Proposed Chapter UWS 7, Wisconsin Administrative Code
Procedures for Dismissal of Faculty in Special Cases
UWS 7.01 Declaration of policy. University faculty members are responsible for advancing the university's missions of teaching, research and public service. The fulfillment of these missions requires public trust in the integrity of the institution and in all members of the university community. The university's effectiveness and credibility are undermined by criminal activity that poses a substantial risk to the safety of others, that seriously impairs the public trust in the university or the university's ability to fulfill its missions, or seriously impairs the faculty member's fitness or ability to fulfill his or her duties. Situations involving such serious criminal misconduct by faculty members must be addressed and resolved promptly to ensure that public trust is maintained and that the university is able to advance its missions. The board of regents therefore adopts the procedures in this chapter for identifying and responding to those instances in which a faculty member has engaged in serious criminal misconduct.
UWS 7.02 Serious criminal misconduct. (1) In this chapter, "Serious Criminal Misconduct" means engaging in behavior that constitutes the commission of a felony, and that:
(a) Clearly poses a substantial risk to the safety of members of the university community or others; or
(b) Seriously impairs the public trust in the university and the university's ability to fulfill its teaching, research or public service missions; or
(c) Seriously impairs:
1. The faculty member's fitness or ability to fulfill the duties of his or her position; or
2. The efficiency of the colleagues and students with whom he or she works.
(2) Conduct, expressions, or beliefs which are constitutionally protected, or protected by the principles of academic freedom, shall not constitute Serious Criminal Misconduct.
(3) Except as otherwise expressly provided, a faculty member who has engaged in behavior that constitutes Serious Criminal Misconduct shall be subject to the procedures set forth in ss. UWS 7.03-7.06.
UWS 7.03 Dismissal for cause. (1) Any faculty member having tenure may be dismissed only by the board and only for just cause and only after due notice and hearing. Any faculty member having a probationary appointment may be dismissed prior to the end of his or her term of appointment only by the board and only for just cause and only after due notice and hearing.
(2) Just cause for dismissal includes, but is not limited to, Serious Criminal Misconduct, as defined in s. UWS 7.02.
UWS 7.04 Reporting responsibility. Any faculty member who engages in Serious Criminal Misconduct shall immediately report that fact to the provost.
UWS 7.05 Expedited process. (1) Whenever the provost of an institution within the university of Wisconsin system receives a report under s. UWS 7.04 or other credible information that a faculty member has engaged in Serious Criminal Misconduct, or where the provost has determined to impose a suspension without pay pending the final decision as to dismissal under s. UWS 7.06, the provost shall:
(a) Within three working days of receipt of the report or information, inform the faculty member of its receipt and, after consultation with appropriate institutional governance representatives, appoint an investigator to investigate the report or information;
(b) Upon appointing an investigator, afford the faculty member three working days in which to request that the investigator be disqualified on grounds of lack of impartiality. In the event that the provost determines that a request for disqualification should be granted, the provost shall, within two working days of the determination, appoint a different investigator.
(2) The investigation shall be completed and a report filed with the provost not later than ten working days following the time allowed for the faculty member to request an investigator's disqualification, or the naming of a different investigator, whichever is later.
(3) Within three working days of receipt of the investigator's report, the provost shall consult with appropriate institutional governance representatives and decide whether to seek dismissal of the faculty member pursuant to this chapter, to seek dismissal of the faculty member pursuant to ch. UWS 4, to seek an alternative disciplinary sanction, or to discontinue the proceedings.
(a) If the provost decides to seek dismissal of the faculty member pursuant to this chapter, the provost shall file charges within two working days of reaching the decision.
(b) If the provost decides to seek dismissal of the faculty member pursuant to ch. UWS 4, the provost shall file charges and proceed in accordance with the provisions of that chapter and implementing institutional policies.
(c) If the provost decides to seek an alternative disciplinary sanction, the procedures under ch. UWS 6, and implementing institutional policies, shall be followed.
(4) If charges seeking dismissal are filed under par. (3)(a), the faculty member shall be afforded a hearing before the institutional standing committee charged with hearing dismissal cases and making recommendations under s. UWS 4.03. The hearing shall provide the procedural guarantees enumerated under s. UWS 4.05-4.06, except that the hearing must be concluded, and written findings and a recommendation to the chancellor must be prepared, within 15 working days of the filing of charges.
(5) Upon receipt of the findings and recommendation of the committee under par. (4), the chancellor shall, within three working days, prepare a written recommendation on the matter.
(a) If the chancellor's recommendation is for dismissal, the recommendation shall be transmitted to the board of regents for review.
(b) Disciplinary action other than dismissal may be taken by the chancellor, whose decision shall be final, unless the board at its option grants a review on the record at the request of the faculty member.
(6) Upon receipt of the chancellor's recommendation, the full board shall review the record before the institutional hearing committee, and may offer an opportunity for filing exceptions to the recommendation, or for oral argument. The full board shall issue its decision on the matter within 15 working days of receipt of the chancellor's recommendation.
(7) If a faculty member whose dismissal is sought under par. (3)(a) does not request a hearing, the board shall take appropriate action within 10 working days of receipt of the statement of charges and the recommendation of the chancellor.
(8) The burden of proof shall be a preponderance of the evidence.
(9) (a) The time limits set forth in this section may be enlarged if the parties are unable to obtain, in a timely manner, relevant and material testimony, physical evidence or records, or where due process otherwise requires.
(b) Enlargements of time under this section may be granted by the chair of the faculty hearing body, subject to the approval of the provost.
UWS 7.06 Temporary suspension from duties. (1) The provost, after consultation with appropriate faculty governance representatives, may suspend a faculty member from duties without pay pending the final decision as to his or her dismissal where:
(a) The faculty member has been charged with a felony and the provost finds, in addition, that one or more of the elements of serious criminal misconduct listed in s. UWS 7.01(a)-(c) are present, and that there is a substantial likelihood that the faculty member has engaged in the conduct as alleged; or
(b) The faculty member is unable to report for work due to incarceration, conditions of bail or similar cause; or
(c) The faculty member has been convicted of serious criminal misconduct.
(2) Before imposing a suspension without pay, the provost shall evaluate the available information to determine whether the conditions specified in par. (1) are present. If the provost finds that the conditions in par. (1) are present, he or she shall immediately notify the faculty member, in writing, of the intent to impose a suspension without pay, and shall, within two working days, provide the faculty member with an opportunity to be heard with regard to the matter. The faculty member may be represented by counsel or another at this meeting.
(3) If, after affording the faculty member the opportunity to be heard, the provost determines to suspend without pay, the provost shall inform the faculty member of the suspension, in writing. The provost's decision to suspend without pay under this section shall be final, except that:
(a) If the chancellor later determines that the faculty member should not be terminated, the chancellor may discontinue the proceedings, or may recommend a lesser penalty to the board, or may order the payment of back pay, as appropriate;
(b) If the board later determines that the faculty member should not be terminated, the board may order a lesser penalty and/or the payment of back pay.
(4) If, after affording the faculty member the opportunity to be heard, the provost determines that the conditions in par. (1) are not present or that a suspension without pay is otherwise not warranted, the provisions of s. UWS 4.09 shall apply.
UWS 7.07 Initial Applicability. The provisions of this chapter shall first be applicable to conduct occurring on or after the effective date.