Chapter 3359-22 Contract Professionals

3359-22-01 Contract professional information.

(A) Contract professionals. Contract professionals are full-time or part-time non-teaching professional personnel of the university to whom the board of trustees, on the recommendation of the administration, grants recognition and benefits. Contract professionals may be appointed as instructional professional staff if their responsibilities involve instructional or academic support functions or administrative professional staff if their responsibilities are business/administrative in nature. Any contract professional originally appointed to this category prior to July 1, 1986 shall be designated as a member of the general faculty as long as the person continues in such positions. Contract professionals do not hold regular faculty rank (e.g., instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor). The minimum requirement for this employment category is a baccalaureate degree.

(B) Appointments.

(1) The president recommends to the board all contract professional appointments. Contract professionals are generally appointed under contracts which have a beginning date, but do not generally include a specific end date. Contract professionals are not eligible for indefinite tenure.

(2) Upon appointment, each contract professional receives from the secretary or assistant secretary of the board a certificate or letter of appointment, stating the annual salary or periodic salary if part-time, and, only if applicable, the length or end date of appointment.

(C) Separation from employment without cause. The procedure to be followed in the separation from employment of contract professionals without cause shall be as follows:

(1) If a contract professional, other than contract professionals in the department of athletics classified as "coach," is to be separated from employment without cause, the immediate supervisor shall notify said contract professional in writing not later than:

(a) Three months prior to the date of separation during the contract professional's initial two years of continuous employment with the university of Akron, or

(b) Six months prior to the date of separation in the event the contract professional has served more than two years of continuous employment with the university of Akron.

(c) If a contract professional in the department of athletics classified as "coach" is to be separated from employment without cause, the immediate supervisor shall notify said contract professional in writing not later than three months prior to the date of separation. For the purposes of this rule, "coach" will include those contract professionals classified as a coach and contract professionals positions that are directly related to an athletic team as determined by the director of athletics. For coaches who are currently employed pursuant to a one-year contract, this rule will not apply until their current contract term expires.

(d) Contract professionals, including coaches, who have individual employment agreements are not affected by these provisions.

(2) If the contract professional believes that the separation from employment without cause constitutes a deprivation of a "liberty interest" or a "property interest" protected by the due process clause of the United States Constitution, the contract professional shall be afforded a hearing. In the event the contract professional believes the separation from employment without cause constitutes a deprivation of a "liberty interest," the contract professional shall be provided a name-clearing hearing before the board of trustees. In the event the contract professional believes the separation from employment without cause constitutes a deprivation of a "property interest," the contract professional shall be provided a hearing before the president of the university or the president's designee, provided the contract professional shall submit to the president a request for a hearing in writing within ten days after the contract professional's notification of separation. Upon the president's receipt of such request, the contract professional shall be notified of the date, time, and procedures for the hearing. Any further action by the contract professional to initiate the name-clearing hearing must be in accordance with the contract professional grievance procedure.

(D) Termination of appointment for cause. The appointment of a contract professional may be terminated for cause at any time upon the recommendation of the president and approval by the board of trustees.

Prior to the president's recommendation to the board of trustees, the contract professional shall be advised by the immediate supervisor or appropriate administrative officer in writing of the supervisor's (or administrative officer's) decision to recommend to the president the contract professional's dismissal for cause not less than thirty days prior to the effective date of such dismissal, except in case of conduct involving moral turpitude or public safety. The contract professional may have a hearing on the reason for termination before the president, provided the contract professional shall submit to the president a request for a hearing in writing within ten days after the contract professional's notification of termination. Upon the president's receipt of such request, the contract professional shall be notified of the date, time, and procedures for the hearing.

In the case of conduct involving moral turpitude or public safety, the contract professional shall be immediately placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the president's recommendation and action by the board of trustees.

Whether or not the president upholds or denies the recommendation of the immediate supervisor or appropriate administrative officer to recommend termination, the contract professional shall be afforded the right to a name-clearing hearing. Any action by the contract professional to initiate the name-clearing hearing shall be in accordance with the contract professional grievance procedure.

For purposes of this rule, "days" shall include only regular business days, Monday through Friday, during which the university is open for business, and shall not include holidays.

(E) Resignation. A contract professional who proposes to resign from the university of Akron should give sufficient notice to obviate serious embarrassment and difficulty to the university in filling the position. The length of time may vary with the circumstances of the particular situation, but a contract professional should give at least four months' notice.

(F) Vacation. Contract professionals on annual appointment are entitled to one hundred seventy-six hours of vacation at a time approved by the president or the president's designee (see rule 3359-11-03 of the Administrative Code).

(G) Leave of absence. Leaves of absence without compensation may be granted by the board upon recommendation of the president. Leaves of absence without compensation for the purpose of career development will be considered on an individual basis, considering the value of the experience to the individual and to the institution and the capabilities of the individual's department to manage the individual's responsibilities during the absence.

(H) Retirement.

(1) Contract professionals shall not be involuntarily retired from the university based on age except in the following cases:

(a) Those employees who qualify as executive or high policy-making employees, as defined by law, shall continue to be involuntarily retired at age sixty-five.

(b) Law enforcement officers and fire fighters shall be involuntarily retired not later than age sixty-five or at an earlier date, in the event an individual's physical and mental fitness contraindicates the ability and competency to perform the requirements of the job.

(2) Any contract professional who proposes to retire from the university of Akron should give notice early enough to avoid serious interruption to the university operation, the length of time necessarily varying from the circumstances of the contract professional's particular case, but the minimum time should be four months before termination of employment.

Effective: 8/24/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3359.01
Rule Amplifies: 3359.01
Prior Effective Dates: 12/22/89, 07/20/90, 05/13/98, 12/21/01, 12/28/01, 05/28/05, 12/26/10, 10/01/12, 05/09/14, 02/01/15

3359-22-03 Contract professional advisory committee.

(A) The contract professional advisory committee," CPAC," shall serve as an advisory body to the president on matters relating to employment and any other issues for contract professionals and on matters relating to any other issues directed to the committee.

(B) The committee shall meet with the president annually and prepare an annual report in June of each year for submission to the office of the president. A copy of this report shall be made available to all contract professionals.

(C) CPAC shall adopt procedures which shall govern its operations.

(D) Composition.

(1) The "CPAC" shall consist of eighteen full-time contract professionals employed by the university of Akron. Eleven members shall be elected by the contract professionals from the main campus. Three members shall be appointed by the president and three members shall be appointed by the seated "CPAC" committee. One member will be elected from the university of Akron's Wayne campus. The seated vice president of talent development and human resources shall maintain permanent ex-officio member status and offer regular advisory assistance. The office of general counsel shall provide assistance as appropriate.

(2) No member may be elected or appointed to serve more than two consecutive full terms.

(3) The president may appoint one or more ex officio members to the committee as appropriate for the committee's areas of concern.

Replaces: 3359-22-03

Effective: 1/31/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3359.01
Rule Amplifies: 3359.01
Prior Effective Dates: 12/22/89, 02/12/05, 08/20/11

3359-22-04 Contract professional grievance committee.

(A) Membership.

(1) Composition and eligibility.

(a) The contract professional grievance committee "CPGC" shall be comprised of seven contract professionals who have current membership on the contract professional advisory committee ("CPAC") ref: rule 3359-22-03 of the Administrative code. "CPGC" will retain the right to appoint one additional member from all campus full-time contract professionals to hear the grievance. Such appointee will be given a vote on the findings and remove themselves from the committee once the findings have reached a decision. A minimum of five members of the grievance committee (including additional appointees) is required to hear a grievance.

(b) Every attempt should be made by "CPAC" to make membership on "CPGC" a cross-representation of campus academic and administrative units, avoiding significant representation from any given unit.

(c) No member may serve more than two consecutive full terms.

(2) Terms of office.

(a) Term of office shall be "CPAC" appointment for one year and run simultaneously with "CPAC" membership and the university of Akron fiscal year.

(3) Election/appointment.

(a) "CPGC" members (seven) are appointed from current "CPAC" membership at the annual meeting. The appointed members of "CPGC" shall meet following the annual meeting and elect a chair from its membership as soon as possible after the commencement of new terms. The chair shall serve for one year and may serve no more than two successive terms in this capacity.

(4) Vacancies.

(a) Should a vacancy occur, the "CPGC" shall immediately use the appropriate course of action to appoint or select a replacement from within the "CPAC" membership; should the vacancy occur within two months prior to the normal appointment process, the "CPGC" may choose to leave the post vacant for that period. The person appointed will serve out the remaining term.

(b) Removal from membership/office. Any member of the "CPGC" may be removed from membership/office for cause, (i.e., nonattendance at "CPGC" meetings, failure to carry out an assigned role in a grievance procedure before the "CPGC," indiscretion in the conduct of "CPGC" duties, or violation of confidentiality. Removal from membership/office shall occur upon vote by the "CPGC." Five votes are required to carry a removal. In the event of a removal from membership/office, a new member/officer shall then be elected by the "CPGC" to complete the term of office.

(B) Duties and responsibilities.

(1) Membership on the "CPGC" is a privilege and responsibility of members of the contract professionals ("CPAC"). Every effort will be made in the members' organizational units to adjust schedules or otherwise flexibly accommodate any disruptions caused by that person's membership.

(2) No member of the "CPGC" shall discuss matters presently before the "CPGC", or matters which have been previously brought before the "CPGC", except as necessary in the discharge of the "CPGC" responsibilities and functions. No member of the "CPGC" shall speak for the committee nor release written material, except as provided by the grievance procedure.

(3) Members of the "CPGC" should exclude themselves from any participation in which a conflict of interest may exist or where unforeseen circumstances exist that may cause a significant conflict. If they do not exclude themselves, the "CPGC" at its discretion may exclude such members from participating, or void any actions taken by such members, on the basis of its findings of conflicts of interest.

(4) The chair shall preside over the "CPGC" and shall insure that it functions in accordance with the procedures and standards provided, ref: rule 3359-22-05 of the Administrative code. In the absence of the chair, a vice chair may be appointed to serve. The chair shall cause records to be maintained of the findings and recommendations of the "CPGC." Retention and administration of such records are subject to review by the human resources department.

(5) The "CPGC" shall prepare an annual report each year and present it as a supplement along with CPAC's annual report to the president. This report shall be comprised of a digest of all grievances which came before the committee and any formal recommendations the "CPGC" wishes to make to the president with regard to the conduct of the committee.

(6) Meetings of the "CPGC" shall be confidential and closed to the public, except for those persons requested by the "CPGC" to participate in proceedings before the committee.

(C) Operating procedure.

(1) The "CPGC" may amend by simple majority vote of the full committee the grievance procedure or any of the provisions of rule 3359-22-04 of the Administrative code, subject to the approval of the president and board of trustees. Any such amendments must be forwarded through legal and human resources departments.

(2) Robert's "Rules of Order" shall be the final authority in determining the process of conducting the affairs of the committee, except as otherwise stated herein.

(3) At all times, a simple majority of the full committee shall be required to carry a vote, except rules governing removal from membership/office.

Replaces: 3359-22-04

Effective: 1/31/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3359
Rule Amplifies: 3359
Prior Effective Dates: 12/22/89, 02/06/06

3359-22-05 Contract professional grievance procedures.

(A) Preamble

(1) The university of Akron seeks to employ the most capable personnel to work together in pursuit of the university's goals of teaching, research, and public service.

(2) As people work together to carry out their responsibilities, they may occasionally encounter misunderstanding and differences of opinion. It is important to the welfare of the university to keep such problems at a minimum and attempt to resolve differences expeditiously to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

(3) Contract professionals are an integral part of the daily operation of the university. Due to the nature of their responsibilities, however, their concerns pertaining to rights, responsibilities, and well-being may sometimes differ from those of other members of the university community. The grievance procedures set forth in this rule for contract professionals is a system by which a complaint can be impartially reviewed by the contract professional grievance committee "CPGC." For purposes of this rule, a "complaint" shall not include any matter pertaining to a contract professional's separation from employment "without cause" or termination from employment "for cause." The grievance process for a name-clearing hearing to be utilized in matters pertaining to separation or termination is set forth in paragraph (I) of this rule.

(B) Purpose. The purpose of this procedure is to establish a prompt and equitable method for reviewing contract professional grievances which have not otherwise been solved through normal departmental procedures, and recommending to the president of the university the resolution of such grievances.

(C) Operating procedure for the grievance process. The time limit governing the various parts of the grievance process may be extended for good cause at the discretion of the "CPGC."

(D) Jurisdiction.

(1) The "CPGC" shall have original jurisdiction to receive and act upon complaints filed by contract professionals in accordance with the procedures provided herein.

(2) The "CPGC" shall not substitute its judgment for the performance evaluation of the supervisor but may address itself to such charges as arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable action which violates the procedural or substantive rights of the complainant.

(3) Actions related to discrimination and/or sexual harassment may be referred to the office of equal employment opportunity.

(E) Complaint process.

(1) In an effort to encourage the prompt, fair, and amicable solution of differences at the main point of origin, the contract professional should first discuss the problem with the immediate supervisor or designee.

(2) If the problem cannot be resolved at this level, the complainant must submit a complaint in writing to the immediate supervisor or forego action on the complaint. This must be done within seven working days from the date that the complainant determines the problem to be unresolvable with the immediate supervisor or designee.

(3) The immediate supervisor or designee will respond within seven working days to the complaint. If at the end of that time period the problem cannot be resolved, the immediate supervisor must inform the complainant of the decision in writing and send a copy of the decision to the superior or designee in the normal administrative channels of that department or division. This process continues to the second level supervisor. If not resolved at this point and the complainant has not already reached this level, the complaint goes directly to the vice president or appropriate chief administrative officer.

(a) If no response is given from the immediate supervisor or if the complainant is not satisfied with the response, the complainant may within seven working days submit the complaint to the second level supervisor.

(b) The second level supervisor, within seven working days, shall respond to the complainant.

(c) If no response is given from the second level supervisor or if the complainant is not satisfied with the response, the complainant may, within seven working days, submit the complaint to the vice president, unless the vice president is the second level supervisor. If the vice president is the second level supervisor the complainant must submit the complaint to the "CPGC."

(d) The vice president or the "CPGC," within seven working days, shall respond to the complainant.

(4) Each decision shall be recorded in writing with copies to all parties involved.

(5) If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision at the vice president's level, or if the time period of thirty-five working days from the day the complainant first submits the written complaint to the immediate supervisor has elapsed with no decisions having been rendered, the complainant may then file a formal written grievance with the "CPGC" of the university of Akron.

(F) Filing of grievance. Within seven working days after a vice presidential decision has been made, the complainant may submit a formal written grievance to the chair of the "CPGC" with all pertinent documentation of previous discussions, including a summary of the issue, the remedy sought and timeline of previous steps.

(1) The complainant will receive notification of "CPGC's" decision within seven working days from the date that the grievance has been filed.

(2) While the grievance will not generally be rejected merely because the administrative sequence has not been followed, the "CPGC" shall inform human resources of all such delays and the concerns, if any, caused by such delays.

(3) The "CPGC" will inform human resources of the receipt of the grievance.

(G) Investigation of grievance.

(1) Within seven working days of receipt of the grievance, the "CPGC" shall review the grievance to determine if it is within the "CPGC's" purview and if the complainant process has been followed.

(2) If the grievance is outside the "CPGC's" purview, the grievance will be rejected.

If the complaint process was not followed, the grievance may be rejected.

(3) If accepted the "CPGC" has seven working days during which the chair shall appoint one or more committee members to meet privately with the complainant and one or more other committee members to meet privately with the party or parties with whom the grievance has been lodged.

(a) "CPGC" conducts interviews with complainant and parties involved.

(b) "CPGC" meets to review findings of the interviews and votes to continue the investigation of the grievance or reject the grievance.

(c) The appointed committee members shall have authority to review copies of any records, documents, or other pertinent information or materials which are relevant to the grievance.

(d) The "CPGC" may call upon any member of the university community to appear before the "CPGC" and it shall be incumbent upon any person to cooperate fully with the committees. The complainant and the immediate supervisor shall not be permitted to participate in the committee's deliberations, but they shall be invited before the committee to raise and answer questions regarding the grievance.

(e) Within ten working days following their appointment, committee members shall complete their interviews and report their findings in writing to a full "CPGC" meeting.

(H) Disposition. The recommendations of findings and supporting rationale shall be transmitted in writing to the parties, the respective vice president, the president and the executive director of human resources. The president or designee shall inform the complainant and "CPGC" of any further action in the matter.

(I) Hearing, including name-clearing hearing in connection with separation from employment "without cause" or termination from employment "for cause."

(1) In the event a contract professional believes that his or her separation from

employment "without cause" or his or her termination from employment "for cause" constitutes a deprivation of a "liberty" interest protected by the due process clause of the United States Constitution, the contract professional shall be afforded name-clearing hearing before the board of trustees.

(2) A contract professional requesting a hearing shall initiate the request in writing to the secretary of the board of trustees within ten days following the date of notification of separation without cause or termination for cause. For purposes of this rule, "days" shall include only regular business days, Monday through Friday, during which the university is open for business, and shall not include holidays.

(3) The secretary of the board of trustees shall notify the contract professional regarding the procedures for the conduct of the hearing, and set the date and time for the hearing, which shall be on or about thirty days from the date of the request for the hearing. The contract professional shall have the right to be assisted by an advisor or attorney at his or her own cost, but such advisor or attorney shall not actively participate in the hearing, other than to privately counsel and advise the contract professional.

Replaces: 3359-22-05

Effective: 1/31/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3359.01
Rule Amplifies: 3359.01
Prior Effective Dates: 12/22/89, 02/06/06, 12/26/10