Policy on Hearing Procedures for Dismissal or Disciplinary Action of Contractual Personnel
If it is proposed that a contractual employee be terminated or demoted (a demotion is defined as a reduction in both rank and pay but there is no demotion when a position is dissolved or altered as a result or reorganization which results in a professional employee being assigned to a position which is lower in rank and/or pay) during the term of a contract, certain procedural steps are to be followed. These procedural steps are not applicable to the nonrenewal of a term contract or the decision of the administration or Board not to offer the professional employee further employment with the college.
A. Discussions with the Employee
The campus President or his or her designee shall discuss any possible termination or demotion with the professional employee prior to the Chancellor's giving the contractual employee notice of any proposed action to terminate or demote. If the contractual employee is not under the jurisdiction of a campus President, the Executive Vice Chancellor or his or her designee shall assume this responsibility and the other responsibilities of the campus President under this policy.
B. Approval by the Chancellor
Any proposed termination or demotion must be approved by the Chancellor. If the Chancellor approves the proposed action, the Chancellor or his/her designee shall notify the contractual employee of the proposed action, the grounds for the action and of the right to a hearing before the Hearing Committee.
C. Request for a Hearing
If the contractual employee wishes to contest the proposed action, he or she may request a hearing before the Hearing Committee. Requests for a hearing must be made in writing to the Chancellor within 10 days receipt of the notice of proposed termination or demotion. If no request for a hearing is made within 10 days of receipt of the notice, the Chancellor may recommend to the Board of Trustees that the contractual employee be terminated or demoted, and the Board of Trustees shall take the action it deems proper.
D. The Hearing Committee
The purpose of the Hearing Committee is to afford a fair hearing on the merits of each proposal for dismissal or demotion and to make a recommendation for disposition to the Chancellor.
E. Appointment of the Hearing Committee
The Hearing Committee shall be comprised of five impartial contractual employees. Three members are to be designated by the campus President, one member by the contractual employee and one member by the Chancellor. There will be three committees.
As soon as practicable after the beginning of the fall semester of each year, each campus President shall designate three contractual employees (one faculty member, one administrator and one contractual [nonfaculty]) to serve on the hearing committees. The Chancellor shall take the nine contractual employees and place them on three committees with each having one administrator, one faculty member and one contractual (nonfaculty). The contractual employee shall have the right to select a fourth member of the committee. The Chancellor shall select the fifth member of the committee. The chair of each hearing committee shall be elected by a majority of the committee.
F. Impartiality of Hearing Committee Members
If any contractual employee appointed to serve on any hearing committee has had prior contact with the persons or circumstances involved in the proposed dismissal or demotion or the member feels that he or she cannot hear the evidence and make a fair and impartial recommendation, the member shall so advise the committee. If the committee member or the remaining members of the committee determine that this prior contact would prevent the member from impartially considering the facts and making a recommendation, the member shall be disqualified from serving on the committee. Upon such disqualifications, the Chancellor shall appoint a member of the same classification from another committee to serve.
G. Assignment of Dismissals or Demotions to the Hearing Committee
The Chancellor shall assign a proposed termination or demotion to the Hearing Committee in rotation so each committee will consider the same number of matters.
H. Procedures for Hearings
The administration has the burden of proof in a proposed termination or demotion during the term of a contract. The employee shall have the opportunity to be represented by counsel and shall have the right to present witnesses and documentary evidence, cross-examine adverse witnesses and make argument. The Chancellor shall promulgate additional procedures for the conduct of hearings by the Hearing Committee so long as they do not conflict with this policy.
I. Recommendations of the Hearing Committee
The Hearing Committee shall hear each matter assigned and formulate a recommendation for disposition to the Chancellor within 10 days of the close of the hearing and the preparation of a written transcript. The recommendation shall be based on the policies and applicable rules, regulations and administrative directives of the college. The committee's written recommendation shall contain certain findings of what occurred and specific statements of what action is recommended and why. The transcript of the hearing together with all documents received into evidence shall also be transmitted to the Chancellor.
J. Action of the Chancellor
The Chancellor shall review the committee's recommendation. Within 10 days of the receipt of the recommendation, the Chancellor shall accept, reject or modify the committee's recommendation and advise the parties in writing of his or her decision.
K. Action by the Board of Trustees
If the employee is dissatisfied with the Chancellor's decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Trustees by giving written notice to the Chancellor within 10 days of receiving the Chancellor's decision. If the employee does not appeal within 10 days, the Chancellor's decision shall become final and nonappealable to the Board of Trustees, provided, however, that the Board of Trustees must approve or ratify the decision of the Chancellor.
The Board of Trustees shall, within 10 days of receiving the record (the transcript of the hearing before the Hearing Committee and any supporting documentation), set the appeal for a hearing at a regular or specially called meeting which should not be held later than 30 days after the date is set. Notice of the time, date and place for the hearing, together with a copy of the hearing record, shall be given in writing to the employee, the Chancellor and other applicable administrators, if applicable, at least 10 days prior to the date of the meeting.
The hearing before the Board of Trustees shall be based on the record developed before the Hearing Committee together with the decision of the Chancellor and correspondence generated in the appeal. No new evidence will be received by the Board of Trustees. The contractual employee and the administration shall be entitled to make oral argument based on the record developed before the Hearing Committee, within time restrictions set by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall render a written decision within 30 days of the hearing with copies to be sent to the contractual employee, the Chancellor and other administrators involved.
(Effective March 7, 1983. Revised July 11, 1988; June 1, 1992 Reviewed February 5, 2008.)
This policy establishes a uniform process for implementing a reduction in force (RIF) at the College.
A reduction in force is an action to downsize the size of the College’s work force within a particular unit, department, division, support area, campus, or location. A reduction in force may become necessary in the event of a financial exigency, program change or elimination, reorganization or restructuring, legislative directives, or other circumstances affecting the efficient operation of the College and the delivery of quality services. A “financial exigency” is an event or occurrence that creates a need for the College to reduce financial expenditures.
A. A reduction in force decision will be made without regard to the employee’s race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, pregnancy, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or marital status. Veteran status will be considered when required by law.
B. Modification in or the elimination of jobs due to changes in funding for grants or external contracts are not subject to this policy.
C. This policy does not address or govern dismissal of an employee for misconduct, unacceptable performance, or other reasons specified in other Board policies.
D. The Chancellor will:
- Determine when circumstances necessitate a RIF and present a written recommendation to the Board of Trustees that demonstrates the need for the RIF.
- Consider and examine available alternatives that may eliminate the need for a RIF or limit its scope.
E. The Board shall determine whether a financial exigency or other circumstance exists that warrants a reduction in force under this policy. The Board’s determination constitutes sufficient cause for termination of an employment contract during the contract period.
F. The Chancellor shall establish a guideline for implementation of this policy. The guideline shall identify the criteria that will be utilized when determining which employees will be dismissed or released.
G. The College reserves the right to reassign employees to positions or locations at its discretion to meet operational needs.
H. Eligibility for Rehire 1. A former employee who is dismissed pursuant to this policy may apply for other available positions for which he or she is qualified. A former employee shall be responsible for reviewing posted vacancies and complying with College procedures to be considered for a particular vacancy.
I. Appeal of Dismissal Due to Reduction in Force
- Termination During the Term of the Contract: An employee whose employment contract is terminated during the term of the contract shall be afforded due process.
- Nonrenewal of Faculty Contracts at the End of the Contract Term: Full-time faculty members and librarians whose contracts are not extended shall be afforded grievance rights as required by Section 51.960 of the Texas Education Code.
- Nonrenewal of Staff and Administrator Contracts Dismissal of At-Will Employees and Adjunct Faculty: Affected employees may present an appeal to the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee.