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Department Chairs[1]

  1. The chair is an administrative officer of the university, and the chief executive officer of a department. The chair has primary responsibility for the development of quality programs in instruction, research, and professional service within the department.

  2. Within the context of university and college policy and governance structure, the chair's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. The administration of university and college policies at the departmental level;

    2. The development of departmental short- and long-range plans and the evaluation thereof;

    3. The definition of the role of the discipline and department in the college and university and of its relationship to the needs of the community and state;

    4. The development of departmental curricula;

    5. The maintenance of an effective advising system within the department;

    6. The preparation and administration of the departmental budget;

    7. The administration of the departmental office and facilities and the supervision of the departmental staff;

    8. The provisions of leadership in the development of faculty in teaching, research, and professional service;

    9. The evaluation of faculty performance in teaching, research, and professional service, and of all departmental staff;

    10. The promotion of an effective equal opportunity/affirmative action program within the department;

    11. The recruitment and reappointment of faculty and the recommendation of them for tenure, promotion, and salary increases;

    12. The promotion of the welfare of faculty, staff, and students;

    13. The maintenance of liaison with other academic and administrative units of the college and university, and with appropriate external agencies.

  3. The chair shall be a full-time member in the department appointed by the dean after survey of the full-time faculty of the department, and with approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs. In the case of internal appointments, except in the absence of a viable candidate or reasonable consensus among the faculty, the chair shall be a tenured member of the department.
    1. The chair normally serves a three-year appointment. When the term of a chair is ending, the dean shall notify the department no later than February 1, and invite anonymous written comments on the chair's performance from all full-time faculty of the department. Such response shall be submitted on a survey instrument appropriate to the department, to be developed by the dean in consultation with the Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee of the Faculty Senate and with the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The dean, taking into account the survey results, shall recommend to the provost and vice president for academic affairs either (a) reappointment of the incumbent chair, (b) appointment of a new chair from within the department, or (c) appointment of a new chair to be recruited from outside the department. Subsequent to the approval of the recommendation by the provost and vice president for academic affairs, the dean shall make a written report to the departmental faculty, summarizing important conclusions of the evaluation and announcing the decision.

    2. A person normally may serve no more than two consecutive terms as chair; however, if the departmental survey reasonably supports such conclusion, the dean may reappoint for one additional term subject to the approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Appointment exceeding three consecutive terms may be made only in extraordinary circumstances with approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the president, and with full explanation to the faculty of the department of the reasons therefore.

    3. Termination of a chair's appointment prior to its normal expiration date may be effected by the dean for reasonable cause, subsequent to consultation with faculty of the department and approval by the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

  4. The annual evaluation of performance of all chairs is the administrative responsibility of the dean and will be conducted by the dean. The evaluation shall be based on annual identification and accomplishments of each chair's goals and objectives established in collaboration with the dean and conducted each spring prior to the salary adjustment process. Deans are encouraged to solicit anonymous comments from all full-time faculty in the department. The evaluation results shall be discussed with the chair and reported to the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

  5. The chair does not hold tenure in the administrative office. In cases in which persons are recruited from outside the university to serve as chairs, recommendations for academic tenure effective upon initial appointment shall normally follow the established tenure review process. If time constraints preclude full employment of the regular tenure review process, academic tenure on initial appointment will be recommended by the president to the Board of Visitors if (a) the dean so recommends after consultation with tenured faculty of the department, and (b) the provost and vice president for academic affairs approves.

- Approved, as revised, by the Council of Academic Deans
May 1978
Revised by the president
January 9, 1990
February 27, 2007
Reviewed; No Changes Proposed April 20, 2022

[1] Refer also to the Policy for Chair Evaluation earlier in this section.

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