor and a statement that the action is subject to Article 22 (Grievance Procedure and Arbitration).

(b) All such notices will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered in person to the faculty member with written documentation of receipt obtained.

17.5 Termination. A tenured appointment or any appointment of definite duration may be terminated during its term for just cause. A faculty member will be given written notice of termination at least six (6) months in advance of the effective date of such termination, except that in cases where the President or representative determines that a faculty member’s actions adversely affect the functioning of the University or jeopardize the safety or welfare of the faculty member or members of the University community, the President or representative may give less than six (6) months notice.

17.6 Disciplinary Action Other than Termination. The University retains its right to impose disciplinary action other than termination for just cause, including but not limited to suspension with or without pay. Counseling, including recommendations for participation in an Employee Assistance Program, will not be considered disciplinary action.

17.7 Employee Assistance Program. Neither the fact of a faculty member’s participation in an employee assistance program, nor the information generated by participation in the program, will be used as a reason for discipline under this Article, except for information related to a faculty member’s failure to participate in an employee assistance program consistent with the terms to which the faculty member and the University have agreed.

17.8 Grievability. Disciplinary action may be grieved under the terms of Article 22 (Grievance Procedure and Arbitration) of this Agreement.