Merger, Reorganization and Elimination of Academic Units, and Programs
[Adapted from IU Bloomington Academic Guide Policy D-16: Contingency Planning Policy. Distributed to all UFC representatives for potential adaption by regional campuses]
University, campus and school administrators may occasionally decide that a reorganization of departments, schools and degree programs is warranted. Such changes may be a response to: new directions in scholarship, science and the arts; new expectations for students entering professional careers or pursuing advanced education; financial constraints; administrative inefficiencies; declining performance or quality. These circumstances may make it prudent to consider and perhaps to implement the merger, reduction, elimination or renaming of academic units and programs, necessitating a reallocation of financial resources and the reassignment of faculty members and librarians to new academic homes. Our commitment to shared faculty and administrative governance implies that the following principles should govern such processes of reorganization:
(1) Faculty Consultation. Faculty governance bodies should be apprised of the need or desirability for reorganizing academic units and programs as early as possible in the process of deliberation, so that faculty representatives may provide informed input and play a prominent role in planning for change.
(2) Faculty Response. All faculty members (tenured, nontenured, clinical, and lecturers) and librarians should have a reasonable period of time to review and respond to proposals for academic reorganization, before such plans are implemented. Faculty should be invited to send their concerns to the Executive Committee of the IU Kokomo Faculty Senate (or to an ad hoc remonstrance committee); these concerns will be collated, summarized and presented to the relevant deans, vice chancellors, and chancellor before the changes take effect.
(3) Tenure. Except under conditions of financial exigency (cf. AAUP 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure: “Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide.”), the appointments of tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty members and librarians may not be terminated as a consequence of such reorganization. Necessary reductions in the number of tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty should be achieved instead by voluntary attrition or reassignment, or negotiated termination.
(4) Expectations for Probationary Tenure-Track Faculty. 4) Faculty members and librarians who are affected by the reorganization of units and programs during the tenure probationary period (are entitled) may choose to be reviewed for tenure under the criteria and standards of the original home unit at the time they were first appointed or under the criteria and standards of the new unit.
(5) Reassignment to New Academic Home. Faculty members and librarians (tenured and probationary tenure-track) whose academic home unit is merged, reduced, eliminated, renamed or in some other fundamental way reorganized should be allowed first to pursue residence in a new home unit based on the mutual fit of scholarly, scientific or artistic interests. The selection of a new home unit must be approved by the faculty/librarians and by the chair and dean of the receiving unit. If an affected faculty member/s is not reassigned to a new unit within a reasonable time frame, the Faculty Affairs Committee will conduct relevant research and develop a proposed solution to recommend to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (VCAA). If the issue cannot be resolved, the VCAA will make a final decision with regard to the affected faculty member/s new home unit. The VCAA’s final decision may be subject to an appeal with the Faculty Board of Review.
The chair and dean, as well as faculty members within the potential receiving unit, must determine if affected faculty members meet the standards for academic qualification within their unit, per accreditation and other relevant requirements.
(6) Compensation and Other Benefits. Reorganization of academic units and programs shall not result in base pay reductions, or in the loss of time accumulated for sabbatical leave eligibility. Subsequent to the reorganization, the compensation level of faculty members/librarians new to a unit should be considered in the context of the campus goals for salary equity.
(7) Grievances. Faculty members and librarians who object to personal consequences of the reorganization of academic units and programs may file a procedural grievance with the Faculty Board of Review.