Reconsideration Procedures Used by the Faculty Status Council

The Faculty Status Council uses these procedures when dealing with a request for reconsideration of a negative tenure recommendation. Individual faculty members who are candidates for tenure initiate requests for reconsideration in writing after receiving a negative tenure recommendation. These procedures and the related policies have been developed and adopted by Berea College. The College is bound only by its own procedures and policies, not by the policy statements of any external organization. These procedures are intended to insure fair process; the reconsideration is not expected to follow formal rules of a court of law.

  1. The Chairperson of the Council will schedule and make all arrangements for the meeting of the Council.
  2. Before the FSC begins consideration of the candidate’s request for reconsideration, the candidate is responsible for insuring that the points at issue are clearly defined in writing.
  3. No documents or other evidence may be submitted that were not previously presented to the Faculty Status Council for its consideration in making its tenure recommendation to the President, except (i) the candidate’s request letter containing the candidate’s written arguments, and (ii) the letter of explanation to the candidate from the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty (if such a letter was requested). Only arguments pertinent to grounds for a request for reconsideration may be used.
  4. The entire record on reconsideration shall be in the hands of the Council Chair at least seventy-two (72) hours before the reconsideration begins. The Chair will distribute all such materials to all Council members at least forty-eight (48) hours before the start of the reconsideration by the Council.
  5. The reconsideration process is confidential and private. No persons other than the Council members shall be present and no recording or transcript of the Council’s deliberations shall be made. Members of the Council are free to comment only on material in the Tenure Review File, which includes the candidate’s request for reconsideration and the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty’s letter of explanation to the candidate.
  6. At the conclusion of the reconsideration, each member of the Council (including the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty) states his or her evaluation of the materials in the reconsideration request and using the tenure criteria as described, ordered, and published in the Faculty Manual, votes to recommend or not to recommend tenure. The voting body includes the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, for a total voting group of eight persons. Six of eight votes are required for a positive recommendation for tenure.

Within five (5) class days of the decision, the written reconsidered recommendation of the Council, signed by the Chair, shall be forwarded to the candidate. If the Council has concluded in the process of reconsideration to recommend tenure, then the written notification sent to the candidate shall also be sent to the President. The recommendation report shall indicate that tenure is or is not recommended, following the request for reconsideration by the candidate. The report will include a vote count but not indicate how individual members voted. In addition, the entire Council provides to the President a formal, oral report of its reasoning about a case, with no further discussion to occur except questions of clarification about the oral report itself.

If, following the reconsideration process of the Faculty Status Council, the negative tenure recommendation is affirmed, then the candidate may proceed with an appeal on procedural grounds to the Faculty Appeals Committee based upon the procedures described below.

In arriving at a decision to recommend tenure or not, the President weighs the recommendation from the Faculty Status Council, and reviews the entire Tenure Review File. The President’s decision is conveyed in writing to the candidate, with copies to the Chairperson of the Faculty Appeals Committee (if an Appeal was requested), the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, and the Chair of the Faculty Status Council, and the Division Chair. The decision must be made within thirty (30) class days following receipt of the final recommendation from the Chair of the Faculty Status Council, and be sent to the candidate at least one year before the end of the candidate’s existing contract.