New York Tenured College Faculty Defense Lawyers

Unlike tenured public school teachers in New York, tenured college faculty are subject to the processes set in place by their college or university rather than by state educational agencies. These processes vary among schools. Yet all purport to provide the same basic protections: A tenured faculty member must receive notice of claims against them or adverse actions taken against their employment and must receive an opportunity for a hearing. 

If you’re facing disciplinary issues, don’t wait. Contact an experienced New York tenured college faculty defense lawyer today. The team at Brill Legal Group, P.C. can help. 

New York Faculty Governance Policies and Procedures

New York’s colleges and universities set their own policies and procedures for faculty governance. These rules both protect tenured faculty and list the responsibilities faculty members have to the academic community. 

While each institution also has specific offices and procedures for faculty disciplinary hearings, many of these methods share similarities among colleges and universities. For example, New York University’s disciplinary procedures:

  • Identify who may file a complaint. At NYU, any University officer, faculty or staff member, or student may file a complaint against a tenured faculty member “for conduct prohibited by the rules and regulations of the University, or its schools, colleges, and departments.” The filing of a complaint is not proof of misconduct, but it begins the inquiry process. 
  • Create a process for filing complaints and resolving claims. Tenure offers faculty the right to notice of a complaint and a hearing to resolve the issue. Many schools, like NYU, seek to resolve matters informally as a first step. Faculty can and should consult an attorney even during an “informal” process, however. 
  • Assign a disciplinary or oversight committee and delineate its powers. The power to oversee complaints against tenured faculty and issue decisions, including penalties, is typically delegated to a specific committee or individual, such as a departmental head or college dean. Do not allow this person or committee to make decisions that affect your career without first seeking representation from an experienced defense lawyer. Your attorney can present your side of the case to the committee and fight to protect your rights. 
  • Identify available penalties for violations of rules or regulations. For example, NYU identifies five avenues for penalties: reprimand, censure, removal of privileges, suspension, or dismissal. However, the rules state that potential penalties “are not limited to” these five outcomes. With so much at stake, working with an experienced attorney is important.
  • Create avenues for appeal. These rules may limit the grounds for appeal or impose short time limits on when an appeal can be made. Failing to follow these rules, however, can result in losing your opportunity to appeal a decision. Work with an attorney as soon as possible to preserve issues, evidence, and opportunities for appeal. 
  • Provide ways for disciplinary officers to respond before an investigation or a hearing. Not all tenured faculty face summary suspension or similar adverse actions when a complaint is filed. Those who do, however, should seek the help of an experienced attorney immediately. 

Many other New York colleges and universities include similar provisions in their policies and procedures for faculty disciplinary measures. 

What to Do If You’re Facing Disciplinary Action As A NY Tenured College Faculty Member

If you are facing a complaint, a hearing, or disciplinary action related to a complaint:

  • Familiarize yourself with applicable policies and procedures. Remember that your department, college, and university as a whole may all have their own set of policies and procedures that apply in this situation. If the complaint accuses you of violating state or federal law, the issues may become even more complex.
  • Insist on written records and witnesses to all actions. Get everything in writing and keep copies of these records in a safe place. If you’re called into a conversation with a member of the administration, insist on having a third observer present. 
  • Speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can ensure you receive the fair hearing to which you are entitled. If the complaint involves allegations of illegal behavior, your lawyer can work to protect your legal rights as well. 

Attorneys for Tenured College Faculty in New York

If you are a college professor facing disciplinary issues, contact the team at Brill Legal Group, P.C., as soon as possible. We are prepared to build a strong defense on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost, confidential initial evaluation with one of our experienced defense attorneys:

Just when I was getting discouraged and was at my wits end trying to find the right attorney for my case, a family member recommended Mr. Brill. He did not disappoint. Mr. Brill and his team are diligent, very professional, encouraging and honest every step of the way. Highly recommended.

- A.S.