A sanction may not be imposed upon a faculty member unless the faculty member
has been notified in writing of the charges upon which the sanction is
based and has been provided with an opportunity to respond to those charges.
Under no circumstances shall the imposition of sanctions or the threat
of the imposition of sanctions be used to restrain a faculty member's
exercise of academic freedom or exercise of any of the rights guaranteed
by the Constitution of Virginia or by the Constitution of the United States.
A minor sanction, i.e. a written reprimand, may be imposed upon a faculty
member by a department chair, a dean, the provost and vice president
for academic affairs, or the president.
Before a minor sanction may be imposed upon a faculty member, the
faculty member must be notified in writing of the charges for which
a sanction might be imposed. The faculty member then must be provided
with an opportunity to meet with and to present a statement in defense
or in mitigation of the charges to the individual with the authority
to impose the sanction. That opportunity shall be provided no less
than ten (10) and no more than thirty (30) days following the faculty
member's receipt of notification of charges.
Before a department chair or a dean exercises the authority to
impose a minor sanction upon a faculty member, the decision to impose
the sanction and the reasons therefore must be reviewed and approved
by the immediate administrative supervisor of the individual imposing
Within sixty (60) days from the date of the faculty member's
receipt of notice of charges, the faculty member shall be notified
as to whether a minor sanction has been imposed. If a minor sanction
has been imposed, the notice shall include a statement of the reasons
for the sanction. Any sanction imposed and the reasons therefore
shall be noted in the faculty member's permanent personnel
file but if no sanction is imposed, there shall be no notation or
reference to the charges in the file.
The faculty member may respond in writing to the imposition of
a minor sanction but must do so within thirty (30) days following
the faculty member's receipt of notice of the sanction. The
faculty member's written response to the charges will be included
in the faculty member's permanent personnel file unless the
faculty member requests otherwise.
A faculty member who desires a review of the minor sanction imposed
upon him or her may file a grievance against the administrative official
imposing the sanction in accordance with the Faculty Grievance Policy.
- Dismissal and Other Severe Sanctions
Only the Board of Visitors has the authority to dismiss a faculty member
and only the Board of Visitors or the president has the authority to
impose upon a faculty member a severe sanction short of dismissal,
i.e., reduction in current salary level or suspension from service
for a stated period with or without pay. "Dismissal" as
used in this policy means the termination of a tenured faculty member
or the termination of a nontenured faculty member prior to the end
of a term appointment to which that faculty member would otherwise
be entitled upon the policies of the university, but does not include
the termination of faculty due to financial exigency, severe financial
difficulties, or extensive curtailment in or discontinuance of a program
of study or department of instruction.
- Grounds for Dismissal or for the Imposition of Other Severe
The dismissal of a faculty member or the imposition upon a faculty member
of another severe sanction shall be only for adequate cause. Such adequate
cause must be related, directly and substantially, to the faculty member's
performance of professional duties or responsibilities or to the fitness
of the faculty member in his or her professional capacity.
- Proceedings to Dismiss or to Impose Other Severe Sanctions
Upon a Faculty Member
The dismissal of a faculty member or the imposition upon a faculty
member of other severe sanction(s) shall be only in accordance with
the procedures described herein.
It is solely within the discretion of the president to determine
those cases in which the institution of proceedings to dismiss or
to sanction severely a faculty member might be appropriate. In deciding
whether to initiate such proceedings, the president may act upon
the recommendation of a department chair, a dean, the provost and
vice president for academic affairs or upon his or her own initiative.
Except in extraordinary circumstances, if the president decides
to initiate proceedings to dismiss or to sanction severely a faculty
member, either the president or an administrative official designated
by the president shall discuss the matter in private conference with
the faculty member. At that time the matter may be resolved by agreement.
If the agreement includes the faculty member's acceptance of
dismissal or another severe sanction, that agreement shall be in
writing and shall be placed in the faculty member's permanent
The president shall commence a proceeding to dismiss or to sanction
severely a faculty member by designating an administrative official
to present charges against the faculty member and by requesting that
the chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee initiate the applicable
procedures of the committee.
Upon the conclusion of the committee's procedures and upon
the president's receipt of the recommendation and report of
the committee issued as described therein, the president may decide
to accept, alter, or reject the recommendation of the committee as
the president sees fit. If the president decides to alter or reject
the committee's recommendation, the president must state in
writing the reasons for that decision.
The president must notify the faculty member and the committee
of the president's decision and, if required, the reasons therefore,
within thirty (30) days of the president's receipt of the committee's
report. If the president fails to forward notice to the faculty member
and to the committee within thirty (30) days, the president shall
be deemed to have accepted the committee's recommendation.
If the president decides to dismiss the charges or to impose a
minor sanction upon the faculty member, the president's decision
shall be final.
If the president decides to impose a severe sanction other than
dismissal upon the faculty member, the president's decision
shall be final unless appealed to the Board of Visitors by the faculty
member. In order to so appeal, the faculty member must notify the
president of the appeal within thirty (30) days after the faculty
member's receipt of the president's decision.
If the president decides to recommend dismissal of the faculty
member, the president shall forward that decision to the Board of
Visitors at the time of notification of the faculty member and the
committee as provided in paragraph 6.
During its consideration of a presidential recommendation to dismiss
a faculty member or during its consideration of a faculty member's
appeal of a presidential decision to impose another severe sanction,
the board shall review the record of the case, including the report
of the Faculty Grievance Committee, and shall provide the faculty
member (or his or her designated representative) and the president
(or the president's designated representative) with an opportunity
to make a written statement and, if either party should so choose,
an oral statement. Generally, these statements will be based upon
the record of the case. The board, in its discretion, may request
additional evidence from either party or may permit either party,
upon that party's request, to present additional evidence so
long as the other party has the opportunity to examine and to respond
to the additional evidence. Any additional evidence presented to
the board by either party shall be fully disclosed to the other party
prior to presentation of the evidence to the board.
After its consideration of a presidential recommendation to dismiss
a faculty member, the board may decide to dismiss the faculty member.
If it should decide to dismiss the faculty member, the board shall
provide written notification of this decision to the faculty member
and to the president. Written notice shall include the effective
date of the dismissal which may be any time following the date of
After such consideration, the board may decide instead to impose
a severe sanction other than dismissal, to impose a minor sanction,
to dismiss the charges, or to withhold final decision and to remand
the matter to the Faculty Grievance Committee for further proceedings
in accordance with the board's directions. The board shall
provide written notice of its decision to the president and to the
After its consideration of a presidential decision to impose a
severe sanction other than dismissal upon a faculty member, the board
may decide to sustain the president's decision, to reduce the
sanction, to dismiss the charges, or to withhold final decision and
to remand the matter to the Faculty Grievance Committee for further
proceedings in accordance with the board's directions. The
board shall provide written notice of its decision to the faculty
member and to the president.
If the matter is remanded to the Faculty Grievance Committee,
the committee shall conduct additional proceedings in accordance
with the board's directions. Following the conclusion of such
proceedings, the committee shall transmit its report to the board
and shall furnish copies of its report to the president and to the
faculty member. After receipt of the committee's report, the
board shall make its final decision and shall provide written notice
of its decision to the president and to the faculty member.
In every case, the decision of the board is final.
- Limitation Upon the Imposition of More than One Sanction
The imposition upon a faculty member of a minor or severe sanction shall
preclude the imposition upon that faculty member of another sanction
based upon the same incident. This limitation shall not preclude the
consideration of a sanction previously imposed upon a faculty member
during the determination of the sanction to be imposed or sought to
be imposed as a result of another incident involving the same faculty
- Suspension Prior to the Completion of Proceedings
Prior to the completion of proceedings under this policy, a faculty member
may be suspended by the president or assigned other duties in lieu
of suspension if serious harm to the faculty member or to others is
threatened by the faculty member's continued performance of regular
duties. Salary shall continue during suspension. Suspension pursuant
to this section does not release the university from its obligation
to complete proceedings as described in this policy within a reasonable
time after suspension.
| ||- Adopted by the Board of Visitors|
February 13, 1982