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Policy 2107

Financial Exigency Policy

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define a condition of 'financial emergency' that may arise at some future time within Longwood; establish a process by which the existence and severity of the emergency is to be declared; establish a method and guidelines for adopting plans for the University's response to such emergency; and define the rights and privileges to be accorded faculty members when programs (both academic and non-academic) are reduced, reorganized, or terminated due to financial emergency.

II. Definition

  1. Financial Exigency: A financial exigency is a situation requiring reduction or reallocation of resources or reorganization or elimination of programs which cannot be accomplished through normal academic, budgetary, and personnel processes. The emergency may be caused by a decline in student enrollments, a reduction in state appropriations or allotments, a loss of income from non-state sources, or some serious event or condition requiring unanticipated major expenditure reductions. The emergency may be University-wide or it may be restricted to only one college, department, program, or area.

III. Policy

  1. Consultation: If a situation of financial emergency is thought by the President to be imminent, the President shall consult with the Cabinet and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. After consulting with these advisors, if the President concludes that a financial emergency is imminent, the Board of Visitors (BOV) shall be so advised.
  2. BOV Declaration: After hearing the report and recommendation of the President, the BOV may make a formal declaration of the existence and anticipated duration of a state of financial emergency and direct that actions necessary to meet the situation be implemented.
  3. Faculty Senate ad hoc Committee Recommendations: The Faculty Senate shall then appoint an ad hoc committee (hereafter Committee) to recommend to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs actions which can be used to help the University meet the emergency. Such recommendations shall include criteria for identifying both teaching and non-teaching positions to be terminated. The Committee's recommendation must be completed according to the established Presidential timetable.

VI. Procedures for response to Financial Emergency:

  1. When a financial emergency has been declared by the BOV, the President shall establish a time table for the preparation of a planned response to the emergency and shall direct the preparation of a plan for response to the emergency. This plan shall be presented to the BOV for adoption.
    1. In planning a response to the financial emergency, the President and all others involved shall be mindful of:
      1. The official Mission Statement of the University, and any other currently effective statements of the goals, purposes, values, and priorities of the University approved by the BOV.
      2. The policies of the Commonwealth for higher education as expressed by the General Assembly, the Governor, the Secretary of Education, and the State Council of Higher Education, and embodied in such documents as the Appropriations Act.
    2. In considering possible reduction, reorganization, consolidation, or termination of such programs and activities the President and others involved shall observe these guidelines:
      1. All programs and activities, both non-academic and academic, which are contained within the area designated in the declaration of the emergency shall be reviewed. The review shall be restricted to the area designated in the declaration.
      2. Although some reductions may be applied on an University-wide basis, reductions need not be uniform throughout the University. Selective curtailment or termination may be necessary to maintain appropriate levels of support and excellence of the remainder. Thus some programs or activities may be eliminated completely, others may be curtailed or reorganized, and still others might not be directly affected.
    3. In examining individual programs or activities for possible reduction, reorganization, or termination, the following points shall be reviewed:
      1. Centrality, e.g., relationship to the mission of the University.
      2. Quality, e.g., number and professional ratings accreditation, reputation of faculty, and recent improvements.
      3. Demand, e.g., number and quality of enrolled students and trends, majors and service courses taught.
      4. Service contributions to other programs--e.g., cascade effect on other educational programs if reduced or eliminated.
      5. Productivity, e.g., number of graduates, student credit hours produced, unit cost effectiveness.
      6. Cost and resources required, e.g., revenues generated and expended, production and consumption data, positions required, laboratory and/or clinical facilities, classrooms and equipment needed.
      7. Potential for external financial support, e.g., federal, state, industrial, foundations, and local.
      8. External factors, e.g., only program offered in Commonwealth or region.
    4. The President will call on the appropriate vice presidents for recommendations as to reductions, consolidations, reallocations, or terminations in accordance with the criteria above and the recommendations of the Committee. The President may set targets for reduction in the vice presidential areas.
      1. The vice presidents will prepare recommendations for their respective areas, following a procedure as follows:
        1. The vice president will request recommendations from the deans or other appropriate unit heads. The vice president may set further guidelines, targets, and deadlines for the colleges and other units to respond.
        2. The deans or unit heads will prepare responses to the vice president's request, after consultation, if appropriate, with department chairs, curriculum and academic policy committees, or other faculty advisory groups. The groups consulted may make written comments for transmittal to the vice president along with the dean's recommendations.
        3. After receiving the responses of the deans or other unit heads, the vice president will prepare a proposal. Vice presidential recommendations will be in writing and for each significant reduction, reorganization, reallocation, or termination will specify the reasons in relationship to the criteria and guidelines provided, a timetable for the actions recommended, the anticipated programmatic and budgetary effects, the number of faculty and staff positions affected.
      2. Vice presidential recommendations will be reviewed by the President, who shall consult with Cabinet and the Committee.
  2. President's Plan:
    1. After reviewing the vice presidential recommendations and receiving the comments of such advisors as are considered appropriate, the President will prepare a University plan for response to the financial emergency. If inconsistent or conflicting recommendations have been received the President may either seek to reconcile them or choose among conflicting recommendations. The President will be responsible for a coherent plan for responding to the emergency.
    2. The President's plan shall set forth the programs affected, the rationale for each major action proposed, and the programmatic, budgetary, and personnel impact of each major action. The plan should state the numbers and types of positions affected by each major action but should not identify the specific positions or individuals.
    3. After considering the President's plan and other advice and communications, the BOV will officially adopt a plan for response to the financial emergency and authorize the necessary administrative and personnel actions in accordance with the policies and procedures stated hereafter in this document.
  3. Implementing Process and Criteria for Personnel Actions::
    1. When a plan for response to a financial emergency has been approved by the BOV, the President shall direct the appropriate vice presidents to prepare to implement the plan.
      1. The vice presidents, in consultation with the deans or unit heads, will develop programs of implementation including the sequence and timing of program or organizational changes, budgetary reductions and reallocations, and the necessary personnel actions.
      2. Any terminations or change of status of classified personnel will be in accord with the relevant personnel laws and procedures of the Commonwealth.
    2. If termination or involuntary change of status of faculty members is necessary, the choice of individuals for such action will be according to the following criteria:
      1. The basic considerations must be:
        1. Preserving the University's commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service, both generally and by maintaining high quality and appropriate emphasis in each program being continued.
        2. Protecting the values of academic freedom, tenure, and due process.
      2. Whenever possible the University will seek state approval to use early retirement as a means of responding to the emergency.
      3. As a general rule within any given program or activity being reduced, collateral faculty will be terminated before tenurable faculty, and tenurable faculty before tenured faculty. If future program needs clearly indicate that this sequence would not be in the best interest of the program and the University, the basis of this judgment must be explained in writing to the faculty members adversely affected and become a part of the record in their cases.
      4. Within each faculty status group (collateral, tenurable, and tenured) of any program or activity being reduced, preference for retention will be on the basis of the future needs of the program and the individual's promise of future contributions. Whenever possible length of service will be used as a criteria for determining retention.
    3. Selection of faculty members for transfer, change of status, or termination will comply with the following procedure:
      1. When the vice president has determined the number of faculty positions, if any, that must be eliminated from each college, department, or program, he/she shall inform the appropriate deans and department or program heads and request their recommendations concerning the individuals to be affected.
      2. Department chairs will prepare such recommendations for the dean after consultation with their faculties. Appropriate consultation will include the opportunity for each faculty member to state concerns and recommendations in writing, to be forwarded to the Dean along with the department chair's recommendations.
      3. The dean, after reviewing the departmental recommendations and consulting with the department chairs, will make recommendations to the vice president. The dean will forward to the vice president the file on each case, including the department head's recommendation, any communications from the faculty member, and a statement by the dean explaining the recommendation if it differs from that of the department head. Copies of the dean's statement will be provided to both the department head and the faculty member.
      4. The vice president, after reviewing the recommendations of the dean and the file on each case, will recommend to the president the individual faculty personnel actions required.
    4. The President will issue to each faculty member affected the official notice of termination or other change of status.
      1. If the faculty member does not appeal the decision in the manner and time specified below, the President will report the termination recommendation for confirmation by the BOV.
      2. If the faculty member appeals the decision, the President will withhold the report to the BOV until the appeal process described below has run its course, and then either affirm the notice of termination and inform the BOV or make other appropriate adjustment.
    5. Although the President's notification to the individual faculty member will constitute official notice of the proposed personnel action, all terminations or involuntary changes of status must be confirmed by the BOV before becoming final.
  4. Additional Rights and Privileges of Faculty Members: Notice to Faculty Member:
    1. Each faculty member who is being terminated or receiving other involuntary status change due to financial emergency shall be given notice of such action in writing by the President. Such notice shall be either delivered in person by the appropriate dean, or transmitted by certified mail.
    2. The amount of notice prior to the effective date of the personnel action shall be as follows:
      1. For collateral faculty members, less than three (3) months.
      2. For tenurable faculty members, not less than six (6) months.
      3. For tenured faculty, not less than one (1) academic year. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, whenever possible, will try to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position within the University.
    3. The President's notice shall include the following:
      1. A brief statement concerning the financial emergency and the general procedures followed in identifying programs and personnel for reductions.
      2. A brief statement of the basis for the decision in each particular case.
      3. A statement of the faculty member's right to appeal the notice of termination.
      4. A statement of the faculty member's rights concerning reemployment or future employment preference.
    4. In addition to the notice given by the President, each faculty member whose appointment is being terminated shall be given a personal letter from either the appropriate vice president or the appropriate dean expressly stating that the termination is due to a program change caused by financial emergency and does not imply a negative judgment about the person's performance, and offering to send letter of explanation to other institutions to assist in suitable placement.
    5. The University will make arrangements for the state employment agency to provide exit counseling for all terminated employees. This counseling will include information about unemployment benefits and possible job openings in other state agencies.
  5. Appeals:
    1. A faculty member who has received notice from the President of termination or other involuntary change of status may appeal the decision to the Committee if such appeal is filed at the President's Office within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving the notice. Such appeal must be in writing and state with reasonable specificity the grounds for the appeal.
    2. Within seven (7) working days of receiving notice of an appeal to the Committee, the President or designee shall send the notice of termination and any other files pertinent to the case, to the Faculty Status and Grievance Committe (FSGC).
    3. The FSGC will examine the substance of each case. Appellants may submit additional written material and must be given an opportunity to state their cases in a personal appearance before the FSGC. The FSGC also may invite written statements or personal appearances from other members of the Longwood community who have been involved in the case. Although each appellant's case must receive appropriate individual scrutiny, the FSGC may at its discretion consolidate the hearing of cases presenting essentially the same issues or requiring appearances by the same witnesses.
    4. The FSGC will ascertain that the criteria for identification of positions to be terminated werproperly applied in the individual case.
    5. After its review, the FSGC will, within fifteen (l5) days, transmit a separate written report and recommendation on each case to the President.
    6. Within thirty (30) days of receiving the FSGC's report on the appeal, the President shall give the faculty member written notice either confirming the original notice of termination or making other disposition of the matter. If the President decides to withdraw the notice of termination, the notice shall be rescinded in writing and the case closed. If the President's decision is not in accord with the recommendation of the FSGC, the grounds for the decision must be stated with copies sent to the faculty members and to the FSGC.
    7. Although filing an appeal shall not be construed to set aside or suspend an original notice oftermination, the President's action on an appeal report must be completed at least sixty (60) days prior to the effective date of the termination, or deferred if necessary to provide at least sixty (60) days after the final notice.
    8. If a termination notice is not withdrawn after the FSGC has reviewed the faculty member's appeal, the faculty member has the right to appeal the President's decision to the BOV.
  6. Preference for Reemployment:
    1. Any person terminated due to financial emergency will be notified if a vacancy occurs in his/her field of teaching within two (2) years following the termination.
    2. In such a case, if only one terminated person makes timely application and is qualified for the position, such person shall be offered the position; if two (2) or more terminated persons in the same field as the vacancy make timely application, the one judged best qualified shall be offered the position.

Approved by the Board of Visitors April 18, 1987.
Amended to substitute Faculty Senate for Longwood Assembly - 1995.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, September 7, 2002.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, June 15, 2012.