Skip to:

Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Policy Number: 
S-010
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Student Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

On March 3, 1978, the State Board of Regents approved the recommendations contained in the staff report entitled "A Report on Out-Of-State Enrollments" dated February 15, 1978. Pursuant to those approved recommendations, the following guideline is adopted for the institutions in the State Board of Regents System.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Nonresident Enrollments
    1. All institutions should attempt to maintain a maximum limitation on the number of nonresident students, including foreign students, of fifteen percent (15%) to twenty percent (20%) of the total number of students enrolled at the institution or any unit of the institution. 
Sources: 

March 3, 1978 TBR meeting. Revised July 1, 1984

Note: The guideline initially allowed a maximum 33.1% nonresident enrollment at TSU until 1980, at which time it became subject to the 15% to 20% maximum.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:07:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding faculty appointments at community colleges governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The following faculty appointments may be made in Tennessee Board of Regents’ community colleges:
      1. Temporary,
      2. Term,
      3. Tenure-track, and
      4. Tenure appointments.
  2. Types of Appointments
    1. Temporary Appointments are non-tenurable appointments for a specific purpose for a time appropriate to that purpose or for an unspecified period.
      1. Temporary appointments may be terminated according to the terms of the contract of employment or appointment.
      2. Temporary appointments should ordinarily only be used to replace regular faculty on leave of absence, to employ faculty pursuant to grants, or for projects funded in whole or in part by non-appropriated funds.
      3. In addition, temporary appointments may be used for faculty employed on the basis of state appropriated funds in departments, divisions, or other academic units where a permanent and continued need for the position has not been established, provided that such appointments normally should not exceed three academic years.
      4. Faculty in temporary appointments are appointed in rank but are not eligible for promotion in rank.
      5. Temporary appointments may not be converted to term, tenure-track, or tenure appointments.
      6. Appointments of faculty members supported more than fifty percent (50%) by grant funds, or other soft money sources, may be approved by the community college presidents for periods in excess of three academic years.
      7. temporary instructional faculty at instructor rank may be appointed to a three-year contract. Such a contract may be renewed after any satisfactory performance review.
      8. Other extensions of temporary appointments for periods in excess of three academic years require the approval of the Chancellor.
    2. Term Appointments are non-tenurable appointments in a traditional rank (e.g., instructor, assistant professor) for a fixed period of no more than one year that may be renewed with no presumed maximum number of re-appointments.
      1. Faculty should be placed on term appointments only when one or more of the following employment conditions is present:
        1. As a means for addressing staffing needs when a projected need is more than temporary but less than long term;
        2. To staff programs projected to phase out in a fixed period; or
        3. When the size of a staffing cohort is projected to extend beyond the normal period for a temporary appointment but is not of sufficient length to warrant a tenure-track or tenured appointment.
      2. Since it is not intended that term appointments be used to meet long-term staffing needs, a faculty member should not remain in a term appointment for more than six years.
        1. If it is determined that a position is warranted beyond the maximum six-year period, a new tenure-track position should be sought to replace it.
        2. The holder of the term appointment may apply and be considered for the tenure-track appointment, and the institution may award up to three years’ credit for prior service.
        3. Other term appointment holders may also apply for the new position and receive service credit.
        4. The amount of credit awarded is left to the discretion of the president and is determined based upon the recommendation of the chief academic officer.
        5. Exceptions to the six-year maximum may be granted annually if it is:
          1. Requested by the affected faculty member and his/her supervisor;
          2. Recommended by the appropriate dean and chief academic officer; and
          3. Approved by the college president.
      3. Faculty in term appointments are eligible for promotion.
    3. Tenure-track Appointments are appointments for full-time faculty with academic rank and may be for the academic or fiscal year.
      1. Tenure-track appointments are for faculty who are employed in a probationary period of employment preliminary to consideration for tenure.
      2. Tenure-track appointments shall not include any right to permanent or continuous employment, shall not create any manner of legal right, interest, or expectancy of renewal or any other type of appointment and shall be subject to annual renewal by the institution.
      3. A tenure-track appointment may not be converted to a term appointment as a means for continuing employment of tenure-track faculty when a negative tenure decision has been made.
    4. Tenure Appointments are appointments of full-time faculty who have been awarded tenure by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this policy.
      1. Tenure appointments include the assurance of continued employment for the academic or fiscal year for an indefinite period, subject to expiration, relinquishment, or termination of tenure as provided in TBR policy.
      2. Such appointments do not include assurance of continued employment at any specified salary or position or employment during summer sessions or inter-sessions.
  3. Conversion of Appointments
    1. A temporary appointment may not be converted to a tenure-track appointment.
    2. The conversion of a term appointment to a tenure-track appointment is allowed, and each college should define the process in its institutional policy in keeping with TBR guideline P-010.
    3. The holder of the term appointment converted to a tenure-track appointment may be awarded up to three years credit for prior service in residence.
Sources: 

April 2, 2004 TBR Board Meeting; Board Meeting June 20, 2014.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:06:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding financial exigency at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Definitions: 
  • Financial Exigency - is the formal declaration by the State Board of Regents that one of its institutions faces an imminent financial crisis, that there is a current or projected absence of sufficient funds (appropriated or non-appropriated) for the campus as a whole to maintain current programs and activities at a level sufficient to fulfill its educational goals and priorities, and that the budget can only be balanced by extraordinary means which include the termination of existing and continuing academic and non-academic appointments.
  • Reduction-in-force - the termination of employment of faculty or staff resulting from a budgetary crisis reflected in a declared state of financial exigency.
  • Entire institution - any one of the institutions of the State Board of Regents System for which funds are separately appropriated by the Tennessee General Assembly.
  • Academic or administrative unit - an academic department or other similar account-level unit.
  • Representative faculty body - the major faculty organization devoted to governance (as implied in Board Policy 1:03:10:00).
  • Primary budgetary sub-unit - a major budgetary area of an institution (e.g., academic affairs, student affairs, fiscal affairs) usually headed by an administrator reporting directly to the president.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. It is the intent of the State Board of Regents that each institution in the System should be required to develop policies and operational practices designed to provide emergency procedures, including reduction-in-force, should it experience a condition of financial exigency.
      1. As a minimum, institutional policies must cite, be in compliance with, and incorporate all the provisions of Board Policy 5:02:06:00.
      2. Those provisions are:
        1. A definition of financial exigency (see Definitions);
        2. A process section describing actions required prior to the declaration of financial exigency (included in Section II);
        3. A process section describing actions required subsequent to the declaration of financial exigency (included in Section III.), including the appointment and composition of a Financial Exigency Committee;
        4. A statement of procedures for termination of personnel under conditions of financial exigency (included in Section IV.);
        5. A statement of continuing rights of persons terminated under conditions of financial exigency (included in Section V.);
        6. A description of procedures for terminating a declaration of financial exigency (included in Section VI.); and
        7. A glossary of terms (included in Section VII.).
      3. Institutional policies must include specific plans and process sections which define anticipated operational practices in the event of financial exigency, and they must assure maximum protection for the academic programs of the institutions and the educational needs of students.
      4. Once the institution has developed its policy, it must be forwarded to the State Board of Regents for review and approval.
  2. Actions Required Prior to the Declaration of Financial Exigency
    1. Financial exigency results from an imminent fiscal crisis characterizing an entire institution; thus, the condition of financial exigency may not be declared at a level below that of the institution (i.e., it may not be declared at the level of an academic or administrative unit such as a school, department, or similar account-level unit).
    2. In light of the gravity of consequences resulting from a declaration of financial exigency, the process leading to an institutional recommendation to the State Board of Regents that financial exigency be declared must be cautious, fair, well informed, and as responsive as possible to the interests of various segments of the institution.
      1. The responsibility for initiating the proposal for declaration of financial exigency resides with the president of the institution. Since recommending the declaration of financial exigency is an extreme measure, that responsibility requires the president to provide all appropriate assurances and documentation that available and reasonable procedures to reduce the expenditure levels of the institution are exhausted and that no efforts have been spared to enhance revenues.
      2. Prior to proposing the declaration of financial exigency, the president shall share with the entire faculty or its representative body and with representatives of other campus personnel constituencies all pertinent analysis and documentation that, in his or her opinion, demonstrate an imminent fiscal crisis for the entire institution that would warrant a declaration of financial exigency. That analysis and documentation should be shared promptly and with sufficient notice to all personnel constituencies (including the representative faculty body); and opportunities should be provided for discussions with and advice from those bodies, answers to appropriate questions, and general deliberations befitting an educational institution.
      3. After discussion and review of any advice from various personnel constituencies, the president shall - if he or she remains convinced that conditions warrant a recommendation for declaration of financial exigency - present the recommendation with full documentation to the Chancellor.
      4. If his or her review supports the conclusion that conditions warrant a declaration of financial exigency, the Chancellor shall so recommend to the State Board of Regents. In addition to providing the State Board of Regents with a recommendation to declare financial exigency, the Chancellor in consultation with the campus president shall also submit a statement of findings and conclusions which shall include at least the following:
        1. A description of the current fiscal condition of the institution, including the projected amount of deficit that would result from failure to declare financial exigency.
        2. A projection of the fiscal condition that would result, in the opinion of the president and the Chancellor, from general types of action anticipated to be taken subsequent to a declaration of financial exigency.
        3. An analysis of the reason for the current imminent fiscal crisis characterizing the entire institution, specifying with appropriate documentation those identifiable factors contributing to the crisis.
        4. A statement of assurance, with supporting evidence, that available and reasonable procedures to reduce expenditure levels of the institution are exhausted, that further retrenchment within existing policies is not compatible with the objective of assuring maximum protection for the academic programs of the institution and the educational needs of students, and that efforts to enhance revenues have been carried out in a responsible manner.
        5. A transmittal of any advice, alternatives, or information in writing by any institutional personnel constituencies (including the representative faculty body).
  3. Actions Required Subsequent to the Declaration of Financial Exigency
    1. Should the State Board of Regents formally declare a state of financial exigency at one of its institutions, the president shall in a reasonable time and with appropriate documentation initiate a proposed plan to allocate necessary funding reductions among the primary budgetary sub-units (e.g., academic affairs, student affairs, fiscal affairs, etc.) within the institution.
    2. The following procedures shall be followed:
      1. The president shall convene the institution's Financial Exigency Committee, the composition of which shall be broadly representative of all personnel constituencies (including the representative faculty body) and shall be defined in the institution's Policy on Financial Exigency.
      2. The president's proposed plan for allocating necessary funding reductions to primary budgetary sub-units shall be reviewed by the Financial Exigency Committee.
        1. The Committee shall review the amounts of proposed reductions, evaluate proposed reductions in the light of institutional priorities, and consider administrative organization and academic priorities.
        2. It shall also consider the magnitude of proposed reductions in each primary budgetary sub-unit in the light of factors prescribed by applicable state or federal laws regarding fair employment practices.
        3. The Committee shall submit in writing within thirty days to the president its response to the president's plan, which shall include either an endorsement or a recommendation of alternatives.
          1.  The president shall consider any alternatives recommended by the Committee and - within thirty days - shall indicate to the Committee a final decision relative to the internal allocation of necessary funding reductions.
          2. This final plan should be communicated broadly to all personnel constituencies (including the representative faculty body).
      3. Heads of primary budgetary sub-units, with broad and clearly defined faculty and staff consultation, shall recommend to the president plans for effecting their designated budget reductions. Those recommendations from heads of primary budgetary sub-units shall include proposed reductions in programs or personnel, shall achieve the designated reductions, and shall respond to any inquiries the president or the Financial Exigency Committee may direct.
      4. As a primary component of his or her review of plans submitted by heads of primary budgetary sub-units, the president shall - prior to accepting them - submit the plans for review by the Financial Exigency Committee.
    3. Institutional financial exigency policies shall indicate general principles that the Committee will consider in reviewing plans submitted by heads of primary budgetary sub-units.
      1. While policies may include other principles, the Committee must consider at least the following general principles:
        1. Retrenchment other than reduction-in-force should reflect as its major priority maximum protection for the academic programs of the institution and the educational needs of students.
        2. When an academic or administrative unit undergoes reduction-in-force, the principal consideration in determining which persons to retain and which to terminate should be the maintenance of viable academic or support programs within that unit.
        3. Personnel of affected academic or administrative units should have clearly defined advisory involvement relative to determining specific persons and minimal personnel needs or areas of specialization essential to a unit's viability.
        4. To avoid the possibility of compromising the quality of highly productive programs within the institution and to recognize the best interests of continued academic excellence, reduction-in-force cannot normally be accomplished on a strictly across-the-board basis.
        5. Affirmative action plans should be carefully considered in all personnel decisions.
        6. Unless an exception is made to maintain a viable academic or support program (see b. above) or for reasons of affirmative action (see e. above), decisions as to the order of personnel terminations in academic or administrative units should be made in light of factors clearly defined in institutional policies.
        7. Each institutional policy on financial exigency should specify clearly and in rank order the role of defined factors in determining order of personnel terminations in academic or administrative units under conditions of financial exigency.
          1. Those factors shall include - but are not limited to - tenure status, rank, seniority within rank, local seniority within rank, length of service, performance evaluations.
      2. The Financial Exigency Committee shall submit in writing to the president its response to the plans for recommended reductions submitted by heads of primary budgetary sub-units.
        1. That response shall include either an endorsement or a recommendation of alternatives.
        2. After appropriate review of response by the Financial Exigency Committee, the president shall indicate his or her acceptance, rejection, or amendments to reduction plans submitted by heads of primary budgetary sub-units.
      3. The president shall communicate his or her composite plan for reducing expenditures to the entire campus community.
      4. The president shall submit for approval by the Chancellor his or her composite plan for effecting budgetary reductions as required by the fiscal condition of the institution.
        1. That transmittal must include the written response by the Financial Exigency Committee to both;
          1. The president's plan for allocating necessary funding reductions to primary budgetary sub-units; and
          2. Plans for the primary budgetary sub-units for effecting their designated budget reductions.
      5. If the Chancellor approves the plan for implementation, he or she shall submit it as information - together with any analysis he or she may deem appropriate - at the next meeting of the State Board of Regents.
  4. Procedures for Termination of Personnel under Conditions of Financial Exigency
    1. Following declaration by the State Board of Regents that a condition of financial exigency exists at one of its institutions, the president of that institution - having complied with those actions required subsequent to the declaration of financial exigency (see Section III. above) - is authorized to carry out those actions, including reduction-in-force, which are included in the plan approved by the Chancellor.
    2. Reduction-in-force under this policy may include any personnel classification, including tenured faculty members or probationary faculty members prior to the end of their terms of appointment.
    3. The procedures for termination described in Section IV. of this policy are in force only during a period in which the State Board of Regents has declared that one of its institutions is in a condition of financial exigency.
    4. An individual selected for termination shall receive prompt written notification from the president. That notification shall include the following:
      1. A statement of the basis on which the individual was selected for termination (see Section III.C.1.b. and e. and f. - if one or more of the three is appropriate);
      2. An indication of the data or reasons supporting the choice if it is not a clearly defined factor such as rank or tenure status;
      3. A statement of the date on which the termination is to become effective;
      4. A copy of the declaration of financial exigency adopted by the State Board of Regents; and
      5. Such other information as the president may deem appropriate.
    5. An individual who receives notice of termination, as described in Section b above, may appeal the decision under the conditions indicated in this section.
    6. Each institution shall provide in its policy on Financial Exigency procedural provisions for a Faculty Hearing Committee and for a Staff Hearing Committee. The Faculty Hearing Committee and the Staff Hearing Committee shall ensure prompt hearings that are thorough and fair but need not be judicial in nature. Strict rules of procedure (e.g., confrontation, cross-examination, and formal rules of evidence) need not be required.
    7. The following conditions constitute grounds for appeal by an individual of notice of termination:
      1. That established institutional procedures or provisions of Board Policy 5:02:06:00 were not followed.
      2. That appropriate criteria were not applied, including but not limited to the allegation that his or her selection constituted a violation of the individual's academic freedom or that unfounded or arbitrary assumptions of fact were made.
    8. The Hearing Committees shall not review the decision concerning the declaration of financial exigency or the president's plan for the amount of reduction to be assumed by each primary budgetary sub-unit.
    9. A recommendation will be sent from the Faculty or Staff Hearing Committee to the president recommending that he or she uphold or reverse the action of termination, and the president will inform the appropriate Hearing Committee and the individual of his or her final decision.
    10. The final decision of the president may be appealed to the Chancellor and, after he has made a decision, to the State Board of Regents.
  5. Continuing Rights of Persons Terminated Under Conditions of Financial Exigency
    1. No vacancy caused by a termination under conditions of financial exigency shall be filled for a period of three years from the time of notice of termination without first offering the position to the person terminated (academic or non-academic), provided that the person terminated keeps the institution informed of his or her current mailing address.
    2. If the person previously terminated is offered the position and accepts, he or she will be returned in the same rank and tenure status.
  6. Termination of Declaration of Financial Exigency
    1. If the financial health of the institution improves sufficiently, the president shall initiate a proposal for the termination of a declared state of financial exigency.
    2. The policies and procedures established by this policy shall continue in effect during the period of a state of financial exigency.
    3. At the termination of a declared state, that action by the State Board of Regents shall cause all policies, procedures, and bodies created in this policy for the sole purpose of making and implementing exigency decisions to cease to exist.
Sources: 

TBR Meeting, September 30, 1983.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:05:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding employment of graduate assistants at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. Institutions of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee may employ graduate assistants according to the following guidelines and descriptions.
  2. Workload
    1. Full-time graduate assistants will work:
      1. Six (6) contact hours per week in classroom or laboratory instruction;
      2. Eight (8) contact hours per week in laboratory supervision;
      3. Twenty (20) clock hours per week in supervised activities in the department of their employment; or
      4. A combination of the above.
  3. Terms of Employment
    1. The specific terms of the employment may be for an academic year, quarter, semester, fiscal year, or based upon a percentage of full-time assistantship.
  4. Salary Schedule
    1. Each institution that employs graduate assistants shall have a salary schedule which takes into account the particular needs and priorities of the institution.
  5. Eligibility
    1. A student must be accepted and/or enrolled in the graduate program to be eligible for appointment as a graduate assistant.
    2. On campuses that include a public school, private or parochial school, licensed day care center, other child care facility, public park, playground, recreation center or public athletic field available for use by the general public or campuses that are within one thousand feet (1000') of a public school, playground, recreation center or public athletic field available for use by the general public, no student who is registered as a sex offender pursuant to the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification, and Tracking Act of 2004 is eligible to be an institutional employee who is compensated with taxable wages.
      1. On such campuses, a student who is a registered sex offender is eligible for an appointment as a graduate assistant only if he or she is not receiving any taxable wages or taxable stipends as compensation, and the monetary compensation for the student is limited to awards of non-taxable scholarship or grant funds.
  6. Payment
    1. Salary payments should be made on a monthly basis or at a regularly scheduled time for salary payments to full-time personnel of the institution. 
Sources: 

TBR Meetings: August 17, 1973; December 12, 1980; December 2, 1988; June 29, 1990; September 21, 1990: March 28, 2008. Ministerial revision June 23, 2015.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:04:10
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents recognizes and considers summer session and inter-session assignments of faculty as separate assignments from academic year appointments. It is further recognized that compensation for faculty assignments during summer sessions and inter-sessions should be a factor of the regular academic year salary which takes into account the nature and extent of the duties and responsibilities involved in these separate appointments. To provide for such appropriate levels of compensation for faculty service during summer sessions and inter-sessions, the Board hereby adopts the following compensation provisions.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Classifications
    1. Category I: Regular Academic year faculty personnel who serve the institution as teaching faculty during inter-sessions and summer sessions.
      1. Faculty in this category shall be compensated at the rate of 1/32 of their academic year salary per semester hour of teaching load.
      2. The maximum summer and inter-session pay may not exceed 25 percent of the preceding academic year salary; however, except as needs are determined by the institution, a faculty member may teach and be compensated for nine semester hours for the summer term, with appropriate documentation of need maintained at the institution.
    2. Category II: Regular academic year faculty who serve under sponsored contracts for research and other professional services between academic years.
      1. Compensation for personnel in this category shall not exceed the rate equivalent to one-ninth per month of the preceding academic year salary.
      2. If the faculty member works on a part-time basis on a sponsored contract project, the pay should be adjusted accordingly.
    3. C. Category III: Division/Department Heads on an academic year appointment.
      1. The level of compensation for these administrators should be commensurate with the duties assigned.
      2. For a full-time assignment, the rate of pay shall not exceed 25 percent of the preceding academic year salary.
    4. Category IV: Part-time faculty.
      1. The level of compensation for faculty in this category should follow the schedule set forth in TBR Guideline P-050 (Part-Time Faculty Compensation).
    5. Category V: Faculty members in the Cecil C. Humphries School of Law (UM).
      1. The level of compensation for faculty in this category will be at a flat rate of $2500 per credit hour without regard to rank, and no faculty member may exceed the limit of three credit hours per summer term.
  2. Exceptions
    1. The above compensation provisions do not apply to campus-based study abroad programs or study abroad programs included in the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TCIS).
      1. Compensation for these programs will be determined by the institution or the Executive Director of TCIS, respectively.
    2. Any exception to the compensation provisions indicated above requires prior approval by the Chancellor. 
Sources: 

TBR Meetings: March 4, 1977; March 17, 1989; March 16, 1990; October 2, 1998; September 28, 2007.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:03:70
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding academic tenure at community colleges governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Definitions: 

The following are general definitions of terms used in this policy. They are further defined in the subsequent sections of this policy.

  • Academic Tenure – a personnel status in an academic department or academic program unit pursuant to which the academic or fiscal year appointments of full-- time faculty who have been awarded tenure are continued at a community college until the expiration or relinquishment of that status, subject to termination for adequate cause, for financial exigency, or for curricular reasons.
  • Adequate Cause – a basis upon which a faculty member--either with academic tenure or on a tenure-track, term, or temporary appointment--prior to the end of  the specified term of the appointment may be dismissed or terminated. The specific grounds which constitute adequate cause are set forth in Section V. G herein.
  • Financial Exigency – the formal declaration by TBR that one or more of its community colleges faces an imminent financial crisis, that there is a current or projected lack of sufficient funds (appropriated or non-appropriated) for the campus as a whole to maintain current programs and activities at a level sufficient to fulfills educational goals and priorities, and that the budget can only be balanced by extraordinary means that include termination of existing and continuing academic and non-academic appointments.
  • Faculty Member – a full-time employee who holds academic rank as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. Further definition can be found in Section 05:02:01:00 of TBR policy.
  • Probationary Employment – period of full-time professional service by a faculty member for whom an appointment letter denotes a tenure-track appointment in which he/she does not have tenure and in which he/she is evaluated by the college for the purpose of determining his/her satisfaction of the criteria for a recommendation for tenure. Probationary employment provides an opportunity for the individual to assess his/her own commitment to the college and for the college to determine whether the individual meets its perception of quality and projected need.

Note:  Faculty appointments are defined in a separate TBR policy.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. Tenure is awarded only by positive action by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), pursuant to the requirements and procedures of this policy, at a specific college.
    2. The award of tenure is recognition of the merit of a faculty member and of the assumption that he/she would meet the long-term staffing needs of the department or academic program unit and the college. The continued professional growth and development of faculty is necessary for institutions of higher education to continue to provide educational programs in accordance with the college’s mission, goals, and changing needs of the institution.
    3. Tenure is awarded only to those members of the faculty who have exhibited professional excellence and outstanding abilities sufficient to demonstrate that their future services and performances justify the degree of permanence afforded by academic tenure.
    4. The quality of the faculty of any community college is maintained primarily through the appraisal, by faculty and administrative officers, of each candidate for tenure.  Tenure at a TBR community college provides eligible full-time faculty with the assurance of continued employment during the academic year until retirement or dismissal for adequate cause, financial exigency, or curricular reasons, as further discussed herein.
    5. TBR does not award tenure in non-faculty positions.
    6. The following TBR policy on tenure is applicable to all community colleges within the system. These are minimum provisions and should be implemented in a manner appropriate to the individual missions, traditions, and needs of the colleges.
    7. Each college may establish additional requirements for the eligibility of faculty for consideration for tenure. College policies on tenure must cite and specifically acknowledge compliance with TBR Policy on Academic Tenure. Likewise, policies must embody and communicate clearly all provisions, definitions, and stipulations of the TBR policy.
  2. Consideration for Tenure
    1. Community college policies must include specifically identifiable sections that define minimum eligibility requirements for consideration of tenure.
      1. Tenure Process
        1. Each college policy must contain:
          1. A defined probationary period;
          2. Provisions for a tenure-track faculty member to be guided through the tenure process.  Guidance may include provision of a mentor, pre-tenure review, portfolio development workshops, etc.;
          3. A process that defines the levels of review to include peer review;
          4. Procedures associated with review by each level, with a clear description of materials that each level will review;
          5. A calendar or schedule of the review process; and
          6. The types and frequency of evaluation of probationary faculty members in the areas of teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
        2. Colleges may request tenure upon appointment for candidates with extraordinary credentials. The exception shall be requested when the faculty member is employed.
        3. College procedures shall ensure that peer committees have confidentiality of individual tenure votes unless there is evidence that casts doubt upon the integrity of the peer committee. This policy shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Tennessee Public Records Act, codified in T.C.A. §§ 10-7-503 and 504.
        4. Annual evaluations conducted by the candidate’s department chair or other appropriate head of an academic program unit are an important aspect of the criteria for tenure at colleges; therefore, college policies must include a clear statement as to the role and methodology of evaluation in measuring those criteria relevant to assessing the merit of the probationary candidate.
        5. These evaluation criteria may include provisions for providing a tenured faculty mentor who can conscientiously address deficiencies in the candidate’s progress towards tenure and provide feedback to the candidate.
        6. In addition the candidate, in consultation with his/her faculty mentor, may request a preliminary review by an ad-hoc tenure review committee prior to application for tenure as a mechanism to assess the progress of the candidate for tenure.
        7. This committee shall be composed of the faculty mentor, from within the candidate’s academic unit who will act as chair of the committee, one tenured faculty from outside the academic unit, and the chair or dean of the academic unit where tenure will be granted.
      2. Tenure Appointments
        1. Recommendations for or against tenure shall originate from the department or academic program unit in which the faculty member is assigned. Procedures of review will be determined by each institution in keeping with the statements included in II.A.1.a.(1)-(6) above.
          1. The review shall include appropriate participation in the recommendation by tenured faculty in the department or academic program unit.
          2. Although it can be difficult to establish evidence of teaching excellence, each department must develop a procedure to ensure that factual information relative to the candidate’s teaching is available at the time he/she is considered for tenure.
        2. The recommendation for tenure must be made by the president to the chancellor and by the chancellor to the Board of Regents. In the event that the tenure is awarded by TBR, the president shall furnish to the faculty member written confirmation of the award. The locus of tenure is awarded as appropriate in the department or division of the faculty member depending upon the organizational structure of the college.
        3. No other person shall have any authority to make any representation concerning tenure to any faculty member.
        4. Failure to give timely notice of non-renewal of a contract shall not result in the acquisition of a tenure appointment, but shall result in the right of the faculty member to another year of service at the college, provided that no tenure appeals remain outstanding due to lack of cooperation and/or appropriate action on the part of the candidate in completing the appeal process.
      3. Minimum Eligibility Requirements
        1. Employment Status. Tenure may be awarded only to:
          1. Regular Full-time faculty members who:
            1. Hold academic rank as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor and meet the minimum criteria as specified in a separate TBR policy.
            2. Have been employed in a tenure-track appointment and have completed the minimum probationary period of service as stated in the college’s policy and/or as agreed upon in writing and signed by the president or his/her designee.
            3. Have been determined by the college to meet the criteria for tenure and have been so recommended.
          2. Special Contract Faculty.
            1. Faculty members supported in whole or in part by funds available to the college on a short-term basis, such as grants, contracts, or foundation-sponsored projects, may be eligible for tenure if continuing support for such members can be clearly identified in the regular budget of the college.
      4. Length of Probationary Employment
        1. Probationary faculty may be employed on annual tenure-track appointments for a probationary period which may not exceed six (6) years.
        2. The faculty member may apply for tenure following a probationary period of not less than five years, provided that exceptions to the minimum probationary period may be made under special circumstances upon recommendation by the president and approval by the Chancellor.
        3. Upon approval of such an exception by the Chancellor, the faculty member’s recommendation for tenure will go forward to the Board as meeting the requirements for the probationary period.
      5. Calculating the Probationary Period
        1. Only full-time continuous service at a college will be included in determining completion of the probationary period, unless a break in service is approved.
        2. Employment during summer terms and in part-time positions shall not be credited toward satisfying the probationary period.
          1. Credit for Prior Service
            1. The minimum probationary period of five years may include credit for prior service when agreed to by the president, and subject to the maximum permissible credit for prior service as noted below:
              1. Credit toward completion of the probationary period may at the discretion of the president be given for a maximum of three years of previous full-time service at other colleges, universities, or institutes provided that the prior service is relevant to the institution’s own needs and criteria. Any credit for prior service that is recognized and agreed to must be confirmed in writing at the time of the initial appointment.
              2. Credit toward completion of the probation period may, at the discretion of the president, be given for a maximum of three years or previous full-time service in a temporary faculty appointment or term appointment at the same institution (see Types of Appointments, Section 1) or in an earlier tenure-track appointment at the same institution that has been followed by a break in service. Any credit for prior service in a temporary full-time faculty appointment at the same institution or in an earlier tenure-track appointment (at the same institution) that has been followed by a break in service must be recognized and confirmed in writing in the appointment letter to a tenure-track position.
          2. Leave of Absence.
            1. The period of approved leave of absence shall be excluded from the required probationary period.
            2. A faculty member may apply for a maximum of two, non-consecutive one-year leave increments.
            3. Exceptions may be granted by the president of the college in writing prior to the leave of absence.
            4. Exceptions may include:
              1. crediting the leave periods to the probationary period and/or
              2. granting more than two, non-consecutive one-year increments. Exception (ii), per TBR policy, requires approval of the Chancellor of TBR.
          3. “Stopping the Tenure Clock.”
            1. A faculty member may request to “stop the tenure clock” during his/her probationary period when circumstances exist that interrupt the faculty member’s normal progress toward qualifying for tenure.
            2. In such cases, the faculty member may request to “stop the tenure clock” for one-year if he/she demonstrates that circumstances reasonably warrant the interruption.
            3. Reasons will typically be related to a personal or family situation requiring attention and commitment that consumes the time and energy normally addressed to faculty duties and professional development.
            4. Examples may include childbirth or adoption, care of dependents, medical conditions or obligations, physical disasters or disruptions, military deployment, or similar circumstances.
          4. Administrative Appointment.
            1. A faculty member appointed to an administrative position may remain eligible for tenure consideration.
            2. The faculty member must:
              1. qualify for tenure under the college’s guidelines, and
              2.  maintain a significant involvement in academic pursuits including teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
            3. The time (or prorated portion of time) spent in the administrative position may be credited toward completion of the probationary period.
          5. Transfer to Another Department or Unit.
            1. When a faculty member is serving a probationary period in a department or academic program unit and is subsequently transferred to another department or unit, the faculty member may – with the approval of the president – elect to begin a new probationary period on the date the transfer occurs.
            2. If he/she does not so elect (and confirm this in writing to the president), time spent in the first appointment shall count toward establishing the minimum and maximum probationary period.
  3. Criteria to be considered in Tenure Recommendations
    1. The criteria for a recommendation of tenure depend upon the nature, mission, and goals of the college in which tenure may be awarded and of the department and academic program unit in which a faculty member is employed.
      1. The faculty member must demonstrate willingness and ability to work effectively with colleagues and in a professional manner to support the mission of the institution and the common goals of both the institution and of the academic organizational unit.
      2. Moreover, criteria for tenure relate to the college’s three traditional and often inter-related missions: teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
    2. Community college policies must include sections that identify criteria to be considered in tenure recommendations and specify in broad terms their relative importance.
      1. Those sections must clearly distinguish between:
        1. Criteria relevant to assessing the merit of the probationary candidate; and
        2. Criteria relevant to assessing the long-term staffing needs of the college and of the department or academic program unit to which the candidate is assigned.
    3. Criteria for tenure relate to the college’s three traditional missions:  teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research. In the community college setting, effective teaching is of paramount importance.
      1. Teaching
        1. Effective teaching is an essential qualification for tenure, and tenure should be granted only with clear and documented evidence of a candidate’s teaching ability and potential for continued development.
        2. Each of the items listed below must be submitted as evidence of effective teaching and be included in the teaching portfolio.
          1. Evidence of ability to organize and present subject matter in a logical and meaningful way,
          2. Evidence of ability to motivate and stimulate creativity in students,
          3. Statement of teaching philosophy,
          4. Course materials (i.e., course syllabi, handouts, exams/evaluation instruments, instructional materials), and
          5. Results of student evaluations for every course evaluated during the probationary period.
        3. Additional types of documentation may also include:
          1. Open-ended or other student input,
          2. Student products,
          3. Teaching recognition/awards,
          4. Evidence of professional development in teaching.
          5. Evidence of disciplinary or interdisciplinary program or curricular development,
          6. Alumni surveys,
          7. Student exit interviews,
          8. Evidence of supervision of student projects and other forms of student mentor ships, and
          9. Other evidence of excellence in teaching or mentoring, or both.
      2. Service/Outreach
        1. Service and/or outreach encompass a faculty member’s activities in college service, outreach or public service, and professional service.
        2. Evidence of performance in one or more of the following activities should be submitted.
        3. Weight and magnitude of importance will be directed by the college’s policies and guidelines.
          1. College service refers to activities other than teaching and scholarship performed at the department or college level. It is expected of every faculty member; indeed, colleges could hardly function without conscientious faculty who perform committee work and other administrative responsibilities. College service includes, but is not limited to, serving on departmental committees, advising students, and participating in college activities and on college committees. More extensive citizenship functions such as membership on a specially appointed task force, serving as advisor to a college-wide student organization, and membership on a college search committee should be taken into account in consideration for tenure.
          2. The outreach or public service function is the college’s outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Outreach primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the college. A vital component of the college’s mission, public service must be performed at the same high levels of quality that characterize the teaching and research programs.
        4. Professional service refers to the work done for organizations related to the faculty member’s discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes activities such as service on statewide or TBR committees, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities. 
      3. Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research
        1. Candidates for tenure must present documented evidence of their scholarship, creative activities, and/or research.
        2. While each item listed as required under “Teaching” must be included, the weight and magnitude of evidence required for activities in scholarship or creative activities or research will be directed by the college policy and guidelines.
        3. Such evidence should cite typical professional development activities such as presentations at a professional meeting, journal editorship, article and grant proposal review, performances, exhibitions, creative activities, as well as completing books, journal articles, or monographs, and other appropriate activities.
        4. The scholarship of teaching is a valid measure of research capability. It goes beyond doing a good job in the classroom; creative teachers should organize, record, and document their efforts in such a way that their colleagues may share their contributions to the art of teaching. Authoring appropriate textbooks or chapters within a book, writing educational articles, making presentations, and using innovative contributions to teaching, constitute scholarship of teaching.
        5. Performances, compositions, and other artistic creations are examples of appropriate creative activities. Documentation of such activities might include written reviews and evaluations by qualified peers.
        6. Publications in journals or media of similar quality are considered indicators of professional and/or scholarly activity.
        7. Publications that are reviewed by peers are more significant than those that are not subjected to such rigorous examination. It should be emphasized that quality is more important than quantity.
  4. Exceptions to Minimum Rank Qualifications
    1. The minimum rank qualifications should be met in every recommendation regarding appointment to academic rank and for promotion in academic rank.
  5. Changes in Tenure and Tenure-track Status
    1. Non-renewal of Probationary, Tenure-track Faculty
      1. When tenure-track appointments of faculty are not to be renewed, the faculty member shall receive notice of his/her non-retention for the ensuing academic year as follows:
        1. No later than April 1 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment terminates during an academic year, at least two months prior to its termination.
        2. No later than January 1 of the second year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment terminates during an academic year, at least five months prior to its termination.
        3. No later than the close of the academic year preceding the third or subsequent year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment terminates during an academic year, at least twelve months prior to its termination.
          1. The above stated dates are the latest dates for notice of non-renewal of faculty on tenure-track appointments. Each college may adopt annual dates that provide for longer notice of non-renewal.
          2. Notice of non-renewal shall be effective upon delivery of the notice to the faculty member, or upon the date the notice is mailed, postage prepaid, to the faculty member at his/her current address of record at the college.
          3. Applicable dates for notice of non-renewal are based upon actual years of service at a particular college and are in no way affected by any credit for prior service that may be awarded.
      2. When a faculty member in a tenure-track appointment completes his/her probationary period, the faculty member will be given notice of non-renewal of the appointment during the spring term following application for such status. Such notice of non-renewal should be given not later than the final day of the academic year. The faculty member’s right in an instance where timely notice is not given is described in TBR policy.
      3. Faculty members on tenure-track appointments shall not be terminated during the term of the annual appointment as stated in the employment contract except for reasons that would be sufficient for the termination of tenured faculty.
      4. The non-renewal or non-reappointment of any faculty member on a tenure-track appointment does not necessarily carry an implication that his/her work or conduct has been unsatisfactory.
      5. Unless there is a violation of state or federal law under the limitations described in the TBR Policy on Appeals (1:02:11:00), decisions that are not subject to appeal to the chancellor include (a) non-renewal of a tenure-track faculty appointment during the first five years of the probationary period and (b) denial of tenure unaccompanied by notice of termination in the sixth year of the probationary period.
    2. Transfer of Tenure
      1. Where a faculty member is tenured in an academic program unit he/she may be transferred to another academic program unit. In such cases, the transfer will be made with tenure; moreover, the tenure appointment will be transferred to the new academic program unit. In no instance may the faculty member be compelled to relinquish tenure as a condition for effecting the transfer.
      2. When a faculty member with tenure is appointed to an administrative position, he/she will retain tenure in the former faculty position only; and a faculty member otherwise eligible for tenure who also holds a non-faculty position may be awarded tenure in the faculty position only, subject to the requirements of this policy. 
    3. Expiration of Tenure
      1. Tenure status shall expire upon retirement of the faculty member. Tenure shall also expire in the event of permanent physical or mental inability of a faculty member, as established by an appropriate medical authority, to continue to perform his/her assigned duties.
    4. Relinquishment of Tenure
      1. A faculty member shall relinquish or waive his/her right to tenure upon resignation from the college or upon failure to report for service at the designated date of the beginning of any academic term, which shall be deemed to be a resignation unless, in the opinion of the president, the faculty member has shown good cause for such failure to report.
    5. Termination of Tenure for Reason of Financial Exigency
      1. The employment of a tenured faculty member may be terminated as a result of financial exigency at a college subject to TBR declaration that such financial conditions exist. See TBR Policy on Financial Exigency (5:02:06:00).
    6. Termination of Tenure for Curricular Reasons
      1. The employment of a tenured faculty member may be terminated because:
        1. An academic program is deleted from the curriculum; or
        2. Because of substantial and continued reduction of student enrollment in a field or discipline.
      2. Before declaring that curricular reasons exist, the president will ensure meaningful participation by the college’s representative faculty body in identifying the specific curricular reasons, evaluating the long-term effect on the college’s curriculum and its strategic planning goals, and judging the advisability of initiating further action.
      3. Prior to initiating the process described below, the president will present—either verbally or in writing—a description of curricular reasons that may warrant the termination of a tenured faculty member’s employment.
      4. Each college policy will describe procedures whereby this presentation will be made to a representative faculty body, and that body will have the opportunity to respond in writing to the president before action described below is initiated.
      5. Each of these reasons for termination of tenure for curricular reasons must denote shifts in staffing needs that warrant greater reductions than those which are accommodated annually in light of shifting positions from one department to another or among colleges to handle changing enrollment patterns (see Definitions, below).
    7. Process for Termination of Tenure
      1. Upon determining that termination of employment of one or more tenured faculty members is required for one or more of the two reasons cited above, the president shall furnish each faculty member whose employment is to be terminated a written statement of the reasons for the termination.
        1. Those reasons shall address fully the curricular circumstances that warranted the termination and shall indicate the manner and the information upon which the decision was reached regarding which faculty members’ employment would be terminated.
        2. The president’s written statement shall also indicate that the faculty member has the opportunity to respond in writing stating any objections to the decision.
      2. If the faculty member(s) whose employment is to be terminated indicate(s) objections to the presidents written statement(s) and request(s) a review, the president will appoint a faculty committee consisting of a minimum of five tenured faculty members from a slate of ten tenured faculty members proposed by the representative faculty body.
        1. The committee shall conduct a hearing on the proposed termination(s).
        2. The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the president, who shall in a reasonable time inform the faculty member(s) whose employment is proposed for termination in writing either that the decision for termination stands or that it has been altered.
      3. The president's decision to terminate a tenured faculty member’s employment for curricular reasons is subject to appeal to the Chancellor and TBR as provided in TBR Policy 1:02:11:00).
      4. When a tenured faculty member’s employment is terminated for curricular reasons, the position will not be filled by a new appointee with the same areas of specialization as the terminated faculty member within a period of three years unless the terminated faculty member has been offered, in writing, reappointment to the position at his/her previous rank, tenure, and salary (with the addition of an appropriate increase which, in the opinion of the president, would constitute the raise(s) that would have been awarded during the period that he/she was not employed).
      5. Upon determining that termination of employment of one or more tenured faculty members is warranted for curricular reasons, the president shall base his/her decision about which faculty member(s) employment should be terminated upon his/her assessment as to what action would least seriously compromise the educational programs in a department or division.
      6. Termination for curricular reasons presumes a staffing pattern in a department or academic program unit that cannot be warranted either by comparison with general load practices within the college or by comparison with faculty loads in comparable departments or academic program units at similar colleges. In that light, the president shall also, at his/her discretion, base his/her decision on a careful assessment of the impact of the curricular reason on staffing requirements in the department or academic program unit as compared to overall patterns in the college and to comparable departments or academic program units.
      7. Unless the president demonstrates that an exception should be made to minimize qualitative compromise of an educational program, the following considerations should guide the president in determining the order of faculty reductions in a department or academic program unit where termination of tenured faculty is proposed for curricular reasons. These considerations should not be construed as being mandatory:
        1. Part-time faculty appointments should not be renewed if tenured faculty positions are terminated.
        2. Temporary faculty or tenure-track faculty appointments in the probationary period should not be renewed if tenured faculty positions are terminated.
        3. Among tenured faculty, those with higher rank should have priority over those with lower rank.
        4. Among tenured faculty with comparable rank, those with appropriate higher academic degrees should have priority over those with lower degrees.
        5. Among tenured faculty with comparable rank and comparable degrees, those with greater seniority in rank should normally have priority over those with less seniority.
      8. The president of each college will have the discretion to deviate from this policy if he/she can demonstrate that the quality of the college’s programs will be negatively impacted by strict adherence to this seniority preference.
      9. When a tenured faculty member’s employment is to be terminated for curricular reasons, the president will make every possible effort to relocate the tenured faculty member in another existing vacant position for which he/she is qualified. In instances where, in the opinion of the president, relocation within the college is a viable alternative, the college has an obligation to make significant effort to relocate the faculty member, including the bearing of reasonable retraining costs. The final decision on relocation is within the discretion of the president.
    8. Definitions
      1. "Program is deleted from the curriculum" means that TBR takes formal action to terminate a degree major, concentration, or other curricular component and that such termination eliminates or reduces need for faculty qualified in that discipline or area of specialization.
      2. "Substantive and continued reduction of student enrollment in a field” means that over a period of at least three (3) years, student enrollment in a field has decreased at a rate in considerable excess of that of the college as a whole and that such reduction has resulted in faculty-student ratios that, in the opinion of the president, cannot be warranted either by comparison with equivalent faculty load practices within the college or by comparisons with faculty loads in comparable departments or academic program units at similar colleges which the president would deem to be appropriate for comparison.
    9. Termination for Adequate Cause
      1. Reasons for Termination
        1. A faculty member with tenure or a faculty member on a tenure-track appointment or temporary appointment prior to the end of the term of appointment may be terminated for adequate cause, which includes the following:
          1. Incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research.
          2. Willful failure to perform the duties and responsibilities for which the faculty member was employed; or refusal or continued failure to comply with the policies of the Board of Regents, the college, or the department; or to carry out specific assignments, when such policies or assignments are reasonable and non-discriminatory.
          3. Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
          4. Improper use of narcotics or intoxicants, which substantially impairs the faculty member’s fulfillment of his/her departmental and college duties and responsibilities.
          5. Capricious disregard of accepted standards of professional conduct.
          6. Falsification of information on an employment application or other information concerning qualifications for a position.
          7. Failure to maintain the level of professional excellence and ability demonstrated by other members of the faculty in the department or academic program unit of the college.
      2. Procedures for Termination
        1. Termination of a faculty member with a tenure appointment, or with a tenure-track or temporary appointment prior to the annual specified term of the appointment, shall be subject to the following procedures.
        2. No termination shall be effective until steps (4) through (10) below have been completed.
          1. A faculty member may not be suspended pending completion of steps d. through j. unless it is determined by the college that the faculty member’s presence poses a danger to persons or property or a threat of destruction to the academic or operational processes of the college. Reassignment of responsibilities is not considered suspension; however, the faculty member must be reassigned responsibilities for which he/she is qualified.
          2. In any case of suspension, the faculty member shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision or immediately thereafter to contest the suspension; and, if there are disputed issues of fact or cause and effect, the faculty member shall be provided the opportunity for a hearing on the suspension as soon as possible, at which time the faculty member may cross-examine his/her accuser, present witnesses on his/her behalf, and be represented by an attorney. Thereafter, whether the suspension is upheld   or revoked, the matter shall proceed pursuant to these procedures.
          3. Except for such simple announcements as may be required concerning the time of proceedings and similar matters, public statements and publicity about these proceedings by either the faculty member or administrative officers will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board of Regents.
          4. Upon a recommendation by the chief academic officer of the college to the president or upon a decision by the president that these procedures should be undertaken in consideration of the termination of a tenured faculty member, one or more appropriate administrators shall meet privately with the faculty member for purposes of attempting to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the problems giving rise to the proposed termination proceedings.
          5. If a mutual resolution is not reached under step d. the president shall appoint a faculty committee consisting of tenured faculty members, whose appointments should be, but are not required to be, agreed to by the faculty member. The faculty committee shall conduct an informal inquiry of the facts giving rise to the proposed termination and seek a mutually acceptable resolution. Should no such resolution be reached, the committee shall recommend to the president whether in its opinion further proceedings should be taken in pursuit of the termination. The recommendation shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by reasons for the recommendation. The committee’s recommendation shall not be binding on the president.
          6. If no mutually acceptable resolution is reached through step (5) and/or if after consideration of the faculty committee’s recommendation the president determines that further proceedings are warranted to consider termination, the following steps shall be taken.
            1. The faculty member shall be provided with a written statement of the specific charges alleged by the college which constitute grounds for termination and a notice of hearing specifying the time, date, and place of the hearing. The statement and notice must be provided at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing. The faculty member shall respond to the charges in writing at least five (5) days prior to the hearing. The faculty member may waive the hearing by execution of a written waiver.
            2. A committee consisting of members of faculty or faculty and administration shall be appointed to hear the case and to determine if adequate cause for termination exists according to the procedure hereinafter described. The committee shall be appointed by the president and the officially recognized faculty senate, assembly or advisory committee, with each appointing the number of members designated by the policy of the college. The committee may not include any member of the faculty committee referred to in e above. Members deeming themselves disqualified for bias or interest shall remove themselves from the case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative. Members of the committee shall not discuss the case outside committee deliberations and shall report any ex parte communication pertaining to the hearing to the committee chairman, who shall notify all parties of the communication.
          7. The hearing committee shall elect a chairperson who shall direct the proceedings and rule on procedural matters, including the granting of reasonable extensions of time at the request of any party and upon the showing of good cause for the extension.
          8. The chairperson of the hearing committee may in his/her discretion require a joint pre-hearing conference with the parties that may be held in person or by a conference telephone call. A written memorandum of the pre-hearing conference should be prepared and provided to each party. The purpose of the pre-hearing conference should include but is not limited to one or more of the following:
            1. Notification as to procedure for conduct of the hearing.
            2. Exchange of witness lists, documentary evidence, and affidavits.
            3. Define and clarify issues.
            4. Effect stipulations of fact.
          9. A hearing shall be conducted by the hearing committee to determine whether adequate cause for termination of the faculty member exists. The hearing shall be conducted according to the procedures below.
            1. During the hearing, the faculty member will be permitted to have an academic advisor present and may be represented by legal counsel of his/her choice.
            2. A verbatim record of the hearing will be taken and a copy will be made available to the faculty member, upon request, at the faculty member’s expense.
            3. The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the college and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.
            4. The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the committee in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence.
            5. The faculty member and the administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and, if possible, provide for interrogatories. An affidavit may be submitted in lieu of the personal appearance of a witness if the party offering the affidavit has provided a copy to the opposing party at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing and the opposing party has not objected to the admission of the affidavit in writing within (7) seven days after delivery of the affidavit, or if the committee chairperson determines that the admission of the affidavit is necessary to ensure a just and fair decision.
            6. In a hearing on charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from the college or other universities of higher education.
            7. The hearing committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
            8. The findings of fact and the report will be based solely on the hearing record.
            9. The president and the faculty member will be provided a copy of the written committee report. The committee’s written report shall specify findings of fact and shall state whether the committee has determined that adequate cause for termination exists and, if so, the specific grounds for termination found. In addition, the committee may recommend action less than dismissal. The report shall also specify any applicable policy the committee considered.
          10. After consideration of the committee’s report and the record, the president may in his/her discretion consult with the faculty member prior to reaching a final decision regarding termination. Following his/her review, the president shall notify the faculty member of his/her decision, which, if contrary to the committee’s recommendation shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons. If the faculty member is terminated or suspended as a result of the president’s decision, the faculty member may appeal the president’s action to the chancellor pursuant to TBR Policy 1:02:11:00.
        3. Review of the appeal shall be based upon the record of hearing. If upon review of the record, the chancellor notes objections regarding the termination and/or its proceedings, the matter will be returned to the president for reconsideration, taking into account the stated objections, and, at the discretion of the president, the case may be returned to the hearing committee for further proceedings.
Sources: 

TBR Meeting April 2, 2004.

This policy is a result of a comprehensive revision of former TBR Policy 5:02:03:00, Academic Freedom, Responsibility and Tenure. The former policy included provisions related to academic freedom and responsibility and tenure in both universities and community colleges. The revision, approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents on April 2, 2004, created a separate policy on academic freedom and responsibility pertinent to both universities and community colleges, established separate policies relative to tenure for universities and community colleges, and instituted separate policies on faculty appointments for universities and community colleges. Faculty members appointed prior to July 1, 2004, may elect to be considered for tenure under the provisions of Policy 5:02:03:00 or under the revised policy for a four-year phase-in period. The revised policy will be applicable to all tenure action taken on or subsequent to July 1, 2008, for faculty whose employment began on or after July 1, 2004.

NOTE: This policy became effective on July 1, 1976, as to all faculty then or thereafter employed in the Tennessee Board of Regents’ System. The minimum qualifications and requirements for eligibility for an award of tenure applied to all faculty who had not previously been expressly awarded tenure by the Board, and the previous probationary period for such faculty was extended to a maximum of seven years. Faculty who had previously been awarded tenure retained their tenured status under this policy, subject to its terms and conditions.

 The definition of academic tenure shall become effective January 1, 1984. That definition shall only apply to faculty tenured subsequent to the effective date. For faculty members tenured previous to January 1, 1984, the applicable definition of tenure shall be: “a status pursuant to which the academic year appointments of full-time faculty who have been awarded tenure are continued at a college until the expiration or relinquishment of that status, subject to termination for adequate cause for financial exigency or curricular reasons (see policy adopted June 25, 1976).”

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:03:30
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding academic freedom and responsibility at community colleges and universities governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The following policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents on academic freedom and responsibility is applicable to all universities/colleges within the System. The statement in Article II on academic freedom and responsibility may be adopted by each university/college, or a university/college may adopt an alternative statement, provided that the statement is consistent with the policies set forth herein.
    2. University/college policies on academic freedom and responsibility must cite and specifically acknowledge compliance with the Board Policy on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (5:02:03:30). Likewise, university/college policies must embody and communicate clearly as a minimum all provisions, definitions, and stipulations of the Board policy.
  2. Academic Freedom and Responsibility
    1. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his or her subject, being careful not to introduce into the teaching unrelated subject matter.
    2. The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties, including and consistent with any and all policies pertaining to clinical and research practices. Research for financial gain must be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the university, which is documented reduced to writing and signed by the faculty member and the appropriate academic officer(s)
    3. The faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational university/college. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from university/college censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a man or woman of learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge the profession and the university/college by the faculty member's utterances. Hence, a faculty member should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he/she does not speak for the university/college.
    4. Academic freedom is essential to fulfill the ultimate objectives of an educational university/college - the free search for and exposition of truth - and applies to teaching, research, and faculty participation in institutional governance. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth, and academic freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. Faculty participation in institutional governance is fundamental to the development and maintenance of effective academic policies, national and regional accreditation, and shared responsibility for the delivery of educational programs and services to students. Implicit in the principle of academic freedom are the corollary responsibilities of the faculty who enjoy that freedom. Incompetence, indolence, intellectual dishonesty, failure to carry out assigned duties, serious moral dereliction, arbitrary and capricious disregard of standards of professional conduct - these and other grounds as set forth in TBR Policy, "Policy on Academic Tenure at Tennessee Board of Regents’ Universities, "Section IV. I., may constitute adequate cause for dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions against faculty members subject to the provisions of Article III.
    5. The right to academic freedom imposes upon the faculty an equal obligation to take appropriate professional action against faculty members who are derelict in discharging their professional responsibilities. The faculty member has an obligation to participate in tenure and promotion review of colleagues as specified in university policy. Thus, academic freedom and academic responsibility are interdependent, and academic tenure is adopted as a means to protect the former while promoting the latter. While academic tenure is essential for the protection of academic freedom, the full benefits and responsibilities of academic freedom extend to all individuals teaching in the TBR System, whether or not they are eligible for tenure.
Sources: 

April 2, 2004; Board Meeting, Dec. 13, 2012; Revised September 20, 2013.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:03:20
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding tenure in non-faculty positions at Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Definitions: 
  • Financial Exigency - The formal declaration by the Tennessee Board of Regents that one of its institutions faces an imminent financial crisis, that there is a current or projected absence of sufficient funds (appropriated or non- appropriated) for the campus as a whole to maintain current programs and activities at a level sufficient to fulfill its educational goals and priorities and that the budget can only be balanced by extraordinary means which include the termination of existing and continuing academic and nonacademic appointments.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The following policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents on tenure in non-faculty positions is applicable to all non-faculty employees tenured as of July 1983 in the colleges of applied technology, the governance of which transferred from the State Board of Education to the Tennessee Board of Regents pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-11-402.
    2. This policy should be incorporated in those personnel policy manuals by which each institution and college normally communicate policy to its employees.
    3. All references in this policy to "institutions" include colleges of applied technology.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. Non-Faculty employees of Tennessee Board of Regents institutions who were previously granted permanent tenure by the Board of Education in positions at the area vocational-technical schools or state technical institutes under the authority of T.C.A. § 49-5-501 retain their tenure if their employment at a Tennessee Board of Regents institution or school has been continuous since the transfer of the technical institutes and area schools to the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    2. The rights and procedures applicable to such employees are set forth in Part III below.
  3. Applicable Rights and Procedures
    1. Expiration of Tenure
      1. Tenure status shall expire upon retirement of the employee.
      2. Tenure shall also expire upon the event of permanent physical or mental inability, as established by an appropriate medical authority, to continue to perform his/her assigned duties.
    2. Relinquishment of Tenure
      1. A non-faculty employee shall relinquish or waive his/her right to tenure upon resignation from the institution or college, or upon failure to report for service as scheduled which shall be deemed a resignation unless, in the opinion of the president/director, the employee has shown good cause for such failure to report.
    3. Transfers and Reassignment of Duties
      1. A non-faculty tenured employee does not hold tenure in a particular position. A tenured non-faculty employee may be transferred to any other position or may be reassigned any duties for which he/she is qualified.
      2. Upon transfer or reassignment, an employee's salary may be adjusted consistent with newly assigned duties. Adjustments in salary shall be made consistent with the provisions of any contract of employment.
    4. Termination of Tenure for Reasons of Financial Exigency
      1. Tenured non-faculty employees may be terminated as a result of financial exigency at an institution subject to Board declaration that such financial conditions exist. Such terminations shall be subject to the provisions below.
      2. Procedure for Termination - Personnel decisions (including those pertaining to tenured employees) that result from a declaration of financial exigency at a Board of Regents institution will comply with Board Policy on Financial Exigency (5:02:06:00).
    5. Termination of Tenure for Reasons of Restructure of Institution
      1. A tenured non-faculty employee may be terminated as a result of a reorganization of the institution or department, division or school within the institution.
        1. Upon determining that termination of one or more tenured non-faculty employees is warranted, the president/director shall base his/her decision about which employee is to be terminated upon his/her assessment as to what action would least seriously compromise the efficient and effective administration of the department, division and/or institution or school.
        2. In his/her discretion, the president/director shall utilize the following considerations which shall not be construed as mandatory in determining the order of reductions in a department, division or institution or school:
          1. Level of relevant educational background;
          2. Length of relevant experience;
          3. Effectiveness in performance of assigned responsibilities as reflected in performance evaluations; and
          4. Other objective measurements of performance.
      2. Upon determining that termination of one or more tenured non- faculty employees is required due to reasons cited above, the president or director shall furnish each employee to be terminated a written statement of the reasons for the termination.
        1. Those reasons shall address fully the circumstances which warrant the termination and shall indicate the manner and the information upon which the decision as to the employee to be terminated was reached.
        2. The president's/director's written statement shall also indicate that the employee has the opportunity to respond in writing stating any objections to the decision.
      3. If a tenured non-faculty employee who is to be terminated indicates objections to the president's/director's written statement and requests a review, the president/director will appoint a committee of three (3) non-faculty employees (who have no personal interest in the outcome) which shall conduct a hearing on the proposed termination or terminations.
        1. The hearings shall be limited to the issue of whether this policy was consistently and properly applied to the specific employee involved.
        2. The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the president/director, who shall, within a reasonable time, inform the employee proposed to be terminated in writing either that the decision for termination stands or that it has been altered.
        3. For colleges of applied technology, the director may appoint faculty members in lieu of non-faculty employees as needed to ensure an appropriate number of unbiased members on the committee.
      4. The president's/director's decision to terminate a tenured non-faculty employee for reasons under this section may be appealed to the Chancellor and the Board pursuant to the policy on Appeals to the Board (TBR Policy No. 1:02:11:00).
      5. When a tenured non-faculty employee is terminated due to a reorganization he/she shall be given preference for appointment for any position requiring the same qualifications and responsibilities for a period of one (1) year from the date of termination provided the terminated employee applies for the position and attaches a request for such preference to his/her application.
        1. Any previously terminated tenured non-faculty employee who is re-appointed may be appointed at his/her previous salary (with the addition of an appropriate increase which, in the opinion of the president/director, would constitute any increase in salary that would have been awarded during the period that he/she was not employed).
    6. Termination for Adequate Cause
      1. A tenured non-faculty employee may be terminated for adequate cause subject to the following provisions.
        1. Adequate cause includes the following:
          1. Incompetence
          2. Dishonesty
          3. Conviction of a felony or a crime other than a misdemeanor unrelated to the ability of the employee to perform his/her duties and responsibilities in an effective manner.
          4. Willful failure to perform the duties and responsibilities, for which the employee was employed, or refusal or continued failure to comply with the policies of the Board, institution or department/division or to carry out specific assignments when such policies or assignments are reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
          5. Improper use of narcotics and/or intoxicants which substantially impairs the employee's ability to perform his/her duties and responsibilities.
          6. Capricious disregard of accepted standards of professional conduct.
          7. Falsification of information on an employment application or other information concerning qualifications for a position.
          8. Failure to maintain the level of professional excellence and ability demonstrated by other members of the institution or department/division.
      2. Procedures for Termination for Adequate Cause - The following procedure shall be followed in termination of a tenured non- faculty employee for adequate cause.
        1. No termination shall be effective until steps d through j below have been completed.
        2. Suspensions pending termination shall be governed by the following procedure.
          1. A tenured non-faculty employee may not be suspended pending completion of steps d through j unless it is determined by the institution that the employee's presence poses a danger to persons or property or a threat of destruction to the academic or operational processes of the institution. Reassignment of responsibilities is not considered suspension; however, the employee must be reassigned responsibilities for which he/she is qualified.
          2. In any case of suspension, the employee shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision or immediately thereafter to contest the suspension; and if there are disputed issues of fact or cause and effect, the employee shall be provided a hearing on the suspension as soon as possible at which the employee may cross-examine his/her accuser, present witnesses on his/her behalf and be represented by an attorney. Thereafter, whether the suspension is upheld or revoked, the matter shall proceed pursuant to these procedures.
        3. Except for such simple announcements as may be required, concerning the time of proceedings and similar matters, public statements and publicity about these proceedings by either the employee or administration will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board.
        4. Upon a decision by the president/director that these procedures shall be undertaken in consideration of the termination of a tenured non-faculty employee, one or more appropriate members of the administration shall meet privately with the employee for purposes of attempting to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the problems giving rise to the proposed termination proceedings.
        5. If a mutual resolution is not reached under step d, the president/director shall appoint a committee consisting of tenured faculty and/or non-faculty employees whose appointments should be, but are not required to be, agreed to by the employee. The committee shall conduct an informal inquiry of the facts giving rise to the proposed termination and seek a mutually acceptable resolution. Should no such resolution be reached, the committee shall recommend to the president/director whether in its opinion further proceedings should be taken in pursuit of the termination. The recommendation shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by reasons for the recommendation. The committee's recommendation shall not be binding on the president/director.
        6. If no mutually acceptable resolution is reached through step e and/or if after consideration of the informal inquiry committee's recommendation the president/director determines that further proceedings are warranted to consider termination, the following steps shall be taken.
          1. The employee shall be provided with a written statement of the specific charges alleged by the institution which constitute grounds for termination and a notice of hearing specifying the time, date, and place of the hearing. The statement and notice must be provided at least twenty (20) days prior to the date of the hearing. The employee shall respond to the charges in writing at least five (5) days prior to the hearing. The employee may waive the hearing by execution of a written waiver.
          2. A committee consisting of non-faculty employees shall be appointed by the president/director to hear the case and to determine if adequate cause for termination exists according to the procedure hereinafter described. The committee may not include any member of the informal inquiry committee referred to in e above. Members deeming themselves disqualified for bias or interest shall remove themselves from the case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative. Members of the committee shall not discuss the case outside committee deliberations and shall report any ex-parte communication pertaining to the hearing to the president/director who shall notify all parties of the communication.
        7. The hearing committee shall elect a chairperson who shall direct the proceedings and rule on procedural matters, including the granting of reasonable extensions of time at the request of any party and upon the showing of good cause for the extension.
        8. The chairperson of the hearing committee may in his/her discretion require a joint pre-hearing conference with the parties which may be held in person or by a conference telephone call.  A written memorandum of the pre-hearing conference should be prepared and provided to each party. The purpose of the pre-hearing conference should include but is not limited to one or more of the following:
          1. Notification as to procedure for conduct of the hearing.
          2. Exchange of witness lists, documentary evidence, and affidavits.
          3. Define and clarify issues.
          4. Effect stipulations of fact.
        9. A hearing shall be conducted by the hearing committee to determine whether adequate cause for termination of the employee exists. The hearing shall be conducted according to the procedures below.
          1. During the hearing, the employee will be permitted to have an advisor present and may be represented by legal counsel of his/her choice.
          2. A verbatim record of the hearing will be taken and a typewritten copy will be made available to the employee, upon request, at the employee's expense.
          3. The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the institution and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.
          4. The employee will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the committee in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence.
          5. The employee and the administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and if possible, provide for interrogatories.
          6. An affidavit may be submitted in lieu of the personal appearance of a witness if the party offering the affidavit has provided a copy to the opposing party at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing and the opposing party has not objected to the admission of the affidavit in writing within seven (7) days after delivery of the affidavit or if the committee chairperson determines that the admission of the affidavit is necessary to ensure a just and fair decision.
          7. In a hearing on charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified persons from the institution or other institutions of higher education.
          8. The hearing committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
          9. The findings of fact and the report will be based solely on the hearing record.
          10. The president/director and the employee will be provided a copy of the written committee report. The committee's written report shall specify findings of fact and shall state whether the committee has determined that adequate cause for termination exists and, if so, the specific grounds for termination found. In addition, the committee may recommend action less than dismissal. The report shall also specify any applicable policy the committee considered.
        10. After consideration of the committee's report and the record, the president/director shall notify the employee of his/her decision, which, if contrary to the committee's recommendation, shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons.
          1. If the employee is terminated or suspended as a result of the president's/director's decision, the employee may appeal the president's/director's action to the Chancellor as provided in the policy on appeals (TBR Policy 1:02:11:00).
          2. Review of the appeal shall be based upon the record of hearing.
          3. If upon review of the record, the Chancellor notes objections regarding the termination and/or its proceedings, the matter will be returned to the president/director for reconsideration, taking into account the stated objections, and in the discretion of the president/director, the case may be returned to the hearing committee for further proceedings. 
Sources: 

TBR Meetings: September 18, 1987; June 25, 1993.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:03:10
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding academic freedom, responsibility, and tenure at Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Definitions: 

The following are general definitions of words and terms used in this policy which are not hereinafter specifically defined; however, the words and terms are subject to further qualification and definition in the subsequent sections of this policy.

  • Academic Tenure - a personnel status in a college of applied technology pursuant to which the appointments of full- time faculty who have been awarded tenure are continued at a college until the expiration or relinquishment of that status, subject to termination for adequate cause, for financial exigency, or for curricular reasons.
  • Adequate Cause - a basis upon which a faculty member, either with academic tenure or on a tenure-track or temporary appointment prior to the end of the specified term of the appointment, may be dismissed or terminated. The specific grounds which constitute adequate cause are set forth in Section N.
  • Financial Exigency - the formal declaration by the Tennessee Board of Regents that colleges of applied technology face an imminent financial crisis, that there is a current or projected absence of sufficient funds (appropriated or non- appropriated) for the colleges as a whole to maintain current programs and activities at a level sufficient to fulfill their educational goals and priorities, and that the budget can only be balanced by extraordinary means which include the termination of existing and continuing academic and non- academic appointments.
  • Faculty Member - a full-time employee who holds academic rank as Associate Instructor, Instructor, Senior Instructor, or Master Instructor; and, for purposes of this policy, who meets the minimum requirements for tenure in Section C and whose responsibilities primarily include instruction.
  • Probationary Employment - a period of full-time professional service by a faculty member for whom an appointment letter denotes a tenure-track appointment in which he/she does not have tenure and in which he/she is evaluated by the college for the purpose of determining his/her satisfaction of the criteria for a recommendation for tenure.
  • Temporary Appointment, Tenure-track Appointment, Tenure Appointment and Term Appointment - these four types of faculty appointments are defined in Section III.D. of this policy.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The following policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents on academic freedom, responsibility, and tenure is applicable to all colleges of applied technology governed by the Board. It should be incorporated in those personnel policy manuals by which each college normally communicates policies to its faculty.
  2. Academic Freedom and Responsibility
    1. The Board recognizes the principle of academic freedom, pursuant to which:
      1. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, being careful not to introduce into the teaching controversial matter which has no relation to the subject;
      2. The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties; but research for pecuniary gain must be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the college; and
      3. The faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a man or woman of learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge the profession and the college by the faculty member's utterances. Hence, a faculty member should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he/she does not speak for the college.
    2. Academic freedom is essential to fulfill the ultimate objectives of an educational institution - the free search for and exposition of truth - and applies to both teaching and research.
    3. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth, and academic freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning.
    4. Implicit in the principle of academic freedom are the corollary responsibilities of the faculty who enjoy that freedom.
      1. Incompetence, indolence, intellectual dishonesty, serious moral dereliction, arbitrary and capricious disregard of standards of professional conduct - these and other grounds as set forth in Section III.N. may constitute adequate cause for dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions against faculty members subject to the provisions of Article III.
    5. The right to academic freedom imposes upon the faculty an equal obligation to take appropriate professional action against faculty members who are derelict in discharging their professional responsibilities.
    6. Thus, academic freedom and academic responsibility are interdependent, and academic tenure is adopted as a means to protect the former while promoting the latter. While academic tenure is essential for the protection of academic freedom, all faculty members, tenured or non- tenured, have an equal right to academic freedom and bear the same academic responsibilities implicit in that freedom.
  3. Policy on Academic Tenure
    1. Academic Tenure
      1. Tenure is a personnel status pursuant to which faculty appointments in a college of applied technology are continued until retirement for age or physical or mental disability, subject to dismissal for adequate cause or unavoidable termination on account of financial exigency or curricular reasons.
      2. Tenure is awarded only by positive action by the Board, pursuant to the requirements and procedures of this policy, at a specific college.
      3. The awarding of tenure is recognition of the merit of a faculty member and of the assumption that he/she would meet the long-term staffing needs of the college. It is only awarded to those members of the faculty who have exhibited professional excellence and outstanding abilities sufficient to demonstrate that their future services and performances justify the degree of permanence afforded by academic tenure.
    2. The Tennessee Board of Regents does not award tenure in non-faculty positions.
      1. Notwithstanding the above, this section shall not be interpreted as diminishing the rights of non-faculty employees previously awarded tenure in positions at the state technical institutes or colleges of applied technology by the Board of Education, whose rights are governed by TBR Policy on Tenure in Non-Faculty Positions (5:02:03:20).
    3. Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Consideration for Academic Tenure
      1. The following statements clarify minimum eligibility requirements for consideration for academic tenure:
        1. Academic tenure may only be awarded to full-time faculty members who;
          1. Hold academic rank as Instructor, Senior Instructor, or Master Instructor;
          2. Have been employed pursuant to tenure-track appointments and have completed not less than the minimum probationary period of service; and
          3. Have been determined by the college of applied technology to meet the criteria for recommendation for tenure and have been so recommended pursuant to this policy.
      2. A faculty member holding the rank of Associate Instructor is not eligible to be awarded tenure.
        1. If an Associate Instructor is not promoted prior to the end of the probationary period, he/she will not be reviewed for tenure. All regulations concerning maximum probationary period will apply (see III.E.1).
      3. Faculty holding temporary appointments or term appointments are not eligible for tenure.
      4. Faculty members supported in whole or in part by funds available to the college on a short-term basis, such as grants, contracts, or foundation sponsored projects, shall not be eligible for tenure unless continuing support for such members can be clearly identified in the regular budget of the college upon the recommendation of tenure to the Board.
      5. No faculty member shall be eligible for tenure in an administrative position; provided that where a faculty member with tenure is appointed to an administrative position, he/she will retain tenure in a former faculty position only; and provided further that a faculty member otherwise eligible for tenure who also holds an administrative position may be awarded tenure in the faculty position only, subject to the requirements of this policy.
    4. Types of Appointments
      1. There are four types of faculty appointments: temporary appointments, tenure-track appointments, tenure appointments and term appointments.
        1. Temporary appointments are appointments for a specific purpose for a time appropriate to that purpose or for an unspecified period, which appointments may be terminated according to the terms of the appointments.
          1. Temporary appointments that are full-time should be called Interim Instructor; others should be designated Part-time Instructor.
          2. Temporary appointments ordinarily should be used to replace regular faculty on leave of absence, and faculty employed pursuant to grants or for projects funded in whole or in part by non-appropriated funds.
          3. In addition, temporary appointments may be used for faculty employed on the basis of state appropriated funds in areas where the permanent and continued need for the position has not been established, provided that such appointments shall not be in excess of three academic years.
        2. Tenure-track appointments are appointments for regular full-time faculty with academic rank. They are for faculty who are employed in a probationary period of employment preliminary to consideration for tenure.
          1. Tenure-track appointments shall not include any right to permanent or continuous employment, shall not create any manner of legal right, interest or expectancy of renewal or any other type of appointment, and shall be subject to annual renewal by the college.
        3. Tenure appointments are appointments of full-time faculty who have been awarded tenure by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this policy.
          1. Tenure appointments include the assurance of continued employment for the academic year for an indefinite period, subject to expiration, relinquishment or termination of tenure as hereinafter provided.
          2. Tenure appointments do not include assurance of continued employment at any specific salary or position.
        4. Term appointments are provided only for faculty at colleges of applied technology. They are non-tenure appointments in a traditional rank (e.g., associate instructor, instructor, etc.) for a fixed period of no more than one (1) year and may be renewed with no presumed maximum number of re-appointments.
    5. Probationary Employment
      1. Untenured faculty may be employed on annual tenure-track appointments for a maximum probationary period which may not exceed seven years. A recommendation for tenure of a faculty member following a probationary period of not less than five years may be made by the director of a college; provided that exceptions to the minimum probationary period may be made under special circumstances upon recommendation by the director and the Chancellor and approval by the Board.
      2. The minimum probationary period of five years may include credit for prior service when agreed to by the director and subject to the maximum permissible credit for prior service, pursuant to Section III.G.
      3. Employment in part-time positions or during periods of leaves of absence (except in the circumstance described in 4 below) shall not be credited toward satisfying the probationary period.
      4. Only full-time continuous service at a college will be included in determining completion of the probationary period, except where a break in service was pursuant to an approved leave of absence.
        1. The period of approved leave of absence shall be excluded from the requisite period for completion of the probationary period unless the director of the college specifies in writing prior to the leave of absence that it shall be included in the probationary period.
        2. In no case may more than one year of approved absence be included in determining completion of the probationary period.
      5. Where a faculty member is appointed to an administrative position prior to being awarded tenure at the college, if he/she maintains a significant involvement in teaching, the time or a prorated portion of the time spent in the administrative position may be credited toward completion of the probationary period. The director has final responsibility for determining what constitutes "significant involvement in teaching."
    6. Non-Renewal of Non-tenured Faculty
      1. When the tenure-track appointment of a faculty member is not to be renewed for a subsequent year, the faculty member shall receive notice of his/her non-retention for the ensuing year by April 15. Notice of non-renewal shall be effective upon personal delivery of the notice to the faculty member, or upon the date the notice is mailed, postage prepaid, to the faculty member at his/her current home address of record at the institution.
      2. When a faculty member on a tenure-track appointment completes the sixth year of the probationary period, the faculty member will either be recommended for tenure by the director or will be given notice of non-renewal of the appointment following the seventh year of service. Such notice of non-renewal will be given not later than June 30 of the sixth academic year. The faculty member's right in an instance where timely notice is not given is described in Section I.
      3. Faculty members on tenure-track appointments shall not be terminated during the annual specified term of the appointment except for reasons which would be sufficient for the termination of tenured faculty.
      4. The non-renewal or non-reappointment of any faculty member on a tenure-track appointment does not necessarily carry an implication that his/her work or conduct has been unsatisfactory. A faculty member whose tenure-track appointment is not renewed shall be given an oral statement of the reason(s) for the non-renewal by the director or his/her designated representative(s).
      5. The institution shall provide the non-renewed faculty member an opportunity to discuss his/her case. Responsibility for providing that opportunity resides with the director (or his/her designee).
    7. Credit for Prior Service
      1. Credit toward completion of the probationary period may, in the discretion of the director, be given for a maximum of three years of previous full-time service at other colleges of applied technology or similar teaching assignments, provided that the prior service is relevant to the college's own needs and criteria.
        1. Any credit for prior service which is recognized and agreed to must be confirmed in writing at the time of the initial appointment.
      2. Credit toward completion of the probationary period may, in the discretion of the director, be given for a maximum of three years of previous full-time service in a temporary faculty appointment or term appointment at the same college (see Type of Appointments, Section III.D1) or in an earlier tenure-track appointment at the same college which has been followed by a break in service.
        1. Any credit for prior service in a temporary full-time faculty appointment at the same college or in an earlier tenure-track appointment (at the same college) which has been followed by a break in service must be recognized and confirmed in writing in the appointment letter to a tenure-track position.
    8. Criteria to be Considered in Tenure Recommendations
      1. The tenure-track faculty member being considered for tenure must be assessed with respect to the following criteria:
        1. Evidence of teaching effectiveness in the occupation being taught.
        2. Evidence of an on-going commitment to remaining current in the occupation being taught.
        3. Evidence of service to the college and the community in furthering the goals of the college of applied technology.
        4. Demonstrated potential for continuous professional growth.
        5. Participation in professional activities, including membership and leadership in professional organizations supportive of the goals of vocational-technical education.
        6. Projected staffing needs in the teaching area and in the college as a whole.
        7. Ability to set and achieve clear objectives that are shared by the college.
    9. Tenure Appointments: Authority to Grant
      1. No faculty member shall be entitled to or acquire any interest in a tenure appointment at a college without a recommendation for tenure by the director of the college and an affirmative award of tenure by the Board of Regents.
      2. No other person shall have any authority to make any representation concerning tenure to any faculty member; and failure to give timely notice of non-renewal of a contract shall not result in the acquisition of a tenure appointment, but shall result in the right of the faculty member to another year of service at the college.
    10. Expiration of Tenure
      1. Tenure status shall expire upon retirement of the faculty member.
      2. Tenure shall also expire upon the event of permanent physical or mental inability of a faculty member, as established by an appropriate medical authority, to continue to perform his/her essential functions.
    11. Relinquishment of Tenure
      1. A faculty member shall relinquish or waive his/her right to tenure upon resignation from the college or upon willful failure to report for service at the designated date of the beginning of any academic term, which shall be deemed to be a resignation unless, in the opinion of the director, the faculty member has shown good cause for such failure to report.
      2. Tenure shall not be relinquished during periods of approved leaves of absence or during periods of service in administrative positions at the college.
    12. Termination of Tenure for Reasons of Financial Exigency
      1. A tenured faculty member may be terminated as a result of financial exigency subject to Board declaration that such financial conditions exist.
      2. Personnel decisions (including those pertaining to tenured faculty) that result from a declaration of financial exigency at colleges of applied technology will comply with the provisions here stated.
        1. The definition of financial exigency that applies to colleges of applied technology appears in Definitions.
      3. Financial exigency results from an imminent fiscal crisis characterizing the colleges of applied technology in the Tennessee Board of Regents System; thus, the condition of financial exigency may not be declared at a level below that of the aggregate colleges of applied technology (e.g., it may not be declared at the level of an individual college of applied technology).
        1. In light of the gravity of consequences resulting from a declaration of financial exigency, the process leading to recommendation to the Tennessee Board of Regents that financial exigency be declared must be cautious, fair, well informed, and as responsive as possible to the interests of various segments of the colleges.
      4. The responsibility for initiating the proposal for declaration of financial exigency resides with the Chancellor.
        1. Since recommending the declaration of financial exigency is an extreme measure, that responsibility requires the Chancellor to provide all appropriate assurances and documentation that available and reasonable procedures to reduce the expenditure levels of the colleges are exhausted and that no efforts have been spared to enhance revenues.
      5. If his/her review supports the conclusion that conditions warrant a declaration of financial exigency, the Chancellor shall so recommend to the Tennessee Board of Regents.
        1. That review should include significant participation by the directors of the individual college of applied technology.
        2. In addition to providing the Tennessee Board of Regents with a recommendation to declare financial exigency, the Chancellor shall also submit a statement of findings and conclusions which shall include at least the following:
          1. A description of the current fiscal condition of the colleges, including the projected amount of deficit that would result from failure to declare financial exigency.
          2. A projection of the fiscal condition that would result, in the opinion of the Chancellor, from general types of action anticipated to be taken subsequent to a declaration of financial exigency.
          3. An analysis of the reason for the current imminent fiscal crisis characterizing the institutions, specifying with appropriate documentation those identifiable factors contributing to the crisis.
          4. A statement of assurance, with supporting evidence, that available and reasonable procedures to reduce expenditure levels of the colleges are exhausted, that further retrenchment within existing policies is not compatible with the objective of assuring maximum protection for the academic programs of the colleges and the educational needs of students, and that efforts to enhance revenues have been carried out in a responsible manner.
          5. A transmittal of any advice, alternatives, or information submitted in writing by individual directors from colleges of applied technology.
      6. Should the Tennessee Board of Regents formally declare a state of financial exigency, the Chancellor shall in a reasonable time and with appropriate documentation initiate a proposed plan to allocate necessary funding reductions among the individual colleges of applied technology. The following procedures shall be followed:
        1. The Chancellor shall convene a Financial Exigency Committee, the composition of which shall be broadly representative of all personnel constituencies in colleges of applied technology.
        2. The Chancellor's proposed plan for allocating necessary funding reductions to individual colleges of applied technology shall be reviewed by the Financial Exigency Committee. The Committee shall review the amounts of proposed reductions and evaluate proposed reductions in the light of college priorities. It shall also consider the magnitude of proposed reductions in the light of factors prescribed by applicable state or federal laws regarding fair employment practices.
          1. The Chancellor shall consider any alternatives recommended by the Committee and - within thirty days - shall indicate to the Committee a final decision relative to the internal allocation of necessary funding reductions. This final plan should be communicated broadly to all personnel constituencies.
        3. The Chancellor shall submit the plan - together with any analysis he/she may deem appropriate - to the Tennessee Board of Regents as information. He/she shall also submit to the Board any written response to the plan from the Financial Exigency Committee.
      7. Following declaration by the Tennessee Board of Regents that a condition of financial exigency exists, the directors are authorized to carry out those actions, including reduction-in- force, which are included in the Chancellor's plan. Reduction-in-force under this policy may include any personnel classification, including tenured faculty members or probationary faculty members prior to the end of their terms of appointment.
        1. The procedures for termination described in this Section of the policy are in force only during a period in which the Tennessee Board of Regents has declared a condition of financial exigency.
        2. An individual selected for termination shall receive prompt written notification from the director. That notification shall include the following:
          1. A statement of the basis on which the individual was selected for termination;
          2. An indication of the data or reasons supporting the choice if it is not a clearly defined factor such as rank or tenure status;
          3. A statement of the date on which the termination is to become effective; and
          4. A copy of the declaration of financial exigency adopted by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
        3. An individual who receives notice of termination may appeal the decision under the conditions indicated in this Section. That appeal will be directed to a Hearing Committee, which shall be appointed by the Chancellor to represent broadly personnel constituencies at colleges of applied technology.
        4. The Hearing Committee shall ensure prompt hearings that are thorough and fair but need not be judicial in nature. Strict rules of procedure (e.g., confrontation, cross-examination, and formal rules of evidence) need not be required.
        5. The following conditions constitute grounds for appeal by an individual of notice of termination:
          1. That established college procedures or provisions of this policy were not followed.
          2. That appropriate criteria were not applied, including but not limited to the allegation that his/her selection constituted a violation of the individual's academic freedom or that unfounded or arbitrary assumptions of fact were made.
        6. The Hearing Committees shall not review the decision concerning the declaration of financial exigency or the Chancellor's plan for the amount of reduction to be assumed by colleges of applied technology.
        7. A recommendation will be sent from the Hearing Committee to the Chancellor recommending that he/she uphold or reverse the action of termination, and the Chancellor will inform the Hearing Committee and the individual of his/her final decision on the recommendation.
        8. The final decision of the Chancellor may be appealed to the Tennessee Board of Regents.
      8. No vacancy caused by a termination under conditions of financial exigency shall be filled for a period of three years from the time of notice of termination without first offering the position to the person terminated (faculty or non-faculty), provided that the person terminated keeps the college informed of his/her current mailing address. If the person previously terminated is offered the position and accepts, he/she will be returned in the same rank and tenure status.
      9. If the financial health of the colleges improves sufficiently, the Chancellor shall initiate a proposal for the termination of a declared state of financial exigency. The policies and procedures established by this policy shall continue in effect during the period of a state of financial exigency. At the termination of a declared state, that action by the Tennessee Board of Regents shall cause all policies, procedures, and bodies created in this policy for the sole purpose of making and implementing exigency decisions to cease to exist.
    13. Termination of Tenure for Curricular Reasons
      1. The employment of a tenured faculty member may be terminated because;
        1. A program is deleted from the curriculum;
        2. Because of substantial and continued reduction of student enrollment in a field; or
        3. Because staff reduction is warranted as a result of courses or curricula within a college being reorganized or consolidated.
          1. Responsibility for determining that one of these conditions exists resides with the director, but the Chancellor must be informed and so acknowledged before termination proceedings for curricular reasons are initiated.
      2. Upon determining that termination of one or more tenured faculty members is required for one or more of the three reasons cited above, the director shall furnish each faculty member to be terminated a written statement of the reasons for the termination.
        1. Those reasons shall address fully the curricular circumstances that warranted the termination and shall indicate the manner and the information upon which the decision of which faculty members were to be terminated was reached.
        2. The director's written statement shall also indicate that the faculty member has the opportunity to respond in writing stating any objections to the decision.
      3. If the faculty member(s) to be terminated indicate objections to the director's written statement(s) and request(s) a review, the director may appoint a faculty committee consisting of a minimum of five tenured faculty members; that committee shall conduct a hearing on the proposed termination(s).
        1. The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the director, who shall in a reasonable time inform in writing the faculty member(s) proposed for termination either that the decision for termination stands or that it has been altered.
      4. The director's decision to terminate a tenured faculty member for curricular reasons is subject to appeal to the Chancellor and the Board as provided in the policy on appeals to the Board (Policy No. 1:02:11:00).
      5. When a tenured faculty member is terminated for curricular reasons, the position will not be filled by a new appointee with the same areas of specialization as the terminated faculty member within a period of three (3) years unless the terminated faculty member has been offered, in writing, reappointment to the position at his/her previous rank and salary (with the addition of an appropriate increase which, in the opinion of the director, would constitute the raise that would have been awarded during the period that he/she was not employed).
      6. Upon determining that termination of one or more tenured faculty members is warranted for curricular reasons, the director should base his/her decision about which faculty member(s) should be terminated upon his/her assessment as to what action would lease seriously compromise the educational programs in a department or a division.
        1. Termination for curricular reasons presumes a staffing pattern in a college of applied technology which cannot be warranted either by comparison with general load practices within the college or by comparison with faculty loads in comparable colleges.
        2. In that light, the director shall also, in his/her discretion, base his/her decision on a careful assessment of the impact of the curricular reason on staffing requirements in the college of applied technology as compared to overall patterns in the college and to other colleges similar enough to warrant assessment.
      7. When a tenured faculty member is to be terminated for curricular reasons, the director will make every possible effort to relocate the tenured faculty member in another existing vacant position for which he/she is qualified. The final decision on relocation is within the discretion of the director.
    14. Termination for Adequate Cause
      1. A faculty member with tenure or a faculty member on a tenure-track appointment prior to the end of the term appointment may be terminated for adequate cause, which includes the following:
        1. Incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research.
        2. Willful failure to perform the duties and responsibilities, for which the faculty member was employed, or refusal or continued failure to comply with the policies of the Board, the college or the department, or to carry out specific assignments, when such policies or assignments are reasonable and non- discriminatory.
        3. Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
        4. Improper use of narcotics or intoxicants, which substantially impairs the faculty member's fulfillment of his/her departmental and college duties and responsibilities.
        5. Capricious disregard of accepted standards of professional conduct.
        6. Falsification of information on an employment application or other information concerning qualifications for a position.
        7. Failure to maintain the level of professional excellence and ability demonstrated by other members of the faculty in the department or division of the college.
    15. Procedures for Termination for Adequate Cause
      1. Termination of a faculty member with a tenure appointment, or with a tenure-track or temporary appointment prior to the annual specified term of the appointment, shall be subject to the following procedures:
        1. No termination shall be effective until steps 4 through 10 below have been completed.
      2. Suspensions pending termination shall be governed by the following procedure.
        1. A faculty member may not be suspended pending completion of steps 4 through 10 unless it is determined by the institution that the faculty member's presence poses a danger to persons or property or a threat of destruction to the academic or operational processes of the institution. Reassignment of responsibilities is not considered suspension; however, the faculty member must be reassigned responsibilities for which he/she is qualified.
        2. In any case of suspension, the faculty member shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision or immediately thereafter to contest the suspension; and, if there are disputed issues of fact or cause and effect, the faculty member shall be provided the opportunity for a hearing on the suspension as soon as possible at which time the faculty member may cross- examine his/her accuser, present witnesses on his/her behalf and be represented by an attorney. Thereafter, whether the suspension is upheld or revoked, the matter shall proceed pursuant to these procedures.
      3. Except for such simple announcements as may be required concerning the time of proceedings and similar matters, public statements and publicity about these proceedings by either the faculty member or administrative officers will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board.
      4. Upon a recommendation by the director or upon a decision by the director that these procedures should be undertaken in consideration of the termination of a tenured faculty member, one or more appropriate administrators shall meet privately with the faculty member for purposes of attempting to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the problems giving rise to the proposed termination proceedings.
      5. If a mutual resolution is not reached under step 4, the director shall appoint a faculty committee consisting of tenured faculty members, whose appointments should be, but are not required to be, agreed to by the faculty member. The faculty committee shall conduct an informal inquiry of the facts giving rise to the proposed termination and seek a mutually acceptable resolution. Should no such resolution be reached, the committee shall recommend to the director whether in its opinion further proceedings should be taken in pursuit of the termination. The recommendation shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by reasons for the recommendation. The committee's recommendation shall not be binding on the director.
      6. If no mutually acceptable resolution is reached through step 5 and/or if after consideration of the faculty committee's recommendation the director determines that further proceedings are warranted to consider termination, the following steps shall be taken.
        1. The faculty member shall be provided with a written statement of the specific charges alleged by the institution which constitute grounds for termination and a notice of hearing specifying the time, date, and place of the hearing. The statement and notice must be provided at least twenty (20) days prior to the date of the hearing. The faculty member shall respond to the charges in writing at least five (5) days prior to the hearing. The faculty member may waive the hearing by execution of a written waiver.
        2. A committee consisting of members of faculty or faculty and administration shall be appointed to hear the case and to determine if adequate cause for termination exists according to the procedure hereinafter described. The committee shall be appointed by the director and the officially recognized faculty senate, assembly or advisory committee, with each appointing the number of members designated by the policy of the institution. The committee may not include any member of the faculty committee referred to in 5 above. Members deeming themselves disqualified for bias or interest shall remove themselves from the case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative. Members of the committee shall not discuss the case outside committee deliberations and shall report any ex-parte communication pertaining to the hearing to the director who shall notify all parties of the communication.
      7. The hearing committee shall elect a chairperson who shall direct the proceedings and rule on procedural matters, including the granting of reasonable extensions of time at the request of any party and upon the showing of good cause for the extension.
      8. The chairman of the hearing committee may in his/her discretion require a joint pre-hearing conference with the parties which may be held in person or by a conference telephone call. The pre-hearing conference may be for purposes which may include but is not limited to one or more of the following:
        1. Notification as to procedure for conduct of the hearing.
        2. Exchange of witness lists; documentary evidence; and affidavits.
        3. Define and clarify issues.
        4. Effect stipulations of fact.
          1. A written memorandum of the pre-hearing conference should be prepared and provided to each party.
      9. A hearing shall be conducted before the hearing committee to determine whether adequate cause for termination of the faculty member exists. The hearing shall be conducted according to the procedures below.
        1. During the hearing, the faculty member will be permitted to have an academic advisor present and may be represented by legal counsel of his/her choice.
        2. A verbatim record of the hearing will be taken and a typewritten copy will be made available to the faculty member, upon request, at the faculty member's expense.
        3. The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the institution and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence and the record considered as a whole.
        4. The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the committee in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence.
        5. The faculty member and the administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and if possible, provide for interrogatories.
          1. An affidavit may be submitted in lieu of the personal appearance of a witness if the party offering the affidavit has provided a copy to the opposing party at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing and the opposing party has not objected to the admission of the affidavit in writing within (7) days after delivery of the affidavit or if the hearing officer determines that the admission of the affidavit is necessary to insure a just and fair decision.
        6. In a hearing on charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from the institution or other institutions of higher education.
        7. The hearing committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.
        8. The findings of fact and the report will be based solely on the hearing record.
        9. The director and the faculty member will be provided a copy of the written committee report. The committee's written report shall specify findings of fact and shall state whether the committee has determined that adequate cause for termination exists and, if so, the specific grounds for termination found. In addition, the committee may recommend action less than dismissal. The report shall also specify any applicable policy the committee considered.
      10. After consideration of the committee's report and the record, the director shall notify the faculty member of his/her decision, which, if contrary to the committee's recommendation, shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons.
        1. If the faculty member is terminated or suspended as a result of the director's decision, the faculty member may appeal the director's action to the Chancellor as provided in the policy on appeals (TBR Policy 1:02:11:00).
        2. Review of the appeal shall be based upon the record of hearing.
        3. If upon review of the record, the Chancellor notes objections regarding the termination and/or its proceedings, the matter will be returned to the director for reconsideration, taking into account the stated objections, and, in the discretion of the director, the case may be returned to the hearing committee for further proceedings. 
Sources: 

TBR Meeting, September 30, 1983; September 18, 1987; December 4, 1987; June 25, 1993; December 8, 2006; December 3, 2009.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
5:02:02:30
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges
Purpose: 

Promotion in rank is recognition of past achievement of the individual being considered for promotion. In addition, the advancement in rank is recognition of future potential and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of even greater accomplishments and of assuming greater responsibilities. The policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) is to make promotions strictly on consideration of merit tempered by college and fiscal considerations. The purpose of this policy is to help ensure that promotions are made objectively, equitably, impartially, and as recognition of merit consistent with the following policy guidelines.

Definitions: 

For the purposes of this policy, teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research will be defined as follows.

  • Teaching - Teaching applies to any manner in which information is imparted so that others may learn, and may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, development of course materials and courseware, and development of innovative approaches to teaching.
  • Service/Outreach - Service applies to service within the community as defined by the college’s role and mission; service to the college, as in student advising and/or mentoring; and service within the bounds of the applicant’s academic discipline and budgeted assignment.
  • Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research - Research applies to the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge.  Scholarship/creative activities/research may include, but is not limited to, typical professional growth and development activities, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities that focus on the boundaries of knowledge, community-based scholarship, creative activities (e.g., performances or other artistic creations), and the development of cutting-edge teaching approaches.

A more detailed description of these activities and the criteria to be applied in assessing performance in these three areas may be found in Section IV of the TBR policy on “Academic Tenure at Tennessee Board of Regents Community Colleges.”

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The president of each college is responsible for the master-staffing plan of the college.
      1. In developing such a plan, the president will consider the fiscal impact of each promotion recommended to the Board.
  2. Promotion Guidelines
    1. The guidelines that follow provide a general plan for documenting the evaluation process for promotion at each college.
      1. However, each college must develop specific promotion criteria that all units of that college will follow.
      2. The college’s policies must, at a minimum, satisfy the criteria established by these general system guidelines, but may be more rigorous than the criteria stated herein.
      3. They should be written to distinguish between functional areas of teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.  College policies should contain sections that clearly outline promotional procedures, timelines, as well as opportunities for review of negative decisions.
    2. Once the college has developed its criteria complete with process and appellate procedures, these must be forwarded to the TBR Office of Academic Affairs for review and approval. Upon TBR Academic Affairs’ approval, the college’s proposed policy becomes effective as an institutional policy.
  3. Minimum Rank Criteria
    1. The following define minimum criteria that distinguish between academic ranks. Faculty must demonstrate minimum criteria to be eligible for promotion in rank. Promotion must be sequential in each rank.
      1. Instructor
        1. Potential ability in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
        2. As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either an Associate or Baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned Master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the discipline or related area.
        3. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
      2. Assistant Professor
        1. Documented evidence of ability in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
        2. As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either a Baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned Master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area.
        3. At least two years in rank.
        4. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
      3. Associate Professor
        1. Documented evidence of high quality professional productivity in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
        2. As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either a Baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned Master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus at least three years in rank.
        3. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
      4. Professor
        1. Documented evidence of sustained high quality professional productivity in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
        2. Earned doctorate or TBR recognized terminal degree from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus five years in rank.
        3. Documented evidence of teaching excellence and superior contribution to student development or superior scholarly or creative activity.  The absence of such evidence may prevent advancement to the rank of professor. Since there is no higher rank, promotion to professor is taken with great care and requires a substantial level of achievement. This rank is not a reward for long service; rather it is recognition of superior achievement within the discipline with every expectation of continuing contribution to the college and the larger academic community.
        4. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, professional integrity, and a high degree of academic excellence and responsibility.
    2. Note:  Minimum criteria may be waived if approved by the college president when a candidate offers extraordinary qualifications in lieu of the stated minimum rank criteria. Such approval must be supported by evidence of the extraordinary nature of the qualifications.
      1. For example, a candidate with recognized, national prominence and expertise might qualify for such a waiver.
      2. An exception to the minimum rank criteria must be recommended by the president to the Chancellor or designee.
      3. Upon approval of such an exception by the Chancellor, the faculty member's recommendation for promotion will go forward to the Board as meeting the minimum rank criteria.
  4. Terminal Degree Designation
    1. The Board will use national discipline standards to determine which degrees are considered to be “terminal” within each discipline and will provide each community college with a list that delineates these degrees.
    2. Each community college may request blanket exceptions to these standards by classification based upon its mission and hiring practice.
    3. Each community college may also petition the Board for “equivalent work experience credit” when a candidate has not obtained a terminal degree but has a record of extraordinary achievement in a given field.
      1. The equivalent work experience credit may include relevant teaching experience or other experiences such as experience gained as an administrator, counselor, librarian, journeyman, or the like.
  5. Promotion Criteria
    1. Each college must develop written guidelines for evaluating the faculty in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research. The college will assign varying weights to each of the criteria, with teaching being assigned a minimum of fifty-one (51%) of the weight. Evaluation should be based on all three criteria, although it is realized that differences in emphases may exist.
    2. Campus guidelines will require that candidates for promotion provide documented evidence that the criteria have been met.
    3. These guidelines should be distributed to all new faculty members and should be easily available to all faculty at all times, including via the Web.  Whenever the guidelines are revised, the faculty should be notified of the availability of the revised guidelines. Guidelines should use the following general criteria as minimum requirements.
      1. Teaching
        1. Evaluation of teaching shall be conducted by the department chair /division head, dean, peers, and students. The evaluation shall be based on the following criteria (evidence of each should be submitted):
          1. Curriculum and/or program development.
          2. Development and application of current instructional techniques (including development of online and computer-assisted course development), etc.
          3. Documentation of teaching methodologies.
          4. Documentation of staying current in his/her field of discipline/specialization.
          5. Student evaluations of the teaching performance.
      2. Service/Outreach
        1. Evaluation of the service component should be based on performance in three areas:
          1. Service to the college;
          2. Public service to the community as defined by the college’s role and mission; and
          3. Service within the bounds of the applicant’s academic discipline and budgeted assignment.
        2. Evaluation should be based on all three areas although it is realized that differences in emphases may exist.
        3. The college shall have the responsibility for determining the emphasis as well as the responsibility for determining specific criteria based on the individual’s aspect of work. These criteria should include:
          1. College committee and administrative responsibilities;
          2. Community service programs;
          3. Public service consultation; and
          4. Active contributions to professional associations.
        4. Specific evaluative criteria may be developed using the following guidelines:
          1. Performance in relation to assigned and budgeted duties (as described in the candidate’s position description which includes a statement of the mission or purpose of the position and of the objective(s) of the nominee’s service unit, as well as the specific assigned tasks and responsibilities of the nominee).
          2. The candidate’s effectiveness, as judged by his/her impact on the institution, individuals, groups, or organizations served. This should include documentation of the success of his/her internal and external service, in terms of improvement of communities, programs, operating agencies, production processes, or management practices. It should also include indications of satisfaction with the service provided by the nominee, and of the magnitude and complexity of his/her work (as opposed to perfunctory activity that does not lead to useful results).
        5. Service/outreach work is sometimes not publishable. The results may be in the form of direct consultations, planning reports, or instructional time directed largely to the recipients of college service programs.
        6. But certain aspects of service work are suitable for publication in professional journals. For example, unique techniques developed to motivate students or others or new approaches to the transfer and application of knowledge, would be of interest to peers in other public service programs.
        7. Performance in the advisement and mentoring of students.
      3. Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research
        1. The following are examples of, but not limited to, appropriate activities for this criterion:
          1. Scholarly pursuits in support of the discipline or the teaching profession, which should include typical professional development activities such as taking classes, etc.
          2. Implementation and use of cutting-edge teaching approaches, such as instructional technologies and learning theories, etc.
          3. Performances, compositions, and other artistic creations that are evaluated by written reviews and by qualified peers, either in person or aided by other forms of reports, or both.
          4. Professional or scholarly papers presented at international, national, or regional/state meetings.
          5. Publication of research or scholarly works such as books, journal articles, and other scholarly papers.
  6. General Process Guidelines at the College Level
    1. Each recommendation forwarded from the department to a higher administrative level in the college must be accompanied by complete and careful documentation of the candidate’s teaching performance, service/outreach contributions, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
    2. While all three areas are important, certain exceptions may exist where evaluation may occur in one or the other area exclusively.
      1. In these cases, as well as in the general case, appropriate supervisory personnel shall clearly and adequately document the facts that justify the individual’s promotion.
      2. Additional procedures may be used by each college with approval of TBR Academic Affairs.
  7. General Process Guidelines at Board Level
    1. A list of promotional recommendations should be forwarded by the president of the college to the Chancellor for his/her review. The Chancellor’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Committee on Personnel and their recommendation forwarded to the Board.
Sources: 

TBR Board Meeting April 2, 2004; TBR Board Meeting September 25, 2009.

This policy is a result of a comprehensive revision of former TBR Policy 5:02:02:00, Faculty Promotion.  The former policy contained provisions related to faculty promotion for both universities and community colleges.  The revision, approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents on April 2, 2004, created separate policies relative to faculty promotion for universities and community colleges.  Faculty members appointed prior to July 1, 2004, may elect to be considered for promotion under the provisions of Policy 5:02:02:00 or under the revised policy for a four-year phase-in period.  The revised policy will be applicable to all promotion actions taken on or subsequent to July 1, 2008, for faculty whose employment began prior to July 1, 2004..

Note:  Upon adoption of this policy at the December 13, 1974 meeting, implementation of the Board-approved college criteria began on September 1, 1975, and no faculty experienced demotion in rank due to the new policies. Upon extending the policy to the technical institutes at the September 30, 1983 meeting, no technical institute faculty shall be demoted in rank as a result of the new provisions.

Contact: 

Pages

Subscribe to policies.tbr.edu RSS