August 25, 2006




TO:                  John Betton, Convener

                        Hearing Committee


FROM:            Carmen Wilson, Chair

                        Faculty Senate


RE:                   Committee Charge for 2006-2007 Academic Year


This memo is intended to serve as the initial charge letter to the Hearing Committee for the 2006-07 academic year.  Please share this memo with the committee members.


Per Faculty Senate Bylaw II. (s):  “Each faculty committee shall hold an organizational meeting and report the name of the chairperson to the senate office by October 1. (Joint Chairpersons are not permitted.)” 


Therefore, as the convener of the Hearing Committee, please arrange, as soon as feasible, an organizational meeting.  In addition to a chairperson, please also elect a secretary.   


 Primary responsibilities of the chairperson include:

o       promptly informing the Senate office (5-8018) the results of the election of officers and any changes in committee membership.*

o       organizing and conducting meetings.

o       completing a year end report on the Hearing Committee activities to be submitted to the Senate Office no later than May 31, 2007.


*The committee chairperson should carefully review Faculty Senate Bylaw II, “Faculty Standing Committees” for information on committee attendance and the role of alternates.


Primary responsibilities of the secretary include:

o       recording minutes of each meeting.

o       promptly sending meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers ( so that the minutes can be posted on the faculty senate website. 


In the event the committee chooses to rotate secretarial duties, please designate one person to be responsible for e-mailing the meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers.


According to Faculty Senate Bylaw II. K. The Hearing Committee, the duties and responsibilities of the committee shall include:

  1. Hearing dismissal cases as described in UWS 4 and also in accordance with the following conditions:
    1. In relation to UWS 4.01, "just cause" for a dismissal shall be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of the faculty member's professional capacity as a teacher, researcher or artist. If the concept of "moral turpitude" is applied to the case, the standard to be used shall not be that the moral sensibilities of persons in the particular community have been affronted. The standard shall be behavior that would evoke condemnation by the academic community generally. If the charge is incompetence, the testimony should include that of teachers and other scholars, either from this or from other institutions.
    2. In relation to UWS 4.02,

i.)                  Whenever the chancellor notifies a faculty member of a complaint which might lead to dismissal, the member may seek information and assistance from an ombudsperson as specified in Section III of the Faculty Senate Bylaws. Timely allowance is to be made for such consultation prior to the chancellor's informal discussion of the complaint with the faculty member.

ii.)                 If dismissal proceedings are to be undertaken, the Hearing Committee shall be informed by the chancellor. The Hearing Committee shall solicit from the faculty member his/her opinion of the charges and whether he/she intends to request a hearing.

iii.)               If the faculty member requests a hearing, the Hearing Committee may, with the consent of the parties concerned, hold joint pre-hearing meetings with the parties in order to (i) simplify the issue, (ii) effect stipulations of facts, (iii) provide for the exchange of documents or other information, and (iv) achieve such other appropriate pre-hearing objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious.

    1. In relation to UWS 4.03, this hearing committee shall operate not only as the hearing agent for the board, but also as the hearing agent for the faculty.
    2. In relation to UWS 4.06,

i.)                  The faculty member shall be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documents or other evidence. The administration shall cooperate with the hearing committee in securing witnesses and making available documents and other evidence.

ii.)                 The faculty member and the administration shall have the right to confront and cross examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear at the hearing, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the committee shall identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and if possible, provide for interrogatories.

iii.)               Before the close of the hearings, the committee shall give opportunity to the faculty member or his/her advisor and/or counsel and chancellor or his/her representative to present oral arguments. If written briefs would be helpful, the committee may request them.

iv.)               Public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member or administrative officers, except for simple announcements covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, shall be avoided so far as possible until these proceedings and considerations by the governing board of the institution have been completed.

    1. In relation to UWS 4.07,

i.)                  Prior to determining penalty for the charges made against the faculty member, the Hearing Committee shall determine the truth of the charges. An affirmative vote of two-thirds or more of the members hearing the case shall be required to decide which, if any, charges are true. A lesser vote shall be reported to the chancellor with a recommendation for dismissal of the charges.

ii.)                 If the committee determines that any charge is true, the committee shall then determine the penalty if any.

iii.)               The committee shall recommend dismissal only if seven or more members vote affirmatively that the charge(s) justify dismissal of the faculty member.

iv.)               If the committee determines that the charges justify imposition of a severe sanction, it shall specify the sanction. It shall then vote on the imposition of that sanction. That specific sanction shall be recommended to the chancellor only if six or more members vote for that sanction. A severe sanction would, for instance, be suspension without pay for a stated period, or a reduction in pay for a stated period.

v.)                If the committee determines that the charges justify imposition of a minor penalty, it shall specify the sanction. It shall then vote on the imposition of that sanction. That specific sanction shall be recommended to the chancellor only if five members or more vote for that sanction. A minor sanction would, for instance, be a reprimand.

vi.)               If the committee has decided the charge(s) is true, it might decide that no penalty should be imposed. This decision requires a majority vote. Reasons should accompany such a recommendation to the chancellor.

    1. In relation to UWS 4.08 (2) and under circumstances described therein, the committee/chancellor shall then reconsider, taking into account the stated objections of the board and receiving new evidence if necessary.
    2. In relation to UWS 4.09, the Hearing Committee is the appropriate committee for the chancellor to consult. The committee shall transmit its recommendation to the chancellor. The committee shall also inform the faculty member concerned of its recommendation.
  1. Hearing non-renewal appeals as described in UWS 3.08, and UWL 3.08.
  2. Hearing layoff appeals as described in UWS 5.11, UWL 5.11, and UWL 5.12.
  3. Hearing dismissal cases for instructional academic staff as described in UWS 11.03 (2).
  4. Developing additional rules and procedures to assure fairness in hearings, and communicating these to faculty and instructional academic staff directly involved in these hearings.


Although no special charge is being given to the committee this year, should the membership wish to bring any policy issues to the attention of the senate, it should certainly do so.  Any recommendations that the committee would like to make to the senate should be submitted to our office in a timely fashion. 


If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at any time during the year.  Finally, if the Senate Executive Committee or I can assist your committee in any way during the year, please do not hesitate to ask.