Number: HR 190
Effective: September 15, 2016
Department: Human Resources
Last Revision: December 1, 2016


To provide guidelines and procedures to be followed in the determination and declaration of a financial exigency and to define circumstances where adverse employment action may be necessary for curriculum reasons.


Applies to all employees of CWI.


Financial exigency: a bona fide, imminent financial crisis, the result of which is a current or projected absence of sufficient funds to maintain current programs and activities at a level sufficient to fulfill CWI’s educational goals and priorities and which cannot be alleviated by means other than a reduction in force.


The Board recognizes that it may become necessary to curtail, modify or eliminate some of the programs under its governance due to unfavorable economic conditions. The Board further recognizes that under such circumstances CWI may be compelled to take certain adverse employment actions to ensure that it can fulfill its purposes and goals. Such action may be necessary in the event of a financial exigency or for curricular reasons. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to be followed in the determination and declaration of a financial exigency and to define the circumstances where adverse employment action may be necessary for curricular reasons. The effect of those circumstances on CWI’s procedures is provided in its Separation from Employment Policy.


Financial Exigencies

In the event it is necessary to curtail, modify or eliminate programs at CWI, the Board of Trustees may declare a financial exigency. A financial exigency shall exist only upon Board declaration, and the responsibility and authority to make such a declaration rests solely with the Board.

Potential responses to a declared financial exigency include:

  • the termination of the employment of faculty during the term of their contract of employment
  • the non-renewal of employment contracts for faculty members on renewable contract status
  • employment actions other than terminations that are designed to reduce budgetary expenditure  
  • the closure, relocation or discontinuance of any programs or activities
  • any combination thereof

This policy does not apply to the following:

  • where reductions in force are made via the non-renewal process for faculty members who are not on renewable contract status
  • when a reduction in force affects at-will employees

Financial Exigency Plan

  • After consultation with faculty and other appropriate personnel, the President of the College shall prepare a plan (“Plan”) in response to the declaration of financial exigency. In developing this Plan, consideration shall be given to the necessity and manner of reducing the employment force, the appropriate departments or programs to be affected and the criteria for identifying employees who will be affected by the Plan. Once completed, the Plan must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • Notwithstanding any other Policy or procedure of CWI, all categories of employees may be subject to reductions in force as a result of a Board declared financial exigency. The process used to identify employees to be terminated must be equitable, in good faith and directly related to the financial exigency.
  • In developing the Plan, the President of CWI must utilize as the first criterion the preservation of the overall quality and effectiveness of the programs of the College. Consequently, those employees who are deemed to be of key importance will be retained in preference to other employees, regardless of their status, at the discretion of the President. Programs, for purposes of a financial exigency, include, but are not limited to, academic, non-instructional, maintenance, administrative and other support areas. Other criteria that may be considered include, but are not limited to, renewable contract status, rank, time in rank, length of service, field of specialization, maintenance of necessary programs or services and quality of service and work.

Curricular Revisions

The Board also recognizes that it may become necessary to take adverse employment action for curricular reasons. Curricular reasons include:

  • a decrease in student enrollment in a field where such a decrease has resulted in faculty student ratios that are unacceptable either by comparison with equivalent faculty load practices in the College or by comparison with faculty loads and comparable departments or divisions at similar institutions
  • a reorganization or consolidation compelling the elimination of the need for particular faculty expertise or a reduction in the overall need for faculty in a department or division
  • the termination of a program from the curriculum where such termination eliminates or reduces the need for faculty qualified in that discipline or area of specialization

Employment Actions Related To Financial Exigency/Curricular Revisions

  • In any situation where a termination may be made under this policy, an employment action other than a termination (including but not limited to a salary reduction, a teach-out reduction, a demotion and/or administrative leave without pay) may also be considered and instituted. In determining whether to implement actions other than a termination, CWI shall use the same policies that apply to a termination because of a financial exigency or for curricular reasons. However, employees who are affected by employment actions other than a termination may not have reinstatement rights.
  • Guidelines for notice of any adverse employment action resulting from a financial exigency or for curricular reasons and any administrative review procedures available to affected employees and set forth in CWI’s Separation from Employment Policy.
  • If CWI intends to take employment action pursuant to this policy other than, or in addition to, a termination, the employees affected by such action shall be entitled to such procedures as are set forth in this paragraph and those that may be set forth in the Plan, if any, and CWI’s Separation from Employment Policy. Notice requirements and the description of the process for the opportunity to be heard for faculty members are set forth in CWI’s Separation from Employment Policy. Employees who are at-will are not entitled to any specific notice or an opportunity to be heard. However, at-will employees may utilize CWI’s complaint policy for employees. At-will employees may not contest the Board’s decision to declare a financial exigency or the funding and distribution amongst the various departments and/or programs of the College. The decision of the Board to declare a financial exigency is at the Board’s sole discretion and may not be contested by any employee in any type of hearing or appeal procedure. There are no reinstatement rights with respect to employment actions other than a termination.

Students Affected By Declared Financial Exigencies/Curricular Revisions

Students enrolled in a program that is closed, relocated or discontinued pursuant to a financial exigency plan or because of curricular reasons should be given notice thereof as soon as is practical. Arrangements should be made for enrolled students to complete affected programs in a timely manner and with minimum interruptions.