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BFA Home >> Policies >> PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF FACULTY MEMBERS & ROLES AND PROFESSIONAL DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT CHAIRS >> PART IV. - REVIEW OF FACULTY CONDUCT AND SANCTIONS FOR UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BY A FACULTY MEMBER

The Boulder Campus Division of Academic Affairs adopted this document as official policy on January 16, 2013.

Professional Rights and Duties of Faculty Members and Professional Duties of Department Chairs

CONTENTS

PREAMBLE

OVERVIEW

PART I. PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS OF FACULTY MEMBERS

PART II. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES, ETHICAL PRINCIPLES, AND FACULTY CONDUCT

  • A. Teaching and Students
  • B. Scholarly Research and Creative Work
  • C. Academic Citizenship
  • D. Differential Teaching, Research, and Service Loads
  • E. Conflicts of Interest Policies
  • F. Policies on Research Involving Human Subjects or Animals
  • G. Fiscal Integrity Policies
  • H. Drug Use Policies
  • I. One-Sixth Rule
  • J. Misconduct in Research and Authorship
  • K. Disruptive Conduct, Injury to Person or Damage of Property, and Impeding Freedom of Movement at the University

PART III. ROLES AND PROFESSIONAL DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT CHAIRS

  • A. General Statement Regarding Departments and Department Chairs
  • B. Specific Statements Regarding Department Chairs (from Laws of the Regents)
  • C. Additional Professional and Ethical Obligations of Department Chairs, Not Expressly Set Forth Elsewhere.

PART IV.

REVIEW OF FACULTY CONDUCT AND
SANCTIONS FOR UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BY A FACULTY MEMBER

Review of a faculty member's conduct that is alleged to be unprofessional, and any sanction imposed as a consequence of a determination that the conduct is unprofessional, shall be made in accordance with the principles and procedures set forth below in this Part IV. A faculty member who believes himself or herself to be the focus of allegations or rumors of unprofessional conduct may invoke the procedures provided herein for review of his or her conduct.

A. General Principles

1. Use of Special Procedures

Any matter concerning alleged unprofessional conduct by a faculty member for which a special procedure has been provided (e.g., research misconduct, sexual harassment) shall be determined and resolved in accordance with that procedure. (See, e.g., Administrative Policy Statement on Misconduct in Research and Authorship, December 31, 1998; and Administrative Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures, July 1, 2009; and UCB Campus Policy “Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures” as revised July 28, 2008. In addition, if the alleged unprofessional conduct, if established, would warrant suspension or dismissal of the faculty member, the special procedures required for such sanctions by the Laws of the Regents must be employed. (See Laws of the Regents, Article 5, Part C as amended and reprinted as Appendix A to this document.)

2. Administrative Level for Resolution

Allegations of unprofessional faculty conduct should be resolved at the lowest appropriate administrative level.

3. Informal Resolution Encouraged

Faculty members and administrators are encouraged to resolve disputes concerning professional conduct through direct personal discussion and agreement or through use of agreed-upon mediation using existing university mediation services (e.g., Ombuds Office or Director of Faculty Relations). If a dispute concerning professional conduct of a faculty member is resolved by agreement, the parties must take into account in reaching the agreement the policies regarding sanctions and record keeping set forth in sections IV.C and IV.D below.

4. Academic Freedom

Determinations and advice or recommendations concerning unprofessional conduct of faculty members, and sanctions for such unprofessional conduct, shall be made and imposed only after careful consideration of the principles of academic freedom of faculty members and must give effect to those principles. (See Laws of the Regents, Article 5, Part D.)

5. Confidentiality

Administrators dealing with allegations of unprofessional conduct of faculty members shall strive to maintain confidentiality in any discussions or consultations made or proposed to be made in any matters involving the allegations. If unprofessional conduct is found, the expectation of confidentiality shall not apply insofar as public sanctions require disclosure or as otherwise required by law. The person or persons who lodged the original allegation as well as any other persons affected by the alleged conduct shall be notified of the resolution of the matter and any action taken.

6. Timeliness of Proceedings

All proceedings under this Part IV relating to allegations of unprofessional conduct shall be conducted as expeditiously as possible, taking into account, however, both the seriousness of the matter and the need to conduct proceedings in a manner that is both careful and considerate of all persons concerned. Normally, such proceedings will be completed within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of a written complaint.

B. Definitions

1. Faculty Member means any person who holds a faculty appointment, whether or not he or she also may have an administrative appointment.

2. Complainant means the person or persons alleging unprofessional conduct on the part of a Faculty Member.

3. Responding Faculty Member means any faculty member who has been alleged to have engaged in unprofessional conduct as defined and described in Part II.A., Part II.B. and Part II.C. of this document.

4. Supervising Administrator means the immediate supervisor of the faculty member, typically a department chair or director. (In the event of the recusal of the Supervising Administrator, the administrator at the next higher level becomes the Supervising Administrator for purposes of this procedure.)

5. Reviewing Administrator means the immediate supervisor of the Supervising Administrator, typically a dean.

C. Procedures for Determining Unprofessional Conduct and Sanctions

1. Presenting Allegations of Unprofessional Conduct against a Faculty Member

Any administrator, faculty member, staff member, student, or other interested person who believes that a Boulder Campus faculty member (the "Responding Faculty Member") has acted in an unprofessional manner may present specific allegations of such conduct to the Supervising Administrator of the Responding Faculty Member. The Supervising Administrator may himself or herself be the source of the allegations against the Responding Faculty Member. Initially, the allegations may be presented in either oral or written form. However, if the matter is not resolved under Part IV.C.2 or IV.C.3, below, allegations must be stated in writing in any further proceedings.

2. Preliminary Inquiry by the Supervising Administrator

a. The Supervising Administrator shall first determine whether the alleged misconduct would fall within an area for which a special procedure for review has been established (see Part IV.A.1). If so, the Supervising Administrator shall refer the allegations to the appropriate body or person under the special procedure.

b. Otherwise, the Supervising Administrator may make such preliminary inquiry as he or she may deem appropriate to determine the validity of the allegations. The process may terminate at this point if the Supervising Administrator concludes that the allegations

1) are patently untrue or frivolous;
2) do not involve unprofessional conduct;
or
3) involve matters that are too insubstantial to deserve further attention.

In any of these instances, the Supervising Administrator shall advise the person presenting the allegations, orally or in writing, of the Supervising Administrator's decision not to pursue the matter further.

3. Meeting with the Responding Faculty Member

a. If allegations are not disposed of under the preceding provisions, the Supervising Administrator shall meet with the Responding Faculty Member to discuss the allegations with him or her. This meeting shall result in one of the following:

i. The Supervising Administrator may conclude that the allegations are patently untrue or frivolous; do not involve unprofessional conduct; or involve matters of insufficient consequence to merit further attention. On reaching such conclusion, the Supervising Administrator shall advise the person or persons presenting the allegations, orally or in writing, of the Supervising Administrator's decision not to pursue the matter further.

ii. The Supervising Administrator may conclude (or the Responding Faculty Member may admit) that the Responding Faculty Member has engaged in unprofessional conduct. On reaching such conclusion or receiving such admission, the Supervising Administrator may impose a sanction that he or she deems appropriate and warranted for the conduct in question, in accordance with Part IV.D, below.

iii. The Supervising Administrator may conclude that additional investigation is required.

4. Request for Recusal of Supervising Administrator; Referral to Higher Administrative Level

a. If the matter is not disposed of under the preceding provisions, and if the Responding Faculty Member believes that the Supervising Administrator cannot be objective in further considering the matter, the faculty member may request that the administrator recuse himself or herself in the matter, presenting the reasons for the request. If such a request is made, the Supervising Administrator shall promptly consider the request and reasons and shall recuse himself or herself unless he or she in good faith determines that a reasonable person would find no impropriety in the determination of the matter by the Supervising Administrator.

b. The Responding Faculty Member may promptly appeal a decision against recusal to the next higher administrative level, and in such case the matter will be suspended pending the appeal. The appeal shall be reviewed as promptly as possible. If the Supervising Administrator decides to recuse himself or herself, or if as the result of an appeal the Supervising Administrator is directed to withdraw from the matter, the matter shall be referred to the next higher administrative level, and the administrator at that level shall thereupon become the Supervising Administrator for the matter.

c. If, at any time, the Supervising Administrator believes that, despite the general principle stated in Part IV.A.2 above, it would be more appropriate to resolve the matter at a higher administrative level, the Supervising Administrator may refer the matter to the next higher administrative level, and the administrator at that level shall thereupon become the Supervising Administrator for the matter. Alternatively, the Supervising Administrator may request a formal investigation by the Director of Faculty Relations instead of conducting an inquiry himself or herself. In such case, the Supervising Administrator will receive a formal written report of the findings of the Director of Faculty Relations, including recommendations for disposition of the matter.

5. Determination of Unprofessional Conduct and Sanctions

a. If after informal consultation and further inquiry (or a formal investigation by the Director of Faculty Relations), the Supervising Administrator finds that the Responding Faculty Member has not engaged in unprofessional conduct, the Supervising Administrator shall notify both the Responding Faculty Member and the party or parties lodging the allegations of the final disposition of the matter.

b. If the Supervising Administrator finds that unprofessional conduct has occurred, the Supervising Administrator may impose a sanction appropriate to the conduct, in accordance with Part IV.D, below.

6. Appeal of a Supervising Administrator’s Finding of Unprofessional Conduct

a. If the sanction imposed by the Supervising Administrator is to emphasize the faculty member's professional responsibilities under section IV.D.4.d.i or to admonish the faculty member orally under section IV.D.4.d.ii, or both, the finding and sanction(s) are final and may not be appealed.

b. If the Supervising Administrator imposes a more serious sanction than those described in IV.D.4.d.i or IV.D.4.d.ii, below, he or she must do so in writing. The Responding Faculty Member may appeal either the Supervising Administrator’s finding or the sanction(s) imposed, or both, using the following procedure:

i. Within ten (10) working days of the date that the Supervising Administrator’s notifies the Responding Faculty Member that unprofessional conduct has occurred and imposes a sanction, the Responding Faculty Member may submit a formal Request for Review to the next higher administrative level. The Request for Review shall include a statement of reasons for the appeal. The administrator at the next higher administrative level shall become the Reviewing Administrator.

ii. As part of the formal Request for Review, the Responding Faculty Member may request that the BFA Grievance Advisory Committee be convened to advise the Reviewing Administrator. The Reviewing Administrator shall honor such a request.

iii. The Reviewing Administrator shall employ such procedures as provide for a timely and impartial review of the allegations, findings, and imposed sanctions. These procedures may include conducting his or her own independent review of all documents related to the matter, consultations with the Responding Faculty Member and Supervising Administrator, requesting a formal investigation by the Director of Faculty Relations (if such investigation has not been undertaken previously), creating and convening an ad hoc Advisory Review Committee composed of a minimum of three disinterested faculty members, or, if requested by the Responding Faculty Member, requesting a recommendation from the BFA Grievance Advisory Committee. In carrying out their responsibilities, the Reviewing Administrator, the Director of Faculty Relations, the Advisory Review Committee, and/or the BFA Grievance Advisory Committee shall be guided by the intent to balance the interests of the Responding Faculty Member, the Supervising Administrator, and the University.

iv. The Reviewing Administrator (acting alone or with the advice of the Director of Faculty Relations, the Advisory Review Committee, and/or the BFA Grievance Advisory Committee) has twenty (20) working days to complete his or her review. The Reviewing Administrator may affirm, modify, or overturn the Supervising Administrator’s findings or sanctions, or both as the facts and circumstances warrant. The Reviewing Administrator shall render his or her decision in writing to both the Responding Faculty Member and the Supervising Administrator.

v. Except in those cases where the sanction to be imposed is serious enough to require the use of review and appeal procedures established in other University policies or the Laws of the Regents, the decision of the Reviewing Administrator shall be final.

[Footnote:] Faculty members retain their right of appeal to the Committee on Privilege and Tenure in any matter “involving perceived violation of academic rights, privileges, or tenure” (Laws of the Regents, Article 5.C.3.A).

D. Sanctions for Unprofessional Conduct

1. Considerations for Determining Sanctions

Any sanctions imposed by the Supervising Administrator shall be both appropriate for and likely to remedy and/or justly penalize the unprofessional conduct in question. In all cases, determination of the appropriate sanction depends upon the facts and circumstances of the particular instance of unprofessional conduct, including the nature of the conduct, whether it was purposeful or negligent, whether it has been repeated or is likely to be repeated, the harm resulting from the unprofessional conduct, and other relevant matters.

Sanctions shall be selected only after due consideration of the principles of academic freedom and shall give effect to those principles. (See Laws of the Regents, 1990, Article 5, Part D, reprinted in Appendix A to this document.) Because of the threat to academic freedom, an administrator should not require an apology from a faculty member as part of a sanction without consultation with an appropriate faculty committee. (See Boulder Faculty Assembly Resolution on Administrators' Demands for Apologies by Faculty Members, Appendix C, Section 5.)

2. Limitation on Imposing Sanctions Providing for Suspension or Dismissal

Any suspension or dismissal of a faculty member shall be made only under the procedures provided for such action in the Laws of the Regents. (See Laws of the Regents, 1990, Article 5, Part C.)

3. Limitation on Imposing Sanctions for Failure to Act in a Collegial Manner

Collegiality (See section II.C, "Ethical Principles") contributes to a cooperative, harmonious, and productive work environment in an academic unit. Merely irritating conduct, evidencing a lack of collegiality, shall not alone be the basis for imposing a sanction more severe than a confidential reprimand of a faculty member. However, the Supervising Administrator may impose a more serious sanction if he or she determines that the lack of collegiality is of such severity or duration that it compromises the effective operation of the academic unit or substantially interferes with the work of one or more of its faculty members, staff, or students.

4. Authorized Sanctions and by Whom Imposed

a. Subject to the foregoing, sanctions for unprofessional conduct by a faculty member may consist of any one or more of the sanctions listed below, as may be appropriate, and any other sanction or sanctions that may be considered appropriate in the particular instance. The order in which sanctions are listed below does not imply that they must be imposed successively, nor does it imply that any lesser sanction must be imposed before a more severe sanction may be imposed.

b. Sanctions will normally be imposed by the Supervising Administrator. However, sanctions referred to in sections IV.D.4.d.vii—ix, below (i.e., reassignment to another academic unit, withholding raises or privileges, reduction of salary or privileges), may be imposed only by an administrator who holds the position of dean of a school or college, or an equivalent or higher administrative level position. If the Supervising Administrator believes such a sanction to be appropriate but does not hold such a position, he or she shall refer the matter, with his or her recommendation for sanctions, to the administrator at the next highest level of administration who holds such a position. The administrator at that level shall then determine the appropriate sanction, if any, following a review of the recommendation for sanction, any record available, and any written statement the Responding Faculty Member may wish to make in the matter to that administrator. (Note: In such cases, the process described in this paragraph shall also be understood to constitute the appeal process described in IV.C.6, above.)

c. Sanctions described in sections IV.C.4.d.x and IV.C.4.d.xi (i.e., suspension or termination) may be imposed only under the special procedures provided for in the Laws of the Regents. (See section IV.C.2 above.)

d. Sanctions for unprofessional conduct by a faculty member may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

i. emphasizing, orally or in writing, to the faculty member his or her professional responsibilities;

ii. oral or written admonition of the faculty member;

iii. confidential reprimand of the faculty member;

iv. public reprimand of the faculty member;

v. reassignment, temporarily or permanently, of the faculty member's office or other working space (with the appropriate consent of any academic unit affected);

vi. reassignment, temporarily or permanently, of the faculty member's courses or other duties;

vii. reassignment, temporarily or permanently, of the faculty member to another academic unit (with the appropriate consent of any academic unit affected);

viii. withholding raises or privileges for the faculty member for a specified period or until the faculty member demonstrates, under the terms of the sanction, that he or she has terminated the unprofessional conduct;

ix. temporary or continuing reduction in salary or privileges of the faculty member;

x. suspension of the faculty member (subject to the provisions of section IV.D.2 above) for a period stated or until stated conditions are met; or

xi. termination of employment or dismissal of the faculty member (subject to the provisions of section IV.D.2 above).

5. Special Requirements for Temporary Sanctions

In any case in which a temporary sanction is imposed, the temporary sanction shall specify the term of the sanction or the conditions upon which the sanction will terminate, either automatically or after a hearing determining that such conditions have been satisfied. Any such hearing shall be conducted by the Supervising Administrator who imposed the sanction or by the Supervising Administrator’s successor or designee.

E. Reporting and Records

1. Reporting

Any sanction imposed on a faculty member for unprofessional conduct (other than emphasizing the faculty member's professional obligations under section IV.D.4.d.i or an oral admonition under section IV.D.4.d.ii above), and any decision made concerning whether the terms of a temporary sanction have been met, shall be reported to the next higher administrative level.

2. Records

a. Except as otherwise provided in the terms of a sanction, any sanction imposed on a faculty member (other than emphasizing the faculty member's professional obligations under section IV.D.4.d.i or an oral admonition under section IV.D.4.d.ii above) shall be evidenced in writing and shall become part of the personnel file of the faculty member.

b. The faculty member upon whom the sanction is imposed shall receive a copy of the written notice of the sanction. The faculty member may, at a date specified and having satisfied the conditions specified in the sanction (if any), request that the notice of the sanction be removed from his or her personnel file in accordance with any applicable University procedures.

c. A copy of any and all records pertaining to any matter dealt with under these provisions, including those in the possession of the administrator making the decision or of any Advisory Committee appointed under these provisions, shall be made available to any review as contemplated in these provisions. In the absence of any such review, such records shall be maintained in a confidential file by the administrator making the decision, except as the administrator may otherwise be directed by order of any tribunal or by express University policy or by University Counsel, or except as the records may become relevant to a sanction in a further matter of unprofessional conduct by the faculty member.

d. In the absence of any other direction, and if no sanction was imposed, the material in the confidential file shall be destroyed after a period of one year from the date of the decision of the Supervising Administrator. If any part of the material consists of property belonging to another person, a copy or a description of such property shall be placed in the confidential file and the property returned to the owner as soon as possible.

F. Review by Committee on Privilege and Tenure for Dismissal for Cause

Imposition of a sanction of dismissal for cause is subject to the provisions of Laws of the Regents 5.C.3: Faculty Grievance Process, and is appealable to the Committee on Privilege and Tenure, provided that all available campus-level appeals have been exhausted.

PART V. APPENDICES [ pp 34 - 45 ]

  • Appendix A. Principles of Academic Freedom (From Laws of the Regents, Article 5, Part D)
  • Appendix B. Faculty Powers (From Sections 4.A.5 and 5.E.5 of the Laws of the Regents, 1990, as revised November 3, 2005)
  • Appendix C. Additional Policy Statements

Amendments to Professional Rights and Duties of Faculty Members and Roles and Responsibilities of Department Chairs may be initiated by the Boulder Faculty Assembly, the Provost, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs, or the Chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly. Amendments require the approval of the Provost.

 
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