Expectations and Roles of the Department Chairs

The Chair emerges from the faculty to assume a leadership role in the department. The Chair serves as mentor to faculty colleagues and as collaborator with other college administrative officers, interprets college policy, advocates for his or her department from a perspective of the best overall interests of the College, leads faculty in important processes that shape the curriculum and have an impact on the learning of students, and effectively articulates department and college missions to internal and external constituencies. All of this is accomplished through effective communication.

The responsibilities and duties of the Chair include those described below. In the performance of these duties, the Chair is expected to seek the advice of departmental faculty colleagues systematically, provide for the conduct of departmental affairs in an orderly manner through department meetings and the appointment of appropriate committees, and keep department members informed of their actions in a timely fashion. The Chair is also expected to seek student feedback on matters of concern to those enrolled in the department's programs.

Below are some of the expectations held for department chairs:

  1. Lead and manage the departments.
  2. Support the strategic goals of the college through all of the department’s programming decisions.
  3. Maintain a climate that is civil and encourage faculty, staff and student engagement, participation, collegiality, and innovation.
  4. Invest in strategies to enhance self-care.
  5. Communicate with both undergraduate and graduate students in order to more clearly understand student needs, challenges, and achievements.
  6. Work closely with the Dean’s Executive Council in order to align the department’s work with the Dean’s Office priorities.
  7. Play a major role in student recruitment, yield, and retention process.
  8. Play a pivotal role in recruiting, hiring, and retaining faculty.
  9. Implement actions to increase the diversity of faculty, students and staff of EHS.
  10. Lead in the promotion and tenure process for faculty in the department.
  11. Establish and implement candid evaluation procedures for members of the department’s staff.
  12. Determine the teaching schedule for all faculty keeping in mind the workload policies established by the department and the College.
  13. Prepare an annual budget proposal for the use of RCM funds to be submitted to the Dean for approval.
  14. Keep the Dean informed of departmental issues to celebrate as well as issues that may be problematic.
  15. Do your best to make sure that there are no surprises to which the Dean or the Dean’s office will have to respond.
  16. Understand the need for and be open to continuous improvement and not become satisfied with the status quo.
  17. Assist the Dean in creating community in EHS, a community of individual and collective respect for one another and valuing of the gifts and contributions each makes to the operation of the College.
  18. Engage in honest and transparent communication. Confidently communicate messages that have been agreed upon to the rest of the EHS community and throughout the University, where appropriate.
  19. Maintain a commitment to implementing the Vision and Mission of EHS.
  20. Follow protocol. Issues should be discussed with the Dean prior to having discussion with the Provost or the Provost’s office. Be certain to follow the procedures outlined in MUPIM.
  21. Dream big and creatively. Think broader specifically about the use of RCM surplus funds.
  22. Represent the department to internal and external constituencies.
  23. The goal of the Dean’s Office is to do what we can to keep additional projects/assignments off the plates of Department Chairs. However, there will be times when the Dean’s Office has to involve you. The Dean’s Office will do our best to keep those times to a minimum.
  24. Use MUPIM and follow the policies in your department’s governance document as well as the EHS governance document.
  25. Attend Administrators’ Breakfasts, State of the University Address, Faculty Assembly, EHS Community Meetings, Special EHS events, Commencement especially the EHS Commencement and encourage your faculty to do likewise.
  26. Introduce new faculty and staff at the Opening Community Meeting.
  27. Be fiscally responsible.
  28. Shepherd the Curriculum process in your department.
  29. Participate in professional development opportunities.
  30. Meet required deadlines.