7.1 APPOINTMENT LETTERS AND APPOINTMENT TERMS
Letters for the term of appointment are issued in March prior to the expiration of the current contract. Annual salary confirmation letters are issued in early September.
Appointments are for a designated period and automatically expire at the end of that period. Appointment terms can be tendered as two-, four-, or six-year periods. All "new to Champlain College" faculty will begin with one-year appointments. The length of any subsequent contracts will be determined by academic rank. Assistant Professors receive two-year appointments; Associate Professors receive four-year appointments; Professors receive six-year appointments.
A faculty member whose summative evaluation falls below Successful will immediately revert to a one-year appointment, regardless of rank and seniority, until his or her performance improves.
Re-employment of a faculty member after expiration of an appointment term is solely within the discretion of the College.
7.2 PROVISIONAL EMPLOYMENT PERIOD
Each newly hired faculty member goes through a one-semester introductory provisional period to determine whether he or she is satisfied with the job and qualified to meet the job requirements. If, solely in the view of the Division Dean and Provost, a newly-hired faculty member's work, behavior or attitude is not satisfactory during this introductory provisional period, the College reserves the right to discharge the faculty member without prior warning.
7.3 ACADEMIC RANK: INITIAL HIRE
The College Provost, in consultation with the appropriate Division Dean, will determine the initial rank for newly hired faculty per the Promotion Guidelines established by the Faculty Senate. In all cases, educational credentials imply earned degrees from institutions accredited by U. S. regional accrediting associations or by their international equivalents. Copies of transcripts may be required as a condition of employment. Teaching experience refers to that acquired at the post-secondary level at institutions accredited by U.S. regional accrediting associations or by their international equivalents. The three faculty ranks used at Champlain College for initial appointment of full-time regular faculty are Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. Instructor or Visiting Assistant/Associate Professor are titles used for faculty with temporary appointment letters.
The Provost may decide to award credit for prior service toward promotion eligibility for newly hired faculty. The amount of credit awarded shall be stated in the initial appointment letter of employment.
7.4 PROMOTION IN RANK
Earning promotion to a higher academic rank is both a reward and an honor. Promotion recognizes professional and personal achievements that have benefited students, the Division, the faculty member and the College as a whole. Promotion in rank is not automatic simply because the minimum requirements have been met. However, to be eligible for promotion a faculty member must have met the minimum time-in-rank, academic credentials and other qualifications identified in the faculty promotion policies.
The two ranks to which faculty at Champlain College may be promoted are Associate Professor and Professor. The Promotions and Sabbatical Leave Committee expects candidates for these ranks to provide clear evidence of participation, accomplishment and distinction across all relevant criteria. This document will identify the specific policies and criteria and the general process and procedures which the Committee will use to assess each candidate's application for promotion.
NOTE: For Faculty Librarians hired prior to 2019, rank will be determined in negotiation with the Provost and the Library Director before the librarian applies for promotion.
The following sections contain the information that faculty members need to undertake the promotion process: SECTION A: PROMOTION CRITERIA FOR FACULTY.
SECTION B: GENERAL PROMOTION PROCESS AND PROCEDURES.
7.4.1 SECTION A: PROMOTION CRITERIA FOR FACULTY
To be considered for promotion in rank, all applicants must meet or exceed the "Threshold Experience, Education and Performance Minimums" for the rank as identified below. Upon the recommendation of the College Provost, exceptions to these minimums may be made in extraordinary cases justified by distinguished achievement and unique circumstances. In all cases, educational credentials imply earned degrees from institutions accredited by U.S. regional accrediting associations or by their international equivalents. Teaching experience refers to that acquired at the post-secondary level at institutions accredited by U.S. regional accrediting associations or by their international equivalents.
Threshold Experience, Education and Performance Minimums
22.214.171.124 PROMOTION FROM ASSISTANT PROFESSOR TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Assistant Professors may apply for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor no earlier than their sixth (6th) full year of teaching as an Assistant Professor and no earlier than their third (3rd) full year of teaching as an Assistant Professor at Champlain College. Additionally, candidates must present one of the following three sets of academic credentials and achievements:
The terminal degree appropriate to their field of teaching at the College ("terminal" designation will be determined by the Dean and Provost.)
A non-terminal master's degree appropriate to their field of teaching at the College; and substantive, recognized professional certification or similar credentialing closely related to their field of teaching (for example: CPA, CMA, CFA, LSW, etc.).
A non-terminal master's degree appropriate to their field of teaching at the College; and significant post-master's degree educational achievements closely related to their field of teaching at the College (for example: ABD status, a second master's degree, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, additional recent graduate credits, other equivalent evidence of advanced study, etc.).
Beyond these academic credentials and achievements, candidates for promotion to Associate Professor must be able to demonstrate an impressive record of: a) highly successful teaching; b) significant service contributions that advanced the mission of the College and the Division; c) significant participation in professional development and achievement in its many forms, necessarily including some contributions to the knowledge of a field or the teaching profession; and d) collaboration and constructive participation in the shared governance of Champlain College.. These Promotion Assessment Criteria are described more fully under "Promotion Application Portfolio Requirements" in SECTION B: GENERAL PROMOTION PROCESS AND PROCEDURES.
126.96.36.199 PROMOTION FROM ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR TO PROFESSOR
The rank of Professor is reserved for faculty members who have distinguished themselves through excellence in teaching, superior qualifications, substantial contributions, industriousness, collegiality and outstanding commitment to the mission of Champlain College.
Associate Professors may apply for promotion to the rank of Professor no earlier than their sixth (6th) full year as an Associate Professor and no earlier than their fifth (5th) full year of teaching as an Associate Professor at Champlain College. Candidates must hold a terminal degree appropriate to their field of teaching at the College ("terminal" designation will be determined by the Dean and Provost.)
Beyond these academic credential and experience requirements, candidates for promotion to Professor must be able to demonstrate a distinguished record of: a) outstanding success in teaching and student engagement; b) significant, on-going participation and leadership in service activities that advanced the mission of the College and the Division; c) significant, on-going participation and leadership contributions to professional development and achievement in its many forms, necessarily including substantial contributions to the knowledge of a field or the teaching profession; and d) collaboration and constructive leadership in the shared governance of Champlain College and fostering this behavior in others. These Promotion Assessment Criteria are described more fully under "Promotion Application Portfolio Requirements" in SECTION B: GENERAL PROMOTION PROCESS AND PROCEDURES.
7.4.2 SECTION B: GENERAL PROMOTION PROCESS AND PROCEDURES
To be considered for promotion in rank, all applicants must meet or exceed the "Threshold Experience, Education and Performance Minimums" identified above in Section A and they must follow the process and procedures outlined in this section. (Note that these may vary depending upon initial date of hire.)
188.8.131.52 PROMOTION DECISION RESPONSIBILITY
Applications for promotion shall be made to the Faculty Senate Promotions & Sabbatical Leave Committee, whose members shall evaluate and recommend candidates for promotion using guidelines set forth within this document. The Committee shall forward its recommendations and comments with supporting data to the College Provost and the President for review. The recommendations and comments of the Committee are advisory only. The Provost and President have the discretion to accept or reject the Committee's recommendations. The President shall forward all accepted recommendations for faculty promotions to the Board of Trustees, which will vote to endorse or veto the recommendations. The Provost shall notify the Chair of the Promotions & Sabbatical Leave Committee and all candidates for promotion of the outcome of their applications. All promotions shall be announced publicly.
184.108.40.206 DECISION APPEALS
Decisions by the Dean, Provost and President on faculty promotion can be appealed only on grounds of procedural errors. The faculty member may submit a formal appeal to an ad hoc Appeal Panel, which will provide an impartial, third-party review of the decision-making procedures. The burden of proof in an appeal rests with the faculty member.
The following steps will normally be taken in an appeal process. The time limits may need to be adapted within reason due to scheduling conflicts.
- When a faculty member disagrees with the decision of the Dean, Provost, and President, that faculty member will arrange a special meeting (or series of meetings) with them to try to resolve the disagreement cooperatively and amicably. The scheduling of this meeting (or meetings) should allow sufficient time for the participants to reflect on the issues, but it should occur not more than ten (10) working days after the faculty member has received official notice of the promotion decision from the Provost.
- If it is apparent that resolution cannot occur during a follow-up meeting (or meetings), then the faculty member must submit a written request to the senior academic administrator designated by the Provost to convene an Appeal Panel. This request must come within five (5) working days of the final meeting with the Dean, Provost, and President. The senior academic administrator shall begin immediately the process of convening an ad hoc Appeal Panel.
- The Appeal Panel shall be composed of the senior academic administrator as Panel coordinator, and four additional members: the Faculty Senate President, one faculty member chosen by the appellant, the Vice President of Human Resources, and one Dean chosen by the senior academic administrator and representing a Division other than that of the appellant. The senior academic administrator shall cast a vote on the Panel's final recommendation only in the event of a tie among the other four Panel members.
- The senior academic administrator will schedule the hearing, notify the parties in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing, secure necessary documents for the records, and arrange for an audio tape recording of the proceedings. The date of the hearing will be set not more than ten (10) working days from the date of the senior academic administrator's decision to convene the Appeal Panel. All pertinent documents related to the appeal must be forwarded to the senior academic administrator at least five (5) working days prior to the scheduled hearing.
- The Appeal Panel will focus only on whether or not a procedural error has occurred. Deliberations shall be based strictly on the evidence presented at the hearing. After deliberations, the Appeal Panel's decision to support or reject the appeal will be made by a simple majority vote (with the senior academic administrator's vote as tie breaker.) In the event an appeal is upheld, the only action the Panel can take is to direct that the promotion process be reversed and recommenced just prior to the point where the procedural error occurred. The Appeal Panel's decision will be final.
- Within five (5) working days of adjournment of the Appeal Panel's hearing, the senior academic administrator shall forward the Panel's decision in writing to the faculty member, the Chair of the Promotions and Sabbatical Leave Committee, the Dean, the Provost, and the President.
220.127.116.11 IMPORTANT DATES, TIMELINES AND PRIORITIZATION
Faculty members applying for promotion must submit their fully-completed and properly-formatted application portfolios to the Chair of the Faculty Senate Promotions and Sabbatical Leave Committee no later than November 28 of each year.
The Committee's deliberations will take place in a timely manner so that its recommendations are delivered to the Provost, and President no later than February 28. The President will present recommendations to the Board of Trustees no later than their April meeting. The Provost shall notify the Chair of the Promotions & Sabbatical Leave Committee and all the candidates for promotion of the outcome of their applications within one week after action by the Board of Trustees.
The Committee reserves the right to prioritize the review of promotion applications based on the applicants' relative seniority at Champlain College. If a large number of faculty apply for promotion in a given year, and the Committee believes it cannot properly evaluate all the applications within the time frame specified above, then applications from faculty with lesser seniority may be deferred to the following year. If incomplete applications are submitted, then they may be deferred to the following year.
18.104.22.168 PROMOTION APPLICATION PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENTS
It is the faculty member's responsibility to furnish the Committee with a complete portfolio that best demonstrates credentials, performance, and accomplishments that support the granting of promotion. While it is unrealistic to expect a faculty member to excel in all performance categories, some evidence of participation, accomplishment, or distinction in all areas is generally a prerequisite for promotion. The Committee will look for progressively higher levels of achievement from applicants for the ranks of Associate Professor and Professor. Applicants should emphasize activities and accomplishments that occurred in the time period since their last promotion.
The Committee requires that all portfolios follow the format specified below. Candidates shall submit an electronic copy of the application. The electronic copy should be submitted together with the requirements of each section listed below which will comprise the Portfolio. The Portfolio will be submitted with the Committee's recommendation to the Dean, Provost, President, and Trustees. The Portfolio must contain the following sections.
22.214.171.124.1 TRANSMITTAL LETTER
Specify the date of submission, state the action requested, outline briefly your major justifications for receiving promotion (including threshold educational credentials and years of service,) and how you will document each of the requirements for promotion.
126.96.36.199.2 CURRICULUM VITA
Submit a current document summarizing your professional credentials, work experiences and relevant accomplishments. Be specific about dates and duration of academic and work experiences.
188.8.131.52.3 DEAN'S LETTER
Request a confidential, comprehensive letter from your Dean that discusses your contributions in the areas of: a) teaching, b) service, c) professional development and achievement, and d) collaboration and constructive participation in the shared governance of Champlain College. Additionally, this letter should address your efforts to expand and enhance your understanding of the diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations that shape much of our work at Champlain. This letter should reflect the Dean's summative evaluation for at least the most recent period, and preferably for several periods. In the event that your Dean is newly hired and is not familiar with your contributions, then this letter may come from your immediate past Dean. The Dean must send this confidential letter directly to the Chair of the Promotions and Sabbatical Leave Committee. In the event that your faculty position does not have a Dean, the letter should come from an analogous supervisor who can discuss your contributions in the areas of a) teaching (academic excellence for librarians), b) service, c) professional development and achievement, and d) collaboration and constructive participation in the shared governance of Champlain College.
184.108.40.206.4 EVIDENCE OF TEACHING EFFECTIVENESS
Champlain College is primarily a teaching institution. Therefore, convincing evidence of teaching effectiveness is the primary criterion that must be met by faculty seeking promotion. It will be assessed by examining summative data generated by student evaluations, comments in the Dean's letter (portfolio item #3), letters of support from a Program Director or peers, a statement of teaching philosophy and accomplishments, teaching portfolios, etc. The Committee will be looking specifically for evidence of accomplishment or distinction in your course design and assessment, course delivery and learning environment, mastery of subject, course management, course administration, and engagement with and awareness of the effects of diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations on your teaching across all of these areas. You may document your teaching effectiveness in a variety of ways but a complete teaching portfolio must include at least the following required materials. (Items marked with an asterisk * are optional.) Applicants should emphasize performance, activities and accomplishments that occurred in the time period since their last promotion.
- Student evaluations for all your courses taught during the past three years; Course syllabi for all your courses taught during the past three years;
- Self-evaluation that includes your teaching philosophy, professional goals, description of teaching styles and instructional methodologies and pedagogical rationales;
- Self-evaluation that reflects on your personal approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations as part of teaching;
- Evidence of your attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations in the design and delivery of your courses;
- Evidence of your professional growth as a teacher, which includes competency and currency in the discipline and in pedagogy (teaching or discipline related conferences, workshops, presentations, panel discussions, development of innovative teaching techniques, etc.);
- Identification of new courses you have developed and taught since your last promotion;
- *Other evaluations and letters of support from your Program Director, faculty colleagues or from members of the broader College community that are relevant to the promotion process;
- *Peer observations (for at least the most recent period and preferably for several periods) that reflect your teaching effectiveness;
- *Evidence of your mentoring of students (letters from current or former colleagues);
- *Honors or awards you received related to teaching.
NOTE: Faculty administrators and librarians at the rank of assistant professor or associate professor, who teach few or no classes, are indeed eligible for promotion to the rank of associate professor or professor. In the event that they have taught classes at Champlain, their applications should include, as indicated above, their most recent course syllabi and student evaluations. In the event that they have not taught classes at Champlain, their applications literally cannot, and therefore need not, include those things. In all events, the section of their application that deals with teaching should discuss, and provide evidence of, their effectiveness in performing those duties of theirs that are most closely analogous to teaching (for example: mentoring other faculty members; promoting certain pedagogical principles or practices; heading pedagogically-oriented workshops of various sorts; playing a role in the design of classes or curricula; engaging with students in supervisory or advisory capacities; and the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations in their professional duties.)
Regarding librarians, the section of their application that deals with teaching should discuss, and provide evidence of, the library faculty's contributions to academic excellence. Champlain College Library endeavors to help students become skilled, effective, responsible, lifelong information users. Therefore, convincing evidence of service towards academic excellence and student achievement is the primary criterion that must be met by faculty librarians seeking promotion. It will be assessed by examining summative data generated by comments in the Director's letter, letters of support from peers, and evidence of and reflection on growth as a librarian. Applicants should emphasize performance, activities and accomplishments that occurred in the time period since their last promotion.
You may document your contribution to academic excellence and growth as a librarian in a variety of ways, but a complete portfolio will include a reflective self-evaluation that demonstrates how the faculty librarian's role advances the academic mission of the College. Evidence for this will be determined by the nature of your main librarian role or responsibility and may include the following:
- Demonstration of professional growth in teaching and information literacy program design. A portfolio may include evidence of lesson design, preparation and implementation, development of your teaching practice, statement of teaching, and a longitudinal evaluation of teaching performance from the coordinator of the information literacy program.
- Engagement in academic outreach and collaboration in support of student success and faculty scholarship. A portfolio may include examples of working with faculty, staff and/or students in the library and across the College to contribute to academic success, improvement of library services, or further College initiatives.
- Contribution toward engaging and effective information and reference services in support of students and faculty. A portfolio may include evidence demonstrating the development of synchronous or asynchronous learning support such as research guides, video guides, tutorials, physical book displays, research how-to's and effective web design.
- Development of and access to inclusive library collections and services in support of the academic mission and vision of the library. A portfolio may include evidence demonstrating acquisition of new materials, deselection, resource discovery support and interlibrary document supply.
Additionally, for librarians, your portfolio must include a demonstration of engagement with and awareness of the effects of diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations on any and all relevant areas of your instructional and your broader librarian role. This may include a self-evaluation that reflects on your personal approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations and evidence of your attention to these considerations in the design and delivery of instructional programs or librarianship practice.
220.127.116.11.5 EVIDENCE OF SERVICE TO THE COLLEGE
Your service to the College will be assessed by examining an applicant-generated summary of your internal, institutional service participation and leadership, as well as relevant community outreach contributions. The Dean's letter (portfolio item #3) should confirm this summary. You may document your service contributions in a variety of ways. However the Committee will be looking specifically for the following evidence of your broad and constructive participation and leadership and tangible service contributions. (Items marked with an asterisk * are optional.) Applicants should emphasize performance, activities, and accomplishments that occurred in the time period since their last promotion.
- A chronological summary of your involvement in committee and task force service, including standing and ad hoc committees of the College, Faculty Senate, Division, and program;
- A statement of your personal contributions and leadership in these committee service activities that demonstrates more than simple membership/attendance;
- A letter of support from your current Program Director that endorses your internal service contributions;
- Evidence of your active participation in Faculty Senate and Senate Committees;
- Evidence of your service as a faculty advisor to a student organization;
- Evidence of your participation in College public events such as Family Weekends, student recruiting, freshman orientation, honors events, alumni events, etc.;
- Evidence of any other type of service activity in which you engaged that contributed to the betterment of the College;
- *Letters of support are welcome from other constituents that can corroborate your service contributions (such as former Deans, former Program Directors, committee chairs or members, external clients, etc.) along with any other pieces of supporting evidence.
18.104.22.168.6 EVIDENCE OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ACHIEVEMENT
Your professional development and achievement will be assessed by examining an applicant-generated summary of your on-going pursuit of continuous learning through course work, your active participation in professional organizations, your attendance at conferences and workshops, your receipt of professional recognitions and awards, etc., and any academic research and publications, presentations at conferences, contributions to on-campus workshops, grants you have received, etc. Your summary of professional development must also include a discussion of your efforts to expand and enhance your understanding of and experience with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, in your discipline/profession and in your teaching, which is considered a core component of faculty professional development. The Dean's letter (portfolio item #3) should confirm this summary.
You may document your professional development activities and achievements in a variety of ways. However, the Committee will be looking specifically for the following evidence of your on-going engagement in professional development and how this activity enhances teaching performance. Applicants should emphasize performance, activities, and accomplishments that occurred in the time period since their last promotion.
- Affirmation that you have met the service baseline expected of all faculty by consistently attending academic unit meetings and Faculty Senate;
- Official transcripts from all graduate institutions you attended to indicate that you have met the threshold educational criteria for promotion;
- A chronological summary of your participation in conferences, workshops, classes, etc.;
- Specific evidence documenting individual or group work with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, including a reflection on this work and how it as informed your practice at Champlain. This evidence can include reflections on specific reading lists, conferences attended or presented at, participation in faculty learning communities, or other activities that satisfy the requirement of expanding and enhancing your understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations as they apply to your work at the College.
- A statement that shows the relevance, connections and outcomes of these activities to your teaching at Champlain College;
- Evidence of your membership/leadership roles in professional associations related to your discipline or teaching;
- Evidence of any community service or volunteer work relevant to your field of teaching;
- A list of awards and honors relating to your teaching or service.
- Successful research endeavors and published works, such as abstracts, articles, books, chapters, monographs, poems, scholarly papers, reviews, conference proceedings, citations, editorial appointments, etc.;
- Unpublished works, such as internal college reports, speeches, conference presentations, media interviews, electronic teaching material;
- Creative works such as plays, art exhibits, musical compositions, performances, films, computer codes, simulations, etc.;
- Receipt of grants or external funding;
- Participation in professional/scholarly activities, conferences, sessions, panels, accreditation site visits, etc.
22.214.171.124.7 EVIDENCE OF COLLABORATION AND CONSTRUCTIVE PARTICIPATION
Your collegiality and constructive participation in the shared governance of the College will be assessed by the Committee's impressions of your overall spirit of positive engagement in the life and culture of the College. The main basis for assessment will be the Dean's letter (portfolio item #3) and one other letter of support from someone such as your past Dean, your Program Director, a faculty or staff colleague, etc. The Committee will be looking specifically for evidence of respect, integrity, conscientiousness, open-mindedness, courtesy, and fairness when working with students, colleagues, staff, administration, and the broader College community. Applicants should emphasize performance, activities and accomplishments that occurred in the time period since their last promotion.
Submit one letter of support written by a College constituent (your past Dean, Program Director, colleague, staff member, etc.) that addresses your spirit of positive engagement in the life and culture of the College. The letter should offer examples of how you demonstrate respect, integrity, conscientiousness, open-mindedness, courtesy, and fairness when working with students, colleagues, staff, administration, and the broader College community on collaborative, campus-based projects including, but not limited to, formal institutional structures that enhance the governance of the College. This letter should also address any work you have done in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, if applicable.
7.4.3 PAY RAISES UPON PROMOTION
Beginning with promotions granted in spring 2017, the annual salary of a faculty member promoted from assistant professor to associate professor will be raised by at least 6%, and that of a faculty member promoted from associate professor to professor will be raised by at least 8%. These promotion raises will be separate from, and in addition to, any annual, merit raise that the faculty member might receive for the following year. The promotion raise will go into effect on the July 1st following the granting of the promotion. The annual, merit raise will go into effect on the September 1st following the granting of the promotion, and will be calculated based on the faculty member's new, increased, post-promotion salary. The promotion raises guaranteed by this provision of the Faculty Handbook are minimum raises; they neither prevent the faculty member from seeking to negotiate a higher raise, nor prevent the administration from offering a faculty member a higher raise for any reason, including in order better to align the faculty member's annual salary with market norms.
7.5 OFFICIAL LEAVE
The College has policies and procedures in place to request leave for bereavement, family medical leave, jury duty, military leave, short-term family leave, sick leave and short-term disability and leave without pay. Leave may also be granted to qualifying employees as a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability. See the People Center Policies and Procedures or consult with the People Center regarding any questions about leaves.
7.6 OFFICIAL PERSONNEL FILE
Each employee's official personnel file is maintained in the People Center. The Vice President of Human Resources is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure the confidentiality of personnel files. Except under special circumstances approved by the Vice President of Human Resources, personnel files may not be removed from the People Center.
An employee is entitled to know what documents are in his/her official personnel file and to review them periodically. The only exception to this is a reference obtained in confidence from previous employers or supervisors. No employee may remove documents permanently from the personnel file, but may request to have single copies reproduced for personal use.
Each employee is responsible for keeping the personnel file current and reporting changes in personal information to the extent that such changes are relevant to employment and benefits administration, such as changes in an employee's name, address, telephone number, marital/civil union status, dependents, emergency contact information and educational courses or additional training completed.
Except for verification of dates of employment, no information concerning an employee will be released outside the College unless the College receives: the employee's written consent; a valid subpoena; a court order; or some other appropriate documentation demonstrating that disclosure is required by law. Furthermore, except as the law may otherwise require, the People Center will not respond to requests from prospective employers or other third parties for information regarding past employees, unless the employee has signed a release authorization requesting the People Center to provide requested information.
7.7 COMPLAINTS OF MISCONDUCT
All faculty members have an obligation to comply with the rules and regulations of the College and its divisions and programs. These rules protect the rights and freedoms of all members of the academic community. Complaints of misconduct should be resolved in a manner designed to conform to legal requirements, ensure due process, avoid unnecessary damage to parties involved, maintain confidentiality, and to protect a complainant from retaliation.
In particular, the faculty member is obligated to live up to the standards of academic freedom as outlined in the Faculty Handbook. Disciplinary action may also follow when the faculty member engages in other conduct unbecoming a member of the faculty, such as any action which interferes with the regular operations of the College or the rights of others, any serious violation of the law, or any other conduct prejudicial to the teaching, research, or welfare of the College, and so forth.
The following procedure is applicable where a question arises concerning an alleged violation by any member of the faculty of a rule or regulation of the College. The time periods referenced below may need to be adapted within reason due to scheduling conflicts.
Other sections of this Handbook apply to situations in which proceedings are initiated to terminate a faculty member for cause (7.9.2) or to situations involving discrimination and harassment (4.4). Procedures involving academic grievances filed by a student are defined in the College Catalog (see Academic Grievance Policy & Procedure). In cases where the complaint could involve a violation of federal or state law, administrative officers must refer the matter to the appropriate authorities for disposition within the applicable legal framework.
Any officer of the College, any member of the faculty or staff, or any student may file a complaint against a member of the faculty for conduct prohibited by the rules and regulations of the College, or its divisions and programs.
Summary suspension pending investigation and hearing is an extraordinary remedy, but nothing in this statement shall be interpreted as precluding such action by the President or the Provost of the College, or the Dean of the Division involved (who must have the assent of the President or Provost of the College,) whenever, in the judgment of either, suspension is necessary in the interest of the College community.
The complaint shall be filed with the Dean of the faculty member's Division, except that a complaint against a Dean shall be filed with the Provost. Complaints must be in writing, signed by the person filing the complaint. A copy of the signed, formal complaint will be given to the individual charged.
When a complaint is filed against a member of the faculty, the faculty member shall be given an opportunity to respond, verbally or in writing, to the complaint. An effort shall be made to resolve the matter informally under the direction of the Dean of the member's Division or with a committee, appointed by the dean, of the faculty of that Division. Where the charge is against the Dean as a faculty member, the informal effort shall be under the direction of the Provost. The informal process may include investigation, mediation, conciliation, and consultation between and among appropriate parties, including the complainant, the person against whom the complaint is made, and his or her immediate supervisor.
Where matters involving the faculty cannot be resolved in this manner, the matter shall be referred, with all pertinent information, to the President of the Faculty Senate, who shall appoint a special hearing committee of the faculty, members of which may or may not be Senate members, to hear the matter. The majority of the committee members shall be from the Division in which the faculty member holds appointment. The President of the Faculty Senate shall appoint the chairperson of the committee. Where the formal complaint is against a Dean, the formal effort shall be under the direction of the Provost.
The special hearing committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure and shall have authority to impose any of the penalties, other than dismissal, listed immediately below (next paragraph) and to recommend dismissal. Decisions shall be by majority vote. A recommendation for dismissal must be approved by the Dean (except where he/she is the subject of the charge) and the Provost. The Chairperson of the Committee shall notify the faculty member in writing of the decision within five working days.
Penalties for violations of the rules and regulations of the College and its divisions and programs shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Verbal or Written Reprimand - a warning or reproof that is not placed in the faculty member's personnel file;
- Censure - a formal, written reprimand of a faculty member's actions that is placed in the faculty member's personnel file;
- Suspension of teaching and administrative duties, with or without pay. Suspension may include discontinuance of salary and benefits, in whole or in part, suspension of promotion and salary increments, and suspension of all or some faculty privileges.
- Dismissal for cause (see Termination of Employment for Cause in this section of the Faculty Handbook.)
A faculty member may appeal the decision by the hearing committee to impose a penalty. Appeal shall be to the President of the College. Grounds for an appeal shall be that the decision was not supported by substantial evidence in the record taken as a whole or that the proceedings were not conducted in substantial compliance with the principles and procedures enumerated herein. Any such appeal must be made to the President within ten (10) working days after receipt of notice of the decision of the hearing committee. The President may seek the advice of such individuals or groups as he or she deems appropriate. In deciding the appeal the President may affirm or reverse the decision of the hearing committee, may remand the case for a new or further investigation by the same or a different committee, or may increase or decrease the penalty imposed, as the interests of substantial justice appear to him, her or them to require. The President shall inform the faculty member in writing of his, her or their decision within ten working days of the appeal.
To protect to the maximum extent possible the privacy and the reputation of individuals involved in the complaint process, these procedures will be considered confidential throughout and continuing through the appeal process. Breach of confidentiality by any party to the grievance will be considered unethical conduct. All public statements about the complaint and the proceedings shall be made through the President's Office. The complete grievance file shall be maintained in the People Center.
7.8 PROBATION AND PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE
If a faculty member's rating falls below "Successful" at any time during employment, he or she will be put on probationary status. If the person is on probationary status, he or she is not eligible for a merit raise during the probationary period.
Faculty members may be put on probationary status for ineffective teaching or for significantly neglecting academic duties as defined in the Faculty Handbook (section 4) on Faculty Rights, Responsibilities, and Expectations.
A written admonition describing the alleged problem will be issued by the Provost. The faculty member will be warned that their appointment term is in probationary status. The Provost's letter will be proactive and clearly outline to the faculty member the steps, actions and/or outcomes necessary for them to emerge from probationary status. Probationary status will stipulate a period of time within which correction of the problem is expected. Normally, the period of probation will be one academic year.
The faculty member on probation will prepare a plan for improvement and present it to the academic Dean and Provost. Upon agreement of an improvement plan, during the probationary period, support will be provided by the College to assist the faculty member in making improvement. At the end of the probationary period, the faculty member will be evaluated against the agreed-upon improvement plan.
If the faculty member does not contest the allegation and fulfills his or her duties as specified in the improvement plan within the stated probationary period, the matter is settled and the appointment term will be reset to the appropriate length for the current rank of the faculty member. If the faculty member fails to correct the problem, the faculty member will not receive renewal of their appointment term and may be dismissed at the end of their existing term. After review of the entire record, complaint, and faculty member's service at the College, final action by the Provost may be less than dismissal, and may include suspension for a period set by the Provost in the Provost's discretion, up to a period of one year. Suspension may include discontinuance of salary and benefits, in whole or in part, suspension of promotion and salary increments, and suspension of all or some faculty privileges.
Faculty members may grieve conditions of probationary status or non-renewal as outlined in Faculty Handbook section 7.12.
7.9 SEPARATION FROM THE COLLEGE
7.9.1 RESIGNATION OR RETIREMENT
A faculty resignation in the course of the academic year will be accepted only under extreme and unavoidable circumstances because of the difficulty of replacing a faculty member in the middle of the academic year. Failure to give adequate notice of termination will be entered on the employee's personnel record and may adversely affect an employee from ever being reemployed by the College. Ordinarily, faculty are expected to give notice of their resignation or retirement to their academic Dean and to the Provost not later than March 1, of the preceding academic year.
7.9.2 TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT FOR CAUSE
Termination before the end of an appointment period may be effected by the College only for cause.
The College may terminate the employment of a term-appointed faculty member for cause, which includes but is not limited to:
- Breach of contract;
- Frequent tardiness, absence without leave, or failure to give notice of absence;
- Teaching and professional incompetence deemed so serious by the Academic Dean and Provost that it cannot be remedied through a probationary period;
- Violation of the College policy on drugs, alcohol, and weapons;
- Violation of personnel policy;
- Falsification of the employee application, CV or resume;
- Behavior contrary to the interests of the College;
- Continued inadequate service to the College subsequent to a warning and probationary period;
- Deliberate and serious violation of the rights and freedom of fellow faculty members, administrators, or students;
- Continued neglect of academic duties subsequent to oral and written warnings and probationary period;
- Breach of professional ethics;
- Falsification of credentials and/or experience;
- Other serious personal or professional misconduct.
7.9.3 DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
Dismissal procedures will include the following steps:
- Written notice to the faculty member from the Provost that a recommendation for dismissal for cause may be made to the President. This notice shall contain a written statement of the grounds upon which the recommendation is to be made, and a brief summary of information supporting such grounds;
- An opportunity for the faculty member to meet with the Provost to present his or her defense to the dismissal recommendation before the recommendation is made;
- An opportunity for the faculty member to meet with the President to present his or her defense to the dismissal recommendation before a decision is made.
In any case involving dismissal for cause, the burden of proof that just cause exists shall be on the College, which proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence in the record considered as a whole. The decision of the President may be the basis of a grievance. See the section in this Handbook on Faculty Grievance Procedure.
The term non-reappointment means that the College has decided not to offer an additional appointment to a faculty member at the conclusion of the appointment term.
Reasons for nonreappointment are within the discretion of the College and may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Staffing realignment necessitated by changes in curricular requirements, academic programs or divisions;
- Financial exigency;
- Enrollment or financial emergency;
- Unacceptable performance evaluations in the faculty member's primary responsibilities of teaching, professional development and achievement, and professional and institutional service; and
- Any of the grounds listed for termination in 7.9.2.
7.10 EXIT INTERVIEW
The employee and his/her/their manager must complete an Exit Checklist prior to the employee's last day of work. The employee should schedule an Exit Interview with the People Center as soon as notice is given, so that the necessary separation papers can be completed and processed. The exit interview will finalize the employee's severance pay, if any is to be paid, and benefits, termination dates, address to which W-2 tax information should be sent, and other areas relevant to termination.
Keys, identification card and other College property should be returned to the supervisor. It is the supervisor's responsibility to forward keys to Campus Security and notify the People Center that all College property has been returned.
An employee resigning in good standing may sign an authorization for the People Center to release an agreed upon written reference pertaining to his/her work record at the College.
7.11 RE-EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS
An employee with two or more continuous years of full-time employment who returns to College employment within one year following termination with good standing, may be credited with the previously accrued service time in determining eligibility for current employment benefits.
7.12 FACULTY GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
The College recognizes and endorses the importance of academic due process as defined by College policy, and of resolving grievances properly without fear of prejudice or reprisal. Accordingly, the College encourages the informal and prompt settlement of grievances.
A faculty grievance is an allegation by one or more faculty members that there has been:
- A claimed breach, misinterpretation, or misapplication of College policy or procedure as set forth in the Faculty Handbook or;
- A claimed infringement of academic freedom; or
- Discrimination in violation of federal or state law.
If the basis of an alleged grievance is discrimination, the procedure defined in this Handbook in College's Anit-Discrimination policy applies. Otherwise, the procedures defined in this section apply.
The following steps will normally be taken in seeking resolution of a faculty grievance. The time limits may need to be adapted within reason due to scheduling conflicts.
- When a faculty member alleges that a grievance has occurred, as defined in this section, the faculty member is encouraged to resolve the issue informally with all involved parties including the division Dean and the Provost. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the matter may be submitted for mediation by a neutral third party.
- If the complaint cannot be resolved informally or by mediation, the grievant must, with 30 days of the alleged event, file with the Provost a Statement of Grievance. The Provost may agree to an extension of the 30-day period depending on the time involved in mediation. The Statement of Grievance must contain at least the following information:
- Narrative statement of factual allegations, including specific dates of actions complained of and identification of all knowledgeable persons;
- A statement of the basis of the allegation, i.e. either (a) a claimed breach, misinterpretation, or misapplication of College policy or procedure as set forth in the Faculty Handbook or; (b) a claimed infringement of academic freedom;
- All documentary evidence supporting the grievance;
- A statement of the relief sought.
- Upon receipt of the Statement of Grievance, the senior academic administrator designated by the Provost shall notify the subject of the grievance and commission a Grievance Panel within five (5) working days and shall schedule a hearing within 10 working days. The senior academic administrator shall convene a Panel even where the grievance, as stated initially, does not appear to have merit.
- The Grievance Panel shall be composed of the senior academic administrator, as non-voting Panel coordinator, and five (5) voting members. The Panel will be commissioned as follows: One faculty member chosen by the grievant, one faculty member chosen by the Provost, two faculty members chosen by the Faculty Senate President, and one Dean chosen by the Provost representing a division other than that of the grievant or the subject(s) of the grievance. The Vice President of Human Resources will attend the meetings as a non-voting member of the panel. If the senior academic administrator is the subject of the grievance, the Provost shall appoint an alternative. If any other individual noted in this procedure is the subject of the grievance, the President shall appoint an alternative.
- If the Grievance Panel decides to hear the grievance, the Senior Associate Provost will schedule the hearing, notify the parties in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing; secure necessary documents for the records; and arrange for an audio tape recording of the proceedings. The date of the hearing will be set not more than ten (10) working days from the date on which the Senior Associate Provost convened the Panel. All pertinent documents related to the grievance must be forwarded by both parties (the faculty member and the subject of the grievance) to the senior academic administrator at least five (5) working days prior to the scheduled hearing.
- The Panel may hear testimony from both the grievant and the subject(s) of the grievance. The panel members can request clarification of this testimony during their deliberations as needed. The grievant shall not be present during the deliberations of the panel. The minutes of the hearing and the deliberations of the panel will remain confidential.
- Faculty members pursuing a grievance may represent themselves or be accompanied by an advisor of their choice at their sole expense. If the faculty member chooses to have legal counsel present as an advisor, the College reserves the right to also have legal counsel present as an advisor. Legal counsel will only be permitted to confer with their clients directly, and will not be allowed to speak directly to the Grievance Panel, examine or cross-examine witnesses, or otherwise play an active role in the hearing.
- After deliberation, the Grievance Panel's decision to support or reject the grievance will be made by a simple majority vote. The vote shall be based strictly on the evidence and exhibits presented at the hearing. A written report, along with a recommendation shall be forwarded to the Provost immediately.
- Within five (5) working days of adjournment of the Grievance Panel's hearing, the Provost shall forward his or her decision in writing to the faculty member, the Grievance Panel, the subject of the grievance, and the faculty member's division Dean. If the decision of the Provost differs from the recommendation of the Panel, the Provost will provide a written explanation for the decision. Simultaneously, a copy of the decision letter and a complete record of the hearing will be sent to the President of the College. All recorded and written documents related to the grievance will be maintained in the People Center, according to the College's policy on personnel records.
- If the grievant disputes the decision of the Provost, he or she should file an appeal with the President outlining the grievant's reasons for disputing the Provost's decision. The President may, within 10 days, request any additional information he or she desires. After review, the President shall issue a final decision adopting, rejecting, or modifying the decision of the Provost or remanding it to the Provost for further review and action. Decisions at this stage are final.
If a faculty member files a complaint with an outside agency after initiating a grievance under this procedure, the grievance may be suspended pending resolution of the outside complaint, unless the faculty member and the College agree to proceed simultaneously. In cases where the College grievance is suspended, upon resolution of the outside complaint, those portions of the grievance that are outside the purview of the external agency, or that have not been decided or dismissed for a substantive reason by the agency, may resume and be heard and decided as if the suspension had not occurred. It is the responsibility of the grievant to report the resolution to the Provost and request that the grievance be resumed. The decision of the outside agency will not be made known to the Grievance Panel unless the grievant chooses to do so.
7.13 EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES
For the purpose of this policy, a "relative" is a spouse, civil union partner, child, child of a civil union partner, stepchild, ward, foster child, parent, parent of a spouse or a civil union partner, sibling, or sibling of a spouse or civil union partner.
Members of an employees' immediate family and other relatives may be employed in any Champlain College capacity in any department. Normally, relatives may not be employed in a situation in which one relative exercises direct supervision over another. If such a direct supervisory relationship is considered to be in the best interests of the College, the employment of the relative in question must be approved by the President. To obtain this approval, the hiring supervisor must submit a letter through normal administrative channels to the appropriate Vice President/Provost, with a copy to the People Center, requesting permission to hire the relative in question. The request should contain the names of the related parties, their relationship, the extent of job supervision, job title and nature of function to be performed, and an explanation of why the arrangement would be in the best interests of the College. The Vice President/Provost will review this request and if approved, send it to the President for final consideration. If the request is denied, it will be returned to the supervisor, who will inform the employee. The People Center will inform the candidate who is the employee's relative if the request is denied.
Questions related to the interpretation of this policy should be directed to the People Center.
7.14 FACULTY COMPENSATION
Faculty, who meet the high standards of the profession, and the high expectations of Champlain College, deserve to be compensated commensurately and competitively. The College achieves this goal through its strong commitment to annual salary increases, raises at promotion (see Handbook section 7.43), and ongoing market maintenance goals.
Annual Salary Increases
Annual raises are determined as part of the budgetary process, and based on a combination of institutional factors and external market forces. In accordance with meaningful governance practices, shared information and faculty-administration dialogue during the process ensures transparent decision-making.
Faculty salary market alignment is monitored annually. The methodology for categorizing faculty market salaries, monitoring market trends, and adjusting salaries as appropriate will be fully transparent and periodically reviewed as part of faculty-administration compensation dialogue.
Individual faculty members can expect to have access to annually updated data that tracks their current salary against the market median for their rank in their corresponding discipline.
7.14.1 Methodology for Market Alignment of Faculty Salaries
Champlain College is committed to paying its faculty market-competitive salaries based on the Market Median.
Individual faculty are categorized according to corresponding CIP codes or other relevant data benchmarks as appropriate in order to determine Market Medians using CUPA data.
CIP codes and/or other relevant data benchmarks are reviewed annually by the People Center and Academic Leadership to ensure relevance/appropriateness for each faculty member.
The relevant CUPA data includes both tenured and non-tenured four-year faculty salaries from eastern states (ME, NH, VT, NY, MA, RI, CT, DE, MD, PA, NJ) when available. When eastern data is not available for current or prior years, national data is used and adjusted up for regional differences in cost of living.
In order to compensate for unexpected market fluctuations, the CUPA Market Median is based on a 3-year rolling average with each year adjusted by CPI.
The College considers the Compa-ratio as a reference point for where salaries are in comparison to market. A faculty member's Compa-ratio is calculated by taking the faculty member's salary and dividing it by their CUPA Market Median value. In other words, Compa-ratio = salary/CUPA Market Median. This can be measured individually and/or at aggregate levels.
A faculty member whose Compa-ratio is between 95-105% is considered to be within Market Median range.
The faculty salary that is used for determining Compa-ratio is the faculty's base salary (in other words, it does not include stipends or other forms of compensation received for additional work that is above and beyond a normal faculty's responsibilities, such as money paid for Program Director contracts, special projects, etc.)
Maintaining a minimum Compa-ratio of 85% for each individual faculty member with satisfactory job performance will be a standing budgetary priority. Consultation on annual budgeting between the Provost and Senate leadership provides context for setting priorities appropriately with each fiscal cycle. The Provost will inform the Welfare committee as part of an annual review of faculty compensation data each year, after the fiscal year concludes, how much was spent on adjustments.
When budgetary conditions allow it, Assistant and Associate Professors who have served 3 years or more in their respective ranks with at least satisfactory job performance may be eligible for a salary adjustment to 95-105% compa-ratio. Similarly, when budgetary conditions allow, Full Professors who have served 5 or more years in rank with satisfactory job performance may be eligible for a salary adjustment to 95-105% compa-ratio. Salary review and timelines will be at the discretion of the Provost.
An annual review of faculty salary data, including (but not limited to) information about Compa-ratios, rank, and time in rank will serve as a basis for establishing market maintenance budget priorities. Data will be shared transparently and priorities will be set through a collaborative process based on faculty-administration dialogue in accordance with the Faculty handbook, Section 7.14.