If proposed changes are adopted by the University of Louisiana System (ULS) Board of Supervisors, the concept of academic tenure would be significantly weakened, according to documents obtained by Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO).
According to the executive summary,
The proposed changes effectively expand the circumstances in which the number of faculty may need to be reduced. Currently, faculty terminations may occur when a program is discontinued. Recommended PPM revisions expand this action when the size and scope of a program has been reduced. As well, a shorter notification period for both tenured and non-tenured faculty in the event terminations is proposed as follows:
• Instructors and Non-Tenure Track Faculty may be terminated upon one month’s notice.
• Tenure Track Faculty (regardless of years of service) may be terminated with three months’ notice.
• Tenured Faculty shall receive at least one academic semester/quarter notice prior to termination.
Under Section XI. Tenure, one of the more significant changes is that the rule changes become retroactive. The following part is completely deleted.
Subsection L 3. This policy shall in no way affect any rights acquired by any person employed by an institution prior to the effective date of this policy.
See here the amended Section XI. Tenure.
In the Section XV. Termination, some of the more significant changes are:
Under the section “Cause for Terminating Tenured Faculty,” subsection (2) “Financial exigency constitutes cause,” has added to it the phrase “as does program discontinuance or reduction.”
Under the section “Petition for Review,” the phase “Except in cases where the termination occurs pursuant to financial exigency, program discontinuance or reduction” is added.
The existing policy allows academic staff to petition the Board of Supervisors for a review of a termination after due process procedures at the institutional level are exhausted. With the new rule, academic staff would have no right to appeal if they were terminated because their program was reduced or eliminated.
See here the amended Section XV. Termination.
The Policies and Procedures Memorandum also has several changes.
See here the present Academic Program Discontinuance policy.
See here the proposed Academic Program Reduction and/or Discontinuance policy.
One significant phrase is this added in Section III, Termination of Faculty:
Timing for phasing out programs and displacing faculty members will be based on institutional need; including analysis of reasonable time for enrolled students to complete their degree programs and budget constraints.