Sac State University Policy Manual

Department/Division Chair, Role and Responsibility of the

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Authority:
Effective Date: November 9, 1989
Updated:
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: UMD03150.htm

ROLE AND RESPONSIBILTY OF THE
DEPARTMENT/DIVISION CHAIR

ROLE

An academic department chair is a teaching faculty member of that department, and as such has all the rights and responsibilities of a faculty member. In addition, the primary function of the chair is to carry out the business of his/her academic department. He/she is responsible for communicating the department's needs to the school or University administration. He/she is also responsible for communicating University and school policies and administrative procedures to the department faculty and staff.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The academic department chair is responsible for discharging the following duties in accordance with the established policies and procedures of the department, school, University and the CSU
System.

1. Supervise the recruiting of faculty and staff in accordance with the department's programmatic needs and in keeping with the mandate of Affirmative Action.

2. Supervise the evaluation of department faculty and staff as required by departmental personnel procedures.

3. Foster an environment in which faculty development is encouraged and supported within the goals and objectives of the department, school and University.

4. Encourage currency and improvement in the quality of the department's curriculum.

5. Coordinate departmental student advising efforts.

6. Coordinate the departmental workload assignment of faculty and staff.

7. Prepare and present the department's budget to school authorities as appropriate. The chair is responsible for administration of departmental resources.

8. Ensure that the instructional schedules of the department are submitted as required and modified as needed.

9. Coordinate the work of departmental committees and serve on school or University committees.

10. Ensure that a department process for dealing with student grievances is implemented in accordance with general University and system procedures.

11. Facilitate the instructional support operations of the department to ensure effective use of clerical service, proper space allocations, adequate supplies, etc.

12. Perform other duties as specified by the dean and/or other University administrators and carry out assigned duties in
accordance with University policy.

The department chair should consult with the department faculty in making administrative decisions regarding such matters as workload, scheduling, curriculum, and budget. After careful consideration of faculty concerns and thoughts on these administrative matters, and consultation with the school dean as needed, the department chair has the authority to make timely decisions to accomplish the administration of the department. Faculty have the right to appeal or request review of any administrative decisions affecting them.

The department chair should consult periodically with department faculty, other department chairs with whom he/she interacts, and the school dean regarding pertinent aspects of departmental administration.

PERIODIC SELECTION

Only full-time probationary or tenured faculty shall be eligible to serve as department chairs. Department chairs shall be nominated by secret ballot by a majority vote in an election in which at least all tenured and probationary faculty members of the department, including those on the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP), and those on leave, are eligible to vote. In accordance with the Unit 3 M.O.U., only Unit 3 faculty members in the department may be allowed to vote.

Each department shall file nomination procedures with the appropriate dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs at least one month preceding the nomination. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall review the department's nomination procedure for conformity with University policy and requirements of the M.O.U. Adoption of procedures shall be by secret ballot and voting eligibility shall be the same as described in the preceding section.

The incumbent chair or acting chair shall report the result of the nominating procedure to the President via the school dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

After appropriate consultation with the school dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, if the President concurs in the department's nominee or nominees, the President shall appoint a nominee as department chair. The chair shall serve for a period not to exceed three years. Near the end of that period a new election shall be held. The chair may succeed himself or
herself.

If, for compelling reasons, submitted in writing, the President does not concur in the nomination(s) by the department, the President shall confer with the department faculty, the nominee(s), the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the school dean and attempt to resolve the problem.

If the President does not concur with the department's choice of nominee, or nominees, the department shall proceed with its nominating procedures for a second time and shall again submit a nominee or nominees to the President. The President will then carry out the steps specified in the preceding two paragraphs.

VACANCY

1. Resignation

A department chair has the right to return to a full-time teaching assignment by resigning his/her position as chair. Except in rare circumstances, resignations will conform to the academic year.

2. Removal

a. For serious and compelling reasons, and in accordance with department policies and procedures, a department may request that the incumbent chair be recalled through the
following procedure:

1) A written request containing the compelling reasons for recall of the incumbent chair, signed by at least 1/3 (rounded upwards to the nearest whole number) of those eligible to vote in chair-nominating elections, shall be submitted to the school dean. The incumbent chair will receive notification of the request together with a statement of reasons.

2) The school dean will meet with the signatories and the Department chair to make every effort to reach an informal resolution of the recall request.

3) If an informal resolution of the recall request fails, the dean shall conduct a meeting of those department faculty eligible to vote in chair- nominating elections. A quorum of 2/3 of those eligible to vote must be present at the meeting whose purpose is ascertaining the will of the department regarding the recall request. The incumbent chair will have the opportunity to respond to the recall request at this meeting, either orally, in person, or in writing, to be read by the dean. A vote of "confidence/no confidence" will be taken by written ballot at that meeting. A majority of all those eligible to vote in chair-nominating elections is required for a department recommendation of "no confidence."

4) In the event of a "no confidence" recommendation, the dean shall forward to the President via the Vice President for Academic Affairs:

- the department's vote and reasons for recall, expressed as a recommendation, and
- the dean's independent recommendation, including reasons, and

- the incumbent chair's response to the recall request, if any.

The incumbent chair will be notified of the department's and dean's recommendations.

5) The final decision will be made by the President. The decision, including reasons, will be transmitted to the department.

6) Under normal circumstances, a vote of "confidence/no confidence" can be held only once during an academic year.

a. Upon receipt of compelling reasons, received in writing from sources other than department faculty, the President, having consulted with the department, may consider whether the effectiveness of the department is impaired by the continued incumbency of the chair. In these circumstances, the President shall confer with the incumbent chair, the department faculty, the dean and the Academic Vice President to discuss the advisability of and the reasons for
removal.

The final decision will be made by the President. The decision, including reasons, will be transmitted to the department.

3. Absence

a. When circumstances dictate that a serving chair be temporarily absent from the performance of his/her duties and responsibilities as chair for more than six weeks but not more than one calendar year, the department shall initiate the process required for the selection of a temporary chair.

b. When circumstances necessitate that a serving chair be absent from the performance of his/her duties and responsibilities as chair for more than one year, the absence shall no longer be considered temporary, and a resignation by the incumbent of his/her position as chair shall then be in order.

REPLACEMENT

1. In cases of resignation or removal of a department chair, a new chair may either be chosen to serve for the balance of the un-expired term of the immediate past chair, or for a new term of three years. It shall be the recommendation of the department faculty as to which of these two options with regard to term is selected, with the election of the chair in either case to be accomplished in the same manner as is prescribed for the periodic selection of a department chair, as specified above.

2. Should circumstances warrant in cases of resignation or removal of a department chair, the faculty of the department may elect to select an acting chair to perform the duties and responsibilities of the chair for such time as is required to choose a replacement chair in accordance with the procedure outlined in paragraph a. above.

In situations where the appointment of an acting chair is deemed desirable, the selection of an acting chair shall in no way unduly delay the selection of a replacement
chair.

3. In the case of a temporary absence of a serving chair from the performance of his/her duties and responsibilities as chair for not less than six weeks and not more than one calendar year, an acting chair shall be selected to perform the duties and responsibilities of the department chair for the period of the temporary absence in accordance with the same procedures as are prescribed for the periodic selection of a department chair as specified above.