These procedures are adopted to implement the Anne Arundel Community College board of trustees' Policy on Financial Exigency and Reduction in Force.
II. Scope and Applicability
These procedures apply to the categories of employees set forth in the policy.
A. All capitalized terms shall have the meanings set forth in the policy.
B. In addition, the terms below are defined as follows:
1. AVP LRM is the associate vice president for Learning Resources Management.
2. CCFPO is the chief compliance and fair practices officer.
3. CEIDO is the chief equity, inclusion and diversity officer.
4. EDHR is the executive director for Human Resources.
5. Furlough is the placement of an employee on a temporary leave of absence without pay or reduction of work hours or days with a proportionate reduction in pay for a specified period of time.
6. GC is the college’s general counsel.
7. Job category is a broad-based group of employees with comparable job responsibilities located at comparable levels of responsibility within the college.
8. President means the president of the college.
9. Unit is a department, program or unit of the college.
10. VP is any one of the vice presidents of the college (collectively, “VPs”).
IV. General Requirements
A. The president or designee will monitor enrollment projections and reports; financial projections and reports; institutional, departmental and program needs; levels of service; staffing requirements; and the general financial health of the college.
B. Tenured faculty may only be separated pursuant to a RIF if the board declares a financial exigency in accordance with the Policy or in accordance with the college manual or applicable policies and procedures.
V. Reductions in Force
A. If the president or designee becomes aware of information that may lead to the conclusion that the college is facing a financial exigency, the president will discuss the possibility of a financial exigency with the VPs.
B. After consulting with the VPs, the president may appoint a task force to develop a RIF plan.
1. The task force will include the VPs, EDHR, CEIDO, GC, AVP LRM and the president of each constituency group.
2. In addition, the president may appoint other employees to the task force who have knowledge, skill or information that will assist the team in developing the RIF plan.
3. The president will select one member of the task force to be the chair of the task force.
4. While developing the RIF plan, members of the task force will keep the matters under consideration confidential and will be required to sign a confidentiality statement that the matters discussed by the task force will not be shared with anyone who is not a member of the task force.
C. The task force will advise the president on the overall savings that need to be achieved to withstand the financial exigency.
D. The task force shall assess which Units and services are vital to achieving the college’s mission and vision, using all available data, including enrollment trends, student retention trends, student/faculty ratios, costs and compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, and accreditation and licensure requirements.
E. The task force shall advise the president on which units and services should be prioritized based on the college’s mission, vision, and strategic plan.
F. Consideration of cost-saving or revenue enhancing measures
1. The task force will consider all reasonable cost saving or revenue enhancing measures to avoid conducting a RIF or minimize the number of employees impacted by a RIF, including but not limited to and in no particular order:
a. Freezing open positions or eliminating vacancies
b. Freezing budgetary lines other than personnel lines
c. Reducing the number of positions in a Unit through natural attrition and only filling vacancies required for continuation of programs or services
d. Eliminating positions, reassigning employees, reducing hours, modifying salaries, or reclassifying positions
e. Furloughing employees
f. Offering voluntary retirement or separation incentives
g. Allowing unpaid leaves of absence for employees
h. Terminating probationary and/or temporary employees
i. Retraining and/or transferring of employees in impacted units to vacant positions in another unit if the employee meets minimum qualifications for the vacant position
j. Reducing college funding for student activities
k. Altering academic program scope or reducing course offerings
l. Making changes to work hours or work assignments
m. Increasing the number of fractional contracts (e.g., nine or 10 month contracts instead of annual contracts) with proportional decreases in salaries
n. Reducing fringe benefits, including health insurance coverage
o. Increasing employee benefit premium cost share
p. Limiting or suspending sabbaticals, promotions or salary increases
q. Seeking additional revenue from other sources
r. Increasing efforts to boost enrollment
s. Increasing class sizes or raising the minimum enrollment required to run a class section
t. Selling college assets
u. Implementing any other potential cost-saving or revenue-generating strategies
2. These measures may be implemented in an attempt to avoid a RIF or may be implemented simultaneously with a recommendation for a RIF in order to reduce the impact on employees.
3. The RIF plan shall include all measures attempted or recommended to occur simultaneously and a projected level of cost-savings or revenue generation.
G. If the task force determines that a RIF cannot be avoided, the task force should consider an equal or proportionate impact on various employee groups when developing its recommendations for the number of employees by job category needed to provide the prioritized programs and services.
1. The EDHR will develop a list of employees that is grouped according to the job categories by grade; within these job categories, smaller grouping may also be made as needed.
2. The task force shall make recommendations for the number of positions by job category that should be restructured or eliminated in each unit.
H. The task force shall present its recommendations to the president for consideration, and the president shall decide the number of positions by job category that should be restructured or eliminated in each unit.
I. The total number of positions by job category that are recommended to be restructured or eliminated will be included in the RIF plan.
J. RIF List
1. The VPs, EDHR and appropriate administrators will create a proposed RIF list that includes the names and job titles of those employees whose positions are recommended for restructuring or elimination.
2. This proposed RIF list will not be included in the RIF plan.
3. The EDHR will list employees within affected job categories within the same unit by length of service at the college.
a. Length of service is determined by original date of employment at the college in a benefit-eligible position, less any breaks in service.
b. Sabbatical leave, paid leave, and leave approved pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act will not be considered a break in service.
4. The following factors will be considered in determining which employees’ positions will be restructured or eliminated:
a. Length of service at the college;
b. Performance evaluations within the previous three (3) years; and
c. Special skills exhibited by employees that are necessary to a critical program or service.
5. Although performance may be considered as a factor in deciding which employees will be impacted by a RIF, a RIF may not be used as a means to terminate an employee whose unsatisfactory performance has not be appropriately documented.
6. The EDHR will present the proposed RIF List to the president for consideration.
7. The president will review and make any changes to the proposed RIF List to ensure that it aligns with the number of positions identified to be restructured or eliminated in the RIF plan and make any changes the president deems necessary.
K. The president will present the RIF plan to the board's Budget Committee.
L. The president will determine whether to make a recommendation that the board declare a financial exigency and if so, will present the recommendation to the board.
M. Notice of a RIF
1. If a financial exigency is declared by the board, the task force will finalize the RIF list for approval by the president.
2. Once approved, the EDHR will provide supervisors with a list of the names and titles for the employees that report to the supervisors who are on the RIF list.
3. Supervisors and a representative from Human Resources shall meet with each employee impacted by the RIF to notify the employee(s) of the restructuring or elimination of the positions.
4. Written notification of the RIF, the reasons for the RIF, and the limited grounds for appeal of employment decisions made as part of a RIF (as set forth below) shall be provided at the time of the meeting.
5. If the RIF includes elimination of an employee’s position, the college shall give each impacted employee no less than thirty (30) calendar days’ notice, or the applicable period required by law, whichever is longer, between notification and implementation of the RIF.
a. At the discretion of the college, an impacted employee may be placed on paid administrative leave during part or all of the notification period.
b. If placed on administrative leave, the impacted employee shall continue to earn leave, if applicable, during the notification period but would not be required to report to work.
6. If funds are available, the college may provide access to the employee assistance program or outplacement services for any employee whose position is eliminated pursuant to the RIF, and the written notification will include information on how an employee may access such services.
7. Each employee whose position is eliminated pursuant to the RIF shall receive information on continuation of health benefits (COBRA) in the mail as required by law.
1. Determinations made as part of a RIF are not subject to the college’s grievance procedures and are not generally appealable.
2. An employee whose employment status is changed as a result of a RIF may appeal solely on the grounds that the College deviated from these procedures in a clear and significant way and that if followed, the outcome would have been different.
3. The employee (“appellant”) must submit an appeal in writing to the CCFPO or designee within five (5) working days after receiving the written notification of the change in employment status and must state the clear and significant deviation(s) from the procedures alleged to have occurred and how the outcome(s) would have been different if the procedures had been followed.
4. The CCFPO shall send a copy of the appeal to the VP who oversees the appellant’s position (“appellee”). The appellee will submit a written response to the CCFPO within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal.
5. The CCFPO, in the CCFPO’s discretion, may conduct an investigation by interviewing any witness that may have relevant information or collecting documents from the appellant, the appellee or any other person who has potentially relevant information.
6. The CCFPO will render a written decision within five (5) working days of concluding the investigation and send it to the appellee and appellant.
a. If the CCFPO or designee finds in favor of the appellant, the CCFPO or designee will fashion an appropriate remedy.
b. If the CCFPO or designee finds in favor of the appellee, the change in employment status shall be effective two (2) weeks from the date of the written appeal decision is sent or the effective date of the change in employment status in the RIF notification, whichever is later.
7. If the CCFPO needs more time to conduct an investigation or render a decision, the CCFPO shall notify the appellant and appellee in writing and provide an estimate for when the investigation and decision will be completed.