Article 1 - Authority, Definitions, Standards

Section 1.1 Delegation of Authority from the Board of Trustees
Section 1.2 Amendment
Section 1.3 Definitions
Section 1.4 Academic Freedom
Section 1.5 Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Section 1.6 Primary Responsibility of the Faculty
Section 1.7 Procedural Standards in Personnel Actions
Section 1.8 Rights of Members of the Faculty in Personnel Actions
Section 1.9 Definition of "Cause"

This Academic Personnel Policy (APP; Doc. T95-022) of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) [University of Massachusetts Worcester (UMW)] is promulgated by the Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts System under the authority of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 75, supersedes the University-wide Academic Personnel Policy (Doc. T76-081), and replaces in its entirety previous revisions of the UMMS APP.

Section 1.1 Delegation of Authority from the Board of Trustees

The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees has the statutory authority to make decisions in matters of Faculty status and may delegate that authority only to certain administrative officials (Mass. G.L. c. 75 § 3A). As defined in the Board of Trustees Statement on University Governance (Doc. T73-098, as amended), the President of the University of Massachusetts System has been delegated the authority to appoint members of the Faculty to Tenure with the concurrence of the Board of Trustees. The Chancellor has been delegated the authority to make decisions in all other matters of Faculty status. Any re-delegation of appointing authority to the Provost or other academic administrative officials is subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Provost defines the number of Employed Faculty positions assigned to the Tenure or Non-Tenure Tracks in Schools, Departments, and Non-Department Units after consultation with the dean, chair or director. The number of positions is subject to revision in accordance with periodically-reviewed long-range plans established by the Chancellor and by implementation of any applicable retrenchment policy. All Personnel Actions must be consistent with program plans at the Department, School, campus, and University of Massachusetts System levels.

Section 1.2 Amendment

Amendments to this APP require approval by a two-thirds vote of both the UMMS Faculty Council and UMMS Executive Council. If approved by both Councils, the proposed amendment must be submitted to the Faculty-at-Large for a simple majority vote for or against its acceptance. If voted favorably, the proposed amendment must be transmitted for consideration and potential approval according to the procedures outlined in the Board of Trustees Statement on University Governance (Doc. T73-098, as amended). The Board of Trustees reserves the right to alter, amend, or revoke the foregoing documents in part or in whole at any time.

Section 1.3 Definitions

Words and phrases are construed according to the common and approved usage of the language, but technical words and phrases and such others as have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning are construed and understood according to such meaning. Words imparting the singular number may be extended and be applied to several persons or things, and words imparting the plural number may include the singular. As used in these policies and procedural standards, the following terms have the meaning herein given unless otherwise expressly provided.

"Academic Activities" — those activities performed as a Faculty Member in one or more of the four core missions of UMMS, as defined in the UMW Governance Document (Doc. T03-035, as amended):

a. Education Mission. Activities such as the provision of formal lectures, seminars, student conferences or one-on-one teaching of students at various levels, development of new curricula and/or development of educational policies.

b. Research and Scholarly Activity Mission. Activities such as the performance of investigator-initiated or collaborative research; publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals; invited presentations; publication of reviews, books and book chapters; gathering of data; funded grants and contracts; and the submission of grants.

c. Health Care Delivery Mission. Activities such as assisting in the delivery of high quality, state of the art health care in an appropriate setting, which is recognized as such by peers; expanding the horizons of clinical care by developing new diagnostic or therapeutic methods; establishing new clinical services.

d. Service Mission. Service and administrative duties within UMMS, the University and/or the local/national/international community.

“Department” — an administrative subdivision of a School organized for the purpose of one or more of the missions of UMMS, as defined in the UMW Governance Document (Doc. T03-035, as amended).

"Employed Faculty" — individuals appointed to the Faculty who are either UMMS-Employed Faculty, UMMHC-Employed Faculty, or Faculty Employed by a University-Approved External Foundation or Agency.

“Faculty” — all individuals with academic appointments in one or more of the Schools.

Faculty Employed by a University-Approved External Foundation or Agency” — Individuals primarily employed by contract with a University-approved external foundation, such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, or agency, such as the Veterans Administration.

“Faculty Member” — an individual with an academic appointment in one or more of the Schools.

“Non-Department Unit” — an organizational unit other than a Department in which a Faculty Member holds a position, including, but not limited to, a Program, Center or Institute (as defined in the UMW Governance Document; Doc. T03-035, as amended), a business unit (such as Commonwealth Medicine and MassBiologics), and other administrative units.

“Non-Tenured Faculty” — individuals who have not received the award of Tenure, including those in the Non-Tenure Track and those in the Tenure Track with a Probationary Period.

“Personnel Action” — any action relating to the status of a Faculty Member.

School” — the School of Medicine (SOM), the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN), the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), and such other Schools as may be established in accordance with the UMW Governance Document (Doc. T03-035, as amended).

“Tenured Faculty” — individuals who have received the award of Tenure.

"UMMS" — University of Massachusetts Medical School.

"UMMHC" — UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc., used herein to refer collectively to UMass Memorial Health Care, UMass Memorial Medical Group and UMass Memorial Medical Center.

"UMW" — University of Massachusetts Worcester.

UMMS-Employed Faculty” — employees of UMMS who are appointed to the Faculty, with the exception of Professional Staff with a Faculty Appointment.

UMMHC-Employed Faculty” — employees of UMMHC who are appointed to the Faculty, with the exception of Professional Staff with a Faculty Appointment.

Section 1.4 Academic Freedom

The standards and interpretations of the American Association of University Professors on matters of academic freedom as set forth in the “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, with 1971 Interpretive Comments” serve as the basic guidelines for the maintenance of academic freedom at UMMS.

These standards and interpretations as to academic freedom apply to all individuals who perform teaching or research functions at UMMS, whether or not such individuals are Faculty Members. A Faculty Member cannot be terminated, suspended, denied employment, or otherwise-penalized, if said action would constitute a material breach or infringement of said standards and interpretations as to academic freedom.

Section 1.5 Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

All Personnel Actions concerning UMMS Faculty, including initial appointment, must be consistent with University of Massachusetts policy (Doc. T92-034, as amended) on equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Section 1.6 Primary Responsibility of the Faculty

As defined in the Board of Trustees Statement on University Governance (Doc. T73-098, as amended), the Faculty of UMMS has primary responsibility in matters of Faculty status: that is, appointments, promotions, and the award of Tenure. The Faculty exercises this responsibility through participation on Department and School Personnel Action and Tenure Committees and through participation in the development of faculty personnel policies and procedures, and amendments of this APP.

Section 1.7 Procedural Standards in Personnel Actions

The following standards apply to all Personnel Actions.

a. Conflict of Interest. A Faculty Member or administrative official must not participate directly or indirectly in any recommendation or decision relating to appointment, reappointment, promotion, tenure, or condition of employment at UMMS of any individual with whom that Faculty Member or official has either a familial relationship, including but not limited to, a parent, child, spouse, sibling, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, child-in-law, or stepchild of, and/or a financial relationship with said Faculty Member or official. Exceptions may be granted by the President of the University of Massachusetts System, if they deem that it would be in the best interests of the University of Massachusetts and in accordance with relevant state law to grant a waiver of this prohibition. A Faculty Member or administrative official must withdraw from participation in any personnel recommendation or decision that would result in an actual or potential conflict of interest as described above, or if it is determined by the chair of a Department or School Personnel Action or Tenure Committee that the individual’s ability to render a fair and impartial recommendation may reasonably be impacted in light of their personal, professional, familial and/or financial relationships with the candidate. UMMS, as a University in the University of Massachusetts System, is a State agency, and in this regard, all State employees are also subject to the Commonwealth’s Conflict of Interest laws, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 268A.

b. Confidentiality. All participants in the review of candidates, including support staff, must maintain confidentiality, unless required otherwise by some law or Court Order. Personnel Actions are considered personnel-related matters. Participants in the review of candidates must not:

i. Communicate, in any manner, any part of a candidate’s Basic File, Tenure Dossier, or other confidential meeting materials to anyone who has not been officially designated to participate in the review process, including the candidate being reviewed. Such materials, including, but not limited to, recommendations by chairs and review committees, letters of evaluation, the identity of letter writers and ad hoc reviewers, and vote tallies, are considered confidential, are only used in the review of the candidate for appointment, promotion and/or the award of Tenure.

ii. Disclose, in any manner, information about committee deliberations, discussions, or evaluations to anyone who has not been officially designated to participate in the review process, including the candidate being reviewed, except as allowed in this APP.

iii. Use information contained in a candidate’s Basic File, Tenure Dossier, or other confidential meeting materials for their personal benefit or make such information available for the benefit of any other individual or organization.

c. Standards in Personnel Actions.  High professional standards must be employed in all Personnel Actions. Personnel Actions must be made only after a review of all the qualifications of the candidate and their contributions in the areas of Academic Activities specified in this APP.

d. Decisions by Personnel Action and Tenure Committees.  For all such Department and School Committees, a quorum is one half of the voting members. Consistent with the UMW Governance Document (Doc. T03-035, as amended; Article VI, Section 3.f), committee decisions are made by a simple majority of the voting members present at a meeting where a quorum is declared. Such “votes” may be established by members participating in-person and/or via teleconference, video conference, or any other technology that allows full participation by the member. Proxy (absentee) voting is not permitted.

e. Faculty Records. The Provost’s designee for faculty affairs maintains permanent personnel records of all Faculty Members, including, but not limited to, records of Personnel Actions. These materials are subject to the Procedural Standards on Confidentiality.

Section 1.8 Rights of Faculty Members in Personnel Actions

Policies, criteria, and procedural standards established herein and additional policies established by UMMS must not infringe upon the following rights of Faculty Members in Personnel Actions:

a. The right to present all materials which the Faculty Member believes will assist in a fair and adequate consideration of personnel reviews, recommendations and decisions.

b. The right to have access to information on the current needs and long-range plans of the Department, School, and UMMS.

c. The right to have extra-departmental activities considered at the Department level as well as at other levels of review, recommendation and decision.

d. The right to receive equitable treatment to ensure consistent recognition within their Department and School for Faculty Members whose chosen field, overall professional development, period of service on the campus, and quality of contributions, all taken as a whole, are judged to be approximately equal.

e. The right to discuss their professional progress and any Personnel Action of concern with their chair, director of Non-Department Unit, or GSN Dean (as applicable) and, if such discussions are unsatisfactory, with the SOM Dean (if applicable), the Provost, the Chancellor, or the Chancellor’s designee.

f. The right to be informed in a timely manner of the personnel recommendations made at the Department or School level.

g. The right to be informed of termination of appointment and/or employment, if applicable.

h. The right to discuss reasons for an adverse personnel decision at all appropriate administrative levels.

i. The right to invoke grievance procedures as specified in UMMS policies.

Section 1.9 Definition of “Cause”

With respect to termination for “Cause”, the definition of “Cause” includes, but is not limited, to the following:

a. fraud or misrepresentation of professional preparation, accomplishments or experience;

b. fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation of assets or other dishonesty with respect to UMMS or those associated with it;

c. conviction of a felony or any offense that would adversely affect the individual’s ability to serve as a Faculty Member, as determined by UMMS in its sole discretion;

d. repeated insubordination, material negligence, neglect, or misconduct in the performance of duties, as determined by UMMS in its sole discretion, including a failure or refusal to perform duties assigned by the chair, director of a Non-Department Unit, SOM Dean, GSN Dean or Provost, following notice of same from UMMS;

e. prolonged or frequent absence from duty without the consent of the chair, director of a Non-Department Unit, , SOM Dean, GSN Dean or Provost, and not pursuant to an approved “leave” under the Family Medical Leave Act, following notice of same from UMMS; or

f. repeated violation of a published policy of the University of Massachusetts System or UMMS, following notice of same from UMMS, that is material to the individual’s duties under their appointment.