188.8.131.52 Emergency Involuntary Leave of Absence with Pay
The University of Delaware seeks to protect the safety of its students, faculty, and staff. At the same time the University seeks to preserve and respect the academic freedoms necessary for the intellectual life of a university.
This policy is intended to balance the University's need to preserve the procedural rights and professional reputation of individual faculty members with its legitimate interest in protecting the safety and security of all students, faculty and staff.
In striking the appropriate balance between these interests, the University recognizes the importance of establishing a procedural framework that respects the right of faculty members to receive attention and care for limited periods of time without foregoing their salaries or incurring reputational harm.
Except as provided in this policy, the Vice President shall not be permitted to suspend a faculty member for non-disciplinary reasons unless the faculty member is given a prior opportunity to contest the action through the filing of a complaint with the Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Welfare and Privileges.
I. APPLICABLE DEFINITIONS
As used in this policy, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
- "Faculty member" means any Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Lecturer, or Instructor employed on a full-time, part-time, or temporary basis by the University of Delaware or any affiliate, college, department, school, or operating unit of the University.
- "Provost" means the Provost of the University; and "Deputy Provost" means the Deputy Provost or other person at the rank of Vice, Senior Associate, or Associate Provost designated by the Provost.
- "Vice President" means the Vice President for Finance and Administration or, should the Vice President for Finance and Administration be unavailable, such other University employee designated by the Executive Vice President.
- "Dean" means the Dean of the college housing the faculty member.
- The "Consultative Panel" means the President of the Faculty Senate, the Vice President of the Faculty Senate, a designated representative from the AAUP, and the Deputy Provost; or, should any one of such panel's members be unavailable or unreachable, the remaining members of such panel so long as such panel consists of three members.
- "Emergency involuntary leave of absence" means a faculty member's involuntary and temporary suspension from the University for a definite period of time, during which time the faculty member is not permitted to perform work-related duties on campus.
- "With pay" means entitlement to current salary plus any benefits to which the faculty member and his or her dependents are entitled by virtue of the faculty member's University employment.
- "AAUP" means the University of Delaware chapter of the American Association of University Professors; and "Collective Bargaining Agreement" means the collective bargaining agreement entered into between the University and the AAUP and currently in effect.
- "Prior to imposition of the involuntary leave" means that the faculty member is entitled to a prior hearing by filing a complaint with the Faculty Senate Welfare and Privileges Committee, consistent with Section 4.1.15 of the Faculty Handbook, before the imposition of an involuntary leave of absence with pay.
II. EMERGENCY INVOLUNTARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY
- The University may require a faculty member to take an emergency involuntary leave of absence with pay if, on the basis of observed conduct, there is credible evidence to believe that the individual has engaged, is engaging, or is likely to engage in behavior that represents an imminent danger of harm to self or others. Examples of behavior warranting action under this policy include, but are not limited to: (1) a suicidal threat or attempt; (2) ongoing substance abuse or addiction threatening immediate physical harm to self or others; (3) manifestations of severe emotional distress or other behavioral or emotional disorder threatening immediate physical harm to self or others; (4) engaging or threatening to engage in behavior that poses a high probability of substantial harm to self or others; (5) engaging or threatening to engage in behavior which would cause significant property damage, would directly and substantially impede the lawful activities of others, or would interfere with the educational process and the orderly operation of the University; or (6) engaging or threatening to engage in any other form of destructive behavior.
- Before an involuntary leave of absence is ordered, the Vice President shall give the individual the option to take a voluntary leave of absence.
- Under exceptional and urgent circumstances which meet the conditions specified in Section II.A of this policy, as determined and documented in writing by the Vice President, the Vice President may place a faculty member on emergency involuntary leave of absence with pay for an initial period that shall not last more than seven calendar days. Should the Vice President determine that time permits, the Vice President shall make every reasonable effort to confer with and seek the advice of the Consultative Panel in advance.
- As soon as possible after placing a faculty member on emergency involuntary leave of absence with pay and in no event longer than 24 hours after taking that action, the Vice President shall convene the Dean and the Consultative Panel by telephone or in person; shall explain the action taken and the basis for such action; and shall seek input and advice.
- By no later than the end of each emergency involuntary leave of absence period, a meeting between the Vice President and the faculty member shall occur to further evaluate the need for a continuation of the emergency involuntary leave of absence with pay. The AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer shall inform the faculty member of her/his due process rights and the procedure under this policy. At the faculty member's request, the AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer shall attend the meeting, and at the faculty member's request, the faculty member can be accompanied to the meeting with a University employee selected by the faculty member. At such meeting, the faculty member shall be (1) provided with the option of taking a voluntary leave of absence with pay for such period and upon such terms as the faculty member and the Vice President shall agree upon, and (2) given an opportunity to provide the Vice President with relevant materials or information pertinent to the situation; provided, however, that, should the Vice President be informed that the faculty member is unable or unwilling to attend such meeting, the Vice President, following consultation with the Consultative Panel, may dispense with such a meeting.
- The Vice President may place a faculty member on a second period of emergency involuntary leave of absence, provided that the requirements in Sections III.B and III.C of this policy have been satisfied. If at least three members of the Consultative Panel determine that the decision to impose a second emergency involuntary leave with pay is not warranted, then the second involuntary leave with pay will be rescinded. With respect to any vote of the Consultative Panel taken in accordance with Section III.D of this policy, the Deputy Provost shall be a non-voting member if all four members of the Consultative Panel are present.
- Should a faculty member be placed on involuntary leave for any reason other than an emergency described in Section II.A of this policy, the faculty member shall be entitled to contest the involuntary leave through the filing of a complaint with the Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Welfare and Privileges. The complaint shall be adjudicated prior to imposition of the involuntary leave.
IV. FACULTY REVIEW
Should an emergency involuntary leave of absence with pay be imposed, the faculty member may seek review as follows:
- Any faculty member placed on emergency involuntary leave of absence may seek review of the substance of the decision by the Vice President by filing a complaint with the Faculty Welfare and Privileges Committee as provided in the Faculty Handbook. In accordance with the "Mediation and Hearing Procedures" established by the Faculty Welfare and Privileges Committee, the Provost shall render the final decision on such complaint.
- If the faculty member is a member of the AAUP bargaining unit and entitled to file a grievance under Article VIII of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, then in addition to any other remedy the faculty member may file a grievance limited to allegations of procedural error under this policy.