Resolution Endorsing Revision of the Policy and Procedures for Probationary Faculty Non-Reappointment


WHEREAS, The University of South Alabama is committed to the academic freedom of faculty, as expressed in its Mission statement and in its Faculty Handbook, and

WHEREAS, the Faculty Senate fully supports this commitment, and

WHEREAS, this academic freedom extends to faculty in the probationary period of tenure-track appointments at the University of South Alabama, and

WHEREAS, the Faculty Senate has been made aware that under current University of South Alabama policy, non-tenured probationary faculty who are not reappointed do not have the right to:
i. receive, upon request and in writing, a statement of the reasons which contributed to that decision,
ii. have, upon appeal, the possibility of a review by an elected faculty review committee, nor does any such review committee, composed solely of elected members of the faculty body, exist to review faculty members’ allegations of inadequate consideration in such cases,
iii. have, upon appeal, the possibility that the non-reappointment decision receive reconsideration by the body or individual making that decision, and

WHEREAS, the American Association of University Professors (hereafter AAUP), in its “Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments”, has recognized the importance of the above rights to the maintenance of academic freedom, and has, in its “Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom & Tenure”, provided Recommendations governing probationary appointments which incorporate the above rights, and

WHEREAS, these Recommendations constitute part of the AAUP’s interpretation of its 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which Statement has been incorporated into the Faculty Handbook, and

WHEREAS, the further incorporation of the above rights into the Faculty Handbook would help to insure academic freedom for probationary faculty, and would preserve the University’s long-standing support of the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that section 3.15.1 of the Faculty Handbook shall be revised to incorporate the AAUP recommendations. The current handbook section 3.15.1 (Non-Reappointment) shall be revised to read in its entirety as follows:

3.15.1  Non-Reappointment

The precise terms and conditions of each appointment are to be stated in writing and are to be in the possession of the appointee and the University. At the University of South Alabama, appointments are made on an annual basis through the probationary period or until tenure has been granted (see section 3.11.4). Non-reappointment of an individual during this period is not considered a dismissal. Faculty members who are given a letter of non-reappointment will receive no salary increase for the terminal year. Furthermore, once the letter of non-reappointment has been issued, the annual affirmative action plan evaluation will not be required.

Notice of non-reappointment prior to a tenure decision shall be given in writing to full-time faculty members on probationary appointment according to section 3.15.2. If a faculty member whose appointment is not to be continued so requests, he or she shall be provided with a written statement of reasons why the appointment is not to be continued. If he or she believes that the decision was based on inadequate consideration in terms of the relevant standards of the institution, appeal may be made to an appellate body elected by the faculty. This appellate body shall be the “Non-Reappointment Review Committee”. The Non-Reappointment Review Committee shall review the faculty member's allegation within six months of the non-reappointment notice to determine whether the decision was the result of adequate consideration in terms of the relevant standards of the institution. The Non-Reappointment Review Committee shall not substitute its judgment on the merits of the faculty member for that of the faculty body or administrator that made the original decision. If the Non-Reappointment Review Committee believes that adequate consideration was not given to the faculty member's qualifications, it will request reconsideration by the faculty body or administrator, indicating the respects in which it believes the consideration may have been inadequate. It will provide copies of its findings to the faculty member, the faculty body, the administrator, and the President.

The provisions described in this section apply only to full-time faculty members on probationary appointment. The provisions are not applicable to dismissals for cause or where a termination is specified in the appointment instrument.
The Non-Reappointment Review Committee shall consist of five members of the Faculty Senate. These members shall be appointed by the Faculty Senate Chair from the Faculty Grievance Committee Pool. Non-Reappointment Review Committee members must be tenured and should hold the rank of associate or full professor. The Chair of the Committee shall be elected by the Committee. The Committee shall hear appeals of the dismissal of full-time, probationary appointment faculty only, and make recommendations and reports as indicated above.


Revised and approved November 28, 2007.


University of South Alabama  -  Faculty Senate -  Mobile, AL 36688-0002
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