When reason arises to question the professional fitness of a faculty member who has tenure at Wichita State University or whose term of appointment has not expired, the appropriate administrative officers should ordinarily discuss the matter with the faculty member in personal conference.
If mutual consent is not reached on the matter at this point, a committee appointed by the president of the Faculty Senate, at the request of the Provost and Senior Vice President, will be charged to meet with the parties and informally inquiring into the situation to effect an adjustment if possible, and, if not effected, to provide advisory recommendations to the president of the University whether formal proceedings to consider dismissal of the faculty member should be instituted.
Upon the conclusion of its review, the Informal Review Committee should make one of the following recommendations to the faculty member, the Provost and Senior Vice President, and the president of the University:
After reviewing the recommendation of the Informal Review Committee, the president of the University will determine whether the case for dismissal should proceed. If the decision is to proceed, a communication from the Provost and Senior Vice President addressed to the faculty member will inform him/her of the decision to dismiss him/her for cause. The faculty member should also be informed that if he/she so requests within 10 days, a formal hearing to determine whether he/she should be removed from his/her faculty position on the grounds stated will be conducted by a faculty committee at a specified time and place. In setting the date of the hearing, at least 20 days should be allowed the faculty member to prepare a defense. The faculty member should be informed, in detail or by reference to published regulations, of the procedural rights that will be accorded. Not less than one week before the date set for the hearing, the faculty member should reply in writing whether he/she wishes a hearing. If the formal hearing is held the recommendations of the Informal Review Committee will be included in the materials presented to the hearing committee.
Only charges considered by the Informal review Committee may be considered as grounds for dismissal. The Provost and Senior Vice President may add to or amend charges by reconvening the Informal Review Committee.
The committee of faculty members to conduct the hearing and make a final recommendation to the University president should be jointly named by the president of the Faculty Senate and the University president as soon as possible after the faculty member requests a formal hearing. The members of the hearing committee should be chosen on the basis of their objectivity and competence and the regard in which they are held in the academic community. Parties to the hearing may offer challenges for cause to those named to the committee, and those challenged will be replaced if either appointing official finds there is sufficient cause to do so. The committee should elect its own chairperson. The published regulations applicable to the conduct of the formal committee's inquiry and to the rights of the faculty member are in the Kansas Board of Regents, Policy and Procedures Manual (1995 edition) item 8(4) on page 7F and are repeated as follows: "the accused teacher shall be informed before the hearing in writing of the charges against him and shall have the opportunity to be heard in his own defense by all bodies that pass judgment upon his case. He may have with him an adviser of his own choosing who may act as counsel. There shall be a full stenographic record of the hearing available to the parties concerned. In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony should include that of teachers and other scholars, either from his own or from other institutions." The hearing committee should give opportunity to the faculty member or his/her counsel and the representative designated by the Provost and Senior Vice President to argue orally before it, and should formulate its recommendation in conference, on the basis of the hearing. The hearing committee should make explicit findings with respect to each of the grounds of removal presented. The faculty member should be notified of the committee's recommendation in writing and should be given a copy of the record of the hearing.
The University president will receive and consider the hearing committee's recommendations. If the decision is to dismiss the faculty member, the University president will so inform the faculty member in writing, stating the grounds for dismissal, and indicating the effective date of the end of the faculty member's employment and any specific arrangements to be made regarding separation salary or other relevant matters.
This policy shall be included in the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual and shared with appropriate constituencies of the University.
The Provost and Senior Vice President shall have primary responsibility for publication, dissemination and implementation of this University policy.
November 1, 1998
August 18, 2000