The Department Chair acts on behalf of the faculty members of the department and consults regularly with all members of the department on all academic and faculty issues. A Department Chair also acts on behalf of the College Dean and the University in the administration and promotion of all affairs pertaining to the academic well being and morale of the department. The Department Chair’s responsibilities are delegated to him or her by the College Dean, and the Department Chair acts in consultation with the College Dean.
The Department Chair thus plays an important bridging role between the faculty of the department and the administration, as well as a role in the development of the most critical academic unit of the university, the department.
A department’s nominee for Chair is elected by a majority of the department’s membership, subject to the approval of the College Dean, the Provost, and the University President. The term of service is one year, renewable for a total of three years, or whenever a vacancy occurs. The College Dean may recommend to the Provost that the President appoint a new Chair or that the department hold a new election whenever he or she deems it necessary.
The Department Chair:
- Ensures that the policies of the University and the College are implemented and followed.
- Provides academic and professional leadership.
- Provides leadership in the development and implementation of assessment policies.
- Provides input to the College Dean in the annual evaluation of faculty.
- Provides input to the College Dean in the awarding of merit pay, as applicable.
- Meets regularly with students to solicit their views and concerns about the department’s programs and faculty.
- Encourages department fundraising efforts.
- Conducts timely department meetings.
- Assists in creating favorable rapport with outside agency personnel and ensures that all field-based students have proper supervision.
- Encourages faculty development, professional activities, and grant writing.
- Assures that faculty utilize appropriate current technology in their classrooms.
- Fosters university, community, and alumni relations.
Specific duties include:
- Evaluating department faculty under the direction of the College Dean.
- Preparing course schedules, subject to the final agreement of the College Dean.
- Preparing reports of department and faculty activity.
- Assisting in the recruitment of students.
- Constituting search committees for new faculty, under the direction of the College Dean.
- Recruiting and aiding in the mentoring, oversight, and evaluation of part-time faculty.
- Collecting and maintaining department records.
- Preparing budget requests and aiding the College Dean in monitoring the department budget.
- Recommending new programs, program changes, and catalog revisions.
- Promoting long-term department development.
- Evaluating transfer student transcripts.
- Reviewing inter-institutional articulation agreements.
- Initiating the three year pre-tenure and tenure review process, as appropriate.
- Consulting with department candidates for pre-tenure review, promotion and or tenure as they put supporting documents together.
- Ensuring department representation occurs during registration, open houses, and other university events.
- Mentoring of new faculty.
- Assuring that successful assessment of student learning is maintained for all department programs.
- Other tasks as determined by the College Dean.
Procedure for Electing a Department Chair
Every full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty member is eligible to be department chair.
Only full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty members in a department are eligible to vote for department chair.
All voting, including that for nominations, will be by secret ballot and will be conducted by the College Dean.
A nomination ballot will be conducted first. The two persons receiving the most votes on the nominating ballot will be on the final ballot. If only one person is nominated and that person has been nominated by a majority of the department membership, then that person will be the department’s choice; otherwise another vote will be taken.
Balloting will continue until a person receives votes from a majority of the department or until the College Dean decides that further balloting would be fruitless. In the latter case, the College Dean will appoint a department chair.
The name of the person selected will be forwarded by the College Dean to the Provost by May 1.
The appointment of a department chair is subject to the approval of the College Dean, the Provost, and the President.
Terms are for one year, from the first Monday following spring commencement until the following spring commencement is concluded.
If a Department Chair resigns before his or her term expires, then the new chair will be elected to complete the remainder of the term. After that term expires, the next election will be for a full three-year nomination.
Department Chair Stipends
Each department chair will receive an annual stipend of $1,500. This stipend is provided as remuneration for duties of the department chair including responsibility for department participation in registration-related activities and other occasional duties as may occur during the summer.
Department Chairperson Reassigned Time
Academic Affairs utilizes a reassigned time from teaching (or release-time) model for department chairs. The model assigns chairs release time only for their work as a department chair. Other kinds of course releases, or releases necessary for accreditation, fall outside of the formula and must be negotiated directly with the Provost and the appropriate dean.
To calculate the reassigned time assignments, seven factors are considered and given different weights. The higher the weight, the greater the factor counted in the formula. Data is averaged over four full years. The relevant factors and weights are as follows:
Full-Time Faculty in Department 3
Part-Time Faculty in Department 5
Number of Majors 5
Credit Hours taught in Major 4
Credit Hours taught in Gen Studies 3
Number of Minors 1
Budget Size 3
For each of the above seven factors, each department’s relative position is determined by computing a z-score. The weighted average of the seven z-scores is then computed using the above weights. Finally, the departments are ranked based on the number of standard deviations of the weighted z-score from the mean. These figures are updated at the beginning of every year and Academic Affairs uses the most recent four years (eight semesters) of data to calculate assignments. As the University grows, it is anticipated that department chair reassigned time will increase based on the above factors.
*Accredited programs may have specific requirements for release time for department chairs, program director, and other administrative positions.