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University of California Santa Barbara

220. Committee on Privilege and Tenure – Disciplinary Cases

[Senate Bylaw 336 (En 23 May 01; Am 10 April 19)]

Bylaw 336 was substantially revised in 2019. Link to the previous version.

  1. Right to a Hearing

    In cases of disciplinary action commenced by the administration against a member of the Academic Senate, or against other faculty members in cases where the right to a hearing before a Senate committee is given by Section 103.9 or 103.10 of the Standing Orders of The Regents (Appendix I), proceedings shall be conducted before a Divisional Committee on Privilege and Tenure (hereafter, the Committee). Under extraordinary circumstances and for good cause shown, on petition of any of the parties and with concurrence of the other parties, the University Committee on Privilege and Tenure may constitute a Special Committee composed of Senate members from any Division to carry out the proceedings.

  2. Time Limitation for Filing Disciplinary Charges

    The Chancellor is deemed to know about an alleged violation of the Faculty Code of Conduct when it is reported to any academic administrator at the level of department chair or above or, additionally, for an allegation of sexual violence or sexual harassment when the allegation is first reported to the campus Title IX Officer. The Chancellor must file disciplinary charges by delivering notice of proposed disciplinary action to the respondent no later than three years after the Chancellor is deemed to have known about the alleged violation. There is no limit on the time within which a complainant may report an alleged violation. (Am 9 March 05; Am 14 Jun 17)

  3. Prehearing Procedure in Disciplinary Cases

    1. In cases of disciplinary charges filed by the administration against a member of the Academic Senate, or termination of appointment of a member of the faculty in a case where the right to a hearing before a Senate committee is given under Section 103.9 or 103.10 of the Standing Orders of The Regents, disciplinary charges shall be filed by the appropriate Chancellor or Chancellor's designee, once probable cause has been established. Procedures regarding the establishment of probable cause are determined by APM 015/016 and Divisional policies. The disciplinary charges shall be in writing and shall contain notice of proposed disciplinary sanctions and a full statement of the facts underlying the charges.
      1. The Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee shall deliver the disciplinary charges to the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure, with a copy to the accused faculty member. If practicable, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee shall deliver the disciplinary charges at an in-person meeting with the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure and the accused faculty member. If this is not practicable, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee shall deliver the disciplinary charges to the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure electronically, with a copy to the accused sent electronically to the accused’s official University email account and a courtesy copy by overnight delivery service to the accused’s last known place of residence. The accused will be deemed to have received the disciplinary charges when they are sent to the accused’s official University email account. (Am 10 April 19)
      2. Along with a copy of the charges, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee shall provide written notice to the accused of (i) the deadline for submitting an answer to the disciplinary charges (section C.2 below), and (ii) the deadline for commencing the hearing (section E.1 below). (Am 10 April 19)
    2. The accused shall have 14 calendar days from the date of receipt of the disciplinary charges in which to file an answer in writing with the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. The Committee on Privilege and Tenure shall immediately provide a copy of the answer to the Chancellor or Chancellor's designee. (Am 14 Jun 17; Am 10 April 19)
    3. Within five business days after receiving the disciplinary charges, the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure shall contact the accused, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee and/or their representatives in writing in order to schedule the hearing. (Am 10 April 19)
      1. The Chair shall offer a choice of dates for the hearing and instruct the parties to provide their availability on the given dates within 14 calendar days.
      2. Within five business days after receiving the information requested in section 3.a from the parties, the Committee on Privilege and Tenure will schedule the hearing and notify the accused, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee and/or their representatives in writing of the date(s). The accused shall be given either in person or by email or overnight delivery service, at least ten calendar days’ notice of the time and place of the hearing.
      3. All parties must give priority to the scheduling of a hearing and cooperate in good faith during the scheduling process. A hearing shall not be postponed because the accused faculty member is on leave or fails to appear.
  4. Early Resolution

    1. The Chancellor or Chancellor's designee and the accused may attempt to resolve the disciplinary charges through negotiation. A negotiated resolution is permissible and appropriate at any stage of these disciplinary procedures. Such negotiations may proceed with the assistance of impartial third parties, including one or more members of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. However, such negotiation shall not extend any deadline in this Bylaw. (Am 14 Jun 17; Am 10 April 19)
    2. If a negotiated resolution is reached after disciplinary charges are filed, then the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee is encouraged to consult with the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure prior to finalizing the settlement. The Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure should make a request for such a consultation once disciplinary charges have been filed with the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. The Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee should inform the Committee on Privilege and Tenure if the matter is resolved. (Am 10 April 19)
  5. Time Frame for Hearing Process in Disciplinary Cases (Am 10 April 19)

    1. The hearing shall begin no later than 60 calendar days from the date disciplinary charges are filed with the Committee on Privilege and Tenure.
    2. Any deadline in this Bylaw may be extended by the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure or the Chair of the Hearing Committee, but only for good cause shown, requested in writing in advance. Good cause consists of material or unforeseen circumstances sufficient to justify the extension sought. A request to delay the start of the hearing beyond the 60 days mandated by this Bylaw must include adequate documentation of the basis for the request.
    3. Within three business days of receiving an extension request, the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure or the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall notify the accused, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee, and/or their representatives in writing of the approval or denial of the request. If the request is approved, the notification shall include the reason for granting it, the length of the extension, and the projected new timeline.
  6. Hearing and Posthearing Procedures

    1. The Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure shall appoint a Hearing Committee for each case in which disciplinary charges have been filed. The Hearing Committee must include at least three members. (Am 10 April 19)
      1. A majority of the Hearing Committee members shall be current or former members of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure, and the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall be a current member of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. In exceptional circumstances, the Hearing Committee may include one member from another Divisional Academic Senate.
      2. The Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure may not appoint a member of the department or equivalent administrative unit of any of the parties to the Hearing Committee.
      3. Hearing Committee members shall disclose to the Hearing Committee any circumstances that may interfere with their objective consideration of the case and recuse themselves as appropriate.
      4. A quorum for the conduct of the hearing shall consist of a majority of the Hearing Committee, including at least one member of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure.
    2. Within two business days after the hearing has been scheduled the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall notify the accused, the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee, and/or their representatives in writing of the Hearing Committee’s decisions on the following prehearing matters: (Am 10 April 19)

      1. The Hearing Committee’s initial determination of the issues to be decided at the hearing. The Chair of the Hearing Committee shall invite the parties to inform the Committee of any other issues they believe to be important. The final determination of the issues to be decided shall be made by the Hearing Committee.
      2. The deadline for the parties to determine the facts about which there is no dispute. At the hearing, these facts may be established by stipulation.
      3. The deadline for both sides to exchange a list of witnesses and copies of exhibits to be presented at the hearing. The Hearing Committee has the discretion to limit each party to those witnesses whose names are disclosed to the other party prior to the hearing and to otherwise limit evidence to that which is relevant to the issues before the Hearing Committee.
      4. Whether prehearing and post-hearing briefs will be submitted by the parties and, if so, the deadline for submitting those briefs.
      5. Whether any person other than the Chancellor, the Chancellor's designee, the accused, and their representatives, may be present during all or part of the hearing. In order to preserve the confidentiality of the hearing, persons whose presence is not essential to a determination of the facts shall, as a general rule, be excluded from the hearing.

      After the prehearing letter has been sent, the Chair of the Hearing Committee may at his or her discretion schedule a conference with the accused, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee, and/or their representatives, to resolve any questions concerning items (a) through (e) above. Such a conference should take place as soon as possible. The scheduling of such a conference shall not result in an extension of the hearing date.

    3. The Chancellor or Chancellor's designee, the accused, and/or their representatives shall be entitled to be present at all sessions of the Hearing Committee when evidence is being received. Each party shall have the right to be represented by counsel, to present its case by oral and documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence, and to conduct such cross examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.
    4. The hearing need not be conducted according to the technical legal rules relating to evidence and witnesses. The Hearing Committee may, upon an appropriate showing of need by any party or on its own initiative, request files and documents under the control of the administration. All confidential information introduced into evidence shall remain so within the Hearing Committee. The Hearing Committee may call witnesses or make evidentiary requests on its own volition. The Hearing Committee also has the discretion to require that all witnesses affirm the veracity of their testimony and to permit witnesses to testify by videoconferencing. (Am 14 Jun 17)
    5. Prior discipline imposed on the same accused faculty member after a hearing or by negotiation may be admitted into evidence if the prior conduct for which the faculty member was disciplined is relevant to the acts alleged in the current disciplinary matter. Under these conditions, prior hearing reports and records of negotiated settlements are always admissible. (Am 14 Jun 17)
    6. No evidence other than that presented at the hearing shall be considered by the Hearing Committee or have weight in the proceedings, except that the Hearing Committee may take notice of any judicially noticeable facts that are commonly known. Parties present at the hearing shall be informed of matters thus noticed, and each party shall be given a reasonable opportunity to object to the Hearing Committee's notice of such matters.
    7. The Divisional Committee on Privilege and Tenure may, at its discretion, request the appointment of a qualified person or persons, designated by the Chair of the University Committee on Privilege and Tenure, to provide legal advice and/or to assist in the organization and conduct of the hearing.
    8. At the hearing, the Chancellor or Chancellor's designee has the burden of proving the allegations by clear and convincing evidence.
    9. The Hearing Committee shall not have power to recommend the imposition of a sanction more severe than that proposed in the notice of proposed disciplinary action. In determining the appropriate sanction to recommend, the Hearing Committee may choose to consider previous charges against the accused if those charges led to prior sanctions either after a disciplinary hearing or pursuant to a negotiated or mediated resolution.
    10. The Hearing Committee shall make its findings of fact, conclusions supported by a statement of reasons based on the evidence, and recommendation. These shall be forwarded to the parties in the case, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee, the Chair of the Divisional Committee on Privilege and Tenure, and the Chair of the University Committee on Privilege and Tenure, not more than 30 calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing. The conclusion of the hearing shall be the date of the Committee’s receipt of (a) the written transcript of the hearing; or (b) if post-hearing briefs are permitted, the post-hearing briefs from the parties in the case, whichever is later. The findings, conclusions, recommendations, and record of the proceedings shall be confidential to the extent allowed by law and UC policy. The Hearing Committee may, however, with the consent of the accused, authorize release of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations to other individuals or entities, to the extent allowed by law. (Am 10 April 19)
    11. The hearing shall be recorded. The Hearing Committee has the discretion to use a certified court reporter for this purpose, and the parties and their representatives shall have the right to a copy of the recording or transcript. The cost of the court reporter as well as other costs associated with the hearing will be borne by the administration. (Am 10 April 19)
    12. The Hearing Committee may reconsider a case if either party presents, within a reasonable time after the decision, newly discovered facts or circumstances that might significantly affect the previous decision and that were not reasonably discoverable at the time of the hearing.
  7. Relation to Prior Grievance Cases

    A disciplinary Hearing Committee shall not be bound by the recommendation of another hearing body, including the findings of the Divisional Committee on Privilege and Tenure in a grievance case involving the same set of incidents. However, the Hearing Committee may accept into evidence the findings of another hearing body or investigative agency. The weight to be accorded evidence of this nature is at the discretion of the Hearing Committee and should take account of the nature of the other forum. In any case, the accused faculty member must be given full opportunity to challenge the findings of the other body.