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Staff Policy D-707.00
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Retrenchment Policy

It is the policy of Northwestern Michigan College to dedicate its resources to the greatest possible achievement of its mission and goals. The future vigor and distinction of Northwestern Michigan College will depend upon the ability of its financial, physical, and human resources to meet the changing needs of the College, the students, and the communities it serves.

In turn, the College's ability to adapt to these changing needs will depend upon its possession of a clear sense of vision and mission, effective long-range planning processes, and processes for reviewing the viability and effectiveness of existing programs and services. Such review processes are vital in order to maximize the opportunities the College encounters and meet the challenges it may face.

It is the College's desire to retain regularly contracted faculty and staff members who have performed satisfactorily. It is not the purpose of this policy to replace an ongoing evaluation system to address personnel issues. College-wide retrenchment assumes that all reasonable and appropriate non-personnel reductions have already been made. However, the ability of the institution to provide quality instruction and service to students will be a prime consideration in every retrenchment decision.

The President of the College will be responsible for the development of procedures for retrenchment that reflect a good faith effort to obtain the consensus of all the faculty and staff councils. These procedures (Staff Procedures D-707.00, D-707.01, and D-707.02) will cover College-wide retrenchment and retrenchment within an area, and shall be published in the resource guides available in the Office of Human Resources and/or on the NMC web site.

  1. Definitions Relating to Retrenchment
    1. Area: With reference to the College's organizational chart, an instructional or service area, discipline, department, or program within an instructional or service area.
    2. Board: The Northwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees.
    3. College-wide Retrenchment: Those actions involving programs, services, resources, budgets, and personnel of the whole College taken, upon a declaration of College-wide financial exigency by the board of trustees, to reduce expenses or enhance revenues in order to bring about a state of financial stability in the College.
    4. Consensus: A general agreement or willingness to adopt a course of action.  Consensus in College-wide retrenchment does not require unanimity of support by all College personnel.
    5. Financial Exigency: A College-wide fiscal emergency caused by a set of financial circumstances that makes prompt action necessary to maintain the viability of the College.
    6. Regular Annually Appointed: With reference to the College's definition of employee categories, those faculty and staff who are annually contracted or scheduled to work on a regular basis, including full-time, part-time, and those on limited schedules.
    7. Retrenchment: The act of reducing or curtailing expenses and/or reallocating resources. In the context of this policy, retrenchment may take place on a College-wide basis or within an area.
    8. Retrenchment Within an Area: Those actions taken within a specific instructional and/or service area to reduce expenses or increase effectiveness of that area. A board of trustees declaration of financial exigency for the area is not required to implement retrenchment within a specific instructional and/or service area.
  2. Types of Retrenchment
    1. College-wide Retrenchment: College-wide retrenchment shall consist of a three-part process:  declaration of a state of financial exigency, development of a College-wide retrenchment plan, and implementation of the College-wide retrenchment.
      1. Declaration of a State of Financial Exigency: College-wide retrenchment occurs only after the board of trustees declares that a College-wide state of financial exigency exists. The board of trustees may declare that a College-wide financial exigency exists when:
        1. there is a reduction in state funding, community millage support, overall tuition revenue, or other significant funding for essential College operations, or
        2. there is an anticipated increase in expenses in excess of revenues, such that prompt action is necessary to maintain the viability of the College.
        The College must be in a board-declared state of financial exigency prior to the implementation of retrenchment actions which may lead to reduction of hours, reduction of contract, or layoff of personnel on a College-wide basis.
      2. Development of the College-wide Retrenchment Plan: Upon declaration of a College-wide state of financial exigency, the board of trustees will direct the president of the College to take the necessary actions, guided by this policy's statement of philosophy, to implement the process of retrenchment and develop a College-wide retrenchment plan. The board of trustees will require the president to submit a College-wide retrenchment plan that reflects an attempt to obtain the consensus of representatives from the College community.
      3. Implementation of the College-wide Retrenchment Plan:  Upon approval of the board of trustees, the president will implement the College-wide retrenchment plan which may include, but is not limited to actions involving:
        1. programs, services, resources, budgets, and personnel which result in the enhancement of revenues;
        2. the reduction of expenses;
        3. budget changes;
        4. reorganization, redesign, or elimination of instructional programs or service areas;
        5. retraining of personnel;
        6. transfer of personnel from one area to another;
        7. work reassignment within an area;
        8. reduction of contracts and/or layoff of personnel.
        Board of trustees action is required for the layoff or reduction of contract of annually contracted faculty, administrative/managerial, or professional staff members resulting from College-wide retrenchment.
      4. College-wide Retrenchment Intent: Although retrenchment will inevitably affect students, efforts shall be made to structure reductions so that they will have the least impact on the College's ability to meet the needs of students and the community. However, completion of a degree or certificate cannot be guaranteed by Northwestern Michigan College, and the College reserves the right to terminate any course or program regardless of whether or not students are currently enrolled.  To give students a maximum opportunity either to finish their work or transfer to another program, a course or a program should be phased out over a reasonable length of time. When this cannot be accomplished, students will be provided with information about other methods they could follow to complete their educational objectives.
    2. Retrenchment Within an Area: Reductions in funding, decline of enrollments, reduced demand for an academic program or College service, or the need for reorganization of a College area to increase effectiveness may necessitate retrenchment within an area of the College. The need for retrenchment within an area of the College may be identified at any point within the organizational structure of the area on a continuum from the coordinator of a given program to the board of trustees.  Retrenchment actions will be recommended by the appropriate area executive officer following consultation with the discipline chair(s) and personnel within that area and implemented by the president of the College. These actions may include those taken to reduce expenses and enhance effectiveness through:
      1. budget changes;
      2. reorganization, redesign, or elimination of area programs or services;
      3. retraining of personnel;
      4. transfer of personnel from one area to another area;
      5. work reassignment within an area;
      6. reduction of contract, and/or layoff of faculty, administrative/managerial, professional, paraprofessional, and/or support staff members.
      A board of trustees declaration of financial exigency for the area is not required for implementation of retrenchment within an area. Board action is required for the layoff or reduction of contract of annually contracted faculty, administrative/managerial, or professional staff members previously appointed by the board.
  3. Criteria for Retrenchment
    Criteria for retrenchment of faculty and staff through work reassignment, reduction of contract, or layoff shall be as follows:  the ability to meet the needs of the students and the community and the potential to contribute to new or restructured programs within the instructional area or other areas (as evidenced by such things as prior experience, recency of experience, education, and/or certifications relevant to the area of reassignment) and length of service to the College in a regular, annually appointed position.

    Preference shall be given to regular, annually appointed faculty and staff; however, the board of trustees will retain the final discretion regarding the selection of faculty and staff for layoff.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Initially Adopted as D-1108.01 December 12, 1996
Revised and renumbered D-503.06 December 20, 2006
Renumbered D-701.06 from D-503.06 (Operations) July 27, 2010
Renumbered D-707.00 November 3, 2010

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