ERIC Number: ED339291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Financial Exigency as Just Cause for Dismissal of Tenured Faculty in Higher Education: What Are the Legal Issues?
Karr, Mary Beth
This paper addresses the legal issues surrounding a university or college's action of dismissing tenured faculty members because of the school's troubled financial condition or program discontinuance. It explores various legal principles through an examination of specific questions. These questions are: (1) How do the courts define financial exigency? (2) Does financial exigency pertain only to the institution as a whole? (3) On what grounds can tenured professors be dismissed due to elimination of a department or program? (4) What is the basis of the law regarding financial exigency and program discontinuance? (5) Is the institution required to offer alternate employment to the tenured professor dismissed due to financial exigency or program discontinuance? and (6) Can a nontenured faculty member be retained when a tenured professor is dismissed? Policy recommendations are offered to institutions that are considering a reduction in force that includes dismissal of tenured faculty. Recommendations include providing adequate due process to faculty members, avoiding consideration of any personal reasons for dismissal, following contractual obligations, having a long-range plan for regaining financial stability, and being prepared to prove bona fide financial exigency. Eleven court case summaries are provided. Contains 15 references. (GLR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 7, 1991).