Selection, Appointment, and Review of Department Chairs (including modifications) Policy and Procedures

Reference Number: S87-145
Senate Approval Date: Thursday, January 01, 1987



Policy and Procedures for Selection, Appointment, and Review of Department Chairs

Academic Policy S87-145

9.0 Department Chairs

Administration and leadership of each academic department are provided by a chair who is a member of the department's faculty. The department chair also serves as representative and advocate for the department within the school, University, community and profession. For purposes of selection, appointment, and review of department chairs, the term "faculty" includes tenured and tenure-track faculty, and instructors of record on a yearly contract excluding

temporary faculty who are also graduate students in the department. Departments will collect vote of temporary faculty on a pro-rated basis. Pro-rating will be in proportion to time-base appointment in the semester in which the review or selection process is initiated.*

9.1 Term of Office

Department chairs will be appointed for three year terms beginning in the fall semester. Department chairs may be reappointed to additional terms subsequent to a review in the first semester of the third year of service.

9.2 Duties and Responsibilities

The department chair is the person most fully responsible for leading, administering, and representing the department. The department chair has the following duties and responsibilities:

Academic Programs

To assume the leadership in the development and direction of quality academic programs.

To work with the department faculty in academic program planning and review, and curriculum development and revision.

To prepare the class schedule in consultation with the department faculty or appropriate department committee.


To supervise advising, provide information, sign documents and petitions, and otherwise facilitate resolution of administrative difficulties students may encounter.

To promote department activities (programs, competitions, awards, professional organizations, clubs) and recruit potential majors/minors.

To be available to receive students' comments and suggestions about courses, instructors, and programs.

To attempt resolution of complaints, differences, or grievances between students and faculty.


To encourage collegial and full participation of all members of the department in recognition that governance of departments is a joint and cooperative endeavor.

To carry out the processes for hiring, retention, tenure, and promotion with the tenured members of the department, within existing trustee policy, the collective bargaining agreement, and University and school policies.

To make an independent recommendation regarding hiring, retention, tenure and promotion after reviewing recommendations from the department's elected HRT/P committee.

To perform the evaluation and recommend the appointment or reappointment of temporary faculty either after receiving department peer review committee recommendation or upon delegation by the voting members of the department in accordance with Academic Senate policy and the collective bargaining agreement.

To provide leadership at the department level in the implementation of the University's affirmative action policy.

To promote the professional development of the faculty.

To establish, after consultation with the faculty, appropriate departmental committees.

Administrative Responsibilities

To convey pertinent information to, from and within the department. To present issues which have potential impact on the department. To invite and respond to comments and suggestions of faculty and staff.

To represent the department within the school, University, community, and profession.

To work with the school dean/director on management of resources, including the establishment of enrollment targets, allocation of faculty positions, and all budget matters; to organize and supervise department expenditures; to monitor departmental compliance with university regulations and deadlines.

To hire and supervise department staff.

9.3. Selection of Department Chairs

The department chair is appointed by the Provost with the concurrence of the President of the University upon the recommendation of the department and the appropriate dean/director. No later than the 4th week of the fall semester of the final year of the term, the incumbent chair shall notify the department and dean whether or not he/she wishes to be a candidate for reappointment. If the incumbent chair does not wish to be reappointed, either there will be an external national search for a new faculty position, or the internal chair selection procedures will be followed. For an external chair, the Policy and Procedures for New Tenure Track Hires will apply. (For appointment of acting department chairs, see 9.5.)

9.3.1 Internal Selection Procedures

Procedures for determining the names to be submitted to the dean/director will be established by the faculty in a department meeting. All department faculty shall be notified of this meeting. Department procedures shall include provision for voting by secret ballot. The results of this ballot, in a form determined by the department, including a record of those who voted, will be forwarded to the Dean/Director as part of the report. The results shall include numerical counts. Departments which are accustomed to not pro-rating votes of temporary faculty may also include unpro-rated numerical counts in the report.* The department faculty presents to the dean/director of the school one or more names of faculty whom they would find acceptable to serve as chair. The department may choose to rank the names submitted.

When the dean/director supports one of the individuals nominated by the department, he/she makes a recommendation for appointment to the Provost. The Provost appoints the chair with the concurrence of the President.

If the dean/director does not support any of the individuals recommended by the committee, the dean/director shall meet with the department to discuss its recommendation. After this meeting, the department shall reconsider and forward its reconsidered recommendation to the dean/director. If the disagreement persists, the dean/director shall forward the department's recommendation and his/her statement to the Provost. It will be the responsibility of the Provost to work with the dean/director and the department in order to obtain a mutually acceptable solution.

If the Provost disagrees with the recommendation of both the department and the dean/director, he/she shall meet with the department and the dean/director to discuss his/her objections. If the disagreement cannot be resolved, the department will reinstitute the recommendation procedure in order to provide an alternative recommendation.

9.4 Department Chair Review

The purpose of the review is to assess the performance of the department chair with respect to the duties and responsibilities listed in 9.2 and other stated department criteria. The department may also use the review to give the chair direction and suggestions regarding his/her performance. These review procedures apply when the incumbent department chair wishes to be reappointed. The review will occur in the fall semester of the third year and must be completed no later than two weeks before the last day of instruction.

The department will elect a Chair Review Committee of at least three members. The Chair Review Committee will solicit information from all departmental faculty, staff, the chair, and others as deemed appropriate. The data for the review may include evaluations by individual faculty and staff, using the chair review form, the chair's self-evaluation, and any other pertinent information collected during the review. The committee will summarize these data and any other pertinent information collected during the period of review and write its report. Department procedures shall include provision for voting by secret ballot. The results of this ballot, in a form determined by the department, including a record of those who voted, will be forwarded to the Dean/Director as part of the report. The results shall include numerical counts. Departments which are accustomed to not pro-rating votes of temporary faculty may also include unpro-rated numerical counts in the report.* This report will be attached to the Department Chair Review Form. The Department Chair Review Form is required for all chair reviews. The Chair Review Committee will give the chair a copy of the report and subsequently will discuss the report and its recommendation with the chair prior to submitting the report to the dean/director. The dean/director will meet with the chair to discuss the dean/director's recommendation prior to forwarding it along with the Chair Review Committee's report and the chair's responses, if any, to the Provost for action and for placement in the personnel action file in Faculty Records. In the case of disagreement, procedures as in 9.3.1 will be followed. The Chair Review Committee will maintain strict confidentiality about materials collected during its review. The Chair Review Committee is also responsible for informing the department faculty about the outcome of the review at the conclusion of its process.

9.4.1 Regular Review

Chairs are reviewed every three years. Reappointment of the incumbent department chair occurs only after a departmental review and upon recommendation by the department in accordance with 9.4. Recommendation by the department may occur with or without the presentation of a list of nominees developed in accordance with 9.3 above. If the incumbent chair is not reappointed after a review, a new chair will be selected according to the procedures in 9.3 above.

9.4.2 Special Review

Upon recommendation to the dean/director of at least sixty percent of the fulltime faculty in a department, and after a full department meeting, the Provost may initiate a special review. The review procedures listed in 9.4 should be followed. The department, at any time, may withdraw the request for special review.

9.5. Acting Chairs

In the event that it is necessary to appoint an acting department chair, he/she shall be appointed by the Provost, with the concurrence of the President, after recommendation by the faculty of the department and the school dean/director.

Acting department chairs are temporary appointments. Acting department chairs will not serve more than three consecutive semesters, except in very unusual circumstances in which the appointment as acting chair could be extended for a maximum of two additional semesters. The selection process for a permanent department chair shall begin as soon as possible after the appointment of an acting department chair.

An acting department chair shall be appointed as a permanent department chair only if he/she is recommended by the department at the conclusion of the selection procedures for a permanent department chair. Time served as an acting department chair does not count as part of the three year term of a permanent department chair.

The position of acting chair has all the duties and responsibilities of a permanent chair.


* The two sentences preceding the asterisk were added to Senate-approved
language by President Woo, July 24, 1987.