Jul 04, 2020  
Faculty Handbook 
    
Faculty Handbook

10. Separation



Revised June 9, 2020

10.1 Resignation

A faculty member may terminate his/her employment by giving written notice to his Department Head or appropriate administrative officer at least ninety (90) calendar days before the effective date of the resignation. The requirement of ninety (90) days notice may be waived by mutual agreement of the Health Sciences Center and the faculty member.

 

10.2 Retirement

Eligible employees of the University are entitled to certain benefits following the completion of a designated number of years of employment, the attainment of specified ages, or satisfaction of other requirements. For complete details, please review retirement options at the LSUHSC-S Human Resources website: 

 

10.3 Termination For Cause

10.3.1 Criteria For Termination

Any appointment, whether term or tenure, may be terminated for cause. Cause for termination may include, but is not limited to, incompetence, failure to perform assigned duties, willful breach of University policies and procedures, serious breach of professional ethics or standards, dishonesty, moral turpitude or conviction of a felony. Actions that constitute exercise of academic freedom or rights guaranteed by State or federal law shall not be cause for termination. Prior to termination for cause, a faculty member shall be entitled to due process as set forth in the Bylaws and Regulations of the Board of Supervisors and in the Faculty Handbook as discussed in Section 10.3.2.

CRIMINAL CHARGES - Any faculty member charged with a felony or any other illegal conduct that is seriously prejudicial to the University may be  placed on leave with pay by the Chancellor or his designee.

 

10.3.2 Due Process Rights

Recommendation for termination of a faculty member shall be made by the Department Head in the form of a Request for Termination. The Request for Termination shall be in writing and shall include a written statement of charges registered against the faculty member, a list of all known documentary evidence, a list of witnesses and a brief statement of the nature of testimony expected to be given by each witness. The Request for Termination shall be delivered in person to the Dean. If the Dean finds that the charges registered against the faculty member appear to be substantive, he shall notify the Chancellor who shall give Notice to the faculty member in writing of the intent to initiate proceedings, which might result in termination for cause. The Notice shall include a copy of the Request for Termination and shall be delivered by certified mail to the faculty member.

The faculty member shall have an opportunity to prepare and present a defense to the charges set forth in the Notice at a hearing before an impartial ad hoc committee, which shall be advisory to the Chancellor. The faculty member shall have five (5) working days after receipt of the Notice to notify the Chancellor in writing whether he will challenge the Request for Termination and desires that an ad hoc committee be formed. If the faculty member fails to notify the Chancellor by the 5th business day after receipt of the notice, his/her termination shall become effective on the 6th business day after receipt of the notice.  If the faculty member contends that the proposed termination is based, in whole or in part, on age, disability (mental and physical), equal pay, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran status the faculty member shall inform the Chancellor of that contention. The Chancellor shall then invoke the proceedings set out in Handbook Section 5.5.3. The hearing for termination for cause shall not proceed until an investigation has been conducted pursuant to Handbook Section 5.5.3 .

The ad hoc committee shall consist of five (5) fulltime, tenured faculty members who shall be selected in the following manner:

The faculty member shall notify the Dean of the faculty member’s recommendations for two (2) appointees to the ad hoc committee within five (5) working days after his receipt of the Notice. The Dean shall then notify the Department Head of the faculty member’s choice of committee members. The Department Head shall have five (5) working days from receipt of such Notice to notify the Dean of his two (2) recommended appointees to the committee. The four (4) sitting committee members shall then select the fifth member within five (5) working days of receipt of notice of the Department Head’s nominees to the committee and thereby, the committee is formed. Once the committee is formed, the Dean or designee shall forward to the committee the Notice and shall notify the committee members that they must select a committee chairman and set a hearing date to be held within forty (40) working days of formation of the committee.

The committee shall establish the hearing date. The faculty member and Department Head shall be given at least fifteen (15) working days’ notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The committee chairperson shall send the notice by certified mail and shall send a copy of the notice to the Dean and Chancellor. Each party shall provide the committee chairperson and the other party a witness list, a brief summary of the testimony expected to be given by each witness, and a copy of all documents to be introduced at the hearing at least ten (10) working days prior to the hearing.

The hearing shall be conducted as follows:

The chairperson of the committee shall conduct the hearing. Each party shall have the right to appear, to present a reasonable number of witnesses, to present documentary evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses. The parties may be excluded when the committee meets in executive session. An attorney may accompany the faculty member as a nonparticipating advisor. Should the faculty member elect to have an attorney present, the Department Head may also be accompanied by an attorney. The attorneys for the parties may confer and advise their clients upon adjournment of the proceedings at reasonable intervals to be determined by the Chairperson, but may not question witnesses, introduce evidence, make objections or present an argument during the hearing. However, the right to have an attorney present can be denied, discontinued, altered, or modified if the committee finds that such is necessary to ensure its ability to properly conduct the hearing. Testimony is under oath and the entire hearing shall be recorded. Rules of evidence and procedure are not applied strictly, but the Chairperson shall exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious testimony. The Chairperson shall rule on all matters related to the conduct of the hearing and may be assisted by University Counsel. At the request of the faculty member, the Chairperson shall invite an American Association of University Professionals (AAUP) representative to be present during the hearing as a non-participating observer.

The recording of the hearing may be transcribed upon request by the faculty member and/or the Chancellor. The requesting party shall bear transcription costs.  If no transcription is requested, the audio recording of the hearing as well as the committee’s summary report will be submitted to the Chancellor.

Following the hearing and reviewing all of the evidence, the committee shall render a written report to the Chancellor within twenty (20) working days.  The report shall include the committee’s findings as to whether or not the faculty member should be terminated for cause or otherwise have restrictive measures imposed, along with reasons for its finding; a summary of the testimony presented; and any dissenting opinions.  In any hearing in which the faculty member has alleged discrimination, the report shall include a description of the evidence presented with regard to this allegation and the conclusions of the committee regarding the allegations of discrimination.  The Chancellor shall review the committee’s report and may accept, reject, or modify the committee’s finding.  The Chancellor shall render a decision within ten (10) working days from receipt of the committee’s report.  The decision shall be in writing and sent by certified mail to the faculty member, and a copy shall be sent to the Department Head and Dean. The Chancellor’s decision shall be final.

Any time limit set forth in this procedure may be extended by mutual written agreement of the parties and, when applicable, the consent of the chairperson of the ad hoc committee.

10.4 Retrenchment

CRITERIA

LSUHSC-S may terminate or reduce the contractual rights of faculty members when the Chancellor, upon authority of the President and Board of Supervisors, determines that it is necessary (1) to alleviate a financial exigency within the Health Sciences Center or subunit thereof, or (2) to effect a reorganization or elimination of an academic program of the institution.  Financial exigency is defined as the critical, pressing, or urgent need on the part of the University to reorder its monetary expenditures in such a way as to remedy and relieve the state of urgency within the University.

For more information regarding financial exigency, see the Bylaws and Regulations of the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Chapter V, Section 5-13, (10/2/2008)

RETRENCHMENT PLAN

In the event of financial exigency or the need to reorganize or eliminate an academic program, the Chancellor of LSUHSC-S will appoint an ad hoc committee of faculty and administrators to institute an orderly and consistent plan of retrenchment.  Dismissal of faculty will only be initiated after all alternative means of alleviating the financial crisis have been exhausted or deemed inadequate.  This retrenchment plan may be administered on a school-wide, departmental or program basis.

Termination of faculty members in order to alleviate a financial exigency shall be in the following order:

  • Faculty on term appointments, starting with the most recently appointed and then proceeding in reverse order of seniority.
  • Tenured faculty on continuous appointments, starting with the most recently appointed, and then proceeding in reverse order of seniority.

For the purposes of this retrenchment plan, seniority shall mean total years of service at LSUHSC-S as determined by the retirement system.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RETRENCHMENT PLAN

Department Heads or other administrators who wish to make specific exceptions to the Retrenchment Plan in order to avoid serious distortion of the academic program can appeal to the Dean of the appropriate School, who will act upon a recommendation made by an ad hoc committee comprised of five (5) faculty members from that School. The committee members shall be appointed by the Dean of that School and approved by the Chancellor.

NOTICE

Faculty and other employees under contract who are furloughed, laid off, or terminated before the end of their contract terms for reasons of financial exigency shall, whenever possible, be notified in writing by LSUHSC-S at least ninety (90) days in advance of the date of the furlough, layoff, or termination, in accordance with LSU Bylaws and Regulations, Chapter V, Section 5-13c. This written notice shall specify the cause of the termination, or reduction of time, provide a summary description of the facts relied on by the Health Sciences Center to make the decision, and a reference to the faculty member’s rights to file an appeal pursuant to Handbook Section 11.10 . Written notice shall be sent by certified U.S. mail, return receipt requested.

ALTERNATIVE POSITIONS

Faculty members whose employment time is terminated or reduced due to retrenchment will be eligible to transfer to any vacant LSUHSC-S faculty position for which they are qualified, subject to the terms and conditions of employment attendant to that position. A faculty member’s qualification for a vacant position shall be determined by the Dean of the appropriate School, after consultation with the Department Head involved, and as approved by the Chancellor. A faculty member who exercises the rights accorded under this section and who is determined by the Dean of the School to be qualified for a vacant position will have a preemptive right to the position consistent with the retrenchment plan.

REVIEW

If a faculty member has been notified of termination or reduction of time, he may appeal only the procedural application of the plan.

RECALL

If vacancies become available, faculty terminated under the retrenchment plan will be recalled in the reverse order of dismissal. Faculty will be eligible for recall up to one year after dismissal. Exceptions to this order can be appealed by the Department Head to the Dean of the appropriate school, who will act upon a recommendation made by an ad hoc committee of faculty members the composition, selection, and approval of which was described earlier in this section.