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Faculty & Tenure Issues

The attorneys at Franczek have a wealth of experience in faculty and tenure matters, both as counselors and as litigators.  We frequently write and speak on best practices relating to tenure evaluation and tenure termination, particularly where termination is associated with program discontinuance, financial exigency, or faculty misconduct.  Unlike many firms, we also have significant experience advising governing boards, senior administrators, and faculty committees during internal tenure evaluation and dismissal proceedings.  Our specific experience includes:

  • Counseling administrators and faculty members in investigations and proceedings that culminate in non-reappointments, denials of tenure, or dismissals for cause
  • Drafting and updating faculty handbook policies regarding academic freedom, reappointment, tenure evaluation, tenure denial, dismissal, faculty grievances, and faculty codes of conduct
  • Counseling governing boards and administrators about program closure and financial exigency processes, and helping to draft resolutions and reports supporting these decisions
  • Guiding university-wide tenure committees, faculty hearing boards, and grievance committees through complex internal procedures
  • Advising administrators and faculty members about faculty discipline short of termination, in instances of poor job performance or faculty misconduct
  • Corresponding and negotiating with the AAUP, accrediting agencies, community advocates, and media representatives in controversial faculty disputes

We have also defended institutions and individual administrators in a wide range of faculty-related lawsuits.  These include challenges to tenure denial, dismissal for cause, non-reappointment, denial of accommodation, the sanctioning or termination of medical center faculty, and the loss of tenure due to program closure.  We also work with institutions proactively to develop uniform and updated faculty handbook procedures, appointment letters, and adjunct policies that may forestall such “toxic” faculty disputes.