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Position Discontinuation and Severance

Policy Number: HR-64
Effective Date: July 2002
Revisions: January 2004, October 2004
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President of Student Life & Administrative Services


This policy was established to identify involuntary separation circumstances and to provide guidelines under which severance might be granted.


While Drexel University strives continuously to provide a stable and rewarding work environment, conditions require that it have flexibility for responding to changing financial conditions and organizational efficiencies. In doing so, it may be necessary on occasion to reorganize, enlarge, or reduce the personnel complement in some units.

Please note: Nothing contained in this policy is intended to alter the at-will employment relationship between Drexel University and its professional staff employees or to create legally enforceable contractual rights.


Except as provided herein, this policy applies to all regular full-time and all regular part-time non-faculty employees who are separated from Drexel University involuntarily through no fault of his/her own, for reasons of reorganization or necessary professional staff reduction.

This policy does not apply in the following situations:

  1. To employees who are still in their introductory period on the date of separation.
  2. To employees classified as temporary, casual, or per diem.
  3. To contract (or term employees) holding agreements with a specific end date.
  4. To employees who occupy positions funded in whole or in part by grants, contracts or any other sources of external funding.
  5. To employees in collective bargaining units.
  6. In case of resignation, quit without notice, job abandonment, medical necessity, retirement, and involuntary separation due to unsatisfactory performance or misconduct.
  7. To an employee whose job has changed as the result of a personnel reorganization without a decrease in salary.
  8. Where an employee has been provided notice by the University that his/her position will be discontinued on a future date and is determined by the University to have engaged in unsatisfactory performance, misconduct or other violation of University policies during the notice period.
  9. To an employee who is offered a new position within Drexel University, the Drexel University College of Medicine, or a parent, subsidiary or affiliate without a break in employment and without a decease in salary by that organization.
  10. Where an employee's position is eliminated because (1) the employee's functional responsibilities will be transferred to, assumed by or provided through another organization and (2) the employee is offered a substantially equivalent position (without a break in employment and without a decrease in salary) by that organization


  1. In preparing to execute a reorganization and/or professional staff reduction plan, the supervisor of an affected employee should consult with the Human Resources Department to receive assistance with the EEO matters and severance determination and processing. Human Resource consultants will also assist with communications with the person(s) to be separated and remaining professional staff.
  2. The supervisor will communicate privately and in person with the employee who is to be separated, providing a rationale for the reduction in positions to the extent practical, and describe the procedure for separation. The supervisor may request that a consultant from Human Resources attend the meeting. Normally, the employee ends active employment on the day of notice. However, by mutual consent, the supervisor and employee may decide that active employment will
    continue through a certain date or contingency, in which case the employee's severance is paid at the end of active employment.
  3. An agreement confirming the separation and the severance arrangements will be prepared by the Office of General Counsel.
  4. Human Resources will consult with the separated employee on opportunities to continue benefits (through COBRA) and other programs offered by Drexel University.
  5. Human Resources will also provide assistance in reviewing other employment opportunities within Drexel University and information regarding accessing unemployment benefits.


After an employee executes a separation agreement in a form satisfactory to Drexel University in which the employee releases the University, its officers, and employees from all claims arising from her/his employment by the University or the separation of her/his employment, the University will provide a severance payment according to length of service as a regular full-time employee. (Length of service is adjusted hire date as recorded in Human Resource Information System.)

For part-time employees, the amount of severance payments will be adjusted on a pro rata basis.

Length of Service Severance
End of Introductory Period to 1 year 2 weeks salary
1 year, but less than 2 1 month salary
2 years, but less than 3 2 months salary
3 years, but less than 4 3 months salary
4 years, but less than 5 4 months salary
5 years+ 5 months salary

The following provision applies to any employee who has been given notice that his/her position will be discontinued. In order for the employee to receive a severance payment under this policy, the employee must continue, throughout the period of notice, to demonstrate satisfactory performance, conduct and adherence to University policies, including the Policy on Attendance.

Inquiries regarding this policy can be directed to the Human Resources Department.