Department Chair Job Description

The department chair has several main functions as follows:

  • To act as the representative of the department to Simpson’s administration and outside constituencies.
  • To act as an advocate for the mission of the department to the administration and outside constituencies.
  • To act as a mentor and facilitator for the faculty and staff within the department as they carry out their mission.
  • To act as an administrator of the department in accomplishing necessary managerial tasks.

The above functions imply the following duties:

1.  Facilitating the academic and pre-professional programs of the department in both the day and Continuing & Graduate Program (C&G)

2. Promoting the academic quality of the department and discipline

3.  Conducting searches for faculty positions (full-time, adjunct and affiliate)

4.  Evaluating faculty

5.  Mentoring all department faculty

6.  Supervising and evaluating support staff

7.  Developing the departmental budget request

8.  Monitoring the departmental budget

9.  Examining the departmental offerings and curriculum

10.  Submitting course schedules for various terms

11.  Managing faculty leaves

12.  Processing paperwork for various committees and offices (course proposals, etc.)

13.  When appropriate, managing external grants, special programs and development projects

14.  Managing the departmental assessment process and conducting periodic departmental reviews

15.  Managing specialized facilities (labs, technical equipment, instruments, etc.)

16.  Organizing and presiding at department meetings

17.  Encouraging faculty professional development

18.  Providing liaison, information and evaluations to administrative offices

19.  Providing liaison and information to faculty committees, ad hoc committees, accrediting organizations and other groups

20.  Providing liaison to other departments and the C&G

21.  Representing the department at meetings of department chairs

22.  Responding to student petitions, degree applications, complaints, requests, etc.

23.  Supervising new student recruitment and retention of majors

24.  Balancing advising assignments

Authority of the Department Chair

As an administrator, the department chair has the primary responsibility for communicating the department’s views to the college community and the college community concerns to the department.  Because the chair acts on behalf of the department, the chair must distinguish between personal views and those that reflect the consensus of the department.  In consultation with department members, the department chair has the primary responsibility and authority for:

1.  Formulating and communicating recommendations for hiring, tenure, promotion, retention and evaluation of faculty and departmental support staff

2.  Establishing departmental budget priorities and allocations

3.  Recommend teaching assignments and teaching times to the dean and regulating faculty workloads

4.  Recommending leaves and special assignments to the dean

5.  Developing and articulating departmental goals

6.  Ensuring that faculty in the department are fully engaged in departmental and general faculty duties