GUIDELINES FOR THE CONDUCT OF HEARINGS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 603 OF THE UNC CODE
I. Preliminary Meeting of the Hearing Committee
A. Election of Chair. Once the committee is formed, the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate shall convene an initial meeting of the Committee for the purpose of selecting a Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Committee shall serve as presiding officer and facilitate the orderly process of the proceedings. The Chairperson shall have responsibility for compiling the official record of the proceedings. (See Section V below). The Chairperson of the Faculty Senate shall provide the Committee with the intent to discharge letter and the written specifications of reasons.
B. Scheduling. At this initial meeting, the Chairperson of the Committee should determine a schedule of available days and times for purposes of arranging hearing dates with the respective parties to the proceeding. Setting firm hearing dates sufficiently in advance of the actual hearing facilitates the ability of the parties to schedule the appearance of witnesses before the Committee.
C. Court Reporter. The Chairperson of the Committee shall contact the Office of General Counsel to arrange for a court reporter to be available at the hearing for purposes of transcribing and making a written record of the proceedings.
D. Legal Advice. The Chair of the Committee shall advise the Office of General Counsel if the Committee desires to have legal advice regarding the conduct of the hearing. The Office of General Counsel will forward the request for legal counsel to the UNC General Administration.
II. Preliminary Meeting(s) between the Committee and the Parties to the proceeding
A. The Chairperson shall arrange one or more pre-hearing meetings as necessary with the parties and their counsel, if any, to schedule hearing dates and address preliminary matters. To facilitate communications, the Committee should keep a list of the telephone numbers, FAX numbers, E-mail addresses and mailing addresses of all parties to the proceedings. Any information or communication sent to one party must be sent to all other parties.
B. Preliminary matters to be addressed may include
1. procedural issues raised by the parties
2. exchange of witness lists and documents the parties propose to introduce into evidence at the hearing. The committee may require the parties to indicate the subject matter about which each witness will testify. Exchanges should occur at least 10 business days prior to the hearing. (While the procedure contemplates the exchange of documents by the parties to the proceeding in advance of the actual hearing, the committee should not receive copies until the documents are actually introduced into evidence.)
3. stipulations by the parties on any relevant matters of fact. Stipulations shall be reduced to writing and signed by both parties and the Chairperson of the Committee.
C. Record of proceedings. The Chairperson shall keep a written record of these pre-hearing proceedings which shall become a part of the permanent record of the hearing.
III. The hearing.
A. Schedule of hearing. The Chairperson of the Hearing Committee shall schedule the hearing within a reasonable time after the preliminary hearings are concluded. All hearings shall be closed to the public unless the faculty member and the hearing committee agree that it may be open.
B. Control of hearing.
1. The Chairperson of the Committee shall be in full charge of the hearing. The committee shall decide what evidence it will consider and should expressly decline to hear or read evidence it finds to be irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious.
2. The Committee may decide any procedural matters that occur, so long as its decisions do not conflict with any written university procedures, including Section 603 of the Code.
3. Other than in the hearing itself, committee members should not have any communication with the parties or anyone else, directly or indirectly concerning the merits of the case. Procedural matters relating to the hearing should be addressed in writing by the Chairperson. Written materials required by Section 603, witness lists, and procedural requests and questions from any of the parties may be received and answered prior to the hearing provided copies are provided to all parties.
4. Hearsay evidence may be admitted at the Committee=s discretion. The better practice is to require testimony of the witness with direct knowledge.
5. Documentary evidence may be introduced by the parties at the hearing. All documents should be labeled with exhibit numbers, marked to indicate the number of pages (where applicable) and identified as either the Charging Party=s exhibit or the Faculty Members=s exhibit. The exhibit numbers should be written on the exhibits, and the exhibit pages numbered at the time they are first presented to the committee. No statements or records may be considered by the committee unless accepted as evidence at the hearing. If the committee decides that certain information offered by a party or witness should be excluded from consideration, the decision to exclude should be recorded for the record and the excluded information should be kept as part of the official record but segregated from the information that was accepted as evidence.
C. Order and Presentation of Evidence.
1. The hearing shall commence by the Chairperson of the Committee reading the specification of charges against the faculty member and requesting the Faculty Member=s plea to the charges.
2. The Chancellor or delegate and the unit administrator bringing the charges (the Charging Party), or charging party=s legal counsel, shall present testimony and documentation as relevant to support the charges. The Faculty Member or his/her legal counsel have the right to cross-examine all witnesses at the conclusion of their respective testimony. The Committee should normally withhold questions of each witness until after the direct testimony and cross examination of the witness has been completed.
3. The Faculty Member or his/her legal counsel shall present testimony and documentation as relevant to refute the charges. The Charging Party or his/her legal counsel shall have the right to cross-examine the witnesses. The hearing committee should normally withhold questions of each witness until after the direct testimony and cross examination of the witness has been completed.
4. After the presentation of the Faculty Member=s case, the Charging Party may present rebuttal evidence. Rebuttal evidence shall be limited to matters brought forth in the Faculty Member=s case. Surrebuttal evidence (limited to evidence rebutting the Charging Party=s rebuttal evidence) may be allowed.
5. The Charging party or his/her legal counsel shall present closing arguments followed by the affected Faculty Member=s closing argument.
6. The hearing committee shall deliberate to determine its findings of fact and recommendations.
D. Burden of Proof. The Chancellor (or delegate) has the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that the reasons for discharge have a reasonable basis in fact and are consistent with state and federal law, NC State University policy, and policy of the University of North Carolina.
IV. The Committee=s decision.
Following closing arguments, the Committee shall retire to deliberate. The hearing committee shall consider each specification for discharge and make a specific finding as to whether cause for discharge has been established. The Committee=s findings and recommendations for disposition of the case shall be written in a report addressed and delivered to the Chancellor within ten days after the hearing concludes. The Committee=s report shall be written in such a way that a person unfamiliar with the case can quickly determine the contested issues and how the Committee resolved each of those issues. The report shall be signed by the committee members subscribing to the report and identify any dissenting votes. Any member(s) of the hearing committee may file a minority report which shall be attached to the committee=s report. A minority report shall be signed by those members of the committee subscribing to the minority report.
V. Official Record
A. All correspondence pertaining to the proceedings, documentary evidence received into evidence, and other items of information that were given consideration by the Committee should be incorporated into the Official Record, along with the court reporter=s transcript of the hearing. Evidence that was presented to the Committee but excluded by the Committee should be segregated, marked as such, and included with the Official Record. Minutes of preliminary meetings shall also be included in the record. Upon request, a copy of the transcript shall be furnished to the faculty member at the institution=s expense.
B. A table of contents should be compiled for the Official Record, and the Official Record should be arranged in a logical order (e.g. chronological for correspondence, numerical order by exhibits). The official record should be forwarded to the Chancellor along with the Committee=s final report.