Procedures Concerning Termination of Long-Term Academic Professional Employees (AY2023-24)

It has been the long-standing policy and practice of the campus to review a recommendation to terminate an employee.  The following procedures of counseling and review are used in cases of involuntary termination of full-time, non-visiting, academic professional employees who have ten or more years of full-time continuous service to the University of Illinois as an academic professional staff member.  Credit may be given for all or part of relevant experience in other University of Illinois positions (please see Definition of Eligible Service and Computation of Length of Service, Provost’s Communication 11).   

In determining whether a notice of nonreappointment is necessary for a long-term employee, the matter is considered at multiple levels.  At each level the reviewer considers whether there are any alternatives to nonreappointment (e.g., possible placement within another unit within the reviewer’s portfolio).  If the reviewing officer is aware of a current or impending vacancy, it may be possible to re-deploy the employee via the relocation plan. Details of the relocation plan may be found in the Campus Administrative Manual, Section IX/C-26:  

All of the following steps must be completed and reviewed by the Office of Illinois Human Resources before the formal request is made to the Board of Trustees for issuance of a notice of non-reappointment.

General Overview of Process

A written statement serves as the basis of discussion for a meeting between the employing unit and the employee.  [The written statement should be reviewed and approved as outlined in B, below, prior to the meeting with the employee.]  At this meeting with the employee, the employee should be provided with a copy of the statement for the discussion. Following the meeting, forward a copy of the written statement with the employee’s signature indicating receipt of the letter to Illinois Human Resources.

Step 1:  Draft Written Statement (letter) to Employee

This statement should include the following points:  

  1. Employee’s name, employee’s position title, number of years of service in unit, and total number of years of service as an academic professional at the University of Illinois.  Contact IHR. 
  2. The reason(s) for the decision not to continue the appointment of the employee. This section need not include a detailed list of reasons; it must, however, provide enough general information to guide the employee who wishes to seek reconsideration or to grieve the decision.  Thus, statements such as “your position must be cut for budgetary reasons” or “the quality of your work performance was not sufficient” are suitable.  [Note:  if the notice is being given for performance reasons, please contact the Office of Illinois Human Resources to discuss the employee performance matter.  Staff in this office will provide appropriate next steps and a letter template.] 
  3. Evaluation (brief summary) of the employee’s job performance.  
  4. Impact of the termination on the employee’s anticipated benefits.  Benefits will terminate as of the last date of pay.  Information about the impact on retirement should be available from SURS.  
  5. Alternatives to termination and plans for reassignment of duties related to the position, if any. 

For a sample letter for NONR based on budgetary and programmatic, see Attachment 3.  For performance based NONRs, please consult with the Office of Illinois Human Resources regarding the content of the letter to the employee.

Step 2:  Circulate Written Statement (letter) for Approval Signatures

The second step in the process is a review and approval of the proposed Notice of Nonreappointment.  The written statement prepared in Step 1 is forwarded for review and approval by the following officers as appropriate: 

  1. Unit head employing the academic professional staff employee 
  2. Director to whom the department or unit head reports 
  3. Dean to whom the director reports 
  4. Director, Office of Illinois Human Resources 

If the reviewing officer concurs with the recommendation, it is forwarded to the next level; otherwise, it is returned to the originating level for appropriate action. 

Reviewing officers are encouraged to consider alternatives to nonreappointment for those terminated for budgetary or programmatic reasons.  If the reviewing officer is aware of the opportunity to relocate the employee in another position, whether the position is a current or impending vacancy, the officer may request that the employee be considered a candidate via the relocation plan.

Step 3:  Meeting and Discussion with Employee

Once the document has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate administrative officers as outlined above, and if all reviewing officers concur, the Office of Illinois Human Resources will return the signed letter to the unit for the meeting with the employee.  Following the meeting with the employee, forward a copy of the letter (signed by the employee) to Illinois Human Resources.  Also, include points listed below in the discussion:

  • Employment Opportunities: The Office of Illinois Human Resources can provide advice and consultation upon request regarding resume writing and job search strategies to those seeking alternative employment.  See employment opportunities at the University. 
  • Relocation Plan: The Office of Illinois Human Resources also coordinates the Relocation Plan.  Only full-time, non-visiting academic professional staff members who have received formal Notice of Nonreappointment for budgetary or programmatic reasons are eligible to participate in the Relocation Plan.  Those who have been given Notice of Nonreappointment for reasons other than lack of funding or programmatic changes are not entitled to the provisions of this policy.  Details of the Relocation Plan may be found in the Campus Administrative Manual, Section IX/C-26.  
  • Faculty Staff Assistance Program: The Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) Office offers confidential consultations to employees and members of their families in the areas of work-related issues, financial worries, stress and other personal concerns.  This service is free of charge to all faculty, staff and family members.  Please share with the employee an FSAP information pamphlet
  • Illinois Human Resources: In addition to the resources above, the Office of Illinois Human Resources serves as a resource to employees with questions.

Ask the employee to sign the letter (make a photocopy for the next step).

Step 4:  Preparation of the Notice of Nonreappointment

Provost’s Communication 11 outlines the requirements for the notice period due the employee.    Upon receipt of copy of the letter signed by the employee, the Office of Illinois Human Resources will forward documentation along with the terminal contract document to the Board of Trustees office.  The Board of Trustees office will mail the notice to the employee’s home address via regular U.S. mail.  For additional guidance, refer to the procedures outlined in Communication No. 11.