Bill 13-A-08 - Revising "The Department and The Department Chairperson" to establish a policy section (Failed)

Bill 13-A-08 - Revising "The Department and The Department Chairperson" to establish a policy section (Failed)



Approved by the Faculty Senate
February 13, 2013

BRIEF SUMMARY: This bill specifies the policy portion of the existing Faculty Handbook section on The Department and the Department Chairperson (Chapter 1, Section G2).


BE IT RESOLVED THAT: subject to the passage and approval of both this bill and its companion bill establishing a corresponding "procedures" section, Chapter 1, Section G2 of the Faculty Handbook be amended by replacing the existing content with the following "policy" section (with the companion "procedures" to follow it in the Handbook):

The Department and the Department Chairperson Policy

The department is the fundamental grouping of faculty members within a University. Each department comprises a group of faculty members with common professional allegiances who together provide certain educational services within the University community. The fundamental responsibility for maintaining the programs and operations of a department rests with its faculty as a whole. The chairperson of a department is an equal among equals who acts on behalf of his/her colleagues in the administration of departmental activities.

The faculty of a department must be vitally involved in the process whereby decisions are made concerning their disciplines and themselves as professionals. Although the chairperson independently carries out administrative duties assigned to the office, it is extremely important that he/she represents the considered judgment of the department faculty when making decisions concerning such matters as curriculum development, budgetary requests, faculty recruitment, hiring, promotions, tenure, and dismissals.

In large departments, faculty participation in the decision-making process is best facilitated through a comprehensive committee system. Smaller departments must make appropriate adjustments. However faculty participation is affected, it is the departmental faculty which establishes academic and operational policies within the general guidelines of the University and has the responsibility for implementing those policies under the guidance and leadership of the department chairperson.

The chairperson is both a member of the department and a liaison between the department and the rest of the University. He/she provides leadership in the common pursuit of departmental goals. As a departmental liaison, he/she represents the best interests of the department and acts as a liaison to the college council and to the University administration. The major responsibility of the chairperson is the administration of departmental academic and operational policies established by the department within University guidelines.

The Functions and Responsibilities of the Department and Department Chairperson*

A. Instructional Program

  1. The department as a whole develops and maintains its curriculum and instructional program(s).
  2. The department as a whole encourages responsible innovation in curriculum development and has the responsibility for approving proposed changes in its curriculum. Major curriculum changes, however, such as those which would have an effect on a degree program or on the offerings of another department, must be submitted by the department to its college council for review and further recommendation, if necessary, to the University Academic Council.
  3. The department chairperson is responsible for ensuring that courses, degree requirements, and majors are within the guidelines of the University and consistent with University policies and goals. He/she is the chief spokesperson for curriculum proposals when they are reviewed beyond the department level.
  4. The department as a whole is responsible for developing and utilizing procedures for reviewing existing programs and curricula and for evaluating and approving new proposals.
  5. The department as a whole is responsible for departmental instructional and grading standards.
  6. The department as a whole selects library and other materials related to its curriculum and establishes procedures for appropriate and effective uses of instructional media and out-of-class learning activities.
  7. The department as a whole, within the guidelines of the Graduate College, is responsible for its graduate program(s).
  8. The department chairperson, in consultation with the faculty, assigns teaching loads and other instructional responsibilities and prepares the academic schedule.
    *The list of functions and responsibilities is intended to be descriptive rather than exhaustive.

B. Personnel Affairs

  1. The department as a whole determines the need for additional faculty members and has the primary responsibility for locating and selecting additional faculty. The department chairperson, in consultation with the dean of the college, determines the feasibility of additions to the department and coordinates the search process.
  2. The department as a whole has primary responsibility for the evaluation, tenure, promotion, and termination of its members. It establishes processes for carrying out each of these responsibilities within the guidelines set forth by the University.
  3. The department as a whole has responsibility for encouraging and facilitating study, research, and other professional activities by its members, especially the junior staff.

C. Departmental Administration

  1. The department as a whole, within University guidelines, is responsible for developing the general policies of the department.
  2. The chairperson is responsible for planning, organizing, and coordinating the functions of the department and for administering the approved budget within guidelines established by the faculty of the department and the college and the University administration.
  3. The chairperson assigns and evaluates support personnel and clerical and student help in the department. He/she has primary responsibility for work schedules, appointment, termination, promotion, and professional development.
  4. The chairperson, in consultation with the faculty and the dean of the college, is responsible for preparing and administering the department budget.
  5. The department as a whole is responsible for short- and long-term planning concerning the facilities it needs and for effective utilization of those facilities.


Action Date
Introduced to Senate 1/30/2013
Second Senate Meeting 2/13/2013
Faculty Senate Vote 2/13/2013
Board of Regents Approval
Posted to Faculty Handbook