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Chapter 320: Employment and Termination

320.150 Discontinuance of Programs or Departments of Instruction

Bd. Min. 2-12-82; Bd. Min. 7-27-84; Bd. Min. 10-13-89; Revised 1-29-92; 7-30-92.

  1. Authority -- The discontinuance of a program or a department which would result in the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration may be done in either of the following manners:
    1. The Board of Curators in the exercise of the power vested in it by Article IX, Section 9(a) of the Constitution of the State of Missouri may discontinue a program or department which would result in the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration without following the procedures set out in this Section 320.150.B to 320.150.B.4, inclusive, but the Board of Curators in making its decision shall consider the criteria set out in Section 320.150.B.2. Before a final decision is made to terminate a program or a department under Section 320.150.A.1, the Board of Curators shall consult with the President and the Chancellor of the affected campus, who will consult with appropriate faculty representatives and the affected academic unit. Within a reasonable time to be set by the Board, the affected academic unit shall be given the opportunity to submit to the Board of Curators, through the Chancellor and the President, its response to a proposed program or department termination and any alternate suggestions and recommendations.
    2. The procedures in the Section 320.150.B to Section 320.150.B.5 may be used to discontinue a program or department which would result in the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration.
          If either alternative is used to discontinue a program or department which would result in the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration, the provisions of the Section 320.150.B.5 to Section 320.150.D.2.e(2), inclusive are applicable.
  2. Procedures -- The procedures set out in Section 320.150.B to Section 320.B.5 apply when the discontinuance of a program or a department could result in the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration and the process is initiated pursuant to Section 320.150.A.2. The procedures do not apply when the process is initiated pursuant to Section 320.150.A.1. The procedures also do not apply to transfer of programs from one campus to another or to elimination of program which do not involve the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration.
    1. Program Defined -- The term "program" is used in many ways. Here, however, the specific intention is to identify the designation "program" with the typical academic department; the program consists of the productive effort of that administrative and budgetary unit most often designated as a "department," which usually corresponds to widely recognized disciplinary designations. There are limited exceptions to this definition of programs, such as when a school or college is not organized into departments, or when specializations within the department or school are so unique in content that faculty members normally cannot cross from one area to another.
    2. Considerations -- The discontinuance of a program or department which could result in the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration shall be based on the following criteria:
      1. Contribution of the program to campus and University missions;
      2. Need for the program;
      3. Financial considerations;
      4. Quality of the program;
      5. Welfare of the student, including the opportunity which student currently enrolled in the course will have to complete it;
      6. Extent to which the program is available at other institutions in the State and region; and
      7. Extent to which the University has unique advantages in offering the program.
    3. Role of Chancellor -- After consulting with the President, if the Chancellor reaches a tentative decision that a program should be discontinued, the Chancellor shall present the decision, together with reasons, to an appropriate standing committee, the majority of whose members are faculty, or shall appoint a committee, the majority of whose members shall be faculty. The Chancellor shall simultaneously present the decision, together with reasons, to the affected administrative unit or units. The Committee shall present to the Chancellor any response or alternative recommendation within a reasonable time. The affected unit may also submit to the committee and the Chancellor their views and recommendations.
    4. Role of Chancellor, President and Board of Curators -- Having considered these responses, if the Chancellor still concludes that the program should be discontinued, and if this action requires the termination of continuous appointments or term appointments before their expiration, the Chancellor shall forward a recommendation to the President. If the President concurs with the recommendation of the Chancellor to discontinue the program, the President shall make that recommendation to the Board of Curators. The Board of Curators shall then make the final decision as to whether to discontinue the program.
    5. Notice Shall be Given By Chancellor -- After the Board of Curators' decision to discontinue a program, the Chancellor shall provide timely notice to those individuals whose appointments are to be terminated. In the case of tenured faculty or non-tenured faculty in the third or subsequent year of service, notice of termination must be given at least thirteen months prior to the date of termination. When the appointment of a non-tenured faculty member in the first or second year of service is terminated under these procedures, the notice shall be given at least six months prior to the date of termination. Since commitments to students enrolled in a program at the time of a decision by the Board of Curators to terminate a program must be met, termination notices to faculty may be issued at various times following the decision of the Board.
      1. Notice shall be given in person or by certified mail addressed to the last address currently on record with the employing administrative unit.
      2. Failure of any appointee to have a current correct address on record with the employing administrative unit shall not be construed to invalidate such notice.
    6. Appeal -- An individual receiving such notice shall be given fifteen (15) days to request a hearing before the Campus Faculty Tenure Committee as designated in the University Academic Tenure Regulations.
      1. The appeal may be based only on the grounds that procedures specified in this document have not been followed, or that the decision to recommend termination was based significantly on considerations violative either of academic freedom or of governing policies on equal employment opportunity.
      2. The tenure committee shall follow the procedures governing conduct of the hearing under the Academic Grievance Procedures and shall report to the Chancellor, as provided in Step 3 of the Academic Grievance Procedures.
      3. Following any such appeal, the recommendation of the Chancellor, together with any responses from the faculty committee or the affected units, and the findings and recommendations of the Campus Faculty Tenure Committee on any appeals shall be transmitted to the President.
      4. The President shall formulate a recommendation and present it, together with the campus materials, to the General Officers for review and advice.
      5. Following that review, the President shall make a recommendation to the Board of Curators.
    7. Placement Within the University System -- Before the date of termination of an appointment because of the discontinuance of a program or department of instruction, the University, with faculty participation, will attempt to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position in the University system.
      1. If the appointment of a faculty member is terminated, and if there develops within three years a faculty position on any campus for which the faculty member is qualified, it shall be the responsibility of the President's Office to communicate with the hiring campus about the availability of the faculty member.
      2. The hiring unit shall carefully review the qualifications of the faculty member in question and determine whether such individual meets the announced criteria established for the position.
      3. If so, the faculty member in question shall be considered for the position.
    8. In all cases of termination of appointment because of discontinuance of a program or department of instruction, the University may not reinstitute that program or a substantially similar program on that campus within a period of three years, unless the faculty members whose appointments were terminated have been offered reinstatement with the same rank and tenure status and a reasonable time in which to accept or decline.
  3. Transition Benefits for Tenured Faculty with a Minimum of Five Years Creditable Service
    1. Eligibility for Faculty -- Tenured faculty with a minimum of five years creditable service in the Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit Plan; employed in an area of the University which has been mandated for program discontinuance by the Board of Curators.
    2. All of the following benefits are available to Faculty meeting the eligibility requirements:
      1. A thirteen month written notice of intent to terminate employment.
      2. The right to a leave of absence of up to one year at full payment during the 13 months following notice of intent to terminate. However, this benefit will be terminated if the faculty member is employed full-time outside of the University.
      3. The right to an unpaid leave of absence for up to two years following the end of the 13-month period of notice of intent to terminate (see 2.a. above). Benefits available during the leave of absence with continued University contributions to include:
        • Medical Benefits
        • Dental Benefits
        • Life Insurance
        • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
        • Educational Assistance
        • However, participation in University benefit programs will not be continued if the faculty member becomes eligible for other benefit programs as a result of their employment outside of the University.
      4. The right to a major medical conversion policy upon termination of employment.
      5. The right to a life insurance conversion policy upon termination of employment.
      6. The right to have the one year paid leave of absence count toward retirement by waiving the requirement that the employee return to employment for one year upon expiration of the leave.
      7. Out-placement counseling.
      8. A lump-sum "cash-out" of vested retirement benefits. The lump-sum to be calculated on the basis of the actuarial equivalent of the benefits accrued in the University Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit Plan at termination of employment which would have been paid in the form of a monthly annuity beginning at age 65. The lump-sum to be distributed upon termination as follows:
        (1) Taxable cash income, or
        (2) A before tax individual retirement account "rollover".
       
  4. Transition Benefits for Other University Employees
    1. Eligibility for Administrative, Service, Support and other Academic Staff (those not covered by section C) -- Staff with a minimum of five years creditable service in the Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit Plan; employed in an area of the University which has been mandated for program discontinuance by the Board of Curators.
    2. Benefits Available to Staff Meeting the Eligibility Requirements
      1. The right to a one year unpaid leave of absence prior to termination. Benefits available during the leave of absence with continued University contributions to include:
        • Medical Benefits
        • Dental Benefits
        • Life Insurance
        • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
        • Educational Assistance
        • Participation in University benefit programs will not be continued if the staff member becomes eligible for other benefit programs as a result of their employment outside the University.
      2. The right to a major medical conversion policy upon termination of employment.
      3. The right to a life insurance conversion policy upon termination of employment.
      4. Out-placement counseling.
      5. A lump-sum "cash-out" of vested retirement benefits. The lump-sum is to be calculated on the basis of the actuarial equivalent of the benefits accrued in the University Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit Plan at termination of employment which would have been paid in the form of a monthly annuity beginning at age 65. The lump-sum to be distributed upon termination as follows:
        (1) Taxable cash income, or
        (2) A before tax individual retirement account "rollover".

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