Department Chairs

Bill 13-A-11 - Revising "Department Chairs" to establish a procedures section (Failed)



Approved by the Faculty Senate
February 27, 2013

BRIEF SUMMARY: This bill specifies the procedure portion of the existing Faculty Handbook section on Department Chairs (Chapter 1, Section F9).


BE IT RESOLVED THAT: subject to the passage and approval of both this bill and its companion bill establishing a corresponding "policy" section, Chapter 1, Section F9 of the Faculty Handbook be amended by replacing the existing content with the following "procedure" section (with the companion "policy" to follow it in the Handbook):

Department Chairs Procedure

Guidelines for the Review of Department Chairpersons. The review of a department chairperson requires cooperation and mutual discussion. It is important that professional integrity and respect be maintained by all parties involved. The following guidelines are provided for those involved in the review process to ensure proper focus so the overall effort will not be counterproductive to the stated purpose:

  1. Adequate time should be provided throughout the process so individuals can effectively participate.
  2. Individual responses should be secured before written documents are shared.
  3. Input from faculty members, students, other chairpersons, and administrators should be properly balanced.
  4. The constructive nature of the review should remain foremost.
  5. Informal dialogue should be fostered on a continuing basis.
  6. Full departmental involvement should be stressed.
  7. The need to provide anonymity should be balanced with the need to fulfill professional responsibility.
  8. Opportunity for chairperson and faculty self-assessment should be encouraged.
  9. Flexibility in the process should be maintained so departmental differences can be addressed.
  10. The time frames near the beginning and ending of semesters should be avoided for the purposes of the review.
  11. Chairpersons may provide a Record of Service summary to faculty members to highlight recent activities.

Procedures for the Review of Department Chairpersons
The specific purpose of the review process and the suggested guidelines provide a basis for the review of the department chairperson. Such factors as the size and complexity of the department and type of review may suggest variations in the approaches utilized. However, the intent of the following procedures should be maintained.

  1. Colleagues in the department are encouraged to provide informal suggestions to the department chairperson on an ongoing basis. Departments may develop internal procedures to delineate additional items to be added to the "Review of Department Chairpersons" instrument.
  2. At the initiation of the review cycle, the dean shall meet with the department for the purposes of discussing the process, reporting format, and procedures to ensure appropriate anonymity and follow-up; reviewing the procedures; agreeing upon a timetable; and determining whether additional items should be added to the instrument. Where the source of an instrument cannot be identified, the responses will not be discarded.
  3. The Dean shall make an online review instrument available to members of the department. Faculty members shall have one week to complete and submit the review instrument. All faculty are encouraged to participate unless there is an identified conflict of interest. The dean will have an opportunity to schedule individual meetings with faculty members for purposes of follow-up, clarification, and additional input.
  4. Concurrent with the solicitation of faculty input, the dean will collect information through the review instrument or through other appropriate means, from other chairpersons and individuals outside the department associated with the department chairperson.
  5. Within a month after all information has been collected, the dean will summarize the input and draft a letter to the department chairperson. Among other matters, the document will present responses received from those solicited.
  6. Following submission of a proposed summary report to the department chairperson, the dean will meet with the individual to discuss the report. The department chairperson will have an opportunity to respond to all parts of the recommendation.
  7. After due deliberation, the dean will submit a document to the department for review and response. The document will include a tabulation of the items on the instrument, a summary of written comments, and specific recommendations.
  8. Approximately two weeks after the document has been shared with the department, the dean will meet with members of the department for additional discussion. A summary of this meeting will be appended by the dean to the final recommendation submitted to the Provost.
  9. The dean will submit the final summary recommendations, along with all support data, to the Provost. The summary and recommendations will also be shared with the chairperson involved and will be made available to members of the department.
  10. Upon receipt of the recommendation, the Provost will schedule a meeting with the dean and department chairperson for the purposes of discussion and determination of appropriate action.
  11. The Provost will discuss the recommendation with the President for final disposition.
  12. The Provost will properly inform the dean, department chairperson, and members of the department of the recommendation.
  13. Upon continuation, the department chairperson and the dean will mutually agree upon a chairperson Development Plan which shall be filed with the Provost.

The Selection Process
Search Committee

1. When a vacancy occurs, the dean of the college arranges a meeting of all full-time faculty in the department. At this meeting, two decisions are made: first, departmental members of the search committee are selected, and second, the method for choosing a chairperson of the search committee is determined. Neither candidates for the position nor any faculty for whom there is a conflict of interest shall serve on the search committee.2. After the search committee is established, an additional faculty member from any other department in the University should be added to the search committee. Both the dean of the college and the search committee should agree on who will serve in this capacity. The additional faculty member operates as a full member of the committee.

Search Process

  1. When the chairpersonship vacancy occurs, the Department, Dean and Provost will consult and determine whether the search process should be internal or external. Upon search approval, the Department shall then follow the proceeding steps, as applicable.
  2. The search committee is responsible, within the standard hiring procedures established by the University's Office of Human Resources, for establishing its own procedures for reviewing candidacies. Finalists are interviewed by the search committee, the college dean, and the Provost. After completing its search, the committee provides written evaluations to the college Dean identifying strengths and weaknesses of the candidates.
  3. After reviewing the search committee's evaluations the college dean makes recommendations to the Provost who, in turn, makes a final recommendation to the President.
  4. In the event that none of the recommended candidates accepts the appointment, the search is considered a failed search and closed. A new search must be opened to fill the vacancy and the process begins anew.


Action Date
Introduced to Senate 1/30/2013
Second Senate Meeting 2/13/2013
Faculty Senate Vote 2/27/2013
President's Review
15 Day Review
Posted to Faculty Handbook