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Faculty Handbook 2019


DATE:          June 10, 2019

TO:              Howard University Faculty

FROM:         Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
                   Provost and Chief Academic Officer

SUBJECT:    Howard University Faculty Handbook 2019

I am pleased to inform you that the Board of Trustees approved the revised Howard University Faculty Handbook during their June 7, 2019 meeting, to be placed into effect immediately. The process to revise the 1993 Handbook has taken nearly ten years. Over this time, the entire Howard University Faculty have had numerous opportunities to propose language, review, provide comments, suggestions and edits, and contribute to the development of the Handbook. Various town hall meetings, surveys, as well as school/college-specific assemblies have been conducted to solicit maximal Faculty input. The revised Howard University Faculty Handbook is a document developed by the Faculty and Administration of this University for the purpose of fulfilling the University’s mission, protecting academic freedom and faculty rights, and providing a framework for shared governance and shared responsibility necessary to operate the University. As we prepare for the submission of the Middle States Accreditation self study this fall, the approval by the Board of Trustees also addresses the need to revise the 1993 Faculty Handbook cited in the University’s 2009 re-accreditation self-study, and report of the site visitors.

The revised Faculty Handbook is available at the following link:
and includes several elements of particular interest to Faculty including:

  • Reaffirmation of Academic Freedom – The Handbook notes “Faculty members are entitled to academic freedom in teaching, research, publication, scholarly activity, assembly, service, and in the generation and transmission of new knowledge A Faculty member’s exercise of academic freedom shall not affect his or her terms and conditions of employment, including appointment, reappointment, performance evaluations, promotion, and tenure.”

  • Highlighting the Importance of Shared Governance – The Handbook defines shared governance “as the right and responsibility of Faculty to seek early and meaningful engagement with the Administration and the Board of Trustees in the development of policies and decisions that impact University-wide programs and the responsiveness of Howard University to achieve its unique contemporary mission. Shared governance ensures the right of Faculty to seek change and to participate in the governance of the University through direct interaction and dialogue with the Administration and/or the Board of Trustees, as set forth in the Constitution of the Faculty Senate.”

  • Protecting Tenure Rights – The Handbook reaffirms that “tenured faculty are senior faculty members whose records of achievement in their fields, as determined by peers, administrators, and external reviewers, have merited the award of indefinite tenure by the Board of Trustees of the University … A Faculty member who has been awarded indefinite tenure has a continuous appointment made by the Board of Trustees that extends to retirement, death, or resignation, subject only to termination for just cause or for financial exigency, according to the guidelines specified in the Faculty Handbook.”

Additionally, the Handbook includes new protections for Faculty based upon changes in employment law and societal changes since the 1993 Handbook was approved. These protections include, but are not limited to;

  • Inclusion of protections outlined in both the Federal and DC Family Medical Leave Act,
  • Creation and delineation of the role of the Faculty Ombudsperson to assist Faculty in various matters,
  • Formalizing the opportunity for Faculty to be engaged in the annual academic planning process for each school and college,
  • The availability of tenure clock extensions for various personal circumstances, including the addition of a child for faculty of all genders, as well as “unforeseen circumstances that adversely affect the Faculty member’s ability to conduct scholarly work or fulfill other faculty responsibilities.”

I thank each Faculty member who has proposed language, reviewed and provided comments regarding the Handbook. The process of developing a revised handbook has demonstrated the implementation of shared governance, and has been a collaborative process with Faculty, the University's Administration, and the Board of Trustees each playing a key and contributory role.

It is my hope and prayer that this spirit of collaboration will continue to serve as a framework for the shared responsibility necessary to effectively operate the University, and move Howard Forward!

Excellence in Truth and Service,

Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

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