Policies of Academic Freedom and Tenure
The University of North Carolina Wilmington
Approved by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina
- May 14, 1976, effective June 11, 1976; revisions approved July
20, 1979, effective July 20, 1979; revisions approved May 10, 1982,
July 1, 1982; revisions approved November 11, 1994, effective December
9, 1995; revisions approved January 2001, effective July 1, 2001; revisions approved August 2007, effective August 2007; revisions approved October 2009.
This document sets forth the official policy of The University of
North Carolina Wilmington regarding academic freedom, rights, and
responsibilities, promotion, and tenure of its faculty. Fundamental
in this policy are the concepts of academic freedom, rights, and responsibilities
as stated in Chapter
VI of the Code of The University of North Carolina.
Equally fundamental is an explicit policy of promotion and tenure.
- Freedom and responsibility
in the university community
- Academic freedom and responsibility
- Academic tenure
- Policies on appointment, promotion, and
- Mediation of faculty grievances
- Non-reappointment hearings procedure
- Faculty committee to hear grievances
- Policies regarding cessation of university
- Termination of faculty employment
- Policy on leave
Section VI. non-reappointment Hearings Procedure
- Permissible and impermissible grounds
- Conference with dean
- Conference with the Provost and Vice Chancellor
for Academic Affairs
- Request for review by Hearing Committee;
scope of review
- Conduct of hearing
- Preservance of Evidence
- Hearing procedure
- Procedure after hearing
- Appeal Rights
- Permissible and Impermissible Grounds for Non-reappointment
The decision whether to reappoint a tenure track
faculty member when a probationary term appointment expires
may be based on any factor considered
relevant to the total institutional interests, but it must consider
member's demonstrated professional competence, potential
for future contributions, and the institution's needs and resources.
may form, in whole or in part, the basis of the ultimate
except that a decision not to reappoint may not be based
upon (1) the faculty member's exercise of rights guaranteed by either
Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article I
North Carolina Constitution; (2) discrimination based upon the
race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation; or (3) personal malice (meaning dislike, animosity, ill-will, or hatred based on personal characteristics, traits, or circumstances of an individual;
or (4) material procedural irregularities.
- Conference with Dean
Within five days after receiving a
written notice of non-reappointment, a faculty member may in writing
request a private conference
with the appropriate dean to discuss the reasons for non-reappointment. The
faculty member's request shall be granted and the conference
held forthwith, within five days after receipt of the request
Within five days after the conference, the dean shall give the faculty
member a simple, unelaborated, written statement of whether the original
decision remains in effect.
- Conference with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic
Within five days after receiving notice
that the original decision remains in effect, the faculty member
may in writing request a conference
with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. This
request shall be granted and the conference held forthwith, within
after receipt of the request if possible.
Within ten days after the
conference, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
shall send a written evaluation of the matter
to the faculty member and to the appropriate dean. The evaluation
may be in the form of an unelaborated concurrence with the decision; an
expression of disagreement with the decision, with or without supporting
reasons; or a recommendation for reconsidering the decision, with
or without suggestions for specific procedures in doing so. Whatever form
the evaluation may take, it is merely recommendatory and not binding
upon the dean or final as to the faculty member.
Within five days after
receiving an evaluation that disagrees with the decision or recommends its reconsideration,
the dean shall give
the faculty member and his/her immediate supervisor a response in writing.
- Request for Review by Hearing Committee; Scope of Review
Within fourteen calendar days after the faculty
member receives notice of an unfavorable action resulting from
the conference with the Provost
and Vice Chancellor
for Academic Affairs, he/she may request that the Faculty Hearings
Panel review the decision.
This review is limited solely to determining whether the decision not to reappoint
was based upon any of the grounds
stated to be impermissible in Section VI.A.
The request for review
shall be written and addressed to the chairperson of the Hearings
Panel. It shall specify the grounds upon which the
faculty member contends that the decision was impermissibly based,
with a short, plain statement of facts that the faculty member believes
supports the contention.
Such a request constitutes on a faculty
member's part: (1) a representation that he/she can prove the contention, and
(2) an agreement
institution may offer in rebuttal of the contention any relevant data
within its possession.
The Hearings Committee (selected from the Hearings
Panel) shall consider the request and grant a hearing if it determines that (a)
contains a contention that the decision was impermissibly based under
this section, and (b) the facts suggested, if established, will support
the contention. A denial of the request finally confirms the decision.
If the request is granted, a hearing shall be held within ten days
after the request is received; the faculty member shall be given at
least five days' notice of the hearing.
- Conduct of Hearing
The hearing shall be conducted informally and in private with only
the members of the Hearings Committee, the faculty member, the
appropriate dean, and such witnesses as may be called in attendance,
the faculty member and the dean may each be accompanied by a
person of his/her choice, but is not allowed to participate actively in the hearing. If a faculty member brings an attorney as an observer, the dean may be provided an attorney from or designated by the university's office of general counsel. A quorum for the hearing is a simple
of the total committee membership. Committee members who hold
in the faculty member's department or school, who will testify
as witnesses, or who have any other conflict of interest are disqualified
in the hearing. The hearing shall be transcribed or recorded. If the faculty member requests it, a transcript of the proceedings
shall be provided to the faculty member. The committee may consider
only such evidence as is presented at the hearing and need consider
only the evidence offered that it considers fair and reliable.
witnesses may be questioned by the committee members, the faculty
member, the dean. Except
as herein provided, the conduct of the hearing is under the committee
- Preservation of Evidence
The role of the committee is to create a clear, permanent record of the evidence presented at the hearing. The Committee must preserve all testimony and evidence received at the hearing in a form that will allow later review by the parties to the hearing, the Chancellor and the Board of Governor.
- Hearing Procedure
The hearing shall begin with the faculty
member's presentation of contentions, which shall be limited to those
the request for
a hearing and supported by such proof as he/she desires to
offer. When the faculty member has concluded this presentation,
shall recess to consider whether he/she has established a prima
facie case. If it determines that the contention has not been
it shall notify the parties to the hearing of its conclusion
terminate the proceedings. Such termination confirms the decision
not to reappoint. If it determines that rebuttal or explanation
it shall so notify the parties and the hearing shall proceed.
The dean may then present in rebuttal of the faculty member's
in general support of the decision not to renew, such testimonial
or documentary proofs as he/she desires to offer, including
At the end of this presentation, the Hearings Committee
shall consider the matter in executive session and make findings of fact. The burden shall
be upon the aggrieved
faculty member to satisfy the committee that his/her contention is
true by a preponderance of the evidence.
- Procedure after Hearing
If the Hearings Committee determines
that the faculty member's contention has not been established,
it shall, by a simple unelaborated
so notify the faculty member, the appropriate dean, and the Provost
and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Such a determination
confirms the decision not to reappoint. If the Hearings Committee
that the faculty member's contention has been satisfactorily established,
it shall so notify the faculty member, the appropriate dean, and
the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs by a written
notice that shall
also include a recommendation for corrective action by the dean.
five days after receiving such a recommendation, the dean shall
notify the faculty member, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs,
and the chairperson of the Hearings Committee what modification,
if any, he/she will make with respect to the original decision not to
If the dean fails to make a recommended modification in the
original decision, the Hearings Committee shall submit a report to the Chancellor
containing the committee's findings and recommendation and what it
considers to be appropriate action by the Chancellor to resolve the
- Appeals Rights
A faculty member may file a written of appeal an unfavorable decision within fourteen calendar days after receipt of the chancellor’s written decision to the Board of Governors. The review shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Code Section 604D (2) and UNC Policy 101.3.1, section III.