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5. Personnel and Employment -Part 5
5.48 Reduction-in-Force (RIF)
While the CVCC’s goal is to consider reasonable alternatives to reduction-in-force, the occasion may arise when such reduction is necessary. The purposes of this policy are (1) to establish the procedure for determining when a reduction-in-force is appropriate and necessary and (2) to establish fair and equitable criteria and procedures for reduction-in-force. If the Board of Trustees determines that there is a necessity for a reduction in force because of financial exigency, decline or change in student composition or enrollment, program change, or other valid reasons which will result in termination of any employee(s), the following procedure shall be followed. A definition of terms is listed at the end of this policy.
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The President shall determine the employment categories in which reductions shall take place, the number of reductions within affected categories, and the particular employees to be terminated. In selecting which employees within particular employment categories are to be terminated, the President shall give primary consideration to the maintenance of a sound and balanced educational program that is consistent with the mission of CVCC. Secondary consideration will be given to the following, and will only be taken into account in the event a decision cannot be made based on the primary considerations:
- Degrees held
- Years of Experience
- Services Performed
- Length of Service
Notice to the Employee
Notice of reduction in force termination shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the employee to be terminated. The notice shall include a statement of condition requiring termination of employment, date of the termination and other pertinent data. The employee’s address, as it appears on the college’s records, shall be deemed to be the correct address. It shall be the employee’s responsibility to see that the college has his/her current address on file.
An employee shall be given not less than 30 calendar days notice before the termination becomes effective, unless the reason is financial exigency. When termination is based on financial exigency, the college shall make every reasonable effort, consistent with the need to maintain sound educational programs and within the limit of available resources, to give as much notice as is possible under the circumstances of the financial exigency.
Appeal of Individual RIF Terminations
Within ten (10) days after receiving a notice of termination, an employee may appeal the action to the Board of Trustees. Appeals may be made solely to determine whether the decision to terminate was arbitrary or capricious with respect to that individual. Appeals under this policy shall be limited to matters involving termination of employment and shall not apply to reductions in employment length. An appeal of a reduction in force decision must be in writing and addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, with a copy to the college President. The appeal must specify the grounds on which it is contended, that the decision was arbitrary or capricious, and must include a short, simple statement of facts that the employee believes supports the contention.
The appeal hearing shall, if possible, be conducted prior to termination of employment. The Board of Trustees may hear the case or direct a committee designated by the Board to conduct a hearing of the facts and issues. The hearing shall include only members of the Board of Trustees, the employee, the President and such witnesses as may be called in attendance, except that the employee and the President may each be accompanied by a person who may give counsel. The cost of a transcript, if desired, shall be borne by the party making the request. The burden is on the employee to prove to the Board, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the decision to terminate was arbitrary or capricious. A board member who has a significant conflict of interest shall disqualify himself/herself or be excused by the Board’s adoption of a motion to disqualify himself/herself. An appointed committee shall report its findings to the Board with recommendations. The Board at its next meeting, or as soon as possible thereafter, shall consider the report and modify, alter, set aside or affirm said report and certify its findings to the President, which shall be binding. Such a determination finally concludes the appeal. If the Board determines that the employee’s contention has been established, it shall direct the President to so notify the employee by a written notice and to state what corrective action will be taken.
Obligations with Respect to Re-employment or Other Employment
For one year after the effective date of a termination pursuant to a RIF, the Board shall not fill the position of an employee whose employment has been terminated, without first offering the position to the person whose employment was terminated. If there are several former employees who are qualified for a position that is now available, the President shall, acting on the recommendation of an interview committee, select that person who he/she considers will best fill the position. The offer of re-employment shall be made by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and the employee must accept in writing within five (5) calendar days from receipt of the offer. His/her failure to do so eliminates all re-employment rights of the employee.
An employee who is re-employed within one year shall have restored to him/her all of the sick leave he/she had accrued on the effective date of the termination.
When requested by the person whose employment has been terminated, CVCC shall give reasonable assistance in finding other employment.
Exclusive Reduction-in-Force Procedure
This procedure is the only procedure that applies to a reduction-in-force. Procedures for discharge, non-reappointment, and grievances are not applicable for a reduction-in-force. Similarly, no other personnel action other than a reduction in force may be considered under this reduction in force procedure.
Definition of Terms for RIF Policy
Day – the college working days, except where calendar days are specified.
Degrees Held – the achievement of educational degree(s) from a recognized college or university which is (are) directly related to the needs of the college.
Employee – any person employed by the college by letter of employment.
Financial Exigency – any significant decline in the Board of Trustee’s financial resources that compel a reduction in the college’s current operations budget.
Length of Service – Years of employment with Catawba Valley Community College for those with an instructional assignment, a nine month letter of employment will constitute one year of service.
Performance – the appraisal of work quality and effectiveness by the employee’s appropriate superiors.
Productivity – the numbers of student served and /or student credit hours generated or the quantity/volume of services produced by an employee.
Program Change – any elimination, curtailment, or reorganization of a curriculum offering, program, or college operation.
Services Performed–the scope and magnitude of activities performed and /or directed by and employee, but not limited to classroom teaching, which are utilized by the college.
Skills – the areas of expertise in which an employee has been trained and the degree to which these areas have been developed by an employee and which are of benefit to the college.
Termination – the cessation of employment before the end of an employment period. The non-reappointment of an employee on a specified term appointment is not a termination, and no objection to the non-reappointment may be filed with this procedure.
Training – instruction not normally leading to an academic degree, which is related to need of the college.
Years of Experience – total years of work experience related to an employee’s current position, regardless of location. For those employed with a teaching assignment, nine month contracts will constitute one year of service.
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