4.24 / Financial Exigency
Financial Exigency Background:
Recent higher education enrollment trends have made educators increasingly
aware of the need to anticipate possible needs for budget and staff
reductions (known commonly as retrenchment) by developing orderly procedures
for making such reductions. Like governing boards in many other states, the
Kansas Board of Regents recognized that advance planning for such
contingencies would serve the best interests of everyone in the academic
community; it adopted the following definition of financial exigency for the
Financial exigency is the formal recognition by a Regents institution that
prior reductions in budget or authorized number of positions have required
the elimination of nontenured positions and operating expenditures to such
a point that further reductions in these categories would seriously
distort the academic programs of the institution; hence, further budget or
position reductions would require the nonreappointment of tenured members
of the faculty or the failure to meet the standards of notice for
nonreappointment of faculty. It is not a requirement of financial exigency
that all nontenured positions throughout the University be first
1. It shall be the responsibility of the chief executive officer of
each Regents institution, in consultation with appropriate campus groups,
to develop a plan for reductions in personnel as necessitated by
conditions of financial exigency.
2. In the event that financial conditions at a Regents institution
may warrant the declaration of financial exigency, the chief executive
officer shall notify the board of that fact and shall provide a complete
statement of the circumstances that may warrant the declaration of
financial exigency. The statement shall also include a review of all
reasonable alternatives to financial exigency. If the board and the chief
executive officer concur as to the existence of a financial exigency, it
shall be the responsibility of the chief executive officer to so declare.
Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual, Chapter II, Section C,
In response to the Regents action, the faculty of Wichita State
University adopted a document entitled, "Policies and Procedures for the
Reduction of Unclassified Staff for Reasons of Financial Exigency" on
September 15, 1980.
Policies and Procedures for the Reduction of Unclassified Staff for
Reasons of Financial Exigency:
Preface: The document, which represents ongoing faculty review in the
area of financial exigency, is devised to provide an operational plan if
sharply declining enrollments should lead the University President to
declare a state of financial exigency at WSU. From the beginning it was
agreed that advance study and plans would relieve some of the personal,
departmental, and college conflicts which might be expected to occur with
the sudden declaration of financial exigency. Effort has been made to
consider the welfare of the University and its programs, as well as the
most humane treatment possible for faculty members who have served it. The
original document was approved by the University Senate on May 4, 1976,
after nearly two years of faculty deliberation. The following procedures
are to provide a formal process of retrenchment proceedings prior to and
during a period of financial exigency.
I. Committee Structure
The following committees shall be selected each year for three-year
rotating terms and elect their own chairpersons:
A. College Advisory and Appeals Committees for Retrenchment
B. The University Advisory and Appeals Committee for Retrenchment. The
University Retrenchment Committee shall comprise the chairpersons of each
College Retrenchment Committee, the Director of Equal Opportunity as a
non-voting member, and a representative of the Student Government
- Each degree-granting college shall select a committee of its faculty
according to the same procedures it uses to select its Tenure and
Promotion Committee, or by other similar procedures adopted by the
faculty of the college, except that:
- the college dean shall not be a member of this committee, and
- an Equal Opportunity Agent of the college shall be a nonvoting
member of the committee.
- An election shall be held among the Academic Services staff to form a
committee of six members by which such staff shall be represented. No
more than two members of the committee shall be from the same division
of the Academic Services staff. In addition to the elected members, an
Equal Opportunity Agent will be designated as a nonvoting member by the
Director of Equal Opportunity.
C. Functions of the College Committees
- The term "college dean" shall refer to the deans, including associate
and assistant deans, of the degree-granting colleges and to the
administrator charged by the President with developing the retrenchment
program for Academic Services staff.
- Hereinafter, the term "college committee" shall refer to this
committee as well as those defined in I/A/1.
D. Functions of the University Committee
- To regularly review the status of the college and its various
departments in relation to those aspects relevant to possible financial
- To participate in preventive planning with the college prior to a
- To review college and departmental plans for retrenchment should a
declaration of financial exigency be necessary.
- To serve as an appeals committee as described in section IV/K.
II. Preventive Planning During a Non-Crisis Period
- To regularly review the status of the University and its component
parts in relation to those aspects relevant to possible financial
- To participate in preventive planning for the University prior to a
- To review University and college plans for retrenchment should a
declaration of financial exigency be necessary.
- To serve as an appeals committee as described in section IV/M.
A. In that faculty involvement is imperative in a declared
exigency, it follows that preliminary participation is even more
important. Such involvement will serve the dual purpose of uniting the
forces of faculty and administration in achieving and maintaining
University strength and of minimizing the corrosive effects of declining
enrollments. Systematic planning should consider the following approaches:
Note: This section reflects the AAUP document on "The Role of Faculty in
Budgetary and Salary Matters," (1972).
- Biannual review of the current status and future projections for the
University by the President and/or Provost and Senior Vice President
with the University Committee and others as appropriate.
- The chairperson of the University Committee shall be involved
regularly in discussions with the University administration regarding
University financial status and especially at times of budget hearings.
- Such approaches as the following should be actively reviewed and
instituted by administration whenever feasible:
- Considerations of policies for early retirement or semi-retirement
- Consideration of further utilization of shared positions.
- Assessment of faculty skills in functional areas as well as areas of
specialization to facilitate possible reassignment of faculty members.
- Retraining of faculty for alternative positions.
- Development of additional curricular offerings to expand enrollment
without jeopardy to existing programs.
- Any other potential means for avoiding loss of faculty expertise.
III. Restrictions and Guidelines on Termination for Reasons of
A. Prima Facie Restrictions
Each of the following restrictions expresses a reasonable expectation
about the criteria that will be used to select those persons to be
terminated for reasons of financial exigency; but it is possible, even
likely, that on occasion these restrictions shall conflict with one
another and that on these occasions one or more of them will have to be
violated. All parties contributing to programs of retrenchment constructed
under Part IV of this document are enjoined to adhere to these
restrictions to the fullest extent possible and to deviate from them only
to the extent required by the best interests of the University. Any report
at any level recommending the termination of any individual in such a way
as to violate any of these restrictions must be accompanied by a full
explanation of the reasons for such a recommendation.
B. Mandatory Guidelines on Termination of Staff for Reasons of
- Termination should not be made in any way which would prevent any unit
of the University from performing the tasks appointed for it.
- Any terminations in any given unit which are based on the decreasing
demand for the services of that unit should be based on services over no
less than a three-year period.
- Terminations within a given department or unit should ordinarily be
made according to rank (lecturers and graduate assistants first),
followed in order by assistant instructors, instructors, assistant
professors, associate professors, professors, and within rank according
to years of service at the University at that rank. The appointment of a
faculty member with tenure will not be terminated in favor of retaining
in that department a faculty member without tenure, except in
extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion of the academic
program would otherwise result.
- Terminations should be made in such a way as to maximize compliance
with the University's obligations to affirmative action guidelines.
- Administrative terminations should be made in the same proportion as
IV. Procedures to be followed when a State of Financial Exigency
has been Declared by the President of the University
- If the University, because of financial exigency, terminates
appointments, no new state-funded positions will be established except
in extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion in the
academic program would otherwise result. The appointment of a faculty
member with tenure will not be terminated in favor of retaining within
the department a faculty member without tenure, except in extraordinary
circumstances where a serious distortion of the academic program would
otherwise result. The existence of "extraordinary circumstances" shall
be determined by the University Retrenchment Committee. The appointment
of a faculty member with tenure will not be terminated in favor of
retaining a faculty member without tenure in another unit of that
college, if the tenured faculty member can establish with the College
Retrenchment Committee that he is at least as qualified for the position
as the untenured faculty member.
- Except in the utmost emergency, which could not have been foreseen,
the standards of due notice of nonreappointment stated in the Handbook
for Faculty shall not be violated.
- In all cases of termination of appointment because of financial
exigency, the place of the tenured faculty member concerned will not be
filled by a replacement within a period of three years, unless the
released faculty member has been offered reinstatement and a reasonable
time (not to exceed 60 days) in which to accept or decline it.
- Any tenured faculty member chosen for termination on the grounds that
he/she is less competent in performance than someone who otherwise would
have been terminated instead, must be terminated according to the
procedures for dismissal for cause.
- If a dean recommends a retrenchment program requiring the elimination
of a department or a degree or certificate program, it may not be
approved either by a College Retrenchment Committee or by the University
Retrenchment Committee unless the elimination of the program has been
approved by the faculty of the college in which the department or
program is located. Approval of the faculty is defined as a majority of
the college faculty casting votes, provided that number also constitutes
a majority of a quorum of the faculty of that college. (This document
states the possibility and conditions of a retrenchment committee's
being overruled by a dean or by the President. Hence, this wording in no
way confers a veto power on the elimination of departments to the
A. The President shall announce to the deans and the University
Retrenchment Committee that he/she has declared a state of financial
exigency for the University and the proposed plan for,
B. The University Committee will
- the number of positions to be eliminated from the central
administrative staff of the University,
- the number of positions to be eliminated from each college, and
- the calendar for procedures to determine cutbacks.
C. After reviewing the University Committee recommendations, the
President will send to the deans and the University Committee a copy of the
final university retrenchment program and reasons for any departures from
the University Committee's recommendations.
- review the entire program of retrenchment for the University to see
that it conforms with the restrictions and guidelines (Part III),
- consult with the deans concerning the proposed retrenchment program,
- file with the President and the deans any changes it recommends in the
retrenchment program and the committee's reasons for those changes.
- In this context the term "college" shall refer to the degree-granting
colleges and to the divisions making up the Academic Services staff.
D. The dean of each college, after consultation with the College
Committee, shall announce to the college
E. The chairperson of each department shall consult with the tenured
faculty of that department, or a representative committee thereof, according
to the procedures used in the making of recommendations for tenure, and
shall then provide the dean in writing
- the number of positions provisionally to be eliminated from the
administrative staff of the college,
- the number of faculty positions provisionally to be eliminated from
each department within the college.
F. The dean shall, in consultation with the College Retrenchment
Committee and taking into account the written arguments from department
- any evidence that serious programmatic difficulties would result from
the proposed retrenchment in the department or other departments or
- recommendations of the department concerning the particular
individuals to be terminated, including the reasons for those
G. The College Retrenchment Committee shall
- Design a program of retrenchment designating each member of the
college to be terminated, containing explicit reasons for the
termination of any tenured faculty member, or for any deviation from
restrictions in Part III or college restrictions and guidelines.
- Inform each department chairperson of:
- The particular individuals designated for termination from that
- Any reasons explicitly stated in the college retrenchment program
for the selection of those individuals.
- The number of persons designated for termination from other
departments and from the administrative staff of the college.
- Inform in writing each person designated for termination of his/her
status of any reasons explicitly stated in the college retrenchment
program for his/her designation for termination and of his/her right to
appeal as below.
- Present the entire program of retrenchment, including chairpersons'
recommendations, to the College Retrenchment committee.
H. The dean shall take appropriate actions on the committee
recommendations concerning appeals from IV/B, and report to the committee
any modifications he/she wishes to make. He/she shall also report these
changes to the appropriate chairpersons and individuals as in IV F/2-3.
- maintain confidentiality with respect to the names of individuals
designated for termination to the extent permitted for the adequate
fulfillment of its charge,
- hear any appeals from tenured or probationary staff according to the
definitions of charges and procedures given in Part V, and
- report its findings to the dean and to the appellant.
I. The College Retrenchment Committee shall
J. The dean shall modify the college retrenchment program as
he/she deems appropriate in the light of the committee recommendations, and
- review the entire program of retrenchment for the college to see that
it conforms to college restrictions and guidelines, if any, and the
restrictions and guidelines in Part III of this document,
- consult with the dean concerning the proposed retrenchment program,
- file with the dean any changes it recommends in the retrenchment
program and the committee's reasons for those changes.
K. The College Retrenchment Committee will
- inform the College Retrenchment Committee of the changes he/she has
made, and of his/her reasons for not accepting any committee
recommendations that he/she has rejected;
- inform each department chairperson of
- the particular individuals from that department designated for
termination in the modified retrenchment program from that department,
- differences between the dean and the College Committee concerning
individuals to be terminated from that department,
- his/her reasons for rejecting the recommendations in section J/2/b;
- inform in writing each individual designated for termination in the
modified retrenchment program of his status, of the Dean's reasons if
the College Committee does not concur in that designation, and of any
right to appeal;
- the procedures are designated to allow each faculty member only one
opportunity to appeal if that appeal results in a negative
recommendation by the committee to which he appeals.
L. The dean shall present a report of the college's retrenchment
program to the Provost and Senior Vice President who shall transmit these
reports to the deans of the other colleges, this report to include
- hear appeals from any tenured or probationary staff designated for
termination in the modified retrenchment program of any college but not
designated for termination in the original retrenchment program of that
- report its findings to the appropriate dean and the faculty member.
M. The University Retrenchment Committee shall
- the modified retrenchment program of the college, together with
- copies of all recommendations from chairpersons, together with
- a list of all recommendations from the college retrenchment committee
that were not accepted, together with the committee's reasons for those
recommendations and the dean's reason for rejecting them.
N. The Provost shall act on the recommendations, if any, from M/4.
- hear any appeals, according to the definitions of charges and
procedures given in Part V, from any member of the central
administrative staff of the University designated for termination by the
- hear any appeals from faculty members who do not have a designated
college channel for redressing grievances (only one opportunity for
appeal will be possible),
- hear appeals from any college based on programmatic impact in that
college of decisions made in other colleges,
- recommend to the Provost and Senior Vice President appropriate
procedures for redress of any appeals it upholds from M/1-2-3.0
O. The Provost shall transmit to the President
P. The President shall in consultation with his/her staff
- the complete report on retrenchment from each college,
- his/her recommendation for terminations from the central
administrative staff of the University,
- the recommendations of the University Retrenchment Committee
concerning central administrative staff appeals,
- his/her own responses concerning the recommendations of the University
Q. The appropriate College Retrenchment Committee (for central
administrative staff, the University Retrenchment Committee) shall hear
appeals according to definitions of charges and procedures given in Part V,
from any tenured or probationary faculty member who is designated for
termination in the report of the President and has not had prior opportunity
to appeal his/her designation for termination.
- construct a program of retrenchment for the University;
- notify the University Retrenchment Committee of the entire program,
and of his/her reasons for any deviations from recommendations of the
University Retrenchment Committee;
- notify each dean of
- any changes he/she has made in the modified retrenchment program
presented by the dean, and
- his/her reasons for those changes;
- notify each department chairperson of
- the individuals to be terminated from that department, and
- his/her reasons for any terminations not recommended by the College
- the numbers of individuals to be terminated from other departments
of that college,
- notify each individual to be terminated under his/her program of
- notify any individual to be terminated under his/her program who has
not had prior opportunity to appeal his/her case of his/her right to
appeal according to the procedures in Part V.
R. President shall act on any upheld appeals and notify the
V. Appeals Procedures
Sections G, K, M and Q of Part IV of this document describe conditions
under which a member of the unclassified staff may appeal a decision to
designate him/her for termination. All appeals from probationary and
tenured faculty members will go to their College Advisory and Appeals
Retrenchment Committee and appeals from central administrators will go to
the University Retrenchment Advisory and Appeals Committee. Such a staff
member, hereinafter referred to as the appellant, shall file his/her
appeal with the chairperson of the committee described in the section
under which the appellant is appealing, hereinafter referred to as the
Appeals Committee, basing his/her appeal on the charges described in the
A. If the appellant alleges that a decision not to reappoint
him/her was based significantly on considerations that violate (1)
academic freedom or (2) governing policies precluding prejudice with
respect to race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, sexual
orientation, age, or Vietnam-era veteran status, the allegation shall be
given preliminary consideration by the Appeals Committee which shall seek
to settle the matter by informal methods. The allegation shall be
accompanied by a statement that the appellant agrees to the presentation,
for the consideration of the committees hearing the appeals, of such
reasons and evidence as the institution may allege in support of its
decision. If the difficulty is unresolved at this stage, and if the
committee or the faculty member so recommends the matter will be heard in
the manner set forth in Regulations 5 and 6 of the 1972 AAUP Recommended
Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure, except that the
appellant is responsible for stating the grounds on which he bases his/her
allegations, and the burden of proof shall rest on him/her. If the
appellant succeeds in establishing a prima facie case, it is incumbent
upon those who made the decision not to reappoint him/her to come forward
with evidence in support of their decision.
B. If the appellant alleges that the decision to designate him/her
for termination was based on inadequate consideration, the Appeals
Committee shall review the faculty member's allegation and shall determine
whether the decision was the result of inadequate consideration in terms
of the relevant standards of the university. The Appeals Committee shall
not substitute its judgment on the merits for that of those making the
decision. If the Appeals Committee believes that adequate consideration
was not given the appellant's qualifications, it will request
reconsideration by those who made the decision to designate the appellant
for termination, indicating the respects in which it believes the
consideration may have been inadequate. The Appeals Committee shall
provide copies of its findings both to the appellant and to those who made
the decision to designate the appellant for termination.
These procedures are adapted from sections 10 and 2f, respectively, of
the 1972 AAUP Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom
and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors.
August 4, 2000