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Purdue University Executive Memoranda Master Listing

(Supersedes Executive Memorandum No. A-292

September 20, 1972
To: Deans, Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Offices

Re: Principles and Policies for Academic Freedom, Responsibilities and Tenure and Procedures for Termination of Faculty Appointments for Cause

Application: This Memorandum applies to all members of the faculty of the West Lafayette Campus and each Regional Campus

  1. Principles
    1. A faculty member shall have full freedom as a researcher, scholar or artist. He shall be assured freedom to communicate his work, to advocate solutions to human problems, and to criticize existing institutions. This freedom is subject only to adequate performance of his academic duties and to obligations he may have voluntarily assumed in accepting such support for his research. It should be recognized that research activities are also subject to University policies on patents, copyrights and inventions, set forth in Executive Memorandum No. A-302 or succeeding memoranda and, where applicable, to duly established regulations designed to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects.

    2. A faculty member shall have freedom in the classroom in discussing his subject, but he should avoid infringing upon his students' right to learn by introducing irrelevant subject matter.

    3. A faculty member is a member of society; when he speaks or writes in that capacity, he shall be free from University censorship or discipline. His special position in the community, however, imposes special obligations. As a man of learning and a member of the University faculty, he should remember that the public may judge his profession and the University by his public utterances. He should make every effort to indicate that he is not a spokesman for the University. A faculty member who assumes a governmental or political position or responsibility with the full consent and knowledge of the University shall be protected in his tenure rights in the event of controversy arising from the performance of his duties.

    4. By accepting appointment to the faculty, the faculty member assumes the responsibilities of teaching, administration or research as assigned to him by the proper university authorities. It is expected that he will carry these out in accordance with the spirit and terms of USD 66-14, Standards of Academic Ethics Within the University.

  2. Tenure Policies
    1. Appointments to the faculty are made by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President of the University. The terms and conditions of the appointment constitute and are set forth in a written contract of employment.

    2. Tenure at Purdue University is a matter of policy and not a legal obligation binding on the University. Tenure policies are subject to change by the Board of Trustees, and it follows that all appointments to the faculty are subject to such changes. It is the policy of the University to renew appointments of faculty members who have attained tenured status, subject always to the availability of funds, the continuance of activities in the area of employment and the absence of circumstances which would otherwise entitle the University to terminate the appointment for cause. Tenure is effective only at the particular campus of the University where it was acquired.

    3. The current policies concerning acquisition of tenured status are as follows:

      1. Professor

        Full professors whose employment by the University begins at this rank will acquire tenure after two years of service satisfactory to the University.

      2. Associate Professor

        Associate professors whose employment by the University begins at this rank will acquire tenure after three years of service satisfactory to the University.

      3. Assistant Professor and Instructor

        Assistant professors and instructors will acquire tenure after seven years of service satisfactory to the University.

      4. Promotion

        Tenure will be automatically granted to all Purdue faculty members upon promotion to the rank of associate professor and professor.

      5. The Accumulation of Professional Experience

        The accumulation of time toward tenure is expected to be on an uninterrupted basis as a full-time employee at one campus of Purdue University, but justifiable interruptions may be considered as a basis for deviation from this policy. Different provisions concerning acquisition of tenure by faculty members coming to any one Purdue campus with professional experience at another institution or at a different Purdue campus may be made in individual cases if set forth in the written contract of employment.

      6. Administrative Officers

        Administrative Officers serve at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees and there shall be no tenure in an administrative office. Further, there shall be no tenure associated with administrative titles carrying the phrase "with the rank of."

  3. Procedures in Cases of Termination for Cause

      1. General. In all cases in which the University proposes to terminate for cause the appointment of a faculty member who has previously acquired tenure, or to terminate for cause the appointment of a non-tenured faculty member prior to the expiration of the term of his appointment, the following procedures set forth in this Memorandum shall apply and in all such cases the faculty member shall be entitled to a hearing before a committee of the faculty as provided herein. The procedures set forth herein do not apply to cases in which the appointment of a non-tenured faculty member has expired or will expire by its terms and the University does not grant such person a new appointment or does not renew or extend the term of his appointment.

      2. Committees of the Faculty. On the West Lafayette Campus the committee of the faculty shall be the Faculty Committee on Censure and Dismissal Proceedings, as constituted under the provisions of Senate Document 68-38, with such amendments as may be approved by the University Senate and the Board of Trustees. On the Regional Campuses such hearings shall be held before comparable Faculty Committees.

    1. Informal Procedures. Actual or potential controversies concerning the termination for cause of a faculty member should be resolved informally if possible. The President of the University or his designee (e.g., the Provost or Regional Campus Dean) may discuss the matter with the faculty member in a personal conference. If this does not result in a solution of the problem by mutual consent, or if the President of the University or his designee should desire faculty advice before opening discussion with the faculty member, the matter may be referred to the Faculty Affairs Committee of the University Senate (or comparable faculty committee at a regional campus). The role of this committee will be to inquire informally into the situation, using whatever procedures seem appropriate, and to advise the President of the University or his designee and the faculty member with particular attention to the desirability of effecting a resolution of the problem to the satisfaction of all concerned. If informal resolution is not possible, and if either the President of the University or his designee or the faculty member requests a formal hearing, formal proceedings may be instituted in accordance with the provisions of this document.

    2. Formal Procedures
      1. Adequate cause for termination of the employment of a faculty member from a tenured position or before the expiration of the term of appointment of a non-tenured faculty member will include proven incompetence, gross neglect of duty, moral turpitude, or improper conduct injurious to the welfare of the University. Other actions inconsistent with the responsibilities of a member of the academic community may provide adequate cause for removal, but the principles set forth in 1. above shall not be violated. Improper conduct injurious to the welfare of the University other by individuals or by groups shall include (but not by way of limitation) obstruction or disruption of the teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures or other University activities, or of other authorized activities on University premises, or inciting others to conduct having such effects.

      2. In all cases in which the University proposes to terminate an appointment for cause before the end of the term of the appointment (whether or not the faculty member has acquired tenure), and if the matter has not been informally resolved, the President of the University, or his authorized representative, shall initiate formal proceedings by giving the faculty member a written statement containing the precise charges upon which the proposed termination for cause is based. This communication shall inform the faculty member, by inclusion of a copy of this memorandum, of the procedural rights that will be accorded him. The President or his authorized representative shall request the Faculty Committee on Censure and Dismissal Proceedings (or appropriate Regional Campus Committee) to set a time and place for the formal hearing of the case. The Hearing Committee shall be constituted as described in Senate Document 68-38 or parallel Regional Campus documents. The faculty member shall, not less than one week before the date set for the hearing, submit to the President and to the Hearing Committee his written answer to the charges, or he shall state that he desires no hearing to be held. If he fails to answer the charges or states that he desires no hearing be held, the President may proceed with the termination or may request that the hearing be held.

      3. The faculty member may be suspended during the proceedings involving him only if, in the judgment of the President, his continuance should threaten immediate harm to himself, to others, or to the University. Before suspending a faculty member, the administration will, if feasible, consult with the Faculty Affairs Committee. Unless legal considerations forbid, any such suspension shall be with full pay.

      4. The function of the Hearing Committee shall be to determine whether or not the faculty member is guilty of the charges set out in the written statement of charges. The Hearing Committee will conduct its hearings in private. The President of the University may attend the hearing, as may his representatives chosen to present the point of view of the administration. The faculty member may be accompanied by an advisor of his own choosing, who may act as his counsel. The Hearing Committee will receive oral and written statements of witnesses and other evidence concerning matters set forth in the letter of the President of the University as desired by the President of the University or his designee, the faculty member, and the Committee.

        The Hearing Committee will conduct the questioning of the witnesses and should secure the presentation of all evidence deemed important to the case. The faculty member and his counsel and the President of the University and his representatives will have the right to question all witnesses who testify orally, within reasonable limits.

        The faculty member will have the opportunity to be confronted by all witnesses adverse to him, except under the most unusual and urgent circumstances or if the witness cannot appear. In any case, the identity of the witness, as well as his statement, must be disclosed to the faculty member. In the case of charges of incompetence, the testimony on this point should include that of qualified scholars.

        The Hearing Committee shall give opportunity to the faculty member and his counsel and to the President of the University and his designated representatives, to argue orally before it. The Hearing Committee may, if it desires, request written statements.

        Within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the hearing and the receipt of the transcript of the hearing, the Hearing Committee (by a majority vote of the entire Committee) shall determine whether the faculty member is guilty of each of the charges set forth in the written statement of charges. This determination shall be based solely on the evidence introduced at the hearing. The Committee shall prepare a written report setting forth its determinations of guilt or innocence and shall also state its specific findings of fact supporting its determinations as to each charge. Copies of the report shall be furnished to the faculty member and to the President, and each of them or their representatives shall have access to the record of the hearing. The President shall take appropriate action in view of the report.

  4. Review Procedures

    Either the faculty member or the President may, within 30 days after receiving the record of the hearing and the Committee report, request a review by the Board of Trustees. The Board's review shall be based on the record made during the hearing before the Hearing Committee, accompanied by full opportunity for either written briefs or oral argument, or both. If the Board affirms the determinations of the Hearing Committee, the matter shall be deemed closed and the President may proceed to terminate the faculty member if he has been found guilty of any of the charges. If the Board finds that the Hearing Committee's determinations and findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence, or are otherwise improper, the Board shall return the matter to the Hearing Committee with a written statement of its reasons. The Hearing Committee shall reconsider the matter, receiving new evidence as deemed necessary. It shall then report its new determinations and findings of fact to the Board, with copies to the faculty member and the President. After considering the report, the Board shall make its final decision in the case, and the matter shall be deemed closed.

Arthur G. Hansen