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Negotiations: Article 17, Retrenchment

Wright State University Chapter

American Association of University Professors

The administration put forth the article shown in the right half of the table below at the April 1, 2013 negotiating session. Our team countered with the proposal in the left half at the May 3, 2013 session.

Reports about the status of this article will be found below the article itself.

See our CBA Negotiations page for a roster of the AAUP-WSU negotiating team, brief reports about each Monday's negotiation session, and an article-by-article summary table with links to detailed information about each individual article that either the administration or AAUP-WSU proposes to include in the CBA.

Article 17

Retrenchment

17.1 Retrenchment is defined in this Agreement as the termination of Bargaining Unit Faculty Member(s) with continuing appointments as a result of any of the following three circumstances: (1) financial exigency; (2) significant reduction in enrollment of a college, department, or program continuing over four or more academic semesters (not counting summer) and which is expected to persist; or (3) discontinuation of a college, department or program. Financial exigency means that severe financial problems exist which threaten the University’s ability to maintain its operations at an acceptable level of quality.

If the termination of a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member based on reduced need or financial exigency pursuant to Article 15 also involves termination of tenured and tenure track faculty members, it shall be considered retrenchment.

17.2 Should the University President anticipate the need for retrenchment that includes termination of tenured or tenure trackBargaining Unit Faculty faculty, the data and information upon which this decision is based shall be provided to the AAUP-WSU.

17.3 The AAUP-WSU shall be provided access and the opportunity to inspect and/or copy any information relevant to the anticipated retrenchment within ten (10) calendar days after the delivery of a written request to the Provost. However, the AAUP-WSU is not entitled to any information that is confidential under any applicable law. In addition, the AAUP-WSU is entitled to view information in its existing form only.

17.4 Within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt of the data and information in Section 17.3 a joint Committee on Retrenchment, with three members appointed by the University and three members appointed by the AAUP-WSU, shall submit its advisory recommendations to the University President. Such recommendations may include ways to relieve the exigency by raising additional funds, by reallocating funds, or by cutting or eliminating specified activities.

17.4.1 In making its recommendations, the Committee on Retrenchment shall give consideration to long-term enrollment projections, the mission of the University as a whole, the continued accreditation of academic units, the effect on joint programs with other institutions, and the impact on the students registered in the programs.

17.4.2 In the case of an anticipated reduction in size or discontinuation of a College, Department, or Program, the Committee on Retrenchment’s recommendations shall include consideration of–

its historical role and contributions in the University’s educational, scholarly and service mission, and those long-range circumstances which may have changed to alter that role and those contributions;

the dependence of other programs in the University on the College, Department, or Program;

duplication elsewhere in the University of courses, research or services offered through the department, college or program, and possible organizational arrangements which might serve as alternatives to discontinuation;

arrangements which can be made to allow students enrolled to satisfy degree or certificate requirements;

stature of its faculty and alumni, and the possible consequences to the academic stature of the University through discontinuation;

the profile of ages, periods of service and tenure status of its Bargaining Unit Faculty Members and an estimate of their possible usefulness elsewhere within the University; and

possible arrangements for planned phasing out of the College, Department, or Program as an alternative to abrupt discontinuation.

17.5 The President shall forward the recommendations of the Committee on Retrenchment along with his or her recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

17.6 Procedures for Retrenchment.

17.6.1 The University shall, in good faith, consider whether the need for retrenchment can be alleviated through normal attrition or other alternatives to retrenchment. In making its decisions about retrenchment, the University shall, in good faith, give consideration to the factors listed in 17.4.1 and 17.4.2.

17.6.2 Consistent with the operating needs of the level of organization the University has deemed appropriate for retrenchment, the University shall retrench faculty by rank in inverse order of seniority within the unit(s) identified for retrenchment.

17.6.3 Before the University retrenches Bargaining Unit Faculty or TET Bargaining Unit Faculty, it must retrench all others with teaching responsibility within a particular Program, Department or College. Visiting faculty will be retrenched before Instructors, who will be retrenched before Lecturersbefore Lecturers, who will be retrenched before Senior Lecturers within a particular Program, Department or College. , unless it can be shown that those non-Bargaining Unit Members are academically essential (in particular, essential with regard to their teaching or service) to the continuation of the academic mission of that Program, Department, or College. In like fashion, Clinical Instructors will be retrenched before Clinical Assistant Professors.

17.6.6 Within each academic rank, seniority shall be calculated from the earliest date of continuous University employment.

17.6.6.1 Leaves with pay shall count as years of service for seniority.

17.6.6.2 While unpaid leaves shall not count as years of service for seniority, neither do they constitute a break in continuous University employment.

17.6.6.3 Periods of continuous employment wherein an individual is outside the Bargaining Unit, such as service as a chair, dean, provost or President, shall count as years of service for seniority.

17.6.7 To meet operating needs of the unit(s) being reduced, the University will retain specific Bargaining Unit Faculty Members who are best qualified to meet programmatic, curricular, or other needs.

17.6.8 The termination of a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member may not be necessary if his or her salary is paid by restricted funds.

17.6.9 Bargaining Unit Faculty Members whose positions are terminated shall be offered available faculty positions for which they are fully qualified or for which they can become fully qualified within the period of their notification of termination as specified in Section 17.6.10. Where feasible, the University will consider relocating Bargaining Unit Faculty Members in a non-faculty position, as an alternative to termination.

17.6.10 A Bargaining Unit Faculty Member whose appointment is terminated shall receive salary and benefits (or notice) in accordance with the following schedule:

Service as a Full-Time Faculty Member

Salary and Benefits (or Notice)

less than nine months

three months

at least nine but less than eighteen months

six months

at least eighteen months

twelve months

At least eighteen months and has continuing employment status

Current academic year plus twelve months

At least ten years and has continuing employment status

Current academic year plus twelve months (eighteen months minimum)

17.7 The University shall not fill a position in a discipline in which a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member, who has been retrenched, is professionally qualified for a period of two (2) years from the date of termination of service, unless the position is first offered to that Member and he or she is given at least thirty (30) days to decide whether to accept or decline the position. The Bargaining Unit Faculty Member shall be able to complete the term of his or her current employment (up to one year) before beginning the recalled position at Wright State University.

17.1 Financial exigency means that severe financial problems exist which threaten the University’s ability to maintain its operations at an acceptable level of quality. If the termination of a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member based on reduced need or financial exigency pursuant to Article 15 also involves termination of tenured and tenure track faculty members, it shall be considered retrenchment.

17.2 Should the University President anticipate the need for retrenchment that includes termination of tenured or tenure track faculty, the data and information upon which this decision is based shall be provided to the AAUP-WSU.

17.3 The AAUP-WSU shall be provided access and the opportunity to inspect and/or copy any information relevant to the anticipated retrenchment within ten (10) calendar days after the delivery of a written request to the Provost. However, the AAUP-WSU is not entitled to any information that is confidential under any applicable law. In addition, the AAUP-WSU is entitled to view information in its existing form only.

17.4 Within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt of the data and information in Section 17.3 a joint Committee on Retrenchment, with three members appointed by the University and three members appointed by the AAUP-WSU, shall submit its advisory recommendations to the University President. Such recommendations may include ways to relieve the exigency by raising additional funds, by reallocating funds, or by cutting or eliminating specified activities.

17.4.1 In making its recommendations, the Committee on Retrenchment shall give consideration to long-term enrollment projections, the mission of the University as a whole, the continued accreditation of academic units, the effect on joint programs with other institutions, and the impact on the students registered in the programs.

17.4.2 In the case of an anticipated reduction in size or discontinuation of a College, Department, or Program, the Committee on Retrenchment’s recommendations shall include consideration of -

its historical role and contributions in the University’s educational, scholarly and service mission, and those long-range circumstances which may have changed to alter that role and those contributions;

the dependence of other programs in the University on the College, Department, or Program;

duplication elsewhere in the University of courses, research or services offered through the department, college or program, and possible organizational arrangements which might serve as alternatives to discontinuation;

arrangements which can be made to allow students enrolled to satisfy degree or certificate requirements;

stature of its faculty and alumni, and the possible consequences to the academic stature of the University through discontinuation;

the profile of ages, periods of service and tenure status of its Bargaining Unit Faculty Members and an estimate of their possible usefulness elsewhere within the University; and

possible arrangements for planned phasing out of the College, Department, or Program as an alternative to abrupt discontinuation.

17.5 The President shall forward the recommendations of the Committee on Retrenchment along with his or her recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

17.6 Procedures for Retrenchment.

17.6.1 The University shall, in good faith, consider whether the need for retrenchment can be alleviated through normal attrition or other alternatives to retrenchment. In making its decisions about retrenchment, the University shall, in good faith, give consideration to the factors listed in 17.4.1 and 17.4.2.

17.6.2 Consistent with the operating needs of the level of organization the University has deemed appropriate for retrenchment, the University shall retrench faculty by rank in inverse order of seniority within the unit(s) identified for retrenchment.

17.6.3 Visiting faculty will be retrenched before Instructors, who will be retrenched before Lecturers, who will be retrenched before Senior Lecturers within a particular Program, Department or College, unless it can be shown that those non-Bargaining Unit Members are academically essential (in particular, essential with regard to their teaching or service) to the continuation of the academic mission of that Program, Department, or College. In like fashion, Clinical Instructors will be retrenched before Clinical Assistant Professors.

17.6.6 Within each academic rank, seniority shall be calculated from the earliest date of continuous University employment.

17.6.6.1 Leaves with pay shall count as years of service for seniority.

17.6.6.2 While unpaid leaves shall not count as years of service for seniority, neither do they constitute a break in continuous University employment.

17.6.6.3 Periods of continuous employment wherein an individual is outside the Bargaining Unit, such as service as a chair, dean, provost or President, shall count as years of service for seniority.

17.6.7 To meet operating needs of the unit(s) being reduced, the University will retain specific Bargaining Unit Faculty Members who are best qualified to meet programmatic, curricular, or other needs.

17.6.8 The termination of a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member may not be necessary if his or her salary is paid by restricted funds.

17.6.9 Bargaining Unit Faculty Members whose positions are terminated shall be offered available faculty positions for which they are fully qualified or for which they can become fully qualified within the period of their notification of termination as specified in Section 17.6.10. Where feasible, the University will consider relocating Bargaining Unit Faculty Members in a non-faculty position, as an alternative to termination.

17.6.10 A Bargaining Unit Faculty Member whose appointment is terminated shall receive salary and benefits (or notice) in accordance with the following schedule:

Service as a Full-Time Faculty Member

Salary and Benefits (or Notice)

less than nine months

three months

at least nine but less than eighteen months

six months

at least eighteen months

twelve months

17.7 The University shall not fill a position in a discipline in which a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member, who has been retrenched, is professionally qualified for a period of two (2) years from the date of termination of service, unless the position is first offered to that Member and he or she is given at least thirty (30) days to decide whether to accept or decline the position. The Bargaining Unit Faculty Member shall be able to complete the term of his or her current employment (up to one year) before beginning the recalled position at Wright State University.

Status of Negotiations about the Above Article

August 20, 2013 update

The parties reached tentative agreement on this article, and they initialed the TA'd article on August 19, 2013.

May 24, 2013

The administration opened negotiations about this article by stating that if the parties could reach agreement on Article 15 (Termination of Appointments), some issues about which were discussed in the contact of Article 13 (Appointment and Promotion), about which see our May 24 report -- then agreement on this Article 17 should be easy.

Our negotiating team called the administration's attention to the changes we had made, in our counterproposal (see the left half of the table above), regarding section 17.6.3.

We explained that the examples we had stricken from section 17.6.6.3 seemed very unlikely to be appropriate for NTE faculty. The administration accepted our deletion.

In the table in section 17.6.10 we had amended so as to be analogous to the existing CBA for tenure-eligible and tenured (TET) faculty. The administration noted that the proposed language here and that in the existing CBA might be misread as applying to the dismissal under any circumstances of a BUFM, rather than the circumstances dealt with by this article.

After the above points were made, the parties agreed to postpone further negotiations about Article 17 pending the settlement of Article 15.

May 3, 2013

Although our team presented the counterproposal (see the left half of the table above) for the May 3 negotiating session, time did not permit the parties to discuss it. However, to facilitate progress on Article 13 (Appointment and Promotion), Article 15 (Termination of Appointments), and this Article 17 (Retrenchment), the parties agreed to have an overview discussion of these three at the next negotiating session.

April 1, 2013

In examining the administration's proposal (see the right half of the table above), our team first noted that the administration had removed the definition of retrenchment from the corresponding article in the existing CBA for tenure-eligible and tenured (TET) faculty, where this term is defined in the first sentence.

Our team asked if having a "continuing appointment" (see "II. Continuing Faculty Appointments" under "Appointment, Promotion and Termination of Faculty in Non-tenure Track Positions" in the Faculty Constitution) is the same as having tenure. To answer, the administration quoted the definition of tenure found in section 13.2.2 of the existing CBA.

Our team noted that the national AAUP's "redbook" (officially, Policy Documents and Reports) specifies that Instructor is a tenure-earning rank and that persons in that rank retained by an institution for more than six years must be given tenure; so, WSU created the Lecturer rank to evade this policy of national AAUP. Further, we stated that as far as national AAUP policy is concerned, an essential meaning of tenure is that the administration bears the burden of showing that a person to be terminated should in fact be dismissed, and that this burden is more substantial than is required for termination during a probationary period. In reply, the administration stated that the parties could discuss criteria under which a person with a continuing appointment could be dismissed.

In the ensuing extensive discussion regarding tenure and continuing appointments, the administration acknowledged that when it moves a person from Instructor to Lecturer, it is making a higher level of commitment, but that such movement is not a promotion. It also warned that if it is required to make a greater commitment to a Lecturer (e.g., if the standard for dismissal is made higher), then it would be less inclined to make Lecturer appointments.

Our team also noted that in section 17.1, the language proposed by the administration implies that article 17 would not apply -- would not offer protection to any NTE faculty -- unless it retrenches at least one TET faculty member. (Thus, in the extreme case, the administration could dismiss every single NTE faculty member without being constrained by its proposed Article 17.) The administration replied that its proposal is the status quo.


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