WCSU Faculty Handbook : Academic Policy and Procedures

Responsibilities of the Chairperson

A Department Chairperson* is a member of the Department. The following responsibilities represent a description of the best practices for the work conducted by Chairpersons. This document is not intended to create, redefine, or add to evaluation procedures**. Any application of these recommendations in the course of evaluating chairpersons for promotion, professional assessment, or the declination of the continuing appointment of existing chairpersons is appropriately undertaken after discussion and documented agreement between chairpersons and the appropriate Dean.

  1. Department Duties

    1. Conduct department meetings according to approved bylaws in such manner that members are informed and involved in appropriate decision making concerning the academic program. Minutes of each meeting are to be filed with the appropriate Dean and the Provost.
    2. Coordinate departmental activities to ensure that duties—teaching, advisement, committees, community relations—are equitably apportioned.
    3. Oversee department proposals concerning program and course development, annual operating budget requests, annual departmental reports, equipment and supply needs, faculty workload reports, staffing recommendations (including adjunct contracts), space needs, community services, and the like.
    4. Oversee establishment of Department Evaluation Committees (DEC).
    5. Submit semester course schedules and proposed staff assignments to appropriate Dean.
    6. Advise department members concerning institutional obligations and/or policies such as scheduling office hours, filing book orders, reporting grades, tracking class attendance, and reporting and requesting professional and personal absences.
    7. Coordinate representation of the Department at university events and functions.
    8. Monitor student enrollment in the Department’s courses, and in the Department’s major(s).
    9. Coordinate long-term planning for the Department (e.g., planning for program review, programmatic changes, assessments).
  2. Resource Coordination

    1. Allocate resources, such as course supply budget, clerical and support staff assistance, ensuring that they are equitably apportioned.
    2. Recommend department staff positions (e.g., university assistants (UAs), student workers, clerical staff, technicians), to the Provost/Academic Vice President through the appropriate Dean.
    3. Recommend, supervise and evaluate clerical and support staff in the Department, including student workers, graduate assistants, UAs, technicians, and other support staff.
  3. Student and Advising Issues

    1. Coordinate effective year-round academic advisement for students assigned to the Department, both undergraduate and graduate (e.g., students in the Department’s major(s), transfer students into the Department’s major(s), students changing majors into the Department, students completing a minor in the Department).
    2. Evaluate and approve/decline requests for overrides, permissions, course transfer credits, course substitutions, study abroad programs, and similar requests.
    3. Advise faculty and students of university policies and/or procedures, and address complaints, grade appeals, and academic honesty concerns when necessary.

* In departments that have Associate/assistant/co-chairs, the distribution of these responsibilities may vary.

** Each department has its own bylaws, which are on file in the department offices and which may clarify or alter some of the descriptions herein.

Senate Approval: Jan. 14, 1979
Senate Approval Mar. 29, 2021 (R-21-03-01)
Admin. Approval 3/31/2021