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6.15 / Financial Exigency Procedures for Unclassified Professionals

Purpose:
Establish procedures to be used when financial exigency is formally recognized and proposals are submitted for reductions in the authorized number of unclassified professional personnel and for actions that may fall short of financial exigency but have similar impact.

Preamble:
The fiscal uncertainties of state revenues and university operations have made educators increasingly aware of the need to anticipate possible needs for budget and staff reductions (known commonly as retrenchment) by developing 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. The Kansas Board of Regents adopted the following definition of financial exigency for the Regents system and implemented procedures at the board level in the event of financial exigency.

Kansas Board of Regents Financial Exigency Definition:
Financial exigency is the formal recognition by a Regents institution that known 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 eliminated.

Kansas Board of Regents Procedure:
 
(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.
(3)
It shall be the responsibility of the chief executive officer to review the financially exigent condition with the Board at such times and with such frequency as the Board may specify.

Kansas Board of Regents, Policy Manual (1995 edition), item 9 beginning on page 8F

When faced with the necessity of financial exigency, unclassified professional personnel must take an objective and informed viewpoint toward the issues involved. Actions must be taken and directed in ways congruent with the University’s needs and purposes relative to its remaining programs.

Decisions regarding specific positions to be eliminated should be guided by consideration of functions, skills and/or the unique knowledge and experience required by the University for its remaining programs. No unclassified professional staff member should be terminated for the sole purpose of creating or finding a position or vacancy for a faculty member or for a classified staff member.

Financial exigency decisions must be guided by a comprehensive statement of principles and procedures to ensure that the University’s revised mission is properly served; that the well being of the students is served to the greatest possible extent; and that the University’s responsibility, over and beyond its contractual obligations, to deal candidly, openly and supportively with its unclassified professional personnel is recognized and honored. This document sets forth guidelines and procedures to be followed in the event of financial exigency as it relates to proposed reductions in unclassified professional personnel.

Unclassified Professional Personnel are those persons with unclassified professional appointments that require special technical or administrative skills of a professional nature or teaching roles distinct and separate from teaching/research roles of the faculty or the direct administrative responsibility for faculty supervision (unclassified professional appointments are defined at Section 6.03 of the Wichita State University Policies and Procedures Manual).

Procedures:
Ultimately the President of Wichita State University will make financial exigency decisions after due consideration of all affected personnel. To aid the decision-making process, procedures established for program/unit discontinuance as outlined at Section 6.14 of the Wichita State University Policies and Procedures Manual will be used except that the procedures will apply to individual positions under consideration for elimination, rather than entire programs/units.

Effective Date:
January 1, 2001

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