Notice of Non-reappointments and Terminations for Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS)
Pursuant to Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) policy, Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) may be re-appointed on an annual basis unless a previous notice of non-reappointment has been issued. Further pursuant to KBOR policy, UPS positions may be termianted for a number of reasons separate from a non-reappointment.This policy outlines the policy and process associated with notices of non-reappointment and terminations.
Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) appointed to regular positions who are not serving a probationary period.
A notice of non-reappointment shall be a letter coordinated with Human Resource Management (HRM) from the authorized administrator notifying the staff member that their appointment will not extend beyond the end of the fiscal year or will be modified (as detailed below). Authorized administrators who are considering a notice of non-reappointment must consult first with their administrative channels and with HRM before making a recommendation of non-reappointment. Non-reappointment should be in the best interests of the University.
a. Conditions requiring a notice of non-reappointment
A notice of non-reappointment is required when administrative actions result in the following changes for an unclassified staff member:
- a permanent salary reduction;
- a FTE change that causes a permanent, annual salary reduction;
- a change in funding source which alters the appointment to a “contingent on funding” appointment; or
- the non-renewal of employment in the best interests of the University.
b. Notice of non-reappointment
Written recommendation for non-reappointment of an unclassified professional staff member may be made by the chair or director (or their designee) to the authorized administrator as noted herein. Notices of non-reappointment may also be initiated without written recommendation by the authorized administrators who will determine if non-reappointment is required or is in the best interests of the University. Only administrators (or their designees) as specified in the Chancellor’s Delegation letter are authorized to issue notices of non-reappointment. Those administrators may designate HRM to issue the written notice.
In consultation with HRM and depending on the nature of the appointment, an unclassified staff member who has received a notice of non-reappointment may be placed on paid administrative leave pending the effective date of the non-reappointment. In such cases, the staff member will be expected to comply with management instructions during this paid absence. Failure to comply with those instructions, or failure to maintain adequate performance and/or conduct could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination prior to the effective date of the non-reappointment.
Circumstances may arise which warrant a modification, extension, rescission of a notice of non-reappointment. Those changes may be made by the authorized administrator in consultation with HRM.
c. Duty reassignment
In consultation with HRM, an unclassified professional staff member who has received a notice of non-reappointment may be reassigned to other duties and/or to an alternate supervisor until the effective date of the non-reappointment. An employee may also be relocated to another work site and/or have electronic system access and/or privileges modified or disabled. In such cases, the staff member will be expected to comply with management instructions during this paid absence. Failure to comply with those instructions, or failure to maintain adequate performance and/or conduct could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination prior to the effective date of the non-reappointment.
d. Notice time periods
Generally appointments for unclassified professional staff appointed to regular positions without special employment conditions begin with the fiscal year on July 1. The appointment generally continues through June 30 which is considered the last day of the fiscal year for the purpose of non-reappointments. Unclassified professional staff appointments with special employment conditions (e.g., limited term, contingent upon funding, “serve at the pleasure” appointments) as defined by the University’s policy on Employment Conditions or appointments held during periods of budgetary constraints, emergencies, program restructuring, or discontinuance of a program are not subject to these notice time periods.
During the first three (3) fiscal years of continuous service on regular, fiscal year appointments with the University and after successfully completing the probationary period, notice must be given no later than May 17 for non-reappointment the following fiscal year. After completion of the third full fiscal year of continuous service on regular staff appointments with the University, the individual must be given notice no later than March 30 if the employee will not be reappointed the following fiscal year.
In some cases, unclassified professional staff may be appointed to less than a full fiscal year but are not considered Limited Term appointments. They may also be subject to special employment conditions previously mentioned without notice time periods. Absent special employment conditions, staff appointed on less than a fiscal year basis must be given notice of non-reappointment no later than March 30, regardless of their length of service.
e. Appeal avenues
A staff member who asserts that a decision to give notice of non-reappointment constitutes a violation of established University procedures is entitled to appeal such decision by submitting a written appeal within fourteen (14) calendar days of the date of the written notice of non-reappointment to the administrator issuing the notice. If an unclassified professional staff reports directly to the administrator issuing the notice of non-reappointment, the employee may appeal that procedural violation to an administrator designated by the Provost or Chancellor for that purpose. Such an appeal cannot be based on any reason other than that the notice violated established University procedures for non-reappointment. This is the sole avenue for appeal of a notice of non-reappointment.
a. Terminations not for cause
Employees holding Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) positions may be terminated or have their appointment reduced without cause for the following reasons:
- The position has been designated as “contingent upon funding” and there is a lack of available funds designated for the position.
- Financial or programmatic circumstances necessitate a budgetary reduction, program/organizational restructure, or program discontinuance.
- Financial exigency.
All such terminations or appointment reductions require a 14-day minimum notice to the employee. If available, and in the best interest of the organization, an alternate employment opportunity may be offered to an employee at the time termination notice is provided.
Employees given notice of termination are expected to continue to make contributions to the department/University and meet both performance and conduct expectations throughout the remainder of their employment. Failure to meet performance and conduct expectations could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination prior to the specified effective date. Supervisors are expected to begin the exit process utilizing the appropriate departure checklists to facilitate the departure.
UPS positions designated as “serve at the pleasure”, in a probationary status, or temporary (non-benefits eligible) are at-will employees who also may be terminated without cause. Employees with such appointments are not required to receive advance notice of termination; therefore, any advanced notice provided is at the discretion of the authorized administrator.
b. Terminations for cause
UPS employees also may be terminated for just cause related to the performance of or failure to perform the individual's duties or for violation of the reasonable directives, rules and regulations, and laws of the institution, the Kansas Board of Regents and the State of Kansas or the United States, as more fully set forth in the University’s Disciplinary Action Policy for Staff. Any advanced notice provided is at the discretion of the authorized administrator.
Any such termination or appointment reduction request must have the endorsement by the appropriate administrative channels and with Human Resource Management (HRM) prior to employee notification. Only administrators (or their designee) specified in the Chancellor’s Delegation letter are authorized to terminate an appointment. Administrators may designate HRM to issue the written notice unless HRM is the designated authority.
Any notice of termination (or proposed termination) shall communicate to the employee their right to appeal, if any.
Faculty or unclassified academic staff may hold joint appointments as unclassified professional staff with or without the special employment conditions cited herein. A faculty or unclassified staff member’s joint unclassified professional staff appointment with or without special employment conditions is subject to the provisions of this policy and may be terminated pursuant to these provisions.
This policy does not apply to temporary appointments or to staff on probation since such appointments are considered to be “at will” and may be terminated at any time with or without notice.
Notices of non-reappointment are not covered by the Grievance Procedure for Staff.
Furloughs or temporary salary reductions are not subject to this policy.
If a state of financial exigency is declared, no UPS member’s appointment should be terminated solely to create a position for a tenured faculty member.
Positions with special employment conditions (e.g., Limited Term, Acting, or Interim) identifying a specified end date do not require additional or advance notice, unless the termination is to occur prior to the date of termination specified in the appointment. However, unit administrators are expected to communicate to the employee of the upcoming end date and perform necessary departure activities.
Circumstances such as expired work authorization or the failure to successfully complete a background check as a condition of employment will be directly handled by HRM in consultation with the designated unit and supervisor and do not require a request or advanced employee notification. Terminations based on unsuccessful background check results or invalid work authorization are not subject to appeal.
Consult HRM if circumstances arise which warrant a modification, extension, or rescission of a notice of termination.
Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
Not-For-Cause Termination: Termination of employment for reasons other than retirement, death, disability, termination for cause or failure to maintain position requirements, termination during probationary employment or based upon a serve at the pleasure designation.
01/26/2022: Updated to align with current practices, clarify non-reappointment stipulations, and add Terminations section.
10/28/2020: Reverted to 03/12/2019 version of this policy.
10/14/2020: Update to provide clarity and reflect current practices.
03/12/2019: The title VP for Administration and Finance no longer exists. Future approvals will be made by the Vice Provost for Operations.
06/30/2017: Policy updated to clarify current practices.
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
12/16/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing); updates to links after Human Resource Management website update.
06/18/2014: Updates to reflect correct unit names for Office of Research and Human Resources; formatting updates.
02/11/2014: Technical edits to Policy Statement and Contact sections.
2006: Revisions of the section on Non-Reappointment approved by the Chancellor.
1999: Revisions of the section on Non-Reappointment approved by the Chancellor.
1996: Revisions of the section on Non-Reappointment approved by the Chancellor.
1994: Revisions of the section on Non-Reappointment approved by the Chancellor.
1979: This policy on Non-Reappointment of Unclassified Professional Staff originally was part of Section C.4, Personnel Policies and Procedures for Unclassified Professional Staff, of the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff. C.4 originally was approved by the Chancellor in 1979.