Faculty and Staff Handbook

24th Edition, 2015 Version

Chapter IV: Faculty Personnel Rules and Procedures of UW-River Falls

4.6 Rules for Nonrenewal Appeals-Faculty Personnel Rules

These rules are established to implement and augment the requirements of UWS 3.08.

4.6.1 Authority to Review

The authority to review nonrenewal decisions concerning faculty members shall be vested in the Faculty Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (link to Ch III) (hereinafter, Committee). No person participating in the original decision to nonrenew a faculty member shall participate with the Committee in reviewing that decision.

4.6.2 Request for Review

The Committee shall review a nonrenewal decision in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. If the faculty member wishes to appeal his or her nonrenewal decision, he or she shall make a written appeal to the Committee within 20 days of official notice that the reconsideration (Section has affirmed the nonrenewal decision (25 days if notice is by first class mail and publication).
  2. The Committee shall conduct a review of the nonrenewal decision not later than 20 days after receipt of the request from the faculty member concerned, except that this time limit may be extended by mutual consent of the parties or by order of the Committee.
  3. The faculty member concerned shall be given at least 10 days notice of such review.

4.6.3 Burden of Proof

The burden of proof before the Committee shall be on the faculty member concerned. This burden shall be satisfied upon a showing that the decision to nonrenew was based in any significant degree upon one or more of the factors set forth in Section 4.6.4 herein, with material prejudice to the individual [See UWS 3.08 (1)].

4.6.4 Scope of Review (Impermissible Factors)

The Committee shall ascertain whether the decision was based in any significant degree upon one or more of the following factors, with material prejudice to the faculty member concerned:

  1. conduct, expressions or beliefs which are constitutionally protected or protected by the principles of academic freedom, or
  2. factors proscribed by applicable state or federal laws regarding fair employment practices, or
  3. improper consideration of qualifications for reappointment or renewal:
    (1) the procedures required by rules of the faculty or board related to renewal or nonrenewal of probationary appointments were not followed, or
    (2) available data bearing materially on the quality of performance were not considered, or
    (3) unfounded, arbitrary or irrelevant assumptions of fact were made about work or conduct.

4.6.5 Proceedings Before the Committee

The review of a nonrenewal decision shall be conducted by the Committee at a meeting held specifically for that purpose. Such meeting shall be closed unless the faculty member concerned requests an open meeting. The faculty member concerned and representatives of those making the nonrenewal decision shall be present at the review.

4.6.6 Committee Report

The Committee shall report on the validity of the appeal to the body or official making the nonrenewal decision and to the appropriate Dean and the Chancellor. The report may include remedies which may, without limitation because of enumeration, take the form of:

  1. a reconsideration by the decision maker, or
  2. a reconsideration by the decision maker under instructions from the Committee, or
  3. recommendations to the next higher appointing level.

Cases shall be remanded for reconsideration by the decision maker in all instances unless the Committee specifically finds that such a remand would serve no useful purpose.

4.6.7 Continued Jurisdiction

The Committee shall retain jurisdiction during the pendency of any reconsideration.

4.6.8 Final Decision

The decision of the Chancellor will be final and shall be supported by the reasons for accepting or denying the recommendations of the Committee.