Department/Division Chair Policy


This policy establishes the compensation, workload, and summer responsibilities of academic department/division chairs.


Chair:  A department or division chair (Chair) is head of an academic unit that offers a degree program(s) and has assigned faculty who report to the Chair as their supervisor.



The department/division Chair is responsible to the Dean of the college/school and the academic department for the organization, administration, and management of the department/division. The Chair leads, directs, and manages the activities of the academic unit and ensures the academic quality of their program(s). The activities of the Chair include, but are not limited to, general administrative activities, curriculum management and development, personnel management, fiscal management, and inventory control. A more comprehensive list of duties is contained in a separate document titled Academic Procedures & Regulations: Academic Chair Duties.

As both manager and leader, the Chair serves as the liaison between the academic department/division and the College Dean, representing the needs and expectations of each to the other. The Chair guides the unit in planning and implementing the goals and outcomes developed by the department/division the College and the University.


The following provisions apply to the Chair position:

The Chair is appointed by the academic Dean.

While all contracts are for one year, the standard term for an academic Chair is five years. The Chair may be reappointed for additional terms at the discretion of the Dean and in consultation with the faculty and the Provost.

The Chair is an administrative position; the position is separate from the faculty member’s position, rank, and tenure status. The Chair position does not have tenure. The Chair serves at the will and pleasure of the Dean, Provost, and President. The Chair may be removed from the administrative position at any time, with or without cause.

As 12-month employees, Chairs accrue Personal Leave. Consequently, as with other exempt employees, Chairs are required to take Personal Leave when not engaged in their assignments during regular University business hours.

When the individual is no longer Chair, the faculty member will resume full-time teaching responsibilities.

Teaching Load

The standard release time for Chairs, based on a 12 hour semester load, is as follows:

            Fall – 1 course release             Spring – 2 course release

Chairs will not teach overloads except under unusual circumstances and only with approval from the Dean.


The Chair position is a 12-month contract.

Chairs receive a stipend of $15,000 in addition to their base faculty salary for the academic year. The stipend is in recognition of the expectation to be on campus during the business day during the academic year and during the summer. Once the Chair leaves the administrative position and returns to full-time teaching, he/she will no longer receive the administrative stipend.

Summer Responsibilities

Chairs are expected to be in their office during the summer to assist potential and current students, participate in orientation activities, plan for the next academic year, and engage in professional or departmental projects or other activities as requested by their Dean.

Chairs will be expected to assist students with Independent Studies, Special Topics, etc., during the summer session as part of their regular duties. Chairs will not normally teach during the summer except under unusual circumstances and only with the approval from the Dean. If teaching is necessary, Chairs will be compensated at the standard summer rate for regular summer courses.


When a vacancy in the Chair’s position occurs, the Dean will make a recommendation to the Provost whether to conduct an internal or external search for the Chair. Once the Provost approves the type of search, the Dean will then follow the standard search process for an external search found in the Posting Procedures and Hiring Process for Faculty Position as per policy on the Human Resources web page. For an internal chair search, the Dean will seek direct input from the faculty through a search committee, individual meetings, or other means the Dean believes provides faculty involvement. The Dean makes the final selection and appoints the Chair.

Policy Manager:  Office of Human Resources

Policy Owner: Vice President for Academic Affairs






Policy Effective Date:

Change/Review/Approval Date:

  • Academic Council: 04/22/2014
  • Approved by Cabinet: 05/08/2014