Assembly opposes changes in faculty dismissal policy

The UCCS Faculty Assembly opposed proposed changes to a CU System policy regarding dismissal of faculty members for cause at its March 11 meeting.

With a vote of 16 yes, one no, and one abstention, assembly members passed a motion opposing the system-wide Faculty Council’s recommendation on severance pay. The change will be introduced to the Board of Regents in April and voted on this summer.

A Board of Regents Laws and Policies rule, in place for 45 years, guarantees terminated tenured professors a year’s pay unless they’re fired for reasons of moral turpitude. Under the proposed policy change, the Faculty Council’s panel on Privilege and Tenure would have to make the recommendation for the one year’s salary severance amount, to then be approved by the regents.

Upon introducing the motion on behalf of the campus Personnel and Benefits committee, Don Morley, professor, Department of Communication, pointed out that over the years only one of 46 recommendations was ever accepted.

In subsequent discussion, UCCS faculty voiced concerns over a lack of discussion on the proposed changes, and minimal faculty input to the regents. Assembly President Catherine Kelly, associate professor, College of Education, noted there was disagreement among Faculty Council members and the council Educational Policies and University Standards Committee that originated the notice of motion for policy change.

The motion passed reads:

“Whereas the University routinely fails to accept Privilege and Tenure recommendations, the UCCS Faculty Assembly does not support the EPUS alternate motion on dismissal for cause that eliminates the requirement that the university pay a year’s severance. Instead, the UCCS Faculty Assembly requests that Faculty Council develop and submit to the Board of Regents an alternate policy proposal that protects faculty rights involving dismissal for reasons that do not involve criminal or illegal activities.”


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