Department Chair Duties and Responsibilities
Responsibilities and Authority of the Chair
The position of Chair is important and one of the most difficult in any college environment. The Chair is expected to interpret college policy, advocate for his or her department from a perspective of the best overall interests of the College, lead faculty in important processes that shape the curriculum and have an impact on the learning of students, effectively articulate department and college mission to internal and external constituencies, serve as mentor to colleagues and collaborator with other college administrative officers. All of this is accomplished through effective communication. It is the intention of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and the Deans of the Schools to provide support, mentoring, and, where appropriate, more formal professional development opportunities for Chairs in helping them fulfill these roles.
The responsibilities and duties of the Chair shall include, but are not be limited to, those described below. In the performance of these duties the Chair is expected to seek the advice of departmental faculty colleagues systematically, to provide for the conduct of departmental affairs in an orderly manner through department meetings and the appointment of appropriate committees, and to keep department members informed of his or her actions in a timely fashion. The Chair is also expected to seek student advice on matters of concern to students enrolled in the department's programs.
Leadership of the Department
- The Chair has the responsibility for providing leadership toward the achievement of the highest possible level of excellence in the teaching, research and service activities of the department.
- The Chair is expected to articulate the goals of the department, both within and without the department, to articulate the department's requests in pursuit of these aims, and to maintain a climate that is hospitable and innovative.
- The Chair is responsible for leadership in developing the department's academic programs within the mission of the College.
- The Chair is responsible for informing the department of the stances and actions of the dean and other administrators that might affect the department.
- The Chair is responsible for providing leadership in curriculum development and insuring that all levels of curriculum review are met.
- The Chair is responsible for leadership in academic governance, especially the collaborative development of appropriate procedures for governance, within the department (e.g. policies and procedures regarding promotion and tenure, policies and procedures for merit evaluations, long-range department planning, curriculum development and program review).
- The Chair is responsible for guiding the Department's Strategic Planning process.
- The Chair is responsible for establishing and meeting regularly with a student advisory group at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (where appropriate) in order to facilitate open communication regarding the department and curriculum.
- The Chair is responsible for assisting with the active recruitment of students and with the identification of scholarship recipients, as arranged by the VP of Enrollment and the Director of Financial Services
- The Chair is responsible for working with the Dean of the School to establish a plan for engaging with external constituencies.
Leadership/Management of the Faculty and Staff
- The Chair is responsible for leadership in promoting the selection and retention of an outstanding and diverse faculty and staff. This includes both full and part time faculty in both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as those teaching in non-credit and certificate offerings and those teaching in continuing education and summer programs.
- The Chair is responsible for leadership in promoting a climate where both the spirit and the letter of affirmative action prevail.
- The Chair should be receptive to questions, complaints, grievances and suggestions from the members of the department, both academic and staff personnel, and from students. The Chair has the responsibility to take appropriate actions as required and in accordance with the policies and rules of the College.
- The Chair is expected to present independent analysis regarding recommendations for all faculty and staff appointments, re-appointments, and promotions; leaves of absence; travel authorizations, and other relevant department personnel functions.
- Chairs shall evaluate job performance and make recommendations for all department employees as required by College policy.
- The Chair is expected to work with individual faculty to help each faculty member develop and implement plans for faculty teaching, research/creative work, and service. This "development dialogue" should be formative and provide an opportunity for mentoring as well.
- The Chair is encouraged to maintain his or her own professional development both within the appropriate discipline area as well as in administration.
Administration of the Department
- The Chair is responsible for establishing teaching schedules in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs and assigning faculty as appropriate to meet the needs of the curriculum.
- The Chair is responsible for implementing College policy and rules within the department.
- The Chair is responsible for preparing and proposing budget requests, establishing expenditure priorities, seeking outside funding, and administering the department budget, subject to the policies established by the dean, the CAO, and the CFO and for articulating the relationship between the budget and the department's strategic plan.
- The Chair is responsible for recommending equipment and supplies for purchase, projecting space and equipment needs for the department and exercising general responsibility for departmental facilities and equipment in accordance with College policy and campus rules and regulations.
- The Chair is responsible for supervising and monitoring the attendance, time commitments and work assignments of department faculty and staff.
- The Chair is responsible for submitting accurate copy for all official College publications in a timely manner.
- The Chair is responsible for the management and maintenance of all departmental records, and preparation of reports in accordance with College procedures.
Office: 180 Tremont Street (Ansin Building), 13th Floor
Emerson College is currently undergoing its full ten-year review for reaccreditation in 2012-2013.