Faculty Senate Promotion and Tenure Committee Appeal Hearing Guidelines

It is the intent of the appeal hearing process to provide a prompt and fair review of actions made at the department or college level so that, if mistakes have been made, they may be corrected, or alternatively, if action taken was proper, it may be better understood by the person affected.  It is intended that informal consultation will resolve most problems and that these appeal procedures will apply only when informal methods have failed.

The Promotion and Tenure Committee must hold an appeal hearing within 30 days of the receipt of written notification from the Provost that an appeal of a department or college tenure, promotion, or reappointment decision has been made.

It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Promotion and Tenure committee to schedule the appeal hearing. Further it is the responsibility of the Chair to work with the Faculty Senate Chair and Secretary to ensure appropriate representation. Members of the plaintiff’s department and unit executive committee who are members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee must be replaced by other faculty members of appropriate rank from the plaintiff’s academic unit selected by lot in accordance with approved Faculty Senate Procedures.

All supporting documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Provost one week prior to the hearing date. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to inform the Office of the Provost one week in advance of the hearing date if legal counsel will be present.

Since the appeal involves a decision made at the department or college executive committee level, the respondent will be the person who has the current ultimate authority
to make decisions in that matter in the group (e.g., the current chair or the dean; the person whose signature authorizes a decision). At the hearing, the Committee will review the material that accompanies the appeal and hear from witnesses representing both the plaintiff and the respondent. The plaintiff and the respondent may be present for the portion of the hearing that contains witness testimony and summation, but may only speak during their respective presentations.

First, the Committee will hear from the plaintiff and his witnesses. Up to three witnesses may speak, or answer questions, for up to 15 minutes each. A final 15-minute summation will be allowed for the plaintiff, and the summation may be presented by one of the first three witnesses or by the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s witnesses will then be excused from the hearing, and the respondent’s witnesses will be called into the hearing room.

Next, the respondent will present up to three witnesses, for up to 15 minutes each. A final 15-minute summation will be allowed for the respondent, which may be presented by one of the first three witnesses or by the respondent. This section of the appeal will also take up to one hour.

Finally, the respondent’s witness will then be excused, after which the plaintiff may make a closing statement not to exceed 15 minutes followed by the respondent who likewise may make a closing statement not to exceed 15 minutes.

During the presentation of witnesses and closing statements, a recorder will be present to take notes. This part of the hearing will also be recorded using a court reporting service. At the discretion of the chair and with the concurrence of the committee, the time limits outlined above may be extended for both the plaintiff and department.

After hearing the witnesses and closing statements, the Promotion and Tenure Committee will discuss the appeal in closed session. During all presentations by witnesses for both sides, the Committee reserves the right to question and reserves the right to recall witnesses if necessary, but its deliberations and discussions will occur in closed session, with a vote taken by secret ballot.

The vote will be reported to the Provost as the decision of the Committee within 24 hours of the completion of the hearing.


Revisions Approved by the Faculty Senate, June 10, 2013