Hendrix College is a supportive academic community; however, despite
everyone’s best efforts there are occasions when serious problems arise
that cannot be resolved through informal discussions or the usual
committee structure. Grievance procedures encompass a broad range of
informal to formal actions and are initiated by a Faculty member. In
contrast, termination of a Faculty member is initiated by the College
Administration only after all other appropriate avenues have been
exhausted. Guidelines for both policies appear below and are written to
be consistent with the policies recommended by the American Association
of University Professors (AAUP) and with historical practices at Hendrix
Termination of Appointment by the Faculty Member [Operating Procedure]
A Faculty member with a special appointment, with probationary appointment, or with continuous tenure may terminate his or her appointment effective at the end of an academic year, provided that the Faculty member gives notice in writing at the earliest possible opportunity, but not later than May 15. The Faculty member may request a waiver of this requirement of notice in case of a hardship or in a situation where the Faculty member would otherwise be denied substantial professional advancement or other opportunity.
Faculty grievances can be separated into two categories as follows:
A. Complaints involving two Faculty members that involve person-to-person disagreements that are NOT between two Faculty members where one is in the formal evaluation chain of the other
B. Complaints from Faculty members, including adjunct teaching staff, that involve issues related to supervisory positions or to the College in general
Category A Grievances. Complaints involving two Faculty members that involve person-to-person disagreements that are not related to supervisory positions are handled through the Human Resources Office [HR]. Faculty with these grievances should consult HR. If the HR process does not lead to a satisfactory outcome for the Faculty member AND if the grievance did not involve gender-based misconduct or issues of discrimination, the Faculty member may appeal through the Committee on Academic and Professional Concerns [APC]. In these appeals, APC follows the regular procedures as described below in the process section.
Category B Grievances. The following policy is the formal procedure for Faculty members, including adjunct teaching staff, with grievances against the College or persons in the formal evaluation chain for the Faculty member. These grievances are handled by APC and include matters relating to promotion and tenure, teaching loads, academic freedom, salaries, and incidents of unfair practices. Because grievances of this type may also involve gender-based misconduct or issues of discrimination (for which HR is responsible for answering compliance with federal law), it is imperative that APC discusses all complaints with HR without delay before a grievance proceeds. In particular, APC uses the following three-stage process:
Contact Phase. The concerned Faculty member, or adjunct teaching staff, contacts one or more members of APC. The Faculty member, along with an advisor/advocate from the Hendrix community if desired, and these committee members meet informally and privately to discuss the problem. APC consults HR during this process to ensure that any issues involving gender-based misconduct or discrimination are dealt with using Hendrix policies that ensure that proper civil rights investigation procedures are followed based on the specific nature of the claim. If HR determines that gender-based misconduct or discrimination are involved, then the grievance will move to HR for resolution—including any subsequent appeals. Otherwise, the complaint will remain with APC. If the complaint remains with APC, then after discussions with the APC members initially involved, the Faculty member, or adjunct teaching staff, can withdraw the grievance or prepare a written statement to the entire committee. APC should provide a written statement of the grievance to all parties. At this time the Faculty member, or adjunct teaching staff, may request to use the formal hearing procedures as described in the section on termination rather than proceeding with the two following phases.
Study Phase. Upon receipt of a written statement of a grievance, APC provides the opportunity for recusal and replacement of committee members who may be biased in the concern. Recusal of a committee member may be requested by the Faculty member or at a committee member’s own initiative. Replacements are made according to the last APC election, or if necessary, by a lottery among eligible voting Faculty members. The committee considers the statement and involves other parties as necessary. Final consideration is made in closed session without the Faculty member, or adjunct teaching staff, and any other parties.
Recommendation Phase. Any recommendations generated by APC are presented to all involved parties. If unsatisfied with the recommendation proposed at this stage, any party may appeal in writing to the Provost, or the President if the Provost is named in the grievance. The Provost, or the President if the Provost is named in the grievance, or in turn, the Board of Trustees if the President is named in the grievance, considers all final recommendations from HR and APC processes (excluding any cases that are determined by HR to involve gender-based misconduct or discrimination) before making a final decision. The final decision is communicated to all parties.
The flow chart depicting the Faculty Grievance Policy procedure is for illustration only and does not in any way limit or amplify any term or provision of the written, narrative policy above. In the event that there is a conflict of interpretation between the written policy and the flow chart, the illustration/flow chart is for convenience only and the language of the written policy shall control.
Termination of Appointment by the College [Operating Procedure]
The following policy is the formal procedure for termination of a
Faculty member by the College. This termination policy covers the
termination of Faculty with special or probationary appointments before
the end of the appointment period as well as the termination of tenured
Faculty. This policy does not apply to the non-renewal of Faculty with
special or probationary appointments at the end of the appointment
period. These issues are covered by the policies in earlier sections.
will not be used to restrain Faculty members in their exercise of
academic freedom or other rights of American citizens. Termination in
the two cases covered by the termination policy as described above must
be for adequate cause. Adequate cause includes financial exigency,
discontinuance of a department or program, medical reasons, or dismissal
for cause. In all cases, the Faculty member has the right to an
adjudicative hearing by the Committee for Academic and Professional
In cases involving financial exigency, the Faculty
member will be given notice and severance salary in accordance with
College policy. The College will exert its best efforts to place such
Faculty members in other suitable internal positions. The terminated
Faculty member’s position will not be filled by a replacement within a
period of three years unless the terminated Faculty member has been
offered reappointment and a reasonable time within which to accept or
decline the reappointment.
In cases involving termination because
of discontinuance of a department or program for reasons other than
financial exigency, the decision to discontinue the department or
program will be based essentially upon educational considerations as
determined by the Faculty. The College will exert its best efforts to
place such Faculty members in other suitable internal positions and to
offer reasonable training for such positions. If no such positions are
available, the Faculty member will be given notice and severance salary
in accordance with College policy.
In cases involving disability,
termination must be based on medical evidence that the Faculty member,
even with reasonable accommodation, is no longer able to perform the
essential duties of the position. This conclusion is usually the result
of conversations between the administration and the Faculty member or
the Faculty member’s representative.
Dismissal for cause must be
related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of Faculty members
in their professional capacities and the Faculty member’s performance.
Incompetence, neglect of duty, and misconduct involving moral turpitude
are examples of grounds for dismissal for cause but are not the only
grounds which would support dismissal for cause.
Intent to Terminate Process [Operating Procedure]
a serious problem arises that involves adequate cause, and cannot be
resolved through discussion with the involved parties, the Committee on
Faculty (COF) meets to study the situation. The result of the study may
be a recommendation to the President that the Faculty member be
terminated. If a recommendation to terminate is accepted by the
President, then the President notifies the Faculty member of the intent
to terminate and provides the Faculty member with a statement of
charges, framed with reasonable particularity.
The Faculty member
may ask for a formal hearing by the Academic and Professional Concerns
Committee (APC) to appeal the decision to pursue termination. The
request for the appeal must be made within 30 days of the receipt of the
intent to terminate letter from the President. APC will conduct the
appeals hearing according to the rules described in the following
section on the Hearing Process.
Pending the final report of APC,
the Faculty member will be suspended or assigned to other duties only if
immediate harm to the Faculty member or others is threatened by
Hearing Process for Termination Appeals [Operating Procedure]
the Faculty member requests an appeal, APC will provide the opportunity
for recusal and replacement of committee members who may be biased in
the case. Recusal of a committee member may be requested by either party
or at a committee member’s own initiative. Replacements are made
according to the last APC election, or if necessary, by a lottery among
eligible voting Faculty members.
APC may, with the consent of all
concerned, hold pre-hearing meetings with all concerned in order to
simplify the issues, effect stipulation of facts, provide for the
exchange of documentary or other information, and achieve such other
objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious.
Service of notice of the hearing, with specific charges, in writing will
be made at least 20 days prior to the hearing.
The following rules will govern the hearing:
- APC, in consultation with all concerned, will exercise its judgment as to whether the hearing should be public or private.
- during the proceedings the Faculty member can have an advisor present.
- A verbatim record of the hearing will be taken and made available to all concerned upon request.
burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the College and
will be satisfied only by sufficient evidence in the record as a whole.
- APC will grant adjournments to enable investigation of evidence as to which any party makes a valid claim of surprise.
Faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary
witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will
cooperate with APC in securing witnesses and making available
documentary and other evidence.
- The Faculty member and
administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all
witnesses but APC has no authority to compel the presence of witnesses.
the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony will include that
of qualified Faculty members from the College or other institutions.
- APC will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence that is relevant.
- Findings of fact and the decision will be based solely on the hearing record.
- All parties will be notified in writing of the results of the hearing and any decisions made by APC.
can deny the appeal, support the appeal, or support the appeal with the
recommendation of some academic penalty less than termination.
Final Review of Hearing Recommendation [Operating Procedure]
termination or other severe sanction is recommended by APC, the Faculty
member may communicate to the President a request for a final review by
the Board of Trustees. If such a review is requested, the President
will transmit the record of the case to the Trustees for review.
Otherwise, the President will officially notify the Faculty member of
If APC concludes that adequate cause for
termination has not been established, the President may reject APC’s
findings. In this situation the President will state the reasons for
rejecting the report, in writing, and provide an opportunity for
response from all parties before transmitting the record of the case to
the Board of Trustees for final review.
Final review by the Board
of Trustees will be based on the record of the hearing, and it will
provide opportunity for argument, oral or written or both, by any party
involved in the hearing. The decision of APC will either be sustained or
returned to the committee with specific objections. APC will then
reconsider, taking into account the stated objections and receiving new
evidence if necessary. The Board of Trustees will make a final decision
only after study of the reconsideration by APC.
Salary and Notification Schedule after Termination [Operating Procedure]
a termination decision has been made and the Faculty member has been
notified of the termination, the Faculty member will receive salary
until dismissal according to the schedule that follows. The time until
dismissal covered by this schedule is referred to as the termination
- If the termination decision is reached at least three
months prior to the end of the first year of service, the termination
period will be three months.
- If the termination decision is
reached after nine months but prior to eighteen months of service, the
termination period will be six months.
- In all other cases, the termination period will be one year.
cases in which a Faculty member is dismissed for misconduct involving
moral turpitude, termination shall be immediate, and no salary will be
paid beyond the termination date.
Sanctions other than Termination [Operating Procedure]
severe sanction such as suspension from service for a stated period
will be handled in the same way as a termination. Any minor sanction
such as a reprimand will be handled through the grievance policy
described in the previous section.