PROCEDURES FOR PERIODS OF FINANCIAL STRESS
Senate Procedures 902.1.1
A. Introductory Statement
1. These procedures are prescriptive for circumstances of Financial Stress at the
University, from its recognition by the President through its declaration and eventual
termination by the Board of Trustees.
2. In approving these procedures, the President and Board of Trustees relinquish none
of their constitutional or statutory authority.
3. These procedures are intended for contingencies in which the University is
confronted with a financial shortfall due to circumstances largely out of the control of
the University, such as an unexpected and sharp decline in enrollments, or an
unexpected failure of budgeted support from the State.
4. These procedures are intended for situations requiring planned action within a
period of about one year. Contingencies that require decisive action in a matter of
weeks are covered in the Procedures for Financial Crisis (q.v.).
5. A period of time is required to implement these procedures and for expenditures
be reduced. To enable the University to meet its financial obligations during this
period, it is incumbent on the University to plan for periods of financial distress.
Financial contingency plans must be prepared for this eventuality.
6. Titles of University administrators may change with time. Hence, where particular
administrative titles are used in these procedures, "or equivalent" is always implicit.
7. At a time of a financial stress, any departures from these procedures should be
made in good faith and must be reported by the President to the Board of Trustees
and the University Senate.
B. Committee Membership
Three committees are involved initially in the declaration and management of financial
stress. The function of these committees is described below in Sections C and D.
1. Financial Emergency Committee (FEC): An advisory committee consisting of the
Officers of the University Senate (President, Vice President, and Secretary), and
those members of the Senate Finance Committee who have been appointed to that
committee by the Senate. Chaired by the President of the Senate.
2. Executive Budget Council (EBC): An advisory committee consisting of administrative
officers holding these titles: the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and
Student Affairs, the Vice President for Administration, the Vice President for
Governmental Relations, the Senior Vice President for Advancement and Marketing,
the Vice President for Research, and the Director of Planning and Budgeting.
Chaired by the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
3. Reconfiguration Committee (RC): A working advisory group consisting of the
Executive Budget Council (above), the President of Staff Council, and the Deans of
the Colleges and Schools, and three tenured faculty and two professional staff
members will be selected by the Senate with regard to familiarity with university
finances, gender, race, and unit membership. A representative from Human
Resources shall serve without vote. Chaired by the Provost and Senior Vice
President for Academic and Student Affairs.
C. Declaration of Financial Stress
1. The decision to initiate a state of Financial Stress rests with the President.
procedures below will be followed when the President determines that a financial
emergency exists which may justify declaration of a state of Financial Stress. The
emergency will be an extraordinary one threatening the University as a whole so that
usual procedures of planning, management, budgeting and cost-reduction are not
adequate to meet necessary budget reductions within the time available.
2. Procedures for Declaration of a State of Financial Stress
a. The President will call the Financial Emergency Committee into session. The
President will inform the Committee of the nature and severity of the Financial
Stress and will present a timetable for sending the President's
recommendation to the Board of Control.
b. The Financial Emergency Committee may confer, and comment or respond
immediately to the President. The Committee should provide a written
response to the President and the Board of Trustees indicating the
Committee's view of the Financial Emergency Stress. The response may
include supporting documentation, and may include recommending an
independent audit of the financial status of the University.
c. The Senate President will call a meeting of the University Senate. At that
meeting, the President and other administrative officers, and the Financial
Emergency Committee, will inform the Senate of the nature of the financial
emergency. The Senate will make its recommendation on the financial
emergency expeditiously in a proposal communicated by the Senate President
to the President and the Board of Trustees.
d. A state of Financial Stress will exist upon declaration of the Board of Trustees.
D. Procedures for a State of Financial Stress
The procedures below will be followed when the Board of Trustees has declared a state
1. Immediately after the declaration of a state of Financial Stress, the Executive
Council and two non-voting liaisons from the Financial Emergency Committee will
provide the vice presidents, vice provosts, deans, and directors with guidelines,
including deadlines, for preparing plans for reductions of budgets. These guidelines
will also be furnished to the Financial Emergency Committee.
Guidelines may include incentives for cutting costs, such as arranging for some
portion of the budget given up by a unit to be returned to that area as discretionary
2. Vice presidents, vice provosts, deans, directors, and chairs will generate plans
These individuals will actively and systematically seek input from appropriate faculty,
staff and students; the existence of this input will be documented when the plans are
Vice Presidents, vice provosts, deans, and directors must review their plans with
Human Resources (or equivalent successor division) to ensure that they are
consistent with University policy where individual employees are affected.
The proposed plans are expected to consider the possible unequal treatment of
units. Vice provosts, deans, and directors may expect that areas will not be treated
The proposed plans will be submitted to the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice
President for Academic and Student Affairs. Only those plans meeting the guidelines
(D.1. above) will be forwarded to the Reconfiguration Committee. Plans not meeting
the guidelines will be returned for revision.
3. The Reconfiguration Committee will review the proposed plans and prepare
recommendations for the President following these guidelines:
a. verify the adequacy and accuracy of documented employee input into the
proposed plans (see D.2. above);
b. seek feasible alternatives to any plans that would result in elimination of faculty
and staff positions;
c. determine that all plans are consistent with existing policies of the University;
d. identify, create (if necessary), and evaluate plans avoiding the termination of
faculty and staff, including such measures as temporary furlough, reduced time
appointments, severance pay for resignation, and incentives for early
retirement, to meet the stress in the short term and to allow orderly planning
over longer periods.
4. The Reconfiguration Committee will submit its recommendations to the President.
The recommendations may include plans submitted to the committee, unchanged or
modified. Recommendations may also be original with the committee.
5. In the event the President determines that resolving the state of Financial Stress
requires program reconfiguration involving the removal of faculty and staff, the
President will ask the Reconfiguration Committee for recommendations for
Such recommendations for reconfiguration will be developed following these
a. Consistent with the role and mission of the University, recommendations will
protect academic programs and educational needs of students.
b. The recommendations will protect the University's commitment to the principle
of tenure. Thus, elimination or reconfiguration of a program or department is
the only procedure by which tenured faculty may be removed because of a
c. The recommendations will protect the University's commitment to equal
d. The recommendations will provide that the budget for salaries and wages of
the Administration's first, second, and third echelons as a unit will be reduced
equitably with reductions in budgeted salaries and wages across the
e. High financial priority will be given to providing at least a year of notice to
tenured faculty, and to providing six months notice to nontenured faculty and to
6. Recommendations for Reconfiguration of Programs and Administrative Units
a. Definition: Programs are defined as departments, degree programs, majors or
options within departments, interdepartmental degree programs, and units.
b. Definition: Reconfiguration may involve one or a combination of the following,
any of which result in a loss of position: absorption of one or more programs
unto another program; merger or consolidation of two or more programs to
form a new program; separation of a program into two or more programs;
elimination. Reconfiguration also applies to administrative units.
c. Criteria for Consideration of Proposals for Reconfiguration
1. The Reconfiguration Committee will base its consideration of the
proposed program reconfiguration on criteria of quality, centrality, need,
and cost. A list of more specific considerations is provided below.
2. Not all criteria will have equal weight nor should proposals be evaluated
on some algebraic formula based on the criteria. The listing is to be
considered as a reminder of factors to be included in review of proposals
3. Criteria may have different implications in different contexts. For
example, "accreditation status" of a program might count against a
proposal for merger if the resulting unit could not be accredited; however,
it might favor a proposal for elimination of a unit on the verge of losing
d. Specific Criteria for Use in Evaluating Proposals for Reconfiguration
a. Productivity of a program as indicated by applicants for admission,
credit hours generated, degree recipients, scholarly publications,
and service internal or external to the University.
b. Quality of products compared with similar programs at the
University and elsewhere.
c. National or international reputation of a program.
d. Status of accreditation
e. Conformation of the proposed reconfiguration with national patterns
of organization, to enable recruitment, retention, and recognition of
students, faculty, and staff.
2. Centrality to University mission
a. Necessity of a program or its products because of external
mandate, including University charter, legislative pressure, laws,
and governmental regulation.
b. Effects of reconfiguration on other programs at the University.
c. Extent of internal support available for the program.
d. Whether a program is of a class that should be present in every
university, or at least in every technological university.
3. Need - Present and Projected
Demand for the program, including measures such as market demand for
graduates, demand by applicants, and demand by other programs at the
a. Cost of operating the program and the size of the program relative
to its contribution to the University's mission, compared with
equivalent programs in peer institutions.
b. Ratio of effective production to University fiscal input to the
c. Comparison of cost of the program to the revenue generated by the
program, including tuition, grants, contracts, gifts, endowments, etc.
d. The University's investment in a program's facilities that can not be
e. Possible economies available with a merger of programs that are
similar in goals, orientation, clientele, etc.
f. Possibility of shifting fiscal support of a program, for example to
external grants or contracts , or from endowment earnings.
g. Effect of the proposed reconfiguration on the University's image
and support by the public.
7. Proposals for Reconfiguration of Non-Academic Unit
a. When the Reconfiguration Committee submits to the President a
recommendation for reconfiguration of non-academic units, an
appropriate administrator will notify in writing each member of the unit
that a recommendation has been made to the President.
b. The President of the University Senate will similarly notify and inform the
c. Within 14 calendar days of the notification, any employee of the nonacademic
unit may present a written petition to the Reconfiguration
Committee asking it to reconsider a decision to reconfigure a unit. Such
reconsideration must be based on a failure of the committee to follow
established procedures, or on new information which was not available
to the Reconfiguration Committee. The Reconfiguration Committee will
consider all appeals expeditiously, and will reply in writing to the
8. Review of Proposals for Reconfiguration of Academic Programs: Program Review
a. When the Reconfiguration Committee develops a recommendation for
reconfiguration of academic programs, it will appoint a Program Review
Committee to review each reconfiguration proposal. Each Program Review
Committee will be composed of at least four faculty and one undergraduate or
graduate student. No faculty or student from the program(s) being reviewed
nor member of the Reconfiguration Committee will serve on any Program
b. The Reconfiguration Committee will provide the Program Review Committee
with written description of the proposed reconfiguration and the rationale for
the proposal. This is to be a succinct charge to the Program Review
Committee and not a comprehensive document.
c. Upon appointment of a Program Review Committee, the dean or director of the
program(s), or other appropriate administrator, will notify in writing each faculty
and staff member of the program(s) that the review has begun. Students in the
program(s) will be given public notice. Such notification will inform the affected
persons of their right to present their views to the Program Review Committee.
d. The President of the University Senate will similarly notify and inform the
e. Procedure for Program Review Committees
1. The Program Review Committee will base its consideration of the
proposed program reconfiguration on the criteria of quality, centrality,
need, and cost given in D.6.c and D.6.d above.
2. The Program Review Committee is encouraged to hold open meetings,
and to inform affected persons of such meetings and of the progress of
the review. A Program Review Committee is expected to keep a written
record of its proceedings, and all documents considered in its
3. The Program Review Committee is expected to conclude its review
within 60 calendar days (excluding the period between spring
commencement and fall matriculation).
4. When the Program Review Committee has decided it has sufficient
information to make a recommendation to the Reconfiguration
Committee, it will hold an open meeting to solicit responses and
comments. Before this meeting, the Committee will prepare a synopsis of
its procedures, findings, and preliminary conclusions. At least 48 hours
before the meeting, the synopsis will be made available to faculty and
staff in the program being reviewed. The synopsis will also be made
available to all who attend the open meeting.
5. The Program Review Committee will present to the Reconfiguration
Committee a detailed report containing a description of its procedures,
the information collected, a summary of the comments at the final open
meeting, and its findings and recommendations on the proposed
6. Within 30 calendar days after the Program Review Committee submits its
report, the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student
Affairs will announce in writing the results of the Reconfiguration
Committee's consideration of the report. The announcement will include
the reasons for accepting or rejecting the recommendations of the report.
7. Within 14 calendar days of the announcement by the Provost and Senior
Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, any faculty, or student
within the program may present a written petition to the Reconfiguration
Committee asking it to reconsider a decision to eliminate a program.
Such reconsideration must be based on a failure of the committees to
follow established procedures, or on new information which could not
have been available to the Program Review Committee. The
Reconfiguration Committee will consider all appeals expeditiously, and
will reply in writing to the petitioner.
9. Recommendations from the Reconfiguration Committee will be presented to the
University Senate concurrently with their presentation to the President.
10. Hiring of new faculty or staff during a state of Financial Stress will be limited
extraordinary circumstances (for example, replacing a recently deceased employee)
where an existing program would be otherwise seriously affected.
11. In the event the President approves reconfiguration of a program, the dean or
director of the program will implement the reconfiguration plan and will notify in
writing each faculty and staff member of the program immediately. Students in
reconfigured academic programs will be given public notice. The President of the
University Senate will similarly notify and inform the Senate.
12. These following procedures will apply when approved program reconfiguration
involves the loss of faculty or staff positions:
a. Prompt and explicit notice to affected personnel.
b. The mechanisms in place for separation or laying-off of personnel will be
followed. Such mechanisms include, for example, established university
procedures or collective bargaining agreements.
c. For faculty and/or other non-union employees who are removed, special
provision will be made including, but not limited to the following:
1. Every effort will be made to provide suitable placement elsewhere in the
2. Preferential rehiring of removed persons to fill any vacancy for which they
are qualified within the University, for a period of three years after their
a. Faculty who were tenured and who are rehired as faculty will be
rehired with tenure.
b. Persons who are rehired will not lose credit for previous years of
service, and will have the same fringe benefits as current
employees. Sick leave that has accrued prior to the layoff would be
3. Faculty members removed during a state of Financial Stress will at their
request be appointed as adjunct faculty members, and will be entitled to
continuation of at least these prerogatives: access to library, parking,
computing, access to Career Center facilities and personnel, cultural, and
recreational facilities afforded non-removed faculty; status as graduate
faculty; use of granting and contract offices. Regular full- and part-time
non-union staff who are removed will be afforded similar prerogatives.
4. Regular full- and part-time non-represented staff who are removed will
be entitled to continuation of at least these prerogatives: access to library,
parking, computing, access to Career Center facilities and personnel,
cultural, and recreational facilities.
5. All faculty and non-represented staff removed would be guaranteed a
2-month continuation of health benefits.
6. Faculty and staff who are removed are eligible to receive health
insurance at rates available to them under COBRA.
7. Eligibility for employee education programs and tuition reduction
incentive programs will continue for three years after removal.
13. Removal of tenured faculty must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
14. A tenured faculty member who is removed during a state of Financial Stress has
right to a hearing before the University Academic Tenure Committee (or its
a. A written request for a hearing must be filed within 30 days from the date of
initial notice of removal. A copy of the request must be filed at the same time
with the Provost.
b. The request for a hearing must include either or both of the following:
1. A citation of the specific Financial Stress procedure(s) which the member
thinks have been violated;
2. A summary of information that the member thinks is either new, or was
not considered by the Reconfiguration Committee in its deliberations.
c. The recommendations of the Academic Tenure Committee (or its designated
alternate) shall be made to the President through the Provost within 90 days of
receipt of the written appeal. The report shall indicate whether or not the
Financial Stress procedures have been violated, or whether in the Committee's
opinion the information supplied during the hearing should alter the
recommendations of the Reconfiguration Committee.
E. Termination of a State of Financial Stress
1. The President and the Reconfiguration Committee will monitor closely the financial
situation of the University during the state of Financial Stress. The President of the
University Senate will report the situation regularly to the Senate.
2. If the President determines that the conditions of Financial Stress no longer exist,
recommendation for termination will be submitted to the Board of Trustees.
3. A state of Financial Stress will cease to exist upon declaration of the Board of
Adopted by Sen ate: 8 May 2002
Approved by Administration: 24 May 2002
Adopted by Sen ate: 14 January 2004
Approved by Administration: 22 January 2004
September 2015: Name changed from Board of Control to Board of Trustees