Policy 6-1300

Policy Statement Regarding Program Abandonment


Contents

  1. Series 31003 of the Regents' Rules and Regulations authorizes the President of The University of Texas at Arlington to determine when to eliminate academic programs occupied by academic positions, in the absence of financial exigency. The President is required to determine institutional procedures for an in-depth review to inform and guide decisions on these matters. The policy and procedures regarding the review required by Series 31003:

    1. No decision regarding the elimination or reduction in scope of an academic program shall be made without thorough consideration of viable alternatives. The criteria for the elimination or reduction in scope of academic programs, in the absence of financial exigency, shall be based on bona fide academic reasons. The President, acting under the authority of the Regents' Rules and Regulations, Series 31003, has the responsibility for determining when to eliminate or reduce the scope of an academic program. Once the President decides to initiate consideration of elimination or reduction in scope of a program or programs, that consideration must include, but is not limited to, a current review of the academic program or programs. For purposes of this policy, such a review is considered current if it was conducted within the previous three years.

    2. Upon identifying one or more academic programs for potential elimination or reduction in scope, the President shall notify the Faculty Senate, along with the administration and faculty of the affected programs. When such action may result in terminating the employment of tenured faculty members, the President shall appoint an ad hoc committee of seven individuals to review the proposed actions. All members of this committee shall be tenured members of the UTA faculty, some of whom may hold administrative responsibilities. Four members of the committee will be appointed by the President from a group of not less than eight (8) nominated by the Faculty Senate, provided that such nominations are made within 30 days after the request from the President to the Faculty Senate, unless an extension is granted by the President. The Faculty Senate and the President shall confer prior to final appointments to the committee, with the goal of arriving at strong, widely respected and representative, committee membership. The decision of the President regarding such appointments shall be final.

    3. The committee's considerations shall be based on academic program criteria. They shall include an assessment of the impact of the proposed actions on current and future students and the impact on the integrity and vitality of the University's other academic programs. Tenured faculty whose positions would be eliminated by the proposed actions will be provided the opportunity to contribute to the committee's review process both orally and in writing and have those contributions considered. The committee shall consider and offer advice on alternatives by which terminations of tenured faculty members can be avoided or minimized, and how the negative effects of any necessary terminations can be mitigated.

    4. Unless an extension is approved by the President, the committee shall complete its work in a period of time no longer than 120 days. The committee's analysis and recommendations shall be presented in the form of a written report addressed to the President and routed through the Office of the Provost. The Provost will review the committee's analysis and recommendations and forward the committee report, along with the Provost's independent recommendations, including the names of any faculty whose positions are to be terminated, to the President within 30 days after receipt, unless an extension of time is approved by the President.

    5. After reviewing the committee's report and the recommendation of the Provost, if the President decides to proceed with the process of eliminating or reducing the scope of one or more academic programs, that would eliminate academic positions occupied by tenured faculty, the President shall forward the decision, along with a copy of the committee's report and Provost's independent recommendations with the names of any faculty whose positions are to be terminated, to the Faculty Senate and to the faculty programs and faculty members directly affected. The President shall request approval of the proposed actions, including a proposed date of program termination, from the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The date proposed for the termination of the program shall be no sooner than eighteen months after the President forwards the decision to the Faculty Senate and the programs and the faculty directly affected, and shall coincide with the end of a spring semester (before May 31).

    6. The Provost shall meet individually with the tenured faculty who respond and discuss possible reassignment and shall notify such faculty member regarding the outcome of these discussions within 30 days after the meeting, unless the President approves an extension. A reassignment could involve relocation into another academic program, changes in title, changes of duties and responsibilities, but shall not result in a reduction of salary or loss of tenure. In exploring possible academic reassignments for affected tenured faculty, the Provost shall consult with the Dean(s), Chair(s), and the faculty of the academic programs for which the tenured faculty member may be qualified. If a mutually satisfactory reassignment cannot be arranged for a tenured faculty member, the faculty member will be informed in writing by the Provost, with a statement of the reasons why the tenured faculty member will not be retained to another position unless agreed to by the faculty member.

    7. An affected tenured faculty member is entitled to use the regular faculty grievance procedures to appeal the decision not to retain the faculty member in another academic program by filing a statement with the appropriate committee within 30 days after receipt of the statement of the Provost under Paragraph F.

    8. The employment of a tenured faculty member terminated under this policy shall extend only to the termination date of his/her academic program, as stated in the President's request to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Prior to the date for termination and for one additional year, the terminated faculty member shall have the right to first consideration among equally qualified candidates for any faculty position at UTA for which recruitment and hiring process is conducted and for which the faculty member in question formally applies.

    9. Any faculty member who is terminated pursuant to this policy will be informed of employee benefits that are available, such as retirement, accrued leave, and insurance continuation, and will be offered assistance with regard to alternative employment opportunities at other entities.