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Suspension and Dismissal Policy - 63.12

College Procedure Number/Title:


Howard Community College’s president may recommend to the board of trustees dismissal of a term of contract employee (see policy 63.03, Employment  and procedure 63.03.01, Employment Definitions) for cause as defined below and in accordance with federal and state law.  If the board accepts the recommendation of the president, they will authorize the president to dismiss the employee.

Cause will be defined as including, but not limited to, incompetent or inefficient service; insubordina­tion; immorality; substance abuse; discrimination or harassment or other illegal acts; willful neglect of duty; unprofessional or unethical conduct; inability to perform the essential functions of the position; or misconduct defined as the violation of institutional policies or procedures. The college will use the “reasonable person standard” to evaluate whether an employee’s actions fall within any of the categories listed above.

A term of contract employee as defined in procedure 63.03.01, Employment Definitions, who is dismissed, is entitled to reasonable notice and the opportunity to be heard (due process).

Employees without term of contract are “at-will” employees (see policy 63.03, Employment and procedure 63.03.01, Employment Definitions).  Employment “at-will” means that employment may be ended at any time and for any reason or no reason by the college or the employee.  Employees without term of contract do not have the right of notice or hearing (due process).


As authorized by the procedures of the board of trustees, the president or a designee may suspend employees for cause as defined above under Dismissal for a period of up to five months or one academic semester.  If the suspension will be suspension without pay of a term of contract employee, the employee will be given an opportunity to be heard in a meeting. Employees without term of contract are not guaranteed such a meeting prior to suspension.

A term of contract employee who is suspended for cause by the president’s designee has the right to appeal an unpaid suspension to the president in writing within five calendar days. The president will review the appeal and any supporting materials and will issue a decision in a timely manner. The decision of the president shall be final. An employee may or may not serve the unpaid suspension prior to an appeal decision; if the suspension is overturned on appeal after it has been served, the employee will be paid retroactively for any unpaid suspension days. In cases where the president makes the initial suspension decision, the decision is final and there is no right to appeal.

All dismissals and suspensions will be conducted in accordance with policy 63.01, Non-Discrimination.

Effective Date:  05/13/16

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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