2.13.1 Termination of Employment

Termination of the employee is a last resort after all other progressive disciplinary measures have failed or if the misconduct is of such a serious nature that immediate discharge is warranted.  Recommendation for dismissal should be reasonably related to the seriousness of the employee's performance/conduct in view of length of service and prior record.  A copy of the recommendation is to be sent to the Executive Director of Human Resources.  Human Resources will review the case to verify that there is a sufficient reason for termination of employment and that the employee has been or will be afforded due process when required by law.  After consultation with the Executive Director of Human Resources, recommendations for dismissal of employees are initiated by the supervisor and/or department head and approved by the reporting Vice President and Executive Director of Human Resources before any action can be taken.  After the termination is approved, the employee should be advised by their supervisor and/or department head of the reason(s) dismissal was recommended, the effective date of the action, that the appropriate handbook may provide a right of appeal and the procedure for filing an appeal.  Employees should not be informed that they are in the process of being terminated until such action is approved, unless the termination is immediate due to Just Cause.  This provision shall not amend or waive Mississippi’s at-will employment rule.
The University recognizes that dismissal for any reason is a serious matter.  The reporting Vice President, Human Resources, and, when applicable, the President make all decisions regarding dismissal.  In cases of termination of any employee because of lack of funds or reorganization, the employee is to be notified at least 30 days in advance, if circumstances and advance knowledge permit.
Non-probationary regular full-time classified employees who are terminated for Just Cause, will be notified of the reasons for the termination.  For employees terminated prior to the expiration of a definite term written contract, the immediate supervisor must present an intent to terminate in person, if at all possible; and if not, by certified or registered mail at the employee's last known residence.  An exception to the in-person notification guideline may apply where there is a substantial risk to safety or other compelling reason.  The immediate supervisor shall inform the employee of the right to a request a hearing or grievance when one may be provided under an applicable University policy.
Upon the termination or resignation of an employee, it is very important that the immediate supervisor conduct an Exit Interview and process a Personnel Action Form so that the Division of Human Resources can remove the individual from the personnel database immediately to avoid making overpayments to employees.
The Executive Director of Human Resources and the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost upon designation by the President, and the President, are authorized to accept resignations of employees and to determine the effective date of termination of employment.
All employees, at the time of their termination of employment must return all uniforms, keys and other equipment to the University before their final paycheck is disbursed.  Failure to return the property of the University will result in charges against the employee's final payroll check when permitted by law.