Chief Departmental Advisor – Undergraduate Education
Each college at Old Dominion University has the authority to design administrative and advising models that
best support the needs of students and programs in each college. The most common departmental advising model
is the appointment of a chief departmental advisor (CDA).
The chief departmental advisor serves as the departmental lead in providing advising
services to majors and minors and working with the faculty advisors to ensure everyone is current on
University advising policies and procedures. The chief departmental advisor assists the department chair in
additional activities related to advising undergraduate students, retention initiatives, and other related
Chief departmental advisors are appointed by the chair, dean or provost depending on where the
program is housed.
The length of the appointment is for three years. Additional three-year appointments are based on
satisfactory annual performance evaluations. There is no limit to the number of three-year
appointments for a CDA.
The CDA and the chair or dean shall develop a clear written job description to include the
expectations, duties and responsibilities for both parties, a plan for regular consultation, the
compensation plan, and criteria for the annual evaluation.
The expectation is that the CDA should be a full-time faculty member from the program or department
in which the program is located. In instances where it is necessary or desired to appoint a CDA who
is not a faculty member, the appointment must be approved by the dean or provost.
The CDA for programs located within a single department will be appointed by the department chair,
after consultation with the other full-time faculty in the program and with the approval of the
academic dean in whose college the program is offered.
In the case of multidisciplinary programs within colleges, the CDA will be appointed by the dean of
the college that has administrative responsibility for the program in consultation with the deans of
In the case of multidisciplinary programs that involve more than one college, the CDA will be
appointed by the provost or designee, after consultation with the chairs and deans of the
participating departments and colleges.
The Office of Academic Affairs will be provided with a copy of the appointment letter and agreement
signed by all appropriate persons for review and record purposes.
- Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of the chief departmental advisor depend upon a number of factors and will be determined by the
administrator making the appointment. Baseline duties that are considered as areas of responsibility for the
CDA are as follows.
- Mentoring and Advising:
assist students with setting academic and career goals, review plans of study, assist with student
requests for exemptions to degree requirements and waivers, and consult with the Office of the Registrar's
graduation clearance designee when student issues arise.
- Problem Resolution:
assist students by referring them to resources for resolution to academic policy and procedural issues
that may occur.
- Major and Minor Declaration:
serve as the point of contact for students declaring the major or minor, unless this is done centrally
through the advising center within the college.
work with the department chair, undergraduate program director/assistant chair, or Advising Center
director to monitor students' academic progress in the major, minor, or college.
- Coordination of Departmental Advising:
serve as the lead in providing advising services to majors and minors, working with the faculty advisors
to ensure everyone is current on University advising policies and procedures, in consultation with the
associate dean and the director of advising for the college. Assist/conduct training, provide support
and periodically review the advising system within the program. Keep abreast of the use of new
technologies in advising and train others in the program on this technology. Ensure that faculty
assignments to advisees are managed so that all students have an academic advisor.
- Summer Advising:
coordinate advising to students in summer months, ensuring that weekly advising appointments can be
scheduled (where applicable and resourced through stipends).
- Transfer Course Management:
serve as program contact for reviewing whether courses transfer to ODU (unless otherwise provided by the
chair or undergraduate program director).
- Release Time and Compensation
The amount of release time and other compensation, such as a summer stipend, will vary with the size
and scope of the program and the duties established in section C above. Summer stipends are expected
for CDAs who do summer advising, Preview sessions, and transfer student review and advising. This
stipend will be paid by Academic Affairs.
A CDA normally is provided with release time for this function. Unless there are exceptional
circumstances, academic year stipends (if provided) should be alternatives to course releases, not
granted in addition to course release. However, chairs or undergraduate program directors who are
functioning as the CDA might be offered a stipend instead of an additional course release.
Course releases ordinarily should be three credit hours per year if the annual FTEs are under 200,
with a recommended six credit hours per year if the total FTEs are higher. If an exception is
needed, such as a CDA for a beginning program, exceptionally large programs, or when there are other
complexities, the dean can apply to the provost for the exception.
- Evaluation and Performance
Written performance evaluations are expected as part of the regular annual evaluations. The
performance evaluation must be based on the criteria set and agreed to by the appointing person.
The evaluation is usually completed by the person to whom the CDA reports to in this capacity.
| ||-Approved by the president|
March 3, 2018