Drexel University procedures for appeals in the cases involving
decisions of non-recommendation of a member of the faculty under
consideration for tenure.
Members of the Drexel University faculty (“faculty”) who have
not been recommended for tenure may appeal the decision. Such appeals
are heard by the Drexel University (“University”) Tenure Appeals
Committee (“Appeals Committee”). This process provides the Appellant the right of appeal outside of
regular administrative channels and is conducive to the high morale
necessary for the pursuit of educational objectives.
A major responsibility of the University is to recruit and
retain the most highly qualified faculty within its means, and in
the pursuit of that excellence, the institution should be accorded
the widest latitude in the discharge of these responsibilities consistent
with the faculty rights of academic freedom and standards of fairness.
The policy and procedures described herein have been developed
with the objectives of protecting the integrity of Departments and
Colleges/Schools to determine their own goals and to choose their
colleagues in order to promote the excellence of the University
while at the same time protecting individual faculty members from
arbitrary decisions. Further, the policy and procedures recognize
the rights and responsibilities of tenured faculty and the need
to protect individuals in the University community and elsewhere
whose comments were made confidentially and in good faith. Appeals
should be resolved in the most expeditious manner consistent with
the attainment of these objectives.
II. Definitions, Applications,
1. A formal appeal comprises a written statement
by a member of the full-time tenure-track faculty regarding receipt
of written notification from the Office of the Provost of a decision
not to recommend the granting of tenure. A
formal appeal must specify all bases and the remedy sought.
2. Before the filing of a formal written appeal,
an oral appeal to the Provost may be pursued.
Such an oral appeal does not preclude the right to present
a formal written appeal. Any
resolution forthcoming at any point in this procedure satisfactory
to the Appellant and the administration shall be reduced to writing
and signed by the Appellant and the Provost.
3. The granting of tenure is a right vested exclusively
with the Board of Trustees. Therefore,
all decisions involving tenure appointments made under this Policy
shall constitute recommendations to appropriate administrative bodies. The burden of proof in the presentation of
a tenure appeal at all stages rests with the Appellant. While the appeal is in progress, the Appellant is still on notice
of termination of employment and the terminal contract remains in
4. Retaliation against any individual who, in
good faith, participates in an appeal proceeding is prohibited.
5. This Policy does not apply to appeals for (1)
the dismissal of a tenured faculty member, (2) the dismissal of
a non-tenured tenure track faculty member during the term of a current
appointment, or (3) the non-reappointment of a non-tenured faculty
III. Initiation of
the Tenure Appeals Process
appeal must be filed no later than four weeks after receipt
of written notification from the Office of the Provost of a
decision not to recommend tenure.
Within this specified time, the Appellant must notify
the University President in writing that s/he is appealing the
decision, with a copy to the Provost, Dean (or equivalent),
and Department Head (or equivalent). The President will charge the Office of
the Provost to convene the Appeals Committee.
time periods set forth in this chapter may be extended for good
cause by the person with whom the appeal is filed upon notification
and consent of the Provost.
IV. The Appeals Committee
A. Operation of the Appeals Committee
1. The Office of the Provost shall convene the
Appeals Committee by presenting a copy of the appeal to the Chair
of the Appeals Committee.
2. Once convened, the Appeals Committee shall seek
out the information it needs, consistent with University policies
and procedures, to make its recommendation.
and shall gather information specific to the case of the
Appellant from the Appellant, the Department, the administration,
and others, as appropriate. All persons contacted by the Appeals Committee
as part of its investigation are encouraged to cooperate fully. Information requested by the Appeals Committee
that is consistent with University policies and procedures shall
be provided in a timely manner and shall be kept confidential.
3. Appeals that are not sufficiently specific
will be denied without further review or consideration. Issues not raised in the appeal will not be
considered by the Appeals Committee.
4. The Appellant shall have the right to discuss
his/her appeal in person before the Appeals Committee.
5. The Appeals Committee shall not set or question
University, College/School or Departmental policies or procedures,
nor evaluate the decisions made by the various committees considering
the case for tenure. Rather the Appeals Committee should focus on
the propriety of the process that was followed and whether or not
the policies and procedures were properly and fairly applied.
In this connection, the Appeals Committee shall have wide
latitude in what information specific to the case of the Appellant
it wishes to consider.
6. The deliberations of the Appeals Committee are
confidential and held in closed session.
The privacy of the Appeals Committee, as well as the Appellant
and others, shall be protected during hearings and deliberations
7. The Appeals Committee shall proceed under its
own rules, not as a judicial proceeding. Formal rules of evidence
shall not apply.
B. Composition of the Appeals Committee
1. The Appeals Committee shall consist of nine
tenured members of the faculty.
2. Three faculty members shall be appointed by
the University President, three selected or elected by the University
Faculty Senate, and three elected at large by the Faculty.
These faculty members serve staggered three-year terms (see
Section IV-C-1). In addition
to the faculty members elected at large, three additional faculty
members shall be elected each year to serve as a pool of alternates
for that year to provide for possible replacement(s).
3. The Appeals Committee shall elect a voting chair
(“Chair”) among their number. He/she
shall be a distinguished member of the University faculty of professorial
rank not serving in a deanship or other administrative post. In addition to his/her duties as Chair while
the Appeals Committee is sitting, he/she shall make recommendations
to the President and to the Senate calculated to improve the effectiveness
of the Tenure Appeals Process, and shall be available to advise
faculty and administration on procedures (see Section VII).
4. Any member of the University faculty may suggest
names of qualified faculty members to appropriate parties for appointment
to the Appeals Committee.
C. Terms of Office
1. Each of the nine Appeals Committee members shall
have a three-year term of office, staggered so that each year one
triad (one appointee of the University President, one appointee
of the University Faculty Senate and one elected by the Faculty)
shall be replaced.
2. An Appeals Committee member shall not be appointed
to serve consecutive full terms.
At least one year shall elapse before reappointment.
3. The Chair shall be elected by the Appeals Committee
to serve for one year. He/she
may succeed himself/herself without limit.
4. The Appeals Committee shall be selected by June
15th. Its members shall
elect the Chair by July 1.
5. The Appeals Committee shall normally be ready
to consider appeals beginning immediately.
6. Once an Appeals Committee has begun to consider
an appeal, all members of the Committee remain on the Committee
considering that appeal until that appeal is decided, even though
a term of office may have expired, and no newly-elected or appointed
member may participate in that appeal.
7. Unexpired vacancies on the Appeals Committee
shall be filled by the same party that appointed the original member,
except in the case of a faculty member elected at large.
In that case, a replacement shall be chosen from the faculty
pool of alternates.
1. An Appeals Committee member from the same Department
as the Appellant shall be disqualified.
2. An Appeals Committee member may also disqualify
himself/herself from a particular case.
3. The Appellant may disqualify for cause up to
two Appeals Committee members prior to the beginning of the deliberations.
4. An ad-hoc Appeals Committee member shall be
appointed to replace the one(s) disqualified.
S/he shall be appointed by the same party that appointed
the disqualified member, except in the case of a faculty member
elected at large. In this case, a replacement shall be chosen
from the faculty pool of alternates by the Chair. In the event that the Chair is disqualified, an interim Chair shall
be elected by the Appeals Committee members prior to the start of
5. Once the deliberations have begun, no disqualifications
shall be permitted.
E. Recommendations of the Appeals Committee
1. After consideration:
a. The Appeals Committee may find, after reviewing
the appeal, that there are no sufficient bases for hearing the appeal.
b. The Appeals Committee may find that the Appellant’s
claim that University, College or Department policies or procedures
were not properly applied is unsubstantiated and recommend that
the appeal be denied.
The Appeals Committee may find that the Appellant’s claim
has merit. If so, the Appeals Committee shall recommend
that the case be returned to the level at which it considers the
appeal merits reconsideration, together with guidelines as to what
the Appeals Committee considers to have been defective.
Appeals Committee recommendation requires an affirmative vote of
two-thirds of the members of the Committee.
The recommendation of the Appeals
Committee shall be forwarded with appropriate documentation to the
University President and Provost. Every
effort shall be made to review each case expeditiously.
2. After the Appeals Committee has delivered
its recommendation to the President (with a copy to the Provost)
the Chair shall advise the Appellant in writing:
that it has made its recommendation, and
what its recommendation is, and
the date the recommendation was delivered to the President
and the Provost.
Appeals Committee shall not provide its full report to the Appellant,
at this time, and the contents of the report and recommendations
to the President shall remain confidential until the President makes
a final decision in the appeal.
V. Final Decision
The President shall consider the recommendation of the Appeals
Committee and the record as a whole, and may take any action that
s/he deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, accepting
the recommendation, rejecting the recommendation, investigating
the matter, or returning the matter to the Appeals Committee for
further consideration, in accordance with Section IV-A.
Once a final decision has been made in the matter, the President
Deliver the decision, as well as a copy of the Appeals Committee’s
full report, to the Appellant; and
Deliver the decision to the Chair, who shall then communicate
the decision to the other members of the Appeals Committee.
The decision of the University President constitutes the last
step of the appeal process and is final within the University community.
VI. Time Specifications
Every attempt shall be made to address and resolve tenure
appeals in the most expeditious manner.
Time periods specified in this Policy may be adjusted in
the interest of reaching a final decision that is in accord with
the purposes of this Policy
VII. Appeals Committee
the Chair shall submit to the Senate, the Provost and the President
a final report summarizing its decisions (but preserving the confidentiality
of its proceedings) and making suggestions, if any, for improvement
of the appeals process.