3.01. Nonrenewal Defined
3.02. Grounds for Nonrenewal
3.03. Employer’s Responsibility in Cases of Nonrenewal for Funding Loss or a Budget or Program Decision
3.04. Employer's Responsibility in Cases of Nonrenewal for Performance
3.06. Referral Priority
3.08. Appeal Process
3.09. Joinder of Nonrenewal Appeals
Nonrenewal is the termination of an academic staff member’s employment at the end of the appointment because of funding loss, a budget or program decision, or unsatisfactory performance, when proper notice of nonrenewal under ASPP 3.05 is given.
In carrying out its mission and goals, the university retains the right to determine the direction and scope of its programs—including the right to reduce staff levels through nonrenewal because of a funding loss or a budget or program decision. A member of the academic staff holding a fixed-term renewable appointment may be nonrenewed at the end of the appointment because of
Termination during an initial period of evaluation is not a nonrenewal and is not subject to the provisions of this chapter.
NOTE: Nonrenewal does not apply to employees holding indefinite appointments. See ASPP 2.01.B.
Whenever a funding loss or a budget or program decision will result in a reduction of the academic staff work force in an operational area, nonrenewal shall be implemented on the basis of years of UW–Madison service (see ASPP 1.03), except as follows. The presumption in favor of years of service shall not apply when program needs dictate other considerations such as the need to maintain specific expertise, responsibility levels, or productivity levels within a program or operational area.
An employer (e.g., immediate supervisor, principal investigator, department chair or unit head) is responsible for clearly communicating to each employee under their supervision what the employee’s duties are and how the performance of those duties will be evaluated. Before ending an appointment for unsatisfactory performance, the employer must inform the employee in writing about areas of performance deficiency and must make efforts to work with the employee to improve performance to a satisfactory level (see ASPP 10, Performance Reviews). Some examples of unsatisfactory performance include insufficiently productive or timely output, insufficient creative effort, or failure to communicate effectively with individuals or groups important to the work processes.
Lapses in performance may also result from a disability or personal problem. If the employer knows, or has reason to believe, that either of these is or could be a factor affecting the employee’s performance, the employer shall consult with campus resources such as the Office for Equity and Diversity, the Office of Compliance, the Employee Assistance Office, the Ombuds Office, and the Office of Human Resources before proceeding.
The employee shall be given a written notice of nonrenewal, including a statement of the reasons, notification of their right to appeal, and a copy of ASPP 3 and 9, in advance of the expiration of the current appointment in accordance with the table below. Prior to issuing the nonrenewal notice, the employing unit must obtain the approval of the dean, director, or designee. Copies of the nonrenewal notice shall be sent to the department chair or unit head, the dean or director, and the Office of Human Resources. If necessary, the appointment shall be extended to provide the required minimum nonrenewal notice. If the minimum notice period cannot be provided, policies pertaining to layoff apply (see ASPP 5).
|Years of UW–Madison Academic Staff Service*||Minimum Notice Period in Months|
|Fewer than 2||3|
|At least 2 but fewer than 6||6|
|At least 6 but fewer than 10||9|
|10 or more||12|
NOTE: Rolling-horizon appointments require additional action and may require additional notice (see ASPP 2.01.A.2).
*Academic staff service is defined as continuous years of paid UW–Madison academic staff employment without regard to percent of appointment. For purposes of determining the required notice periods, an appointment of one or both semesters of an academic year shall count as one year of service. A leave of absence of any length or a break in academic staff service of three years or less shall not result in loss of prior years’ employment credit.
Referral priority entitles a nonrenewed academic staff member to be considered for academic staff positions for which they are qualified prior to open recruitment. Fixed-term academic staff members with six or more years of academic staff service at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who are nonrenewed for funding loss or a budget or program decision shall be eligible for referral priority from notification of nonrenewal until the end of the appointment. An academic staff member with referral priority may be hired without open recruitment at the discretion of the department or unit responsible for the position.
To initiate and maintain referral priority, the nonrenewed academic staff member must register with the Office of Human Resources and notify that office of changes of address or employment status. Referral priority ends automatically when a staff member accepts an alternative appointment that is not temporary, fails to accept an appropriate alternative appointment with any employer, resigns, or fails to notify the Office of Human Resources of changes of address or employment status. The primary test in the determination of appropriate alternative appointment is not salary level but the comparability of the qualifications necessary and skill level required.
An academic staff member who is nonrenewed has the right to appeal when the staff member believes that there are no valid grounds for nonrenewal (see ASPP 3.01); or that another academic staff member should have been nonrenewed instead; or that the nonrenewal is arbitrary, capricious, for reasons prohibited by law, or in violation of ASPP when the alleged violation is substantive enough to influence the decision under review. An arbitrary or capricious nonrenewal decision is one that is made without a basis in fact or for inconsequential or unsubstantial reasons when the needs of the program have not changed, funds for the position are available, and performance has been satisfactory. A pending appeal of a nonrenewal decision does not extend the appointment.
If the nonrenewal of two or more members of the academic staff arises from the same or similar situation in a single operational area, the academic staff members who appeal or the dean or director may request joinder of cases for review. The Academic Staff Appeals Committee shall consider joinder before taking up the merits of any case. In addition, the Academic Staff Appeals Committee may join the cases on its own motion.