Financial Exigency Policy of the Board

1.05

1.

Introduction

 

This policy statement establishes the standards, procedures and guidelines for addressing a state of financial exigency for the Board (Executive/Administrative Office, Office of Legal Counsel, and Office of Internal Audit).

It is especially noteworthy that the size of the staff and operation of the Board has been prudently maintained at a minimum to efficiently perform the constitutional and statutory functions and responsibilities of the Board. It is recognized by the Board that its staff provides extensive, vital services to the colleges and universities under the Board’s supervision as well as to the Board itself. Therefore, it is not expected that a reduction in program operations and staff of the Board can be reasonably made because of a state of financial exigency anywhere within the System unless extreme conditions of financial exigency prevail.

2.

Definitions

 

When used in this policy statement, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following words and terms shall be construed as having the meanings ascribed to them in this section:

 

2.1

Board shall mean the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges.

 

2.2

Financial Exigency shall mean that state of financial crisis affecting the budgeted operations of the Board brought about by a significant decrease in the Educational and General Part I Budget Allocations to the universities/colleges under the jurisdiction of the Board which

 

 

2.21

seriously affects the functions of the Board or the support programs of the Board of interest to the universities/colleges governed by the Board.

 

 

2.22

necessitates the termination of employment or reduction of compensation for "permanently" (regularly, full-time) employed staff prior to the normal expiration of an appointment term or in a term for which compensation has been established.

 

2.3

Financial Exigency Committee shall be composed of four members to include a chair and three other members. The chair shall be appointed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to the Board and shall normally be the Administrative Assistant to the CEO. The other three members shall include a representative, with the longest employment seniority in the positions designated "Administrative Associates" (secretarial-clerical) for the CEO’s office, the Board’s Legal Counsel, and the Chief Audit Executive or their designees. At his option the CEO may also serve on this committee, except as otherwise specified herein.

3.

Procedures

 

Declaration. When in the opinion of the Board or of the CEO a state of financial exigency is impending, the CEO will prepare such data or information as he/she shall deem appropriate to illustrate or substantiate the existence of a financial crisis. Included shall be an estimate of the scope and duration of budgetary shortfall or other condition which gives rise to the expected exigency and an explanation of all contemplated pre-exigency budgetary reductions. The CEO shall consult with the Board Chair and/or any appropriate committee of the Board with respect to the expected exigency. If, following these consultations, the Board representatives referenced above determine that a financial exigency exists or is imminent, the CEO shall inform the staff of the Board that a financial exigency exists.

 

3.1

Preliminary Action Plan. Following the declaration the CEO shall convene the Financial Exigency Committee and charge it with the responsibility of conducting appropriate studies and reviews to determine the nature and extent of the crisis and developing a Preliminary Action Plan to return to a stable financial state. As a minimum, the plan shall contain a summary review of the functions and support programs of the Board; recommendations for reorientation, reorganization, realignment or reduction of such functions and support programs; recommendations concerning reduction of personnel; the effect of the plan upon the performance of the responsibilities and duties of the Board; the effect upon the universities/colleges; and any other expected effects of the plan.

Upon identifying appropriate recommendations, the Financial Exigency Committee shall prepare and recommend in writing its Preliminary Action Plan to the CEO of the Board.

 

3.2

Exigency Action Plan. The CEO shall review and consider the Preliminary Action Plan. Further, the CEO may seek such other and further advice and counsel from other interested parties, or from parties he/she shall deem appropriate. Any advice and counsel shall be advisory only, and it shall remain the sole responsibility of the CEO to make final decisions regarding recommendations to the Board concerning the financial exigency. Following such deliberation, the CEO shall prepare and submit to the Board an Exigency Action Plan for alleviating the financial crisis. Unless the CEO finds it appropriate or necessary, the Exigency Action Plan at this stage will not identify specific staff for termination, but will identify any areas in which reductions or decreases most reasonably could be considered.

 

3.3

Action by the Board. The Board has ultimate responsibility for the financial integrity of the Board and the System governed by the Board. It will review the Action Plan submitted by the CEO and may consider such other factors as it deems appropriate in determining what actions should be taken to regain financial stability. Unless the Board finds it appropriate or necessary, the Action Plan adopted by the Board at this stage will not identify specific staff for termination, but will identify areas in which reductions or decreases could most reasonably be accomplished.

 

3.4

Action Plan Implementation. Following adoption by the Board, the CEO will implement the provisions of the approved Action Plan. If the plan entails the reduction of programs, activities, or services, or the termination of staff, then the following appropriate provisions of this policy shall apply.

4.

Guidelines for Program Review of Alternatives

 

 

In reviewing programs and activities for reorientation, reorganization, realignment, reduction or termination of staff, the mission, functions and responsibilities of the Board in the fulfillment of its obligations to the people of Oklahoma and to the institutions it governs shall remain paramount. It is especially noteworthy that the size of the staff and operation of the Board has been prudently maintained at a minimum to efficiently perform the constitutional and statutory functions and responsibilities of the Board. Therefore, it is not expected that a reduction in program operations and staff of the Board can be reasonably made in any initial phases introduced by a state of financial exigency anywhere within the System and unless extreme conditions of financial exigency prevail.

 

4.1

Reduction of Administration and Support Services. Consolidation, reduction or curtailment of administrative and support services shall receive serious consideration and generally shall precede termination of "permanently" (regularly, full-time) employed staff. Consideration especially should be given to decreased expenditures for travel, materials, equipment, supplies and the like which could reasonably be deferred or canceled.

5.

Guidelines for Employment Actions

 

Any termination must be based on an appropriate administrative judgment that the action will have an effect substantially less detrimental to the quality and effectiveness of the performance of the Board in discharging its responsibilities and obligations than any alternate budgetary action or reduction.

 

5.1

Terminations. Any Action Plan which contemplates the termination of staff should take into consideration the preceding paragraph and the following provisions:

 

 

5.11

Personnel actions other than termination that should be explored include transfer to an institution under the Board, alternate employment within one of the institutions governed by the Board if an affected employee is qualified for any vacant position, early retirement, part-time employment, furlough, reduction in salaries and any other legal and justifiable actions to lessen the severity of the consequences to affected personnel.

 

 

5.12

Unless a substantial and serious distortion in the quality of services provided would result, seniority within the budgetary unit should be respected.

 

5.2

Procedure for termination. In those instances where termination is judged necessary, the staff member will be given written notice of the decision and a statement of information upon which the decision was based.

 

 

5.21

The notice shall state the effective date of termination, and efforts should be made to give as much advance notice as possible, consistent with the conditions of exigency.

 

 

5.22

Where reasonably possible, an effort will be made to either transfer the staff member as a continuing employee within the System or find employment elsewhere within the System governed by the Board if the individual is a qualified candidate.

 

 

5.23

After receipt of a written notice, a terminated staff member has the right within 15 days to request in writing that his or her termination be reviewed by the Financial Exigency Committee (the CEO shall not serve as a member of this Committee when such a review is made) to determine if these guidelines have been followed. In any such review the circumstances of financial exigency shall not be an issue for consideration.

No employee whose employment status is considered for termination may serve on the Financial Exigency Committee. In such circumstances the CEO will appoint an alternate member to this committee; preferably from the budgetary unit in which the affected individual is employed.

Upon such request a review will be made, a written record of the review will be made and forwarded with a written recommendation of the Financial Exigency Committee to the CEO. The recommendation of the committee shall be advisory only to the CEO who shall make all final decisions regarding recommendations for termination to the Board.

 

 

5.24

In all cases of termination of staff because of financial exigency, the position of the terminated employee may not, normally, be filled for a period of two (2) years unless and until the released employee has been offered reinstatement and a reasonable period of time (usually 30 days) to accept it.

Approved Date: 
April 8, 1983
Revised Date: 
June 20, 1997
January 20, 2012
April 24, 2015