Backgrounds of Candidates for Department Chair
The department chair should hold the Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree and should be a person of high-ranking qualifications and experience in one of the disciplines represented in the department.
Appointment, Tenure, and Evaluation of Department Chairs
The chair is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the dean with the advice and consultation of the department faculty on recommendation to the president through the provost.
The chair may be awarded tenure as a faculty member, but not as a chair. To be appointed chair, a candidate must be a tenured member of the faculty or eligible to receive tenure in the department.
An annual evaluation of the chair's performance will be conducted by the dean in accordance with procedures the dean establishes in consultation with the chair and the faculty of the department on recommendation to the provost.
Selection of Department Chairs
In accord with University employment procedures, whenever a vacancy for a department chair occurs or is about to occur, the dean of that college will consult with the faculty of that department prior to making a new appointment. In cases where an off-campus search is necessary, the dean may ask the department to elect a search committee to which the dean will appoint one or more representatives from outside the department. No person will serve on such a committee who wishes to be considered for the position. The members of the committee will devise and execute a search and will recommend no more than three candidates to the dean. The dean must approve any visits for candidates.
If the position of chair becomes vacant at a time when a regular replacement cannot be appointed, appointment of an acting chair is the prerogative of the dean in consultation with the provost and the department faculty. Only under extraordinary circumstances should a chair remain unfilled for more than one year. Continuance of an acting chair or his/her replacement beyond that length of time should be confirmed after consultation with the provost.
Removal of Chairs
In cases of administrative failure, a chair may be relieved of duties. Such action may be initiated through a written communication to the dean, which must be endorsed by at least two-thirds of the full- time voting faculty of the department. Upon receipt of such communications, the dean will conduct an investigation and will forward the results to the provost. The dean also may initiate steps to have a chair removed, as may the provost. The final determination regarding a chair's removal will rest with the president.
Duties and Responsibilities of Chairs
- The chair is the administrator of an academic department within a college, responsible to the dean for the total operation of the department.
- The chair acts in concert with the department faculty and provides leadership in formulating and executing policies of the department to the benefit of students, faculty, and the University at large.
- It is the chair's responsibility to act as the department's official spokesperson both inside and outside the University, to support the University's mission, and to carry out the decisions of the higher administration and the Board of Trustees.
- The chair acts in concert with other University officials in order to strengthen the department's overall effectiveness.
- The chair is responsible for the internal evaluation of the effectiveness of the department's programs, policies, faculty, and staff.
Specific Duties of the Chair
- Chair all general meetings of the department faculty.
- Appoint, in consultation with the faculty, all standing and ad hoc committees of the department.
- Receive and act upon the recommendations of department committees.
- Delegate, where advisable, other responsibilities to department faculty or staff.
- Prepare schedules for the department and assign classes to be taught after consultation with the department faculty.
- Prepare the department for accreditation and evaluation.
- Maintain department files.
- Initiate work order requests.
- Serve on the Dean's Leadership Committee and College Curriculum Committee.
- Planning and Development
- Plan future directions and goals for department staff and students.
- Encourage faculty development activities within the department.
- Encourage funding for projects organized from within the department; review and approve all grant requests originating within the department.
- Monitor curriculum and recommend curricular changes to the department faculty to meet the changing needs of students and the University.
- Coordinate curricular changes initiated within the department before sending them on to the appropriate college and University committees.
- Encourage faculty involvement and interaction within the department through open discussion.
- Acknowledge the primary responsibility of the faculty in matters pertaining to teaching and scholarship and encourage broad-based governance within the department.
- Select and evaluate contract faculty teaching in the department (including instructors for Academic Skills Development courses whose subject matter comes from within department disciplines).
- Review staffing needs for the department and recommend new positions in consultation with the department faculty.
- Make appropriate recommendations to the dean on appointments, reappointments, promotions, leaves of absence, dismissals, suspensions, salaries, and tenure of personnel.
- Recommend department travel requests to the dean.
- Coordinate, with the Registrar's Office, Enrollment Management and Student Development advising, orientation, registration, and pre-registration for the department.
- Where appropriate, coordinate advisement of secondary education students within the department; coordinate evaluation prior to admission to teacher education and review progress prior to recommendation for graduation.
- Coordinate selection of scholarship and award winners from within the department; coordinate special awards ceremonies of the department.
- Coordinate student recruitment activities for the department.
- Approve all drop/add, overload, change of major, and admit to closed class petitions for the department.
- Approve the graduation check out for seniors whose major is in the department.
- Supervise revision of the University Bulletin as it pertains to the department.
- Supervise the creation of any departmental publication.
- Represent the department at appropriate meetings of learned and professional societies.
- Review, recommend, and, where appropriate, prepare department budget requests.
- Utilize material and financial resources efficiently and effectively.