Number: HR 150
Effective: March 15, 2011
Department: Human Resources
Last Revision: July 14, 2017

Purpose

To provide guidelines and applicable procedures regarding the separation from employment of employees of CWI.

Scope

Applies to all employees of CWI.

Policy

Employees may leave CWI for a number of reasons such as reductions in force (RIF), retirement, resignation, and termination. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for addressing certain issues which may arise from a separation from employment and to delineate certain procedures which may be applicable depending on the status of the employee separating from employment.

Guidelines

Involuntary Terminations

While the decision to commence employment is consensual, the same is not always true when the employment relationship is terminated. Unless otherwise provided by contract in accordance with applicable policy, employment at CWI is at-will and CWI reserves the right to terminate the employment relationship at any time with or without cause or notice. Regardless of whether the termination is voluntary or involuntary, the employee is required to return all property owned by CWI to his/her supervisor or Human Resources prior to departure.

Retirement

CWI’s retirement procedure shall comply in all respects with federal and state law respecting mandatory retirement and the obligations established by the Public Employees Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI).

Exit Interviews

Each employee who voluntarily terminates from employment with CWI is encouraged to complete an electronic exit interview survey.

Upon a separation from employment, CWI will notify the employee when certain benefits will terminate and when final pay will be issued and will provide information regarding the receipt of COBRA benefits.

Resignations

Voluntary resignations should generally be made in writing by the employee. Oral resignations should be documented in writing and confirmed with the employee. All resignation documents will be included in the employee’s personnel file.

Employees who have an unexcused or unauthorized absence of three consecutive working days or more may be considered to have abandoned their position and therefore resigned.

Separation Date

Faculty on a contract of less than 12-months that have fulfilled their contract, will have a separation date equivalent to the end of current academic year as defined in contract.  In the event the faculty requests an earlier separation date, a written request must be submitted to Human Resources.

Faculty on a 12-month contract and all staff employees will have a separation date equivalent to their last day worked.  Employees many not take vacation leave to extend their separation date.

Reduction In Force

A reduction in force may occur when CWI finds it necessary to reduce its work force because of a decrease in student enrollment, the elimination of a particular program or service, the consolidation of jobs, the elimination of certain job functions, the closure of a facility, the reduction of revenue or other business reasons. Any such reduction in force is permanent unless expressly stated by CWI in writing to be temporary. Unless otherwise provided by CWI’s policies, employees who are included in a permanent reduction in force have no right to be recalled.

If it becomes necessary to decrease its workforce, CWI will select those persons for layoff based on its assessment of the College’s needs, as well as other factors related to the work force including:

  • employees’ demonstrated skill and efficiency in performing the particular work available
  • performance, initiative, attendance, and other job-related factors
  • length of service

When demonstrated skill and efficiency in performing the particular work available and the other job-related factors identified above are relatively equal, length of service generally will be used as the determining factor in selecting those employees to be retained.

To the extent that a reduction in force will result in the termination of employment of faculty during the term of their contract of employment or the non-renewal of employment contracts for faculty members on renewable contract status, such reduction shall be subject to applicable policies related to faculty.

Faculty Termination Procedure

Adjunct Faculty

Because adjunct faculty members have no expectation of continued employment beyond the term of their employment and serve at the will of CWI, the termination of the employment of an adjunct faculty member during the term of his or her appointment or the decision to non-renew a letter of teaching appointment for an adjunct faculty member is not subject to the complaint procedures set forth below. If an adjunct faculty member alleges that his or her discharge or non-reappointment was the result of discrimination prohibited by applicable law, any such allegation shall be resolved in accordance with CWI’s policies and procedures for addressing discrimination in the workplace.

Regular Faculty (Faculty who are Benefit-eligible)

Faculty Members Not on Annual Renewable Contract Status

Regular faculty members who are not on annual renewable contract status and who are notified that they will not be reappointed or their employment will be terminated during the contract term, are not entitled to a statement of reasons upon which the decision for such action is based. Further, regular faculty members who are not on annual renewable contract status are not entitled to administrative review of a decision by the College to nonrenew their contract except to the extent that a faculty member seeks review of whether written notice was received in accordance with applicable time requirements. In such a case, the review will be concerned only with the manner and date of notification of non-renewal. The faculty member must request such a review in writing within 15 days of receipt of the written notice of non-renewal. In addition, in the event that a faculty member who is not on annual renewable contract status alleges that the non-reappointment was the result of discrimination prohibited by applicable law, any such allegation shall be addressed in accordance with the College’s policies and procedures for addressing discrimination in the workplace.

Termination during Contract Term. In the event that CWI discharges a regular faculty member who is not on annual renewable contract status prior to the expiration of his/her contract term, CWI, acting through its duly authorized administrative official, shall provide the faculty member written notice of CWI’s action which shall include: (i) the reasons for the action and (ii) the effective date of the action. Employment of regular faculty members who are not on annual renewable contract status is at-will and may be terminated with or without cause. Accordingly, except as otherwise provided herein, faculty members who are not on annual renewable contract status are not entitled to the administrative review procedures set forth in this policy. However, faculty members who are not on annual renewable contract status whose contract is terminated prior to the expiration of its term, may avail themselves of CWI’s complaint process. Such access to the College’s Complaint Policy does not, nor is it intended to, create any due process or contract right, express or implied. In the event that a faculty member who is not on annual renewable contract status alleges that his or her discharge was the result of discrimination prohibited by applicable law, any such allegation shall be resolved in accordance with the College’s policies and procedures for addressing discrimination in the workplace.

Faculty Members on Renewable Contract Status 

Termination or Non-renewal for Cause. In the event that CWI seeks to discharge a regular faculty member on renewable contract status prior to the expiration of his or her contract term or upon expiration of his/her current contract or to renew the contract of any faculty member on renewable contract status at a reduced salary for cause, such action shall be in accordance with the following procedures:

  • The Vice President of Instruction shall provide the faculty member written notice of the contemplated action which shall include:
    • the action under consideration
    • the reasons for the action
    • a summary of the information and/or data on which the action is based
    • the effective date of the termination in the event of a discharge within the term of the faculty member’s contract
    • notice of the faculty member’s administrative review rights as provided herein
  • The faculty member may ask for a hearing on the contemplated action by filing a written request for hearing with CWI’s Executive Director of Human Resources within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of notice of the proposed action.
  • Upon receipt of a request for hearing, the President shall appoint a Review Panel to conduct the hearing. The Review Panel shall be comprised of a vice president, a non-supervising dean or other non-supervising administrator and a member of the faculty. Members of the Review Panel should not have participated in the consideration of the matter leading up to the contemplated action. However, mere knowledge of the matter shall not preclude participation on the Review Panel. The Hearing Panel shall select a member to serve as its chair.
  • The Review Panel shall schedule a hearing to take place not less than fourteen (14) calendar days nor more than twenty-eight (28) calendar days after receipt of the request by the faculty member. The date provided for the hearing may be changed by mutual consent. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the following:
    • The faculty member may be represented by legal counsel at any phase of the hearing at his/her own expense. The College may also be represented by legal counsel at any phase of the hearing.
    • The Review Panel shall cause an electronic record of the hearing to be made or shall employ a competent reporter to take stenographic notes of all of the testimony at the hearing. A transcript of the hearing shall be provided at cost upon request of the faculty member.
    • At the hearing, the Vice President of Instruction or other duly authorized administrative officer shall present evidence to substantiate the basis for the contemplated action. The faculty member may produce evidence to refute the contemplated action. Any witness presented by CWI or by the faculty member shall be subject to cross-examination. The Review Panel may also examine witnesses and be represented by counsel.
    • Judicial rules of evidence and procedures relating to the examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence shall not apply to the hearing. Any relevant evidence, including hearsay, shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the admissibility of such evidence in a court of law.
    • CWI and the affected faculty member may file written briefs and arguments with the Hearing Panel within seven (7) calendar days after the close of the hearing or at such other time as may be agreed upon by the parties and the Hearing Panel.
  • Within twenty-one (21) calendar days following the close of the hearing, the Hearing Panel shall make a recommendation to the President regarding the contemplated action. A majority vote of Hearing Panel members is required to forward a recommendation. The recommendation shall be in writing, shall be based on the record before the Hearing Panel, and shall contain a concise statement of the reasons in support of the recommendation. The recommendation shall be served on the Vice President of Instruction and the faculty member. Within ten (10) calendar days of the receipt of the Hearing Panel’s recommendation, the faculty member may request in writing an opportunity to be heard by the President before a decision is made. Any meeting for such a purpose shall be informal and conducted in accordance with procedures and conditions deemed appropriate by the President.
  • After due consideration of the Hearing Panel’s recommendation and the record related thereto, the President shall make a decision within thirty (30) days of his/her receipt of the recommendation. The President’s decision shall be in writing, shall state the reasons for his/her determination, and shall be served by hand delivery or certified mail upon the chair of the Hearing Panel, the Vice President of Instruction and the faculty member. The President’s decision shall be considered final except as modified by the Board of Trustees pursuant to an appeal under the following paragraph.
  • The faculty member may request that the Board of Trustees review the final decision of the President. To do so, the faculty member must submit a written request to the Board within ten (10) calendar days after the faculty member receives written notice of the final action. The Board may agree to review the final action, setting out whatever procedures and conditions for review it deems appropriate. However, the Board is not required to review the final action and Board review is not a matter of right. If the Board chooses to review the decision, it may approve, reject or amend the decision or remand the matter for additional evidence and consideration. A faculty member need not request review by the Board in order to have exhausted administrative remedies for the purpose of judicial review.

Termination or Non-renewal Based on Financial Exigency or For Curricular Reasons. In the event that CWI seeks to discharge a regular faculty member on annual renewable contract status prior to the expiration of his or her contract term or upon expiration of his/her current contract, or to renew the contract of a faculty member on annual renewable contract status at a reduced salary based on the declaration of financial exigency or for curricular reasons, the following procedures shall apply:

  • The President shall give written notice to the affected faculty member which shall include the effective date of the adverse employment action; a statement of the basis for the intended action; a statement of the procedures and the criteria used to reach a decision with respect to the intended action; reference to the faculty member’s opportunity for administrative review, including access to appropriate documentation; and the issues that may or may not be considered.
  • CWI shall attempt to give as much notice as is practical, in light of the basis for the decision, to each affected faculty member in advance of the effective date of the adverse employment action.
  • Faculty members who are on annual renewable contract status and who are terminated due to financial exigency or curricular reasons are entitled to the following pre-termination administrative review procedures:
    • Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of notice of the layoff, the affected faculty member may ask for an administrative review of the decision by filing a written request for review with the President
    • Upon receipt of such request for administrative review, the President shall convene within seven (7) calendar days, a committee comprised of an administrator to be selected by the President, a faculty member to be appointed by the faculty senate, and the Executive Director of Human Resources to review the discharge decision. The Committee’s process shall be informal. Accordingly, the application of evidentiary rules, questioning of witnesses (including cross-examination), rules concerning burden of proof, the participation of legal counsel and similar and related attributes of more formal adjudications shall not be required. The committee may interview the faculty member and any other individuals as it deems necessary and may consider any additional relevant information submitted by the faculty member or the College. Neither the faculty member nor CWI may be represented by an attorney.
    • The faculty member may contest the termination on the following grounds:
      • whether CWI followed the appropriate policies and procedures
      • whether the termination was made for constitutionally impermissible reasons
      • whether any other improper criteria were applied
  • The Committee shall not review the Board’s decision to declare a financial exigency or the curricular reasons upon which the termination is based. The decision of the Board to declare a financial exigency or that curricular reasons justify the employment action in question is at the Board’s sole discretion and may not be contested by any faculty member in any type of hearing or appeal procedure.
  • The Committee will provide a written recommendation regarding the faculty member’s request for administrative review to the President within twenty-one (21) calendar days of receipt of the faculty member’s notice of request for review. The President will review the Committee’s recommendation and make a decision within seven (7) calendar days after receipt of the recommendation from the Committee. Any decision rendered in this review process by the President shall be considered final except as modified by the Board of Trustees pursuant to an appeal as provided below.

Faculty members may request that the Board of Trustees review the final decision of the President. To do so, the faculty member must submit a written request to the Board within ten (10) calendar days after the faculty member receives written notice of final action. The Board may agree to review the final action, setting out whatever procedures and conditions for review it deems appropriate. However, the Board is not required to review the final action. The fact that a written request has been submitted does not stay the effectiveness of the final decision. Board review is not a matter of right. A faculty member need not request review by the Board in order to have exhausted administrative remedies for the purpose of judicial review.