Faculty Policy Series #13

Departmental Chairs

  1. The Role of the Chair

    1. The Department Chair is at once an administrator and a member of the faculty. As an administrator, the Chair shall:

      1. recommend to the Dean the appointment with initial rank, reappointment, promotion, and tenure of the department faculty in concert and cooperation with department faculty;

      2. recommend initial compensation level, and subsequent adjustments of compensation for the department faculty;

      3. help the department faculty achieve high levels of professional competence and scholarship;

      4. maintain department faculty personnel records;

      5. be responsible for administrative details of the department (e.g., scheduling, registration, advising, grading, reports, budget, equipment, recommending books for the Library, ordering departmental texts, informing the faculty of University regulations and official notices, supervising clerical, secretarial, and support staff).

    2. Moreover, as a professional and the representative of a particular academic discipline, the Chair shall:

      1. promote the effectiveness and quality of instruction,

      2. be responsible for evaluation of the department faculty,

      3. promote the effective integration of curriculum in the department,

      4. maintain liaison between the department's faculty and students on the one hand, and the Dean on the other,

      5. advise the Dean regarding the state of the department, including its needs, its activities, and its future plans,

      6. survey and evaluate trends in the academic discipline so as to maintain and improve the quality of the department curriculum and teaching methodology. This shall include, in consultation with department faculty, a review and evaluation of department course offerings and major and minor programs, and recommendations for the initiation of new courses and programs when advisable.

    3. It is the responsibility of a Chair to consult with his/her staff in all major decisions which affect the department, since in well run departments the Chair supports and is supported by the department.

  2. Methods for Appointing or Reappointing the Chair:

    1. In the beginning of the third year of the Chair's term, the dean of the school or college shall consult with the present Chair and with all of the other full-time members of a department when appropriate, the dean shall also confer with other chairs within the school or college. The faculty shall have full opportunity to express their views orally and/or in writing if they so desire at this time.

    2. On the basis of these consultations, the dean then recommends to the department one or more candidates for the Chair of the department.

    3. Within the following two weeks, members of a department may express support of or opposition to the recommended candidate or candidates either orally and/or in writing to the dean. It is understood that all these foregoing expressions of sentiment shall be held by the dean in strictest confidence.

    4. The dean may then recommend one of the candidates to the Provost, forwarding, as well, all of the written statements submitted to him/her. Or, on the basis of the expressed sentiment, the dean may recommend to both the department and the Provost that an outside candidate be sought.

    5. Outside candidates may be recommended by the dean to the Provost only after screening procedures outlined below have been followed.

  3. Procedures for Screening Outside Candidates

    1. At the option of the department, a screening committee shall either be elected by the department or appointed by the dean.

    2. The screening committee shall solicit and screen applicants and shall make recommendations of a candidate or candidates to the dean. It shall arrange for a meeting between the candidate or candidates and all full-time members of the department.

    3. All full-time members of the department shall express their views in writing to the dean, who decides whether the expressed sentiment warrants recommending the candidate to the Provost.

  4. Should the department choose to adopt a procedure other than the procedure established above, the department will first meet with the dean to explore with him/her the procedure it contemplates. The standard by which the department will determine upon a procedure will be the protection of both the department's rights to consultation and the dean's rights to choose after having received the advice of the department members, while advancing the harmony and other best interest of the department, the school and the University. After the adopted procedure for recommendation of candidates by department members has been completed, the dean will recommend his/her choice to the Provost, subject to the approval of the President and the Board of Trustees. (CBA Article 22.2)

  5. If no suitable candidate can be selected by the above methods, the dean shall take the responsibility for determining the candidate to be recommended to the Provost.

  6. Chairpersons will be evaluated annually according to the procedures established by the   University Senate. (CBA 22.4)

  7. Chairpersons will normally serve for not more than two consecutive three-year terms. (CBA 22.3)

  8. In the event either that two-thirds of the membership of a department petition the dean for removal of a chairperson or that the dean requests such removal, which petition or request shall state good cause, the dean will meet with the department for explanation and exchange of views. If the petition or request is not thereupon withdrawn, the position will be deemed vacant and the procedure set forth above for filling a vacancy will be employed. (CBA 22.5)


FPS #13
(rev. 1986)