4.1.15 Terminations and Non‐Renewals

Terminations: A clear understanding of the terms of the contract between the faculty member and the University is a prerequisite for a harmonious relationship. Within the terms of his or her contract, a faculty member at the University of Delaware is assured that an appointment will be terminated only for adequate cause-- incompetence, gross irresponsibility, or moral turpitude--except for termination caused by extraordinary financial circumstances.

Faculty members shall be terminated for cause only after being afforded a hearing before the Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities . Faculty members shall be informed in writing at least four weeks prior to the hearing of the reasons for the proposed termination, shall have the opportunity to be heard in their own defense, and shall be permitted to be advised and represented by persons of their own choosing. This committee shall render its advisory decision to the appropriate administrative officer within 14 working days after the hearing. The complete procedures of the committee are given in a document titled Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Termination and Complaint Procedures which is kept on file in the Faculty Senate Office for consultation by interested individuals.

In the case of termination for cause, the burden of proof in the proceedings rests with the party or parties bringing the charge. In the case of proposed termination for moral turpitude, faculty members may be temporarily suspended in the event that their continued presence at the University would constitute a clear and present danger to the health, morals, or safety of members of the University community until the final decision is rendered. Termination for cause shall become effective after one year's notice of the final decision to terminate; however, the effective date for termination involving gross irresponsibility or moral turpitude may be immediate.

Nonrenewals: Proposals for the nonrenewal of continuing faculty members' contracts, and the reasons for them, shall be reviewed by the faculty or an appropriate group of the faculty of the departments/units concerned. The written recommendation resulting from such review shall be taken into consideration by all the administrative officers concerned before a final decision is made. Continuing faculty members shall be given notice in writing of the decisions and the reasons for them.

In the event of a decision not to renew, the faculty member shall have an opportunity to request a timely reconsideration by the appropriate decision-making body or person. A faculty member who alleges that academic freedom has been violated by the decision- making body or person, or that the decision-making body or person did not give adequate consideration to the circumstances, may petition the appropriate faculty committee. Notice of nonrenewal shall be given in accordance with the following standards recommended by the Faculty Senate and approved by the administration.

  • Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if a one- year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination.
  • Not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least six months in advance of its termination.
  • At least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years in the institution with the exception of instructors and lecturers with one-year appointments, who shall be notified not later than December 15.
  • Notice for temporary faculty is customarily given at the time of appointment in the form of an appointment letter which stipulates the term of the appointment, and that the appointment is temporary. Additional notice of non renewal is not required. (10/13/05)
  • Tenure and Salary of Appointees to Positions Paid from Limited Term Grants: Appointments to positions paid in whole or in part from limited term grants of funds for special purposes shall be subject to the following provision regarding termination of service and salary in event of cessation of funds from such special sources:

In case of persons not previously employed by the University, both the service and the salary shall forthwith terminate regardless of the rank or titles held.

The President of the University shall be permitted to omit at his or her discretion the above statement from the contracts of such faculty considered as regular members of the faculty whose salaries are paid in part from sponsored research.

Mediation and Hearing of Complaints by the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities: The Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities is charged with mediating and hearing faculty complaints which are not "grievances" as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Disputes within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the areas of reappointment, dismissal, faculty evaluation and appraisal, salary adjustment, sabbatical leave, fringe benefits, academic freedom and other areas of personnel policy and conditions of faculty employment.

Before bringing a dispute before the Committee by lodging a complaint, a faculty member is expected to have exhausted all other reasonable means of resolving the dispute. Such reasonable means will usually include discussions with the faculty member's department Chairperson and/or college Dean.

Procedures for mediating and hearing complaints are detailed in "Mediation and Hearing Procedures," approved by the University Faculty Senate, April 6, 1992, available in the Faculty Senate Office. A flow chart summarizing the complaint process is attached to those procedures. The purpose of the procedures is the resolution of disputes in a fair and collegial manner.

An important feature of the Committee's procedures is to encourage the resolution of disputes by mediation, without resort to a formal hearing. If a formal hearing becomes necessary, all parties to the dispute are required to attend that hearing, and to participate honestly and fully. After the hearing, the Committee shall write an opinion which shall include its conclusions about the dispute and any remedies the Committee may recommend. This opinion shall be advisory to the University Provost, who has final authority in the disposition of all complaints. In addition, the Committee may recommend to the University Provost revisions in or additions to portions of University policy relevant to the dispute.

Ultimate authority for its committees is vested in the Senate, which therefore has responsibility to oversee committee operations and modifications in committee procedures. The Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities  shall have the authority to initiate requests for amendment to the detailed procedures. These requests will be evaluated by the Committee on Committees and Nominations, which will determine whether the proposed changes are minor or major. Requests for minor changes may be decided by the Committee on Committees and Nominations. Requests for major changes require approval by the Senate. (Rev. 4/6/92, 5/2021)