MERGER, REORGANIZATION, AND ELIMINATION OF ACADEMIC UNITS AND PROGRAMS
(Approved: BFC 12/14/82, 10/16/84, 4/19/2011)
University, campus and school administrators, or faculty, may occasionally decide that a reorganization of departments, schools and degree programs is warranted. Such changes may be a response to: new directions in scholarship, science and the arts; new expectations for students entering professional careers or pursuing advanced education; financial constraints; administrative inefficiencies; declining performance or quality. These circumstances may make it prudent to consider and perhaps to implement the merger, reduction, elimination or renaming of academic units and programs, necessitating a reallocation of financial resources and the reassignment of faculty members and librarians to new academic homes.
Consistent with our commitment to shared faculty and administrative governance, the faculty expects that the following principles shall govern such processes of reorganization:
- Consultation. Faculty and student governance bodies shall be apprised of the need or desirability for reorganizing academic units and programs as early as possible in the process of deliberation, so that their informed input may play a prominent role in planning for change.
- Faculty Response. All faculty members and librarians shall have a reasonable period of time, to be decided in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Bloomington Faculty Council, to review and respond to proposals for academic reorganization, before such plans are implemented. Faculty shall be invited to send their concerns to the Executive Committee of the Bloomington Faculty Council (or to an ad hoc remonstrance committee); these concerns will be collated, summarized and presented to the relevant deans, Provost and President – and considered by them -- before any changes are finalized.
- Tenure. Except under conditions of financial exigency (cf. AAUP 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure: “Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide.”), the appointments of tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty members and librarians shall not be terminated as a consequence of such reorganization. Necessary reductions in the number of tenured and probationary tenure-track faculty shall be achieved instead by voluntary attrition or reassignment.
- Expectations for Probationary Tenure-Track Faculty. Faculty members and librarians who are affected by the reorganization of units and programs during the tenure probationary period may choose to be reviewed for tenure under the criteria and standards of the original home unit at the time they were first appointed or under those of their new home unit.
- Reassignment to New Academic Home. Faculty members and librarians (tenured and probationary tenure-track) whose academic home unit is merged, reduced, eliminated, renamed or in some other fundamental way reorganized may be reassigned to a new academic home based on the mutual fit of scholarly, scientific or artistic interests. Every effort shall be made to find a new home that is agreeable both to the affected faculty member and to faculty members in the receiving unit, with the understanding that in rare instances it may be impossible to find an arrangement that fully satisfies all parties. Faculty members and librarians remain obligated to perform customary research/creative activity, teaching and service responsibilities throughout the period of reorganization.
- Compensation and Other Benefits. Reorganization of academic units and programs shall not result in base pay reductions, in the alteration of negotiated agreements or in the loss of time accumulated for sabbatical leave eligibility.
- Continuity of Degree Programs. Every effort shall be made to enable students enrolled in degree programs at the time of reorganization to complete the requirements for those degrees.
- Contracts. Contractual rights and obligations of non-tenure track faculty and graduate students shall be honored.
- Grievances. Faculty members and librarians who object to personal consequences of the reorganization of academic units and programs may file a grievance with the Faculty Board of Review.
Faculty Participation in Campus-level Budget Decisions on Financial Difficulties
A. Whenever a serious financial shortage for Indiana University as a system or Indiana University-Bloomington as a whole becomes imminent, the Bloomington faculty and administrators together shall weigh the situation and means for alleviating it. The campus shall strive to avoid impairment to its academic missions of research, teaching, and service.
B. The term "Indiana University-Bloomington" (IUB) shall refer to all academic and non-academic units and subunits of the University whose budgets are administered by the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
C. Financial Difficulties:
- A financial crisis for IUB as a whole would be a situation in which an unusual deficit, either incurred or anticipated, could be settled only through a level of retrenchment which might seriously impair IUB's academic missions of research, teaching, and service.
- A financial exigency for IUB would be the worst type of financial crisis--a demonstrably bona fide, imminent financial crisis which threatened the survival of IUB as a whole and which could not be alleviated by means less drastic than the termination of faculty appointments with tenure or of faculty appointments without tenure before the end of the specified terms. *
D. As soon as a financial crisis for IUB as a whole becomes imminent or an ongoing financial crisis worsens, the Provost shall request the recommendations of the Bloomington Faculty Council (BFC) and its Budgetary Affairs Committee (BAC). If the Provost believes that the circumstances may be severe enough to lead to a declaration of financial exigency, then he shall request the BFC and the BAC to consider this possibility.
E. The BAC shall secure and review relevant information, both budgetary and otherwise, about the campus and the system. The BAC shall consult with the Provost, the campus deans, the school deans, and other campus administrators; the BAC shall consult with the Educational Policies Committee and the Faculty Affairs Committee of the BFC; and the BAC shall consult with representatives of other affected campus groups, such as the Staff Council and the IUSA. The BAC shall consider alternatives for alleviating the situation. Within 30 days of the request from the Provost, the BAC shall submit to the Provost and the BFC a report on its deliberations, its judgment of the severity of the situation, and its recommendations for alleviating the effects. If in the BAC's view the severity of the crisis warrants a declaration of financial exigency, it shall so recommend.
F. The BFC, acting on the basis of the report from the BAC, shall weigh the situation and submit its recommendations to the Provost.
G. Upon receipt of the recommendations of the BAC and the BFC, the Provost shall meet with the President Pro Tempore of the BFC and the Chairperson of the BAC to discuss the recommendations. Subsequently, the Provost shall notify the BAC and the BFC of the administration's assessment of the crisis and the proposed means for alleviating it, and shall allow an opportunity for questions and discussion.
H. If a financial exigency is declared, the declaration shall expire within one year from the date of its announcement, unless this full review procedure is invoked again.
* "Termination of an appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary or special appointment before the end of the specified term, may occur under extraordinary circumstances because of a demonstrably bona fide financial exigency, i.e., an imminent financial crisis which threatens the survival of the institution as a whole and which cannot be alleviated by less drastic means." AAUP 1976 Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure, page 17.