Guidelines for General Faculty Staffing Due to Financial Stringency


    1. These guidelines pertain to the termination of employment or the reduction of the contractual cycle of members of the general faculty due to financial stringency.  As used in these guidelines, a condition of “financial stringency” exists when funds from which the salaries of such individuals are paid cease to be available to the University for such purposes, as the result of the requirements of legislative or other mandate.

    2. These guidelines govern both academic general faculty and administrative general faculty (excluding research professionals and faculty who hold academic tenure or academic tenure-track appointments).1 These guidelines are consistent with, and derived from, the policies pertaining to general faculty employment as set forth in the Policy on the General Faculty (effective July 1, 1987).  In the event of any conflict between these guidelines and any other policy or procedure pertaining to general faculty, these guidelines prevail. 

    3. As used in these guidelines, the terms "termination of faculty employment," "terminate faculty employment," and similar terms refer to the termination of employment of a general faculty member during the contractual term of appointment. The nonrenewal of a faculty member's term appointment, regardless of reason, removal for just cause, or the abolition of a position, does not constitute a termination of faculty employment within the meaning of that term in these guidelines. Rather "nonrenewal", "removal", and "abolition of position" are governed by the pertinent provisions of the Policy on the General Faculty.2

    4. As contemplated by these guidelines, the administrative unit heads are responsible for formulating any recommendations regarding general faculty under their administrative jurisdiction, subject to review by the appropriate vice president. The term "administrative unit" means a discrete administrative department or unit that is supervised by a director or head who is vested with budgetary authority ("administrative unit head").


    1. A determination that employment should be terminated or that the contractual cycle of a position should be reduced due to financial stringency may be made only upon recommendation of the appropriate vice president and approval of the President.

    2. In the event that a determination of financial stringency is contemplated, the recommendation of the vice president shall be delivered in writing to the President, and shall specify:

      1. The basis for determining that a condition of financial stringency exists in the administrative unit;

      2. The expected duration of the financial stringency;

      3.  Alternative methods of budgetary curtailment implemented or considered, including reduction of the contractual cycle of a position (s); and

      4. The estimated magnitude of budget reductions by administrative unit. 

    3. If the recommendation is approved, the President shall direct the vice president of each affected administrative area to develop and implement, in consultation with the appropriate administrative unit heads, a specific staffing plan (“staffing plan”) within thirty (30) days, consistent with Section IV of these guidelines.


    1. In lieu of the termination of employment, a position may be reduced from a 12-month to an 11-month, 10-month, or 9-month contractual cycle so long as:
      1. The conditions prescribed by Section I-A are satisfied;
      2. The staffing plan contemplated by Section IV identifies the position for a reduction of contractual cycle;
      3. The services entailed by the position may suitably (though not necessarily, optimally) be performed on a reduced basis, taking into account the nature of the services and seasonal workload cycles; and
      4. The incumbent general faculty member is duly notified of such action in accordance with Section VI-B.

    1. The staffing plan shall identify the particular positions, departments or administrative units proposed for reduction or discontinuance.
    2. The staffing plan shall consider, among other factors, the functions of particular positions, the role of the administrative unit within the University, the need to maintain essential support services, the affirmative action goals/gains of the administrative unit, and the extent to which the administrative unit was established or expanded within the previous five year period.
    3. To the maximum extent possible and except in areas critical to the academic program, the staffing plan should adhere to the following principles:
      1. The elimination of general faculty positions should be achieved to the greatest extent practicable through normal attrition and the decision not to fill existing or contemplated vacancies.
      2. Temporary positions should be eliminated before permanent appointments.
      3. In lieu of termination of employment, positions may be reconstituted, where feasible, from 12-month contractual cycles to 11-month, 10-month, or 9-month contractual cycles.
    4. The staffing plan should identify the elimination of positions within an affected administrative unit in reverse order of seniority at the University:
      1. Seniority is based on length of continuous service at the University, augmented by the period of time remaining on the general faculty member's contract term of employment.3 Part-time salaried employment will be prorated in proportion to full-time employment.
      2. The appointment of general faculty members with equal seniority shall be terminated in reverse order of employment in the affected administrative unit.
      3. Exceptions to the prescribed termination sequence may be made in extraordinary circumstances to prevent serious disruption to essential support services, provided, however, that any such exception is justified in writing.
    5. The staffing plan shall be forwarded to the responsible vice president for review and endorsement, along with a copy to the Director of the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office for comment. The staffing plan shall then be forwarded to the President who may accept the staffing plan, modify it, or return it to the vice president for reconsideration.

    1. Any administrative unit in which a faculty appointment is terminated due to financial stringency will be prohibited for a period of two years from employing a replacement, unless the faculty member whose appointment was terminated is first offered reinstatement and a period of one month in which to accept or decline it.
    2. General faculty members whose positions have been terminated due to financial stringency may apply for positions for which they are qualified and shall receive priority consideration over candidates external to the University, unless the external candidates have superior qualifications as determined by the hiring administrative unit head and confirmed by the responsible vice president. Such priority consideration shall be limited to applications for general faculty position vacancies that are made within one (1) year from the date of notice of termination.
    3. General faculty members who contend that they were denied the reinstatement or rehiring opportunities provided by preceding paragraphs A or B may file a complaint in writing, within thirty (30) days of the contested action, with the President or his designee, who shall render a final decision in writing. No hearing is required.

    1. Any general faculty member whose position is terminated due to financial stringency shall receive one (1) month notice for each year of service at the University, subject to a minimum of six (6) months' notice and to a maximum of twelve (12) months' notice.
    2. Any general faculty member whose position is reduced from a 12-month to an 11-month, 10-month, or 9-month contractual cycle shall receive a minimum of three (3) months' notice.
    3. A general faculty member whose employment is terminated or whose contractual cycle is reduced under these guidelines shall be notified of that fact by letter in a manner reasonably calculated to provide actual notice (for example, by registered or certified mail or by personal delivery). The notice shall specify the effective date of termination (or reduction in the contractual cycle); the reason for such action; the basis on which the faculty member was selected; and the procedure for appeal.

    1. A general faculty member whose employment is terminated or whose contractual cycle is reduced due to financial stringency may file an appeal in writing with an appeals committee appointed by the President. The appeal must be filed within twenty (20) calendar days of the date of receipt of the notice prescribed by Section VI-A or VI-B (as applicable), and must set forth the grounds for the appeal. No hearing is required.
    2. Only the following grounds shall be considered with respect to reduction in the contractual cycle due to financial stringency:
      1. Substantial failure to observe the procedural requirements regarding the formulation of the recommendation (as prescribed by Section II-B) or the development of the staffing plan (as prescribed by Section IV-B); or
      2. An erroneous calculation of notice due under Section VI
    3. Only the following grounds shall be considered with respect to termination of employment due to financial stringency:
      1. An erroneous computation of seniority or an error in the application of one of the other factors in the sequence of termination;
      2. An erroneous exception to the sequence of termination under Section IV-D(3); or
      3. An erroneous calculation of the notice due under Section VI-A of these guidelines.
    4. The appeals committee will make its recommendation to the President, who shall consider the recommendation and render a final decision in writing. The President shall notify the appellant of the final decision within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the appeals committee's recommendations. No other appeals, grievances, or requests for review shall be entertained. The filing or consideration of an appeal shall not alter the effective date of employment termination or reduction in contractual cycle unless the final decision of the President is to revoke the notice.

1 The employment of “research professionals” is governed by the related policy document entitled Professional Research Staff—Terms and Conditions of Employment. Tenured and tenure-track faculty are subject to the separate Guidelines for Faculty Staffing in the Event of Financial Stringency.

2 As stipulated in the Policy on the General Faculty (page 4) faculty positions may be abolished because of a “reduction or elimination of the specific services for which the [incumbents] were employed”. In the event a position is abolished as a result of the reorganization, consolidation or discontinuance of a department, the affected general faculty member shall be given advance notice that adheres to the “Standards of Notice” governing nonrenewal.

3 For example, a general faculty member who has been continuously employed at the University for four (4) years at the time the staffing plan is developed, but who has two (2) years remaining on his/her contract, will be deemed to have six (6) years of seniority for purposes of determining the order of termination.

The text above was adopted by the Board of Visitors on May 23, 1991 and appears exactly as written at that time.