RESOLUTION TO CLARIFY THE INTENT OF LAYOFF PROCEDURES WITH RESPECT TO REASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER OF FACULTY

Whereas, serious questions have been raised as to whether reassignment or transfer of tenured and probationary faculty is required before an off-campus search is undertaken for any position, under "SSU POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR LAYOFF OF ACADEMIC EMPLOYEES DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS OR LACK OF WORK," approved by the President on May 6, 1980, and distributed to all department chairs by the President on May 14, 1980; and

Whereas, such reassignments have been made routinely in the past two years in various departments, including Management Studies, Psychology, English, Economics and other departments, of portions of full time faculty members; and

Whereas, changes of TSA's or reassignments have been made in the past six months of full positions in the areas of Criminal Justice Administration, Media Studies, an dGerontology, without a formal search procedures; and

Whereas, a memorandum was issued by Acting Vice President George Proctor, on May 2, 1979, and subsequently presented to this Senate, which interpreted Trustee policy as requiring the "matching of Sonoma faculty with available positions" not only of threatened faculty, but also with other faculty, who, by teaching in another department, might avert the layoff of less senior faculty; and

Whereas, the Proctor memorandum was reissued by acting Vice President Nirmal Dhesi on June 19, 1980, and followed up by a second memorandum dated July 9, 1980, which required that qualified faculty on campus be given a priority in selection; and

Whereas, both of the above individuals have stated that their intent was to encourage and require departments to attempt to make on-campus reassignments before searching to fill positions from off-campus candidates; and

Whereas, a memorandum from President Diamandopulos dated September 29, to the Chair of this Academic Senate, asking for a nationwide search for a Women's Studies Coordinator, appears to confirm the above interpretation, where he conjectures that "the search committee would be prepared to recommend qualified outside candidates" . . ."in the event" . . ."that no qualified faculty presently teaching in their preferred disciplines would choose to be considered for the WOMS Program:" and

Whereas, the WOMS Studies Hiring Committee has been asked to begin a nationwide search immediately, before judging whether certain on-campus applicants for the position are qualified; and

Whereas, questions have recently been raised by the present Affirmative Action Coordinator as to whether the Layoff Procedures, if interpreted as requiring of possible on-campus reassignment before off-campus search, are in accordance with Affirmative Action requirements; and

Whereas, it is important that this issue be clarified before hiring is completed for Spring Semester, 1981, in those departments that plan to reassign for hire faculty, including part time faculty, and for those charged with hiring or reassignment in the Media Studies and WOMS Program; and

Whereas, this Academic Senate can make an important contribution to orderly procedure by issuing a clarifying statement:

Now therefore be it

Resolved that, in passing "SSU Policies and Procedures for Layoff of Academic Employees Due to Lack of Funds or Lack of Work" it was the clear intent of the Senate:

  1. that efforts to avoid the need for layoff are part of the "proper advance planning, such as reassignment . . ." (p. 1)
  2. that we encourage transfer of faculty on a full or part time basis to other departments or Teaching Service Areas in which they have competence (part I, section D, p. 2)
  3. that none of the means of avoiding layoff outlined in Part I require a finding that "layoff is imminent" in order to bring it into operation;
  4. that is shall be our policy to provide stability of employment by foreseeing and avoiding unnecessary reductions in staff ( Part II, p. 3), and that not finding of imminence of layoff is required to activate this clause;
  5. that "when curricular shifts or other program changes which can be anticipated, are to be made, those who will be laid off will normally be notified at least one year in advance." (p. 4);
  6. that "it shall be the policy of the University to avoid layoff whenever possible. . ." (p. 6, Part III);
  7. that layoff should be determined with due regard to Affirmative Action (p. 7);
  8. that the President and the Vice President's Council shall establish an early warning system to identify which TSA's maybe in jeopardy as soon after the Fall census date as possible (p. 8);
  9. that Lecturers shall, whenever possible, be hired out of the Lecturer Affirmative Action pool with regard to program need, "unless the position can be filled through reassignment or reemployment of probationary or tenured faculty." (Part V, J, 3,b, pp. 10 & 11, emphasis added)
  10. that reassignment and/or change of TSA should be encouraged in order to avoid layoff or the possibility of layoff to the greatest extent that is practical, and off-campus search to secure a "pool" of applicants prior to the completion of on-campus reassignment was specifically authorized for Lecturers, but not for tenure-track applicants - -and even in this special case, no actual hiring from the pool was authorized if the position could be filled through reassignment of probationary or tenured faculty;
  11. that on-campus reassignment of tenured and probationary faculty should be considered by any faculty committee, department chair, or administrative official responsible for making recommendations for the staffing of a department or program, for each faculty position that becomes available, whether the allocation is to fill a temporary full time, temporary part time, or tenure track allocation in either extant or newly created departments or programs, before any outside search in undertaken by any faculty committee, or by any department chair, or administrative official; and be it further

    Resolved that it is the position of the Senate that the University has been and continues to be under a general threat of layoff and the "Policy and Procedures for Layoff" are intended to be in effect on an ongoing basis until such time as the Senate and the President agree that there is no further threat of layoff of tenured and probationary faculty; and be it further

    Resolved that all HRPT and Hiring Committees be requested to study and act in accordance with, the Sonoma State University Policy and Procedures for Layoff of Academic Employees Due to Lack of Funds or Lack of Work, and with this present reaffirmation of the intent of that document as regards the need for on-campus transfer and reassignment prior to off-campus search.

    Approved 11/13/1980