University of Washington Policy Directory

Print This Page
*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Faculty Code and Governance

Faculty Code

Chapter 26



Financial Emergency and Procedures for Elimination of an Academic Program




Section 26-31   Financial Emergency

A. Declaration of a Financial Emergency

  1. When the President believes that a financial crisis threatens the University which may justify declaration of a University-wide financial emergency, the procedures of this Section 26-31 shall be followed. The perceived financial crisis shall be an extraordinary one which threatens the institution as a whole so that the procedures prescribed for program eliminations in Chapter 25, Section 25-52 and Section 26-41 together with all other University cost-reduction procedures are not adequate to meet mandated budgetary reductions within the time required. Factors other than the financial crisis, including the desire to reorganize the University or to implement long-range educational policy, shall not be used to justify the declaration of a financial emergency. However, declaration of a financial emergency shall not preclude consideration of these factors in developing solutions for resolving the crisis.

  2. The President shall call the Financial Emergency Committee into session and shall inform it of the nature and severity of the perceived financial crisis. The Financial Emergency Committee shall consist of the combined voting membership of the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate Budget Committee. The Chair of the Faculty Senate shall chair the Financial Emergency Committee.

  3. The President, jointly with the Financial Emergency Committee, shall request that the Faculty Senate meet. At that meeting the Senate shall be informed of the nature of the financial crisis. The Senate shall determine whether, in its judgment, a declaration of financial emergency is warranted and shall record its determination in a resolution which shall be communicated to the President and to the Financial Emergency Committee.

  4. The Financial Emergency Committee shall determine whether a financial crisis, as defined in Subsection A.1 exists, and shall communicate its determination to the President.

  5. The President shall, in consultation with the Financial Emergency Committee and the Faculty Senate, determine whether a financial crisis, as defined in Subsection A.1, exists.

  6. If the President and the Financial Emergency Committee agree that a financial crisis exists, a joint recommendation that a financial emergency be declared shall be forwarded to the Board of Regents, together with all supporting documents and the resolution of the Faculty Senate. If the determinations of the President and of the Financial Emergency Committee differ, both determinations together with all supporting documents and the resolution of the Faculty Senate shall be presented by the President to the Board of Regents before the Board acts on the recommendation.

  7. A state of financial emergency shall exist upon declaration by the Board of Regents.

B. Financial Emergency Procedures

  1. a. Upon declaration of a financial emergency, the Financial Emergency Committee shall advise the President on means by which the University can resolve the financial emergency. The Financial Emergency Committee shall concurrently apprise the Faculty Senate of its deliberations and advice.

    b. The Financial Emergency Committee shall identify and evaluate cost- reduction measures designed to avoid the need for removal of faculty, and shall recommend to the President such alternatives whenever and as it deems feasible and appropriate. The Financial Emergency Committee shall consider such measures as temporary furlough of faculty as a means of meeting the financial crisis in the short term and as a means of allowing long-term measures to be taken in an orderly manner.

    c. The President and the Board of Regents shall consider and implement all cost-reduction measures, short of removal of faculty, which they deem feasible and appropriate. The hiring of new faculty during a financial emergency shall be limited to extraordinary circumstances wherein an academic program would otherwise be seriously affected. Such proposed new hiring shall be stringently reviewed by the appropriate elected faculty body in each school or college.

  2. If such cost-reduction measures to be implemented under Subsection B.1 are deemed by the President to be insufficient to resolve the financial emergency, the President shall ask the Financial Emergency Committee to develop procedures for the removal of faculty.

    a. In the development of these procedures, the Financial Emergency Committee shall be guided by the following principles:

      1) Such procedures shall ensure maximum protection for the academic programs of the University and the educational needs of its students, consistent with the role and mission of the University.

      2) Such procedures shall be faithful to the spirit of the provisions of the Faculty Code.

      3) Such procedures shall protect the University's commitment to tenure, and shall not recommend the removal of tenured faculty, or non-tenured faculty during the term of their appointment, with less than 12 months' notice unless the Financial Emergency Committee shall have concluded that a notice of this length is not feasible.

      4) Such procedures shall protect the University's commitment to affirmative action.

      5) Such procedures shall provide for prompt and explicit notice to faculty to be removed.

      6) Such procedures shall identify the criteria and procedures, including faculty participation mechanisms, to be used by the President and the deans in the identification of programs to be eliminated and faculty to be removed.

      7) Such procedures shall provide for appropriate review and appeal mechanisms for programs identified for elimination, or faced with de facto elimination, during the emergency in accord with the structures of Chapter 25, Section 25-52 and Section 26-41, with the exception of their time provisions.

      8) Such procedures shall provide appropriate appeal mechanisms, through existing faculty committees, for faculty removed by reason of the financial emergency. In such appeals, affected faculty members may raise any issue related to the criteria and the procedures used in, and applied to, the removal.

      9) Such procedures shall include provisions for the placement and reinstatement of faculty who are removed, including but not limited to the following:

        a) All efforts shall be made to provide suitable placement of removed faculty elsewhere in the University.

        b) Such procedures shall provide for preferential rehiring of any removed faculty members to fill any vacancy or new position to be filled within the removed faculty's department or program, within five years of his or her removal.

        c) Any faculty member removed for reasons of financial emergency shall be appointed as an affiliate faculty member in the department in which she or he held a regular appointment or, if the department is eliminated, in the school or college of which the department was a part, for a five-year period after removal. Affiliate faculty members so appointed shall have but not be limited to the following prerogatives: access to University library, computing, cultural, and recreational facilities equal to those enjoyed by regular faculty; continuation of graduate faculty status; and the use of University grant and contract offices. In addition, faculty removed for reasons of financial emergency shall be permitted to maintain health, life, and other insurance benefits in accordance with state law.

    b. Throughout its deliberations regarding its development of procedures for the removal of faculty, the Financial Emergency Committee shall maintain close and regular consultative contact with both the President and the faculty through the Faculty Senate.

  3. Enactment of Procedures Regarding Removal of Faculty

    a. The Financial Emergency Committee shall recommend to the President procedures for the removal of faculty due to financial emergency.

    b. The Financial Emergency Committee shall concurrently present to the Faculty Senate its recommended procedures, and the Faculty Senate shall debate and vote to agree or disagree with them in whole or in part. A report of the Faculty Senate vote, with any related Senate resolutions, shall be forwarded to the President. If the Senate cannot achieve a quorum, those senators present shall debate and vote as if there were a quorum present; and such vote, together with the number of voters, shall be forwarded to the President as an unofficial action of the Senate.

    c. The President and the Chair of the Financial Emergency Committee shall each recommend to the Board of Regents the adoption of procedures for removal of faculty. The report of the Faculty Senate vote with any related Senate resolutions shall also be presented to the Board of Regents.

    d. Procedures for removal of faculty due to financial emergency shall be adopted upon action by the Board of Regents.

  4. The President, on behalf of the Board of Regents, shall make decisions concerning the removal of faculty consistent with the procedures adopted by the Board of Regents. In arriving at those decisions the President shall consult closely with the Financial Emergency Committee.

  5. Policies and procedures in the Faculty Code and Governance which are not suspended or superseded under this Section 26-31 remain in effect.

C. Termination of a Financial Emergency

  1. It is the joint responsibility of the President and the Financial Emergency Committee to monitor closely the University's financial situation throughout the duration of the financial emergency. It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Faculty Senate to inform the Senate on a regular basis of the University's financial situation.

  2. If the President or the Financial Emergency Committee should determine that a financial crisis no longer exists, a recommendation that the financial emergency be terminated shall be submitted to the Board of Regents.

  3. A state of financial emergency will cease to exist upon its termination by the Board of Regents.

S-A 49, December 4, 1975; S-A 51, June 15, 1976; S-A 67, December 5, 1983 [which also replaces the former Executive Order No. 49]; S-A 73, May 24, 1985: all with Presidential approval.

Section 26-41  Reorganization, Consolidation, and Elimination Procedures

A. General Provisions and Definitions

  1. For the purposes of Subsections B and C below, a "program" is defined (comprising both 'department' and 'program' as defined in Executive Order No. VI, Sections 3 and 4) as follows:

    a. A department or other degree-granting unit (other than a departmentalized school, college, or campus); or a sub-unit within a department, an academic unit in a non-departmentalized school or college, or a group of faculty (from one or more departments) which offers a distinct degree, or a track within a degree that is described as a distinct option in the University Catalog, or in the course catalog of the college or school in question, or is customarily noted as such on student transcripts.

    b. A disagreement as to whether the object of a proposed action constitutes a program shall be resolved by the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, whose decision shall be binding. The dean or chancellor and the faculty group affected by the proposed action shall each submit a statement of their position to the chair of the committee, which shall deliver its ruling within ten instructional days of the receipt of both statements.

  2. An "instructional day" is a day on which scheduled classes meet during Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters and excludes weekends, holidays, vacation, and examination periods.

  3. For purposes of these proceedings, a timely review and consultation process is required. Each stated time period is intended as the maximum period for action, review, comment, or advice. An extension of a stated deadline may be granted by the Secretary of the Faculty only upon reasonable grounds submitted in writing.

  4. Copies of all documents required under Section 26-41 shall be filed with the Secretary of the Faculty.

  5. Any written recommendations received by the Secretary of the Faculty under Section 26-41 must be made available to any member of the faculty on request.

B. Procedures for Reorganization, Consolidation, or Elimination of Programs

  1. If a dean or chancellor after consultation with his or her elected faculty council (Chapter 23, Section 23-45, Subection C) determines that a budget reduction, a reallocation of resources, or a realignment of academic priorities can only be implemented by measures that will have one or more of the following results:

    a. The termination of an undergraduate or graduate program as defined in Subsection A above;

    b. The removal of tenured faculty or of untenured faculty before completion of their contract;

    c. A significant change in the terms, conditions, or course of employment of faculty;

    d. A significant change in the overall curriculum of a college, school, or campus, or of the University as a whole; or

    e. A significant departure from the stated mission of a college, school, or campus, or of the University as a whole;

    The dean or chancellor shall request authority from the Provost to initiate a formal review to identify one or more programs for elimination, reorganization, or consolidation with another unit and/or reduction in size. The Provost shall consider such requests in consultation with the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting.

  2. If the Provost grants the dean's or chancellor's request for such authority:

    a. The dean or chancellor shall notify the Secretary of the Faculty of his or her intention to initiate a review under this section of the Faculty Code. The Secretary of the Faculty shall, after consultation with the Chair of the Faculty Senate, appoint within ten instructional days an External Faculty Committee composed of five faculty members (including one designated as the committee's chair) from outside the college or school in which the review is to take place.

    b. The External Faculty Committee, when convened by its chair, shall establish a schedule of meetings for its own committee. Such independent meetings of the External Faculty Committee will allow its members to form independent conclusions regarding the arguments and evidence supporting the proposed action of the dean or chancellor. The responsibility of the External Faculty Committee is to ensure that the recommendations of the elected faculty council and of the dean or chancellor are based on a process that was fair, thorough, impartial, and consistent in its use of appropriate criteria and materials. (The External Faculty Committee shall retain copies of all the materials it has considered, which it will make available to the Review Committee, should one be appointed under Subsection B.4 below.)

    c. For the duration of the reorganization, consolidation, or elimination procedures, and for the business of these procedures only, the members of the External Faculty Committee shall also be added to the elected faculty council of the college, school, or campus in question as ex officio members without vote. They shall participate in all meetings of that council, convened by its faculty chair or the dean or chancellor, leading to the identification of programs for reorganization, consolidation, or elimination, and shall have full access to all materials and personnel consulted by the dean or chancellor and the elected faculty council in this process. This combination of the elected faculty council and the External Faculty Committee is hereinafter referred to as the augmented faculty council.

    d. If the elected faculty council does not include student members, the dean or chancellor shall request that the student organization (or organizations) of the affected school, college, or campus shall appoint a graduate student and, where appropriate, an undergraduate student to serve, with voting rights, with the augmented faculty council for the business of these procedures only. If no such student organization exists, such appointments shall be made by the GPSS or other appropriate, recognized graduate student organization and the ASUW or other appropriate recognized student organization.

    e. The dean or chancellor, in consultation with the augmented faculty council, associate deans, and other appropriate advisory bodies or affected groups in the college, school, or campus, shall examine measures to meet the required budget reduction, resource allocation goals, or realigned academic priorities, including the reorganization, consolidation, or elimination of programs, and alternatives to such actions.

    f. The information used as a basis for the identification of programs for reorganization, consolidation, or elimination, and of alternatives to such actions, shall consist of:

      1) Documents that pre-date the dean's or chancellor's request (under Subsection B.1 above), including:

        a)
The reports resulting from periodic reviews of programs or departments, any interim revisions of them, and responses to them by the dean or chancellor, the elected faculty council, and the faculty of the program(s) in question.

        b) Accreditation reviews, if such exist for the program(s) in question.

        c)
Any other performance data gathered and maintained by the school, college, or campus, provided they are up-to-date and have been previously submitted to the faculty of the program(s) in question for review and response.

        d)

All relevant documentation resulting from the ongoing long-range planning process in the school, college, or campus, and

      2)
Such other information requested by the dean, chancellor, or the augmented faculty council as deemed necessary, or independently requested by the External Faculty Committee, provided it is up-to-date and has been submitted for review and response to the faculty of the program(s) under consideration, and the faculty in the program(s) have had at least five instructional days to submit their comments on the information.

    g. In proposing program reorganizations, consolidations, or eliminations, the dean or chancellor shall protect, to the maximum extent possible:

      1) The overall curriculum of the school, college, or campus and the University and the educational needs of its students, consistent with the role and mission of the University;

      2) In the case of a reorganization or consolidation, the quality of the program in relation to Subsection B.2.g.1 above;

      3) Other programs in the University, including interdisciplinary programs, that may be affected by the proposed action(s);

      4) The University's commitment to tenure; and

      5) The University's commitment to diversity in faculty, staff, and students.

    h. When the chair of the elected faculty council determines that the augmented faculty council is ready to conclude its review, a formal vote on the proposed action shall be taken by its eligible voting members. The result of that vote shall be communicated in writing to the dean or chancellor, who at least ten instructional days before any public announcement, shall communicate directly in writing with each faculty member of the affected program(s) to inform them of his or her intended action. The dean or chancellor shall make available to them the report described in Subsections B.3 and B.3.a below and its supporting documents, and the accompanying statement by the External Faculty Committee described in Subsection B.3.b below (when available). At least five instructional days before any public announcement, the dean or chancellor shall convene the faculty of the identified program(s) for the purpose of explaining the review procedures to them, and informing them of the provisions under Subsections B.5 and B.6 below for representation of their views and presentation of supporting evidence.

  3. The dean's or chancellor's intention to reorganize, consolidate, or eliminate the identified program(s) shall be announced within a period of thirty instructional days from the appointment of the External Faculty Committee (Subsection B.2.a above). This announcement shall be made in the form of a detailed and specific report accompanied by a separate, independent statement from the External Faculty Committee. Both of these documents shall be submitted by the dean or chancellor to the Provost and the chair(s) of the affected unit(s), to the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and to the Secretary of the Faculty, who shall publish them in a Class C Bulletin within five instructional days of receiving them.

    a. The dean's or chancellor's report shall:

      1) Justify the proposed measures in relation to existing program review materials and other publicly available planning documents;

      2) Describe the impact of the proposed measures on the faculty in the identified program(s), on other programs, and on the curriculum and students of the school, college, or campus as a whole; and

      3) Be accompanied by all supporting documents, which need not be published in the Class C Bulletin referred to in Subsection B.3 above, but must be made available to any faculty member on request.

    b. The External Faculty Committee's accompanying statement shall be prepared and signed by its chair, and shall reflect the opinion of a majority of the External Faculty Committee. It shall indicate:

      1) Whether in its view the program review process was fair, thorough, impartial, and consistent in its use of appropriate criteria and materials, and

      2) Whether the External Faculty Committee supports or does not support the proposal of the dean or chancellor, giving reasons therefor.

  4. Within five instructional days of receipt of the report and statement detailed in Subsection B.3 above, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, after consultation with the Chair of the External Faculty Committee and with the advice and consent of the Senate Executive Committee, shall appoint a Review Committee consisting of four faculty members (including one designated as committee chair), one member of the External Faculty Committee, one representative of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate or other appropriate recognized graduate student organization, and one representative of the Associated Students of the University of Washington or other appropriate recognized undergraduate student organization (all with full participatory rights). The formation and membership of this committee shall be announced in the Class C Bulletin described in Subsection B.3 above.

  5. The Review Committee's primary goal is to review the dean's or chancellor's report from the perspective of the University and the public as described below with particular reference to the justification offered. The Review Committee may receive or request additional materials or arguments from the dean or chancellor, from the External Faculty Committee, from the faculty, students, and staff of the identified program(s), and other constituencies in the University or the public at large. Meetings to invite public comment shall be scheduled at times that permit participation by the public. Within 20 instructional days of its appointment, the Review Committee shall deliver its written recommendation to the President and the Provost. The recommendation shall be transmitted at the same time to the dean or chancellor and to the chair(s) of the affected program(s).

  6. Following the submission of the Review Committee's written recommendations, the dean or chancellor may propose a modified course of action, and the affected program(s) may submit an additional statement. This statement may suggest alternatives to the measures proposed by the dean or chancellor, giving detailed reasons based on educational policy and/or past reviews of the program(s) in question, and may include additional relevant documentation. Any such materials must be transmitted to the President and Provost within ten instructional days of the delivery of the Review Committee's report.

  7. After the President (or the President's delegate) confers with the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, he or she shall transmit a decision on the matter and accompanying recommendations to the Board of Regents, when required, and to the dean(s) or chancellor(s), the chair(s) of the affected program(s), and the Chair of the Faculty Senate within 15 instructional days of the comment period provided for in Subsection B.6 above. The President's decision shall take careful account of the impact of the reorganization(s), consolidation(s), or elimination(s) on the University's ability to perform its educational role and mission, and on the diversity of the University community.

C. Procedures for Limited Reorganization and Consolidation of Programs

  1. In order to reallocate resources, implement educational policies, or realign academic priorities, a dean or chancellor may at any time propose the reorganization of one or more programs within a school, college, or campus, or their consolidation with other units. The reallocation of graduate degree programs (Executive Order No. VII, Section 2) from one qualified academic unit (Executive Order No. VII, Section 4) to another, or to an interdisciplinary program within the Graduate School, is a limited reorganization that should follow the procedures outlined in this section.

  2. If the proposed measures will not have the effects described in Subsection B.1 above, the dean or chancellor may proceed with the measures, provided:

    a. The proposal results from detailed discussion with the affected program(s), and with appropriate faculty advisory committees in the school, college, or campus;

    b. A detailed justification of the proposed actions is submitted to the Provost and the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, taking account of the documentation described in Subsection B.2.f above; and

    c. The measures are not implemented until the conclusion of a period of 20 instructional days during which the faculty of the affected program(s) may exercise the option described in Subsection C.3 below.

  3. If a majority of the voting faculty of the affected academic program(s) determines by a vote that a proposed reorganization or consolidation will have one or more of the effects described in Subsection B.1 above, such majority may petition the Provost for a review under the procedures for reorganization, consolidation, or elimination of programs (under Subsection B above). The Provost shall consider such petitions in consultation with the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, and within ten instructional days may either direct the dean or chancellor to conduct a review of the proposed reorganization, consolidation, or elimination of program following the procedures described in Subsections A and B.2 through B.7 above, or decline to do so, in which case a detailed statement must be transmitted to the petitioners, the dean or chancellor, and to the Chair of the Faculty Senate, explaining this decision.

D. Procedures for Reorganization, Consolidation, or Elimination of a College or School

  1. If the Provost and a majority of the members of the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting concur that a budget reduction, a reallocation of resources, or a realignment of academic priorities should be achieved by the elimination of a particular college or school in its entirety, or by its reorganization or consolidation with another college or school, the Provost shall request that the Chair of the Faculty Senate appoint a Review Committee of five faculty and the two student members described in Subsection B.4 above.

  2. The Provost shall submit to the Review Committee a detailed justification of the proposed measure, prepared on the basis of the materials described in Subsection B.2.f above and other appropriate planning documents made available by the central administration, provided they have been previously submitted to the dean or chancellor and faculty of the college or school in question for review and comment. The justification shall:

    a. Review alternatives and explain why elimination of the college or school is preferable; and

    b. Protect to the maximum extent possible the aspects of the University described in Subsection B.2.g above.

  3. The Secretary of the Faculty shall publish the Provost's proposal, and the accompanying justification, in a Class C Bulletin within five instructional days of receiving them.

  4. The Review Committee shall conduct a review of the Provost's proposal in the manner described in Subsection B.5 above, and shall deliver its written recommendation to the President, Provost, deans or chancellors of the affected college or school, and the Chair of the Faculty Senate, within thirty instructional days of the publication of the Bulletin.

  5. Following the delivery of the Review Committee's report, the Provost may propose a modified course of action, and the dean or chancellor of the affected college or school may submit an additional statement of the kind described in Subsection B.6 above. Any such materials must be submitted to the President within ten instructional days of the delivery of the Review Committee's report.

  6. Within 15 instructional days of the end of the comment period provided for in Subsection D.5 above, and after the President (or the President's delegate) confers with the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, he or she shall transmit a final decision and accompanying recommendations to the Board of Regents, when required, the deans or chancellors, and the Chair of the Faculty Senate.

E. Procedures for Limited Reorganization and Consolidation of Colleges and Schools

  1. In order to reallocate resources or implement educational policies, or align academic priorities, the Provost may at any time propose the consolidation of colleges and schools. If the proposed measure will not have the effects described in Subsection B.1 above, the Provost may proceed with the measures, provided:

    a. The proposal results from detailed discussion with the affected colleges or schools, and with appropriate faculty advisory committees in the colleges or schools;

    b. A detailed justification of the proposed actions is submitted to the President and the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, taking account of the documentation described in Subsection B.2.f above; and

    c. The measures are not implemented until the conclusion of a period of 20 instructional days during which the faculty of the affected college/school(s) may exercise the option described in Subsection E.2 below.

  2. If a majority of the voting faculty of an affected college or school determines by a vote that a proposed reorganization or consolidation will have one or more of the effects described in Subsection B.1 above, such majority may petition the President for a review under the procedures for elimination of a college/school. The President, or the President's delegate, shall consider such petitions in consultation with the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, and within ten instructional days may either direct the Provost to conduct a review following the procedures described in Subsection D above, or decline to do so, in which case a detailed statement must be transmitted to the petitioners and the Chair of the Faculty Senate, explaining why a review under Subsection D above is not deemed appropriate.

S-A 49, December 4, 1975; S-A 57, April 3, 1978; S-A 67, December 5, 1983; S-A 73, May 24, 1985; S-A 95, June 17, 1996; S-A 119, June 4, 2009: all with Presidential approval.