Negotiated Amicable Separation Agreements for Administrative & Professional Faculty
Date of Current Revision: February 2016
Primary Responsible Officer: Director of Human Resources
The purpose of this policy is to ensure uniform procedures to follow in negotiating amicable separation agreements between the university and administrative & professional faculty.
The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.
Administrative & Professional Faculty (A&P faculty)
Administrative faculty and professional faculty are normally referred to collectively, as both require advanced learning acquired by prolonged formal instruction and/or specialized training and work experience. However, the university recognizes administrative faculty and professional faculty as distinct position types.
Administrative Faculty positions are generally senior administrators who perform work related to the management of the educational and general activities of the university, for at least fifty percent of their work. Typically, administrative faculty serve in executive leadership roles such as vice president, provost, vice provost, dean, assistant or associate vice president, assistant or associate vice provost, or assistant or associate dean. Other administrative faculty roles can include (1) those responsible for the administrative direction of separately designated divisions or departments of institutional activity; (2) positions whose primary responsibility is to attract external funds; or (3) positions that are characterized by active, continuing involvement in formulating, interpreting and implementing institutional policy, and exercise substantial independence, authority and discretion in areas such as program planning, design and allocation of resources. The organizational reporting relationship for administrative faculty is normally not lower than three levels below Executive Council positions. For Academic Affairs, this would include: Vice Provost/Dean (level 1), Academic Unit Head/Director (level 2) and Associate Director (level 3).
Professional Faculty require advanced learning and experience acquired by prolonged formal instruction and/or specialized work experience. Typical professional faculty positions are librarians, counselors, coaches, physicians, lawyers, engineers and architects. Other professional positions may support education, research, University Life and other such activities. Professional faculty positions must require the incumbent to regularly exercise professional discretion and judgment and to produce work that is intellectual and varied and is not standardized.
This policy applies to all employees designated as administrative or professional faculty and those who supervise them.
The university may negotiate mutually amicable separation agreements with A&P faculty when such is determined to be in the best interest of the university. Such agreements provide a means for ending the employment relationship in a non-adversarial method. Supervisors of employees who are separated as a result of this policy are advised to reference Policy 1314-Transfer and Separation from Employment for separation procedures.
Agreements may be developed and implemented where unsuccessful job matches, irreconcilable personality conflict, or other circumstances lead the parties to agree that an end to the employment relationship is in the best interest of all parties. Decisions to enter into amicable separation agreements shall be voluntary on the part of the university and the employee. An employee and the university shall have the option to pursue traditional means of separation. The employee also has the option to pursue a review of a separation procedure in accordance with Policy 1335-Terms and Conditions of Employment for Administrative & Professional Faculty.
The appropriate vice president, in collaboration with the Director of Human Resources, may negotiate mutually amicable separation agreements with A&P faculty when such is determined to be in the best interest of the university.
Amicable separation agreements can be initiated by either party and shall be documented on a case-by-case basis. Such agreements must be approved by the appropriate vice president and the president and signed by both the A&P faculty member and the appropriate vice president. University General Counsel shall be informed before final execution and implementation.
The president is responsible for review and approval of each amicable separation agreement with an A&P faculty member.
The appropriate vice president is responsible for initiating and overseeing negotiations for mutually amicable separation agreements.
The Director of Human Resources is responsible for review and approval of each amicable separation agreement.
Sanctions for failure to comply with this policy will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.
The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.
Previous version: June 2013
Approved by the President: May 2006