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Removing a team member

Occasionally an individual team member may consistently fail to complete assigned work or may refuse to work with other team members. A team member who repeatedly misses meetings and fails to complete assigned work may be removed from the team.

In order to remove a member from the team you MUST have complete, written documentation demonstrating that the individual was fully aware of his/her responsibilities, but failed to fulfill team obligations. This means you must keep good records of all meetings, including email correspondence, with names of addressees and date sent included. Following a meeting in which specific duties have been assigned, an email needs to be sent to all individuals listing, in writing, all assigned duties and associated deadlines. Without these records, a team will not be able to remove a team member.

If you have the required documentation and feel a team member should be removed, the first step is to discuss the case with your faculty mentor. The faculty mentor will then discuss the situation with the team member being removed and decide what steps should be taken. In most cases, the individual will be given a second chance, with some conditions imposed. If problems still exist, the faculty mentor, in consultation with other faculty committee members, may remove the offending team member from the team.

Being removed from a team is a serious offense and may result in the student having to complete the entire project on his/her own, or possibly failing the course and having to start over the following semester, thus delaying graduation for a semester. The exact penalty will be determined by the faculty committee and will depend on the circumstances.

Teams should be aware that it is unusual for all the fault to be on one side.  In most cases, the team must bear some responsibility for the dysfunctional behavior of an individual.  If this is the case, the entire team must work together to resolve the problem.  If the team fails to do this, the project will probably suffer, and this will be reflected in the grades assigned.