The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Policy # [####]
Academic Staff Appeal of Contract Nonrenewal (ACS 8)
Original Issuance Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Last Revision Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Next Review Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
2. RESPONSIBLE OFFICER
6. POLICY STATEMENT
ACS 8.1. Nonrenewal Rights
(1) All academic staff members are eligible:
(a) to request and receive the reasons for the nonrenewal; and/or
(b) to request and receive reconsideration of the renewal decision.
(2) Those academic staff members in at least the fifth year of service are also eligible to appeal the decision under procedures described in this section.
ACS 8.2. Reasons.
Within 14 calendar days of receipt of the nonrenewal notice, the academic staff member may request, in writing, reasons for nonrenewal from the Chancellor or designee. The Chancellor or designee shall respond in writing within 14 calendar days of the request. The reasons shall then become part of the academic staff member’s personnel file. The reasons are a matter of management judgment. The Chancellor or designee bears no burden of proof of evidentiary support for these reasons.
ACS 8.3. Reconsideration.
Within 21 calendar days of the receipt of notice of nonrenewal or within 14 calendar days of receipt of reasons from the Chancellor or designee (if requested) the non-renewed academic staff member may file a written request for reconsideration of the decision to be accomplished through an informal conference with the supervisor who first recommended nonrenewal. The request should be filed with the supervisor, with a copy provided to the Chancellor or designee. Additionally, if the academic staff member previously requested the reasons for the nonrenewal decision from the Chancellor or designee, the request for reconsideration shall also include a written response to the reasons supplied by the Chancellor or designee.
(1) The supervisor who first recommended nonrenewal shall notify the academic staff member in writing of the reconsideration meeting at least five calendar days prior to the reconsideration meeting.
(2) The reconsideration meeting shall be an informal discussion to review the original nonrenewal decision and to consider whether there is any basis for a change in this decision. During the course of this meeting, and any subsequent appeal, the individual requesting the review shall be afforded the opportunity to be advised by another party.
(2) The supervisor shall prepare a written summary of the reconsideration meeting along with his/her recommendation to the next level of review within 21 calendar days of request for the meeting, unless there is mutual agreement to extend this period. This report shall be simultaneously sent to the academic staff member and to the next level of review. Levels of review follow lines of reportage.
(a) If the supervisor recommends rescission of the nonrenewal, that recommendation shall be presented to the next reviewing level along with a copy of the report from the reconsideration meeting. In this instance, the supervisor receiving that report will then hold a reconsideration meeting with the academic staff member, following the same time schedule and procedure as outlined above. Levels of review follow lines of reportage.
(b) There are two possible outcomes of the reconsideration process:
1. Rescission of the Decision: if the Chancellor or designee concurs with a unanimous recommendation to rescind the nonrenewal (from all levels or review); or
2. Affirmation of the Nonrenewal: if any reviewing level affirms the original nonrenewal decision and the Chancellor or designee does not choose to review.
(c) Summaries from all supervisors shall be sent to the Chancellor or designee, who shall maintain the official file during the pendency of the review, until it is transferred to the Human Resources Office for final storage.
ACS 8.4. Appeal Procedures.
The appeal procedures provide an opportunity for an academic staff member with a fixed-term appointment in at least the fifth year of service, to have a nonrenewal decision reviewed by an academic staff hearing committee. If the results of the reconsideration meeting are not satisfactory to the concerned academic staff member the following apply.
(1) The academic staff member may appeal the decision within 21 calendar days from the date any reviewing level involved in the reconsideration meeting reaffirms in writing the original nonrenewal decision.
(2) The request must be in writing and filed with the Chancellor or designee.
(3) The burden of persuasion in such a review shall be on the non-renewed person.
(4) The scope of the review (as well as the evidence to be presented and considered) shall be limited to the question of whether the decision was based in any significant degree upon one or more of the following factors, with material prejudice to the individual:
(a) Conduct, expressions, or beliefs which are Constitutionally protected, or actions which are consistent with an appropriate professional code of ethics;
(b) Employment practices proscribed by applicable state or federal law; or
(c) Improper consideration of qualifications for reappointment or renewal. For purposes of this section, “improper consideration” shall be deemed to have been given to the qualifications of a staff member in question if material prejudice resulted because of any of the following:
1. The procedures required by the Chancellor or Board of Regents 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.
(5) The request must identify the exact basis for appeal from the list found above and must also include a response to the reasons for nonrenewal given by the Chancellor if they have been requested and received.
(6) Within 14 calendar days the Chancellor or designee shall forward the request for review, as well as any documents generated concerning the appellant under ACS 8.1-8.4, to the President of the Senate of Academic Staff. From there the appeal is sent, copying the parties involved, to an academic staff hearing committee (formed under Gov. 4.3.C) within 14 calendar days. Any party wishing to refer materials to the Committee must do so within 10 business days after the President of the Senate of Academic Staff forwards the appeal to the Committee.
(7) The academic staff hearing committee shall conduct an initial review of the appeal, including any materials referred to the committee. On the basis of this initial review, the committee shall decide upon one of the following two courses of action.
(a) If the committee finds the appeal is without merit, using criteria presented above, the committee chairperson shall so inform the academic staff member in writing with copies provided to the President of the Senate of Academic Staff, each supervisor participating in the renewal/nonrenewal decision, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Director of Human Resources, and the Chancellor or designee. Once this notice has been provided, the procedure shall end.
(b) If the committee finds that a hearing is warranted, the committee chairperson shall so inform the academic staff member in writing with copies provided to the President of the Senate of Academic Staff, each supervisor participating in the renewal/nonrenewal decision, the Associate Vice Chancellor, the Director of Human Resources, and the Chancellor or designee.
1. The hearing shall begin no later than ten calendar days from the date of the committee’s completion of the initial review of the appeal. This time limit may be extended by mutual consent of the parties or by order of the hearing committee.
2. The evidence presented at the hearing is limited to a review of the factors identified in the section above in subsections (4)(a) to (c), including sub-subsections 1 to 3}.
3. The committee will invite the individual presenting the appeal and the supervisor(s) to appear at the hearing. They will answer questions and present information relating to the nature of the nonrenewal review and the reasons for the recommendations or decision. The parties to the proceeding may also identify other individuals with information pertinent to the scope of the nonrenewal review.
4. At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee will deliberate on the appeal prior to making a recommendation that will include one of the following three options.
a. Option One. A determination that the appeal is without merit and that it should be dismissed from further consideration on the basis of that finding. The committee will forward this recommendation to the Chancellor or designee.
b. Option Two. A determination that certain aspects of the review process were flawed and a recommendation for the process to be followed to address that deficiency. For example, the committee may remand the case for reconsideration, with specific instructions, to the supervisor or committee making the initial recommendation for nonrenewal.
(i) The hearing committee shall retain jurisdiction during the period of any reconsideration.
(ii) If the committee determines that such remand would serve no useful purpose, it may present the matter to the next level of review (which may include the Chancellor or designee) for further review as specified by the committee.
(iii) If such remand results in a written recommendation to the hearing committee that the nonrenewal be rescinded, all information shall be remanded to the next level recommending nonrenewal via the academic staff hearing committee.
(iv) This procedure will continue unless or until one level of review affirms the original decision. All parties are informed, and the process ends. The decision of the Chancellor or designee is final.
c. Option Three. A determination that the nonrenewal be rescinded. In this instance, the committee shall file its report and recommendation with the Chancellor or designee. Once these materials are received, the Chancellor or designee shall review all documents and materials associated with the committee’s action. At the conclusion of that review, which shall not exceed 14 calendar days after receipt of the committee’s report, the Chancellor or designee shall inform all parties (academic staff member, supervisor, President of the Senate of Academic Staff, members of the hearing committee, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Director of Human Resources.
d. The University shall establish and maintain a file for all actions relating to the appeal. All appeals files shall be stored separately from the regular personnel files.
9. REVISION HISTORY