Faculty Rights

     No. 9-2      Rev.12-23-98    Date 3-7-74

 

POLICY

Faculty members possess all the legal rights and responsibilities of citizens; however, because of their position as seekers and promulgators of knowledge and because that position can often come under social, religious, political or economic pressures, they must, for the common good of society at large, be guaranteed certain rights.

A. Faculty members have rights directly associated with the principle of academic freedom as follows:

1. The right to free inquiry and the unconstrained dissemination of ideas. Such a right includes complete freedom in research and in publication.

2. The right to full freedom in discussing their subject. They may present any controversial material relevant to their courses of instruction.

3. The right to be free from direct or indirect coercion, intimidation or fear of reprisal because of new, bold, challenging or unconventional ideas which they have researched, published or taught.

B. Faculty members have the right to participate in University governance as defined in PPM 9-1, Academic Freedom/General Principles and other faculty and administration documents including the following:

1. Approval of curriculum, methods and course content

2. Requirements for degrees

3. Selection of department chairs and certain academic administrators

4. Appointment and promotion of faculty

5. Discipline of faculty and students

6. Determination of evaluation methods for student achievement and for faculty and administrator performance

7. Determination of teaching responsibilities

8. Determination of departmental governance

9. Consultation regarding budget decisions

C. Faculty members have the right to due process as defined in PPM 9-9, Due Process/General Statement, in proceedings involving the possibility of disciplinary action.

D. Faculty members have the right to expect support from the University in keeping abreast of developments in their fields of specialty. To this end, faculty members can rightfully expect appropriate policies regarding travel, sabbatical leaves and leaves of absence. In support of this right, non-teaching assignments shall be kept within reasonable limits.

E. Faculty members have the right to engage in study or research for its own intrinsic value apart and aside form any preconceived pragmatic results.

F. Faculty members whose competence may be challenged have the right to expect notification of the general areas where their academic performance is low so that a reasonable period of time is available to them to raise their competency to the required level, keeping in mind that non-tenured faculty hold probationary appointments.

G. Faculty members have a right of individual privacy and protection from unreasonable searches of the space or equipment assigned to them by the University. Space and equipment may be recalled or reassigned at the discretion of the University administration.

H. Faculty members, like all citizens, have the right to expect that they will be considered innocent of all charges or complaints brought against them until proven guilty. The accuser shall have the burden of introducing sufficient evidence to support a complaint or formal charge.

I. Faculty members have the right to be judged by their colleagues in matters of promotion, tenure and discipline in accordance with established due process procedures and solely on the basis of the faculty member's professional qualifications and professional conduct. An individual's private lifestyle shall not be a factor in these judgements unless that lifestyle (1) raises a serious question of the faculty member's ability, willingness or professional fitness to perform University duties and (2) constitutes a violation of the standards of behavior listed in PPM 9-3 through 9-8.

J. Faculty members have the right to financial and legal support from the University in litigation brought against them (e.g., in a civil suit) as a result of the performance of their duties, according to the provisions of the Utah Governmental Immunity Act. In the case of due process proceedings brought against a faculty member under the due process provisions of this policy manual, a non-binding recommendation relative to financial support for legal services may be made by the Faculty Board of Review in its sole discretion. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require an award of financial support by the Faculty Board of Review.

K. All faculty members shall have the right to examine any University records which are retrievable in their name, with the exception of legally privileged documents or other documents classified as confidential, according to the laws of the state of Utah.

L. All faculty members have the right to a work place free form unlawful discrimination. One type of unlawful discrimination is sexual harassment. The following definition of sexual harassment is adapted form existing EEOC guidelines:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made wither explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic advancement, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, will be examined. The determination of the legality of a particular action will be made from the facts, on a case-by-case basis.

Any faculty member who feels that there has been a violation of this policy has the right to take action according to the provisions of PPMs 9-11 and 9-12.

 


 


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