FAQ: Tenure and Appointments
This document provides a summary of the law in this area and answers questions frequently asked of attorneys in the Office of General Counsel. However, the information presented here is intended for informational purposes only and nothing in this document should be construed or relied upon as legal advice. The Office of General Counsel or your Campus Legal Counsel should be consulted regarding the specific facts and circumstances associated with any legal matter.
Pending the final decision of dismissal of a tenured
faculty, may that person be relieved of his or her duties?
A. Ordinarily, the faculty member will not be suspended from his or her duties. If, however, the chancellor, after consultation with appropriate faculty committees, finds that substantial harm might result if the faculty member were to stay in his or her position, the individual may be suspended. In such cases, the faculty member's salary will continue until the Board makes its decision as to whether dismissal should be granted.
Does my department or committee have to provide notice
of meetings relating to tenure?
A. A tenure candidate must be given actual notice of any evidentiary hearing that may be held before final action on the tenure decisions and before any meeting at which final action may be taken. This notice must contain a statement that the candidate has the right to demand that the evidentiary hearing or meeting be held in open session. If the tenure candidate demands an open session, then the public notice requirements of Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law apply.
Section 19.85(1)(b ), Wis. Stats.
If I serve on a committee that recommends a denial of
tenure or a nonrenewal of an appointment, can I be sued?
A. In some instances, service on a committee recommending the nonrenewal of a faculty member may lead to being named in a lawsuit. Because such committee service is one of the duties of faculty employment, however, the UW System, through the Wisconsin Department of Justice, will, in virtually all circumstances, be able to provide you with legal representation and indemnification. See sections 893.82 and 895.46, Wis. Stats.