Responding Faculty Fitness Concerns
The Faculty Fitness Panel Policy addresses issues of significant impairment, disruptive behavior, or inability to perform essential functions of a faculty member’s professional role. If concerns arise about a faculty member’s ability to fulfill his/her/their professional obligations, this policy is intended to be used as a last resort once all other means of resolution have been exhausted. The faculty member’s dean, school administrators, and the Associate Provost for Faculty should first seek to resolve potential issues informally before recommending or referring cases to the Faculty Fitness Panel.
Determinations of whether to mandate a fitness evaluation, the review process, the fitness evaluation, and the follow up to the fitness evaluation will be conducted pursuant to the Faculty Fitness Panel Policy. Other issues of faculty performance or discipline should be addressed through the disciplinary processes as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.
Northwestern is firmly committed to free expression and academic freedom. The University is equally committed to creating and maintaining a safe, healthy, and harassment-free environment for all members of its community and firmly believes that these two legitimate interests can coexist. Discrimination, harassment, retaliation, abusive behavior, or threatening behavior against members of the Northwestern community are not protected expression or the proper exercise of academic freedom. The University will uphold academic freedom in the examination of reports of disruptive or hostile behavior.