Department governance:

  • Conduct department meetings

  • Establish or set membership for department committees

  • Develop and implement long-range/short-range department goals and plans Develop and implement department policies; implement university policies

  • Serve as an advocate for the department, on campus and in broader professional contexts Delegate some responsibilities to associate chair, individuals or committees

Instruction, curriculum, and assessment:

  • Schedule courses for Fall and Spring semesters, and for Summer Session

  • Monitor department enrollment needs, contributions to Core curriculum and interdisciplinary programs, or other assignments of faculty load (e.g., advising sections, residential courses)

  • Conduct and prepare departmental curricular reviews

  • Update departmental curriculum, courses, programs including review of faculty course proposals Oversee departmental assessment of student learning and prepare assessment/accreditation reports Prepare and update Bulletin copy, including departmental student learning outcomes

  • Foster good teaching in the department


  • Conduct faculty searches (tenure-line, visiting, adjunct) in accord with Faculty Recruitment Guidelines
  • Mentor faculty, particularly though not exclusively junior colleagues, with effort to foster each colleague’s interests and special talents
  • Encourage faculty development (sabbaticals, resources to support scholarly and creative activity, etc.) Serve as head officer for scheduled reviews, in accord with the Faculty Code and departmental guidelines

  • Conduct review and update of departmental evaluation guidelines, as needed

  • Complete evaluation letters for 1st and 2nd year faculty members; conduct visiting faculty evaluations; oversee teaching quality of adjunct faculty members

  • Monitor faculty service contributions

  • Deal with concerns regarding faculty performance (e.g., first level grade complaints, student or colleague concerns about professionalism, conflict among colleagues)


  • Supervise support staff

  • Complete thorough and timely performance reviews Encourage staff professional development


  • Advise and counsel students, particularly new transfer students

  • Deal with (or counsel colleagues) regarding student performance (e.g., academic integrity concerns, classroom management issues)

  • Support departmental community among students, including informal or formal departmental student organizations

  • Nominate/support student for awards, fellowships, research or other recognitions/opportunities as may be appropriate

Budget and resources

  • Prepare and propose department budgets

  • Administer the department budget (operational, travel, capital, gift accounts as may exist) Manage department facilities and equipment

  • Monitor building security and maintenance, as needed (e.g., work orders, emergency procedures) Maintain essential department records, including student records as needed


  • Maintain good communication with departmental colleagues, including keeping faculty members informed of department and university plans, activities, expectations

  • Communicate department needs to the academic deans or leaders of other areas of the university Process departmental correspondence and requests for information

  • Foster a sense of community and good morale

Resources Available 

  • Various web resources for chairs, directors and deans
  • August chair workshop and six monthly meetings

  • Other workshops as may be offered by the deans’ office, human resources, or off-campus organizations
  • Bibliography available on request