The university recognizes its faculty is crucial to the success of its mission. Accordingly, special attention is given to the development of a faculty body that enables the university to achieve excellence in its academic and service endeavors.
Section 1: Faculty Appointments
Individuals must meet criteria for faculty appointment as established by their respective college or school and approved by the provost. A college’s academic tracks and the criteria for appointment to each rank within a track shall be recommended by the college’s Executive Committee and approved by the dean of the college and the provost. The processes for faculty appointment and promotion, as approved by the provost, are outlined in the Faculty Handbook. All faculty appointments to the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor must be approved by the TJU Board of Trustees or its designate.
Members of the faculty contributing substantially to the teaching or research efforts in more than one department, school, or college may hold secondary appointments according to criteria and procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook. While more than one appointment may be held, one appointment shall be designated as primary. Any contractual commitments to the faculty member, including tenure, shall apply only to the primary appointment.
Employed, non-tenured members of the faculty shall be appointed for a defined term of years as outlined in the Faculty Handbook. The appointment may be shorter or longer than the defined term if recommended by the dean and approved by the provost, but a faculty appointment term may not exceed six (6) years. In the event a faculty member’s employment contract with the university expires by its terms, the contract shall be automatically extended for successive one-month terms until either a renewal or extension contract is executed or either party terminates the contract either for cause or by giving the appropriate notice under these Bylaws or applicable university policies or procedures.
Non-employed faculty appointments shall be terminable at the discretion of the dean of the college or school. In circumstances where termination of a faculty appointment would impact the admitting or medical staff privileges of a faculty member at one of the hospitals within Jefferson Health, such termination shall be reviewed with the provost prior to implementation.
Generally, appointments of Jefferson faculty to the faculty at other academic institutions shall be permitted only if adjunct in nature and approved in writing by the dean. Such appointments shall be subject to all applicable university policies. Requests for appointments other than adjunct require the written approval of the dean and the provost.
All faculty appointments occasioned by the establishment of an academic affiliation shall end with the termination of the affiliation. Reappointment is required to reinstate the appointment.
If a faculty member’s patient admitting or medical staff privileges at any acute care institution with which the college has an affiliation are either involuntarily lost, terminated, or suspended, or if such privileges are voluntarily surrendered or curtailed during any inquiry or investigation of the faculty member, the faculty member’s appointment shall automatically, without right of fair hearing and appeal, be terminated.
Termination of the employment of a clinical faculty member with the university's affiliated corporation that employs clinical faculty in their clinical roles will be considered a termination of faculty appointment necessitating reapplication.
Section 2: Tenure
A faculty member may be awarded tenure pursuant to policies and procedures established by the university, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook. All awards of faculty tenure must be approved by the TJU Board of Trustees.
Section 3: Academic Freedom
The academic mission of an institution of higher education is founded upon the exploration of ideas and the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and understanding. Academic freedom is the cornerstone of this pursuit. Academic freedom benefits society in two fundamental ways. It benefits society directly, and usually immediately, through the impacts and benefits of applied knowledge, the training of skilled professionals, and the education of future leaders and citizens. It benefits society indirectly and usually over longer periods of time, through the creation, preservation, and transmission of knowledge and understanding for its own sake, irrespective of immediate applications. Thus, academic freedom has both intrinsic and practical value. Above all, by facilitating critical thinking and open discourse, academic freedom provides the foundation for the continued intellectual and social value of the university as a place of open debate and the free exchange of ideas.
Academic freedom is defined as the freedom to conduct research, teach, speak and publish, subject to the norms and standards of scholarly inquiry and integrity, without interference or penalty, wherever the search for truth and understanding may lead. Scholars and students must be able to study, learn, speak, teach, research, and publish, without fear of intimidation or reprisal, free from political interference, in an environment of tolerance for, and engagement with, divergent opinions.
The exercise of academic freedom, however, is not academic license and is not unbounded. Members of the faculty are expected to use sound professional judgment and to adhere to professional codes of ethics. Scholars have the responsibility to resist corrupting influences on their research and teaching, to transcend partisanship, prejudice, and personal beliefs and to foster intellectually vigorous and open discussion within the classroom, adhering to the highest norms and standards of scholarly inquiry and teaching. It does not guarantee the right to defame, discriminate, threaten, deface, harass, to incite violence, infringe on privacy or confidentiality, or to create an environment that threatens or impinges upon the dignity, respect, and safety of members of the university community.
Faculty are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of their results, subject to adequate performance of other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution and adherence to university policies related to research, as well as applicable laws and regulations.
Faculty are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relationship to their subject.
The faculty are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As learned professionals and educational officers, they should remember the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate they are not institutional representatives.
* The foregoing Statement on Academic Freedom is conceptually based upon and drawn from the Statement of Academic Freedom of the first Annual Global Colloquium of University Presidents (2005) and the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, Interpretive Comments, formulated and adopted by the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges (1970).
Section 4: Notice of Non-Reappointment
From time to time, the university may decide to separate an employed faculty member on grounds other than “cause” as contemplated in Section 6 below. The university may make such a decision based, by way of example only, on financial or other business considerations, performance concerns, or personal conduct that does not warrant dismissal for cause. The non-reappointment process is subject to oversight by the Office of the Provost. Non-reappointment of employed faculty requires approval by the provost or designate, in consultation with the Department of Human Resources. Failure to reappoint does not constitute a dismissal for cause.
An employed faculty member who is not to be reappointed shall receive advance notice of non-reappointment as follows:
- Three (3) months’ prior notice for non-tenured faculty in the first year of service.
- Six (6) months’ prior notice for non-tenured faculty with more than one completed year of service.
- Twelve (12) months’ prior notice for non-tenured faculty who have greater than two completed years of service and either (1) hold the rank of associate professor or professor, or (2) have a primary faculty appointment outside of Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
In each case, the appointment shall terminate on the last day of the notice period even though such date is beyond June 30 of any year, or beyond the expiration date of the faculty member’s then-current faculty contract.
Section 5: Disciplinary Action
Faculty shall comply fully and in a timely manner with the university’s Code of Conduct and all other policies and procedures of the university, as well as all federal, state and local laws, rules, and regulations governing practice and conduct at the university. Failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action pursuant to policies and procedures established by the university.
Section 6: Dismissal for Cause
Members of the employed faculty may be dismissed for adequate cause as defined in applicable university policies and procedures. In the event a college or school wishes to pursue dismissal of a faculty member for cause, dismissal proceedings must be initiated by the dean of the college or school or by the provost or a designate. A faculty member charged with dismissal for cause must receive written notice of the charges against the faculty member and shall be entitled to a due process hearing pursuant to applicable university policies and procedures, which shall provide for a hearing and a mechanism for appeal.
In determining whether to pursue dismissal charges and in the adjudication of them, due regard shall be given to the principle of academic freedom.
A faculty member charged with dismissal for cause shall be suspended from duty without pay* pending the outcome of the dismissal process. Lost salary shall be reimbursed to the faculty member in the event the faculty member prevails. The date of termination of such a faculty member shall be retroactive to the date of suspension from duty, unless otherwise determined by the provost.
*Benefits afforded the faculty member that existed prior to the dismissal shall nonetheless continue during the fair hearing process at the college’s or school’s expense.