Navigation Top
AGO Logo Graphic
AGO Header Image
File a Complaint
Contact the AGO
AGLO 1978 No. 1 - January 25, 1978
AGO Opinion Header Image
Slade Gorton | 1969-1980 | Attorney General of Washington

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ‑- COMMUNITY COLLEGES ‑- TENURE ‑- RETENTION OF TENURE UPON APPOINTMENT TO OFFICE OF PRESIDENT

As amended by § 7, chapter 282, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., RCW 28B.50.860 does not have the legal effect of restoring tenure to a formerly tenured community college faculty member who earlier lost his tenure upon being appointed to the position of community college president.

                                                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                 January 25, 1978

Honorable Paul P. McCurley
District President
Community College District Five
112th Street S.W. and Navajo Avenue
Everett, Washington 98204                                                                                                                 Cite as:  AGLO 1978 No. 1

Dear Sir:

            By letter previously acknowledged, you have requested our opinion on a question which we have paraphrased as follows:

            Does § 7, chapter 282, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex.Sess. (amending RCW 28B.50.860) have the legal effect of restoring tenure to a formerly tenured community college faculty member who earlier lost his tenure upon being appointed to the position of community college president?

            We answer this question in the negative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Tenure in the state community college system is based upon certain rights and benefits described by the statutory scheme set forth in RCW 28B.50.850 through 28B.50.869.  See,Bowing v. Board of Trustees, 85 Wn.2d 300, 534 P.2d 1365 (1975);Smith v. Greene, 86 Wn.2d 363, 545 P.2d 550 (1976);McLachlan  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] v. Tacoma Community College, 14 Wn.App. 372, 541 P.2d 1010 (1975); and Barnes v. Community College District 20, 85 Wn.2d 90, 529 P.2d 1102 (1975).  The specific change in the tenure statutes accomplished by the legislature in § 7, chapter 282, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex.Sess., supra, reads as follows:

            "A tenured faculty member, upon appointment to an administrative appointment ((, except that of president)) shall be allowed to retain his tenure."1/

             This amendment became effective on September 21, 1977.2/   On and after that date any tenured faculty member taking an administrative appointment, including that of president, may retain tenure as a faculty member.  On the other hand, a person who was appointed to the position of president prior to that date remains subject to the law as it previously existed ‑ meaning that his tenure was lost and is not restored by operation of the 1977 enactment.3/   Simply stated, the statute speaks only of the retention of tenure by one who still has tenure when he is appointed to a community college presidency ‑ and not of the restoration of tenure to one who had previously lost it.

            We trust that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

SLADE GORTON
Attorney General


RICHARD M. MONTECUCCO
Senior Assistant Attorney General

                                                         ***   FOOTNOTES   ***

1/Amending RCW 28B.50.860.

2/Accord, Wash. Const., Art. II, § 41 (Amendment 26).

3/Once again, September 21, 1977.

Content Bottom Graphic
AGO Logo