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University of California Santa Barbara

225. Committee on Privilege and Tenure: Early Termination Cases

[Senate Bylaw 337 (En 23 May 01)]

  1. Jurisdiction

    In cases of proposed termination of a Senate or non-Senate faculty member before the expiration of the faculty member's appointment, or in cases where a tenured faculty member faces termination for incompetent performance, or for other faculty members whose 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) (hereafter collectively referred to as early termination), the faculty member may request a hearing before a Divisional Privilege and Tenure Committee. The committee shall then conduct a hearing on the case to determine whether, in its judgment, the proposed early termination is for good cause and has been recommended in accordance with a procedure that does not violate the privileges of the faculty member. Resolution of the dispute, either through negotiation or mediation, is permissible and appropriate at any stage of these proceedings.

    No Senate or non-Senate faculty member may be terminated prior to the expiration of an appointment without having an opportunity for a hearing before the Divisional Privilege and Tenure Committee. If the hearing has not commenced by the end of the faculty member's term of appointment, the faculty member no longer has a right to an early termination hearing pursuant to this Bylaw. Instead, the faculty member may seek a grievance hearing by grieving the non-reappointment pursuant to Senate Bylaw 335 in the case of Senate faculty or the Academic Personnel Manual in the case of non-Senate faculty.

  2. Hearing and Post-hearing Procedures

    1. The Privilege and Tenure Committee shall appoint a Hearing Committee for each early termination case for which a hearing is requested by a faculty member. The Hearing Committee should consist of at least three Division members. At least two of the members shall be members of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure, one of whom shall chair the Hearing Committee. The committee may not appoint a member of the department or equivalent administrative unit of the faculty member facing early termination to the Hearing Committee. 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. A quorum for the conduct of the hearing shall consist of at least half but not less than three members of the Hearing Committee, including at least one member of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure
    2. Prior to the formal hearing, the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall schedule a conference with the faculty member and the Chancellor's designee, and/or their representatives. This conference should attempt to:
      1. Determine the facts about which there is no dispute. At the hearing, these facts may be established by stipulation;
      2. Define the issues to be decided by the Hearing Committee;
      3. Set a time 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 were 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. Specify whether pre-hearing and post-hearing briefs will be submitted by the parties as well as the deadlines for those briefs;
      5. Attain agreement about whether any person other than the Chancellor, the Chancellor's designee, the faculty member, 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.
    3. The Chancellor's designee and the faculty member and/or their representatives shall be entitled to be present at all sessions of the Hearing Committee when evidence is being received and to select a representative who may act as counsel. 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, including the identity of confidential sources of personnel evaluations, 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. At the hearing, the Chancellor's designee has the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that there is good cause for early termination. In assessing the evidence for good cause, the Hearing Committee may consider evidence regarding whether correct procedures were followed in the case.
    8. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Committee shall promptly make its findings of fact, conclusions supported by a statement of reasons based on the evidence, and recommendation, and forward these to the parties in the case, the Chancellor, the Chair of the Divisional Committee on Privilege and Tenure, and the Chair of the University Committee on Privilege and Tenure. 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 faculty member, authorize release of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations to other individuals or entities, to the extent allowed by law.
    9. The hearing shall be recorded. The Hearing Committee has the discretion to use a certified court reporter (whose cost is borne by the administration) 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 copy shall be assumed by the requesting party.
    10. 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.