5.20 Termination

Origination date: 10/1/93
Revised: 1/1/2000, 4/13/2004, 12/01/2014
Applicability: Academic Professionals, Classified Staff, Service Professionals


The university recognizes that employment is not permanent.  The purpose of this policy is to identify various methods in which the employment relationship may end, as well as to describe the effects of benefits.


Non Discrimination

An employee is terminated in accordance with provisions of this policy without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status as specified in the University's Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.

Types of Termination

A regular employee of the university terminates under a variety of circumstances.  The following categories are to be used by department heads as a guide in classifying the actual types of terminations that occur:

Voluntary Termination:

  • Resignation/Retirement. An employee initiated action. Voluntary terminations include resignations and retirement. An employee should provide a minimum of two weeks notice prior to a voluntary resignation.

Northern Arizona University strives to maintain a positive and productive work environment in all areas of the university.  However, it is recognized that differences in work styles and work environment may arise at times. In these instances, it is recommended that the employee communicate directly with the immediate supervisor to resolve differences. If the employee is unable to resolve the difference by communicating through his/her chain of command, the employee is encouraged to contact the Human Resources Department, the Employee Assistance and Wellness Office, or the Equity and Access Office.

If an employee chooses to resign from his/her position due to the work environment, the employee must contact the Human Resources Department in writing specifying the nature of the employee’s concerns with the work environment prior to the resignation.   Section 23-1502, Arizona Revised Statues, states that if an employee wants to retain the right to bring a charge against the university, the employee may be required to notify an appropriate representative of the university (Employee Relations section of the Human Resources Department) in writing. Under this law, an employee may be required to wait 15 calendar days after providing written notice before the employee may resign in order to preserve rights for a constructive discharge claim. The employee is entitled to 15 days of unpaid leave of absence while waiting for the university response.

  • Job Abandonment:  An employee who is absent and does not contact his/her supervisor or department head, or the Human Resources Department within three consecutive working days shall be deemed to have voluntarily terminated employment.
  • Resignation in Lieu of Dismissal:  In this instance, the university is prepared to dismiss an employee for cause but agrees to accept the employee’s resignation rather than terminate the employee. The Resignation in Lieu of Dismissal document signed by the employee will be placed in the employee’s official personnel file.  The PAR form shall indicate resignation in lieu of termination.

Involuntary Termination:

  • Dismissal:  University initiated action to terminate employment.  Involuntary terminations include, but are not limited to, terminations for violations of Northern Arizona University and departmental policies, ABOR policies and state law, conduct that adversely affects the university, poor performance, insubordination, unprofessional conduct, or any other good and just cause.
  • Layoff:  When an employee selects termination in lieu of layoff, or at the end of the six-month layoff period.  Refer to Policy 5.17 Layoff/Reduction in Force.
  • Non-renewal of Appointment:  An academic professional or service professional employee whose appointment is not renewed.  Decisions to non-renew are made by the University President or designee (Vice President or Provost). Non-renewal of appointment is a non-grievable action.

Pay and Benefits

All pay and benefits shall cease as of the date an employee terminates employment with the university, whether such termination is voluntary or involuntary, except as otherwise provided in the university's Leave of Absence policies or COBRA provisions.  The effective termination date for record and pay purposes, except in the case of approved leave of absence, shall always be the last day the employee physically works on the job.  Contact the Human Resources Department for specific information about the effect of termination date on insurance coverages.

An employee who is dismissed shall be paid all wages due within seven working days following the termination date, or on the payday following the end of the regular pay period, whichever is sooner.

Termination Procedures

Notification:  A supervisor/department must have the concurrence of the Chief Human Resources Officer prior to a termination.

Check-out Procedures:  The department head should ensure that terminating employees:

  • return all borrowed books to the library;
  • turn in any university property/equipment, tools, keys, pagers, cell phone, NAU Diner’s Club Card, NAU I.D. card, NAU Purchase Card etc., for which the employees have accountability;
  • settle all debts with the university;
  • provide forwarding addresses; and
  • are directed to the Human Resources Department in the event an employee wishes to participate in an exit interview.

Exit Interview Upon request by the employee, the Human Resources Department will conduct an exit interview.

Eligibility for Rehire Based on circumstances of dismissal the employee will be informed at the pre-disciplinary conference of his/her eligibility for rehire.  Non-eligibility for rehire will be noted on the electronic Personnel Action Request (ePAR) and termination letter.