policy Faculty, Accountability, modified Mon Oct 10 2022 12:35:58 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
University of Louisville
October 29, 2021
This policy applies to all faculty at the University of Louisville as defined in Redbook, Article 4.1.
REASON FOR POLICY
The University of Louisville (University) is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes a culture of mutual respect with integrity, transparency, and accountability. The University’s Code of Conduct states core values shared by members of the University community, including honesty and rigor in all pursuits, respect for diversity and for all individuals regardless of position and professionalism in our interactions. The Code of Conduct and the Redbook cite ethical considerations expected of every employee in conducting the affairs of the University, including compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws as well as the policies and procedures of the University. Therefore, faculty should adhere to these considerations.
This policy articulates expectations for faculty conduct and establishes a process to address instances in which faculty do not adhere to these expectations. Its primary goal is to establish a system of remediation and progressive discipline when faculty engage in misconduct. The policy facilitates open communication by giving the University and faculty a process to establish whether expectations were met and if not, to understand what actions were inconsistent with expectations and what actions should be taken to address the matter. Another goal is to provide a record of the University’s attempts to facilitate improved conduct. The policy also enables the University to enhance morale by showing to the faculty and other employees that misconduct will be addressed consistently and equitably.
To promote a culture of mutual respect, accountability, and professionalism in our interactions, the University may discipline a faculty member whose conduct violates the University’s standards of conduct, policies and procedures, or who violates federal, state, or local laws or standards of professional conduct to which the faculty member is subject. The University encourages a progressive discipline approach, which shall include a statement of areas of concern, action steps needed for improvement and a timeline to review progress. Failure to demonstrate improvement may result in additional disciplinary action. Progressive discipline actions may include, but are not limited to, the following forms: (1) a verbal warning, (2) a written warning, (3) removal or reassignment of administrative or supervisory appointments, (4) restrictions on activities including university-related travel, (5) a leave of absence without pay, with prior approval of the President and Provost in accordance with Redbook 4.3.6, (6) payment of fines, penalties, or restitution, (7) a reduction in supplemental salary for a stated period, and/or (8) loss of research funds or of privileges. Following procedures described in the Redbook (Sections 4.36 and 4.3.7) the University may impose immediate discipline if the conduct of a faculty member warrants an immediate separation from campus activities. Progressive discipline actions may culminate in the initiation of termination proceedings in accordance with Redbook Article 4.5.
Disciplinary action must consider the severity and frequency of the misconduct, its impact on the institution, and the extent to which the conduct in question deviates from standards of conduct, policies and procedures, or expectations. It is expected that attempts at addressing inappropriate conduct will be undertaken before this policy is administered. However, in all instances, the University reserves the right to take appropriate actions that are commensurate with the nature of the misconduct and are consistent with the Redbook and other university policies and applicable laws.
Nothing in this policy shall impede a faculty member’s academic freedom as articulated in the Redbook or free speech rights contained in the First Amendment. Nothing in this policy shall affect a faculty member’s right to file a grievance at any time under provisions of the Redbook, nor does this policy affect termination of service described in the Redbook (Section 4.5.)
Faculty behavior may warrant remedial action. For example, a faculty member may be required to complete University-mandated training.
Examples of Grounds for Discipline
Examples of conduct that warrant progressive or immediate discipline include but are not limited to the following:
• Repeated refusal to complete University-mandated training;
• Chronic time and attendance problems (for example, chronic lateness to start a class), including unauthorized absences;
• Unprofessional, disrespectful, hostile, harassing, intimidating, or discriminating conduct toward students, employees, or others, including violation of the University’s policies on sexual harassment, discriminatory harassment, and retaliation; and including violations of the University’s Code of Conduct, which states faculty should avoid all forms of harassment, illegal discrimination, threats, or violence;
• Violations of the University’s policy on acceptable use of University resources, including inappropriate or unauthorized use of University property or resources;
• Failure to follow or willful disregard of approved University, college, school, division, or departmental policies and procedures;
• Dishonesty, including knowingly furnishing false, misleading, or incomplete information or reports to the University;
• Falsification of information on an employment application, on academic records, on a curriculum vitae, or in the conduct or reporting of research;
• Violations of the University’s policy on fiscal misconduct;
• Violations of the University’s policy statement as a drug-free institution;
• Conduct that severely disrupts the work environment;
• Violation of applicable federal, state or local laws in conducting the affairs of the University.
Faculty Dispute Resolution and Grievance
Faculty members retain the right to file a grievance at any time under the regular terms of the faculty dispute resolution and grievance policy and procedures and in accordance with the provisions in the Redbook, Article 4.4.
All records regarding the discipline of a faculty member shall be kept confidential to the extent permissible by law.
Consistent with the University’s Non-Retaliation Policy, retaliatory actions are subject to disciplinary action up to termination.
University of Louisville is committed to provide equality for all persons regardless of race, sex, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, diversity of thought, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, or veteran status.
For the University’s notice on non-discrimination: https://louisville.edu/hr/employeerelations/eeo-affirmative-action.
Progressive discipline uses graduated steps for managing an employee’s conduct that does not meet the University’s expectations regarding standards of conduct or does not comply with policies and procedures or with applicable laws. It involves a clarification of performance or personal conduct expectations, followed by opportunities to demonstrate improvement regarding those expectations.
When investigating possible violations of this policy, the faculty member’s immediate supervisor must make reasonable efforts to meet with the faculty member to discuss the faculty member’s conduct. If the matter directly involves the faculty member’s immediate supervisor, the next-level supervisor shall initiate the procedures. The purpose of this meeting is to inform the faculty member of the concerns that have arisen and to give the faculty member an opportunity to respond. A written notice of the concerns raised shall be provided to the faculty member within ten (10) calendar days of the meeting or within ten (10) calendar days of the date the supervisor or next-level supervisor became aware of the possible violation. The faculty member will then have ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the notice to provide a written response.
Taking into consideration the faculty member’s response and any other information gathered, the supervisor, in consultation with the department chair, dean, or other appropriate administrative official, shall determine disciplinary or remedial action, if any. In determining the appropriate course of action, these individuals shall seek guidance from the Provost, the Provost’s Office of Faculty Affairs, the Academic Unit’s Office of Faculty Affairs, Human Resources, and/or the Office of University Risk, Audit, and Compliance. The purpose of such guidance is to ensure consistency in the application of discipline across the University and to ensure that all relevant policies and faculty expectations are taken into consideration. Any discipline imposed must first be approved by the individual who serves at least two levels removed from the faculty member, or one level above the individual imposing the discipline.
After discipline is determined, written notice of the decision shall be provided to the faculty member within ten (10) calendar days. Written notice shall include, but not be limited to, the nature of the misconduct; the standard of conduct, policy, law, or other expectation that was violated; the discipline to be imposed; action steps required; the date the discipline will take effect; the date by which the action steps shall be completed; and a date for progress to be reviewed.
Upon receipt of the notice of decision, the faculty member shall have ten (10) calendar days to add newly available material information or rebut any information in the notice. The supervisor, with approval of the individual serving two levels removed from the faculty member and after consultation with other appropriate university administrators, has the discretion to make changes in the notice of decision based on the information received.
Except for a verbal warning, a copy of the written notice shall be placed in the faculty member’s personnel record and shall be sent to the Provost Office of Faculty Affairs. As previously noted, proceedings for termination for cause shall be administered in accordance with provisions in the Redbook, Article 4.5.
Faculty members are responsible for knowing and understanding this policy.
The faculty member’s immediate supervisor and the department chair, dean, or other appropriate administrative officials are responsible for administering discipline in accordance with this policy.
The Office of the Provost is responsible for interpretation of this policy and for educating faculty and their academic units and programs about this policy and its procedures. The Office of the Provost is also responsible for regular assessment of this policy in accordance with all applicable anti-discrimination policies and to revise it to correct identified issues.
Executive Vice President and University Provost
RESPONSIBLE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT/DIVISION
Executive Vice President and University Provost
This policy was approved by the University of Louisville Board of Trustees on October 29, 2021.
The University Policy and Procedure Library is updated regularly. In order to ensure a printed copy of this document is current, please access it online at http://louisville.edu/policies.