Responsibilities of the Chair

Role of the Department Chair

Basic Responsibilities:

  • Recruiting and evaluating new tenure-track faculty members
  • Recruiting and evaluating "per-course" faculty (as needed)
  • Mediation of disagreements within department
  • Mandatory reporter for Title IX issues "to take immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment"
  • Developing department's course schedule
  • Budget planning
  • Dealing with student complaints

Different types of departments have different department demands and approaches:

  • Department meetings: It's generally a good idea to schedule weekly department meetings. If there is no business, it's easier to cancel than find common times later in the term.
  • Determine methods of communication and document sharing: Emails? I:drive folders or GDrive folders for department meeting agendas and other shared documentation.
  • Generally the chair is a tenured member of the department and serves for three years.

Assistant or associate chair? There may be value in dividing up responsibilities in some departments and designating a "second-in-command." This individual could be in charge of a specific task, such as scheduling or working with adjunct faculty. Having an assistant chair may also provide a means of preparing a departmental member to be the next chair.

When do you call the provost?

  • Always:
    • if there is potential or threat to student, staff or faculty member
    • if there is a potential legal issue
    • if the department is going to exceed their budget
  • Maybe:
    • to mediate a departmental disagreement

Clerical Support/Assistance:

  • Departments in Hickok Hall, Dows, Peterson and Stuart Hall
    • Beth Valenta: Hickok Hall 101A, 319.399.8523
  • Music Department:
    • Karen Wilson: Marquis Hall 103, 319.399.8521
  • Education Department:
    • Betsy Kigin: Stuart Hall 409A, 319.399.8575