Master Description of Department Chair Responsibilities During the Academic Year

This master chair description is a guide to Deans and Chairs for creation of individual department chair duties. Each department may have variations based upon both College and discipline needs.


Job description:

  1. Leads the Department in the Articulation and Pursuit of the Goals of the Department, College, and University.
    1. Leads the faculty in the articulation of the vision and goals of the academic unit, with emphasis on the quality of the learning environment
    2. Interprets the policies of the UW System, the university, the college, and the department, and translates these policies into proposed actions
    3. Initiates a regular review of departmental goals
    4. Develops and maintains linkages with other schools, departments, programs, and disciplines
    5. Leads the department in the articulation, measurement and fulfillment of diversity goals

  2. Coordinates the Academic Affairs of the Department to Establish an Outstanding Educational Program
    1. Assists and encourages the department faculty in their pursuit of excellence in teaching.
    2. Prepares class schedules that meet the enrollment needs of the department and university
    3. Assigns teaching responsibilities to the departmental faculty
    4. Assures equitable teaching loads within the department
    5. Initiates a regular review of the developmental curriculum
    6. Monitors and manages student enrollment in departmental programs
    7. Leads the departmental faculty in a regular review of curricular offerings to assure fulfillment of accreditation requirements, employer expectations, and suitable standards of excellence
    8. Maintains current course syllabi for all special education and special field courses for the department.
    9. Encourages the development of new courses, programs, or majors, as appropriate
    10. Reviews the academic records of transfer students and determines transfer credit, as appropriate
    11. Coordinates student registration for the department in conjunction with Academic Dept. Assoc.
    12. Completes requests for online course fees and determines appropriate use of the technology fee budget.
    13. Assists in the recruitment of excellent students into the degree programs of the department
    14. Requests online course evaluations for all department courses.
    15. Reviews all course evaluations to insure efficacy of instruction across the department.
    16. Coordinates the activities of the department between semesters and during summer session through ongoing provision of advising, transfer days, process admits to the program and reviews.
    17. Seeks appropriate state and national accreditation of majors or programs offered by the department
    18. Insures that the facilities of the department are in good repair and are available for faculty, staff, and student use

  3. Creates an Effective Working Environment for All Personnel within the Department
    1. Initiates the creation of a search and screen committee charged with responsibility for identifying candidates for vacant faculty positions
    2. Communicates the recommendation of the department regarding selection of a candidate to fill vacant faculty positions
    3. Evaluates faculty performance and reports these evaluations to the Dean and to the appropriate Department Review Body, as requested
    4. Provides recommendations to the Dean regarding salary adjustments, promotion in rank, and tenured appointment
    5. Supervises the activities of classified staff assigned to the department
    6. Orients new employees on departmental policies, procedures and advising
    7. Interacts with each faculty member to create a professional development plan for each faculty member, consistent with fiscal constraints, and assists in the execution of these plans, as appropriate
    8. Encourages and reinforces collegiality and adjudicates disputes within the department as necessary
    9. Maintains records of academic qualifications of the instructional faculty
    10. Recommends an appropriate mentor for new faculty and instructional. academic staff
    11. Assigns space to meet departmental needs
    12. Encourages awareness and implementation of safety practices in the operation of the department, including compliance with all relevant regulations
    13. Develops and utilizes a thorough understanding of appropriate personnel management practices and policies --- including those stipulated by federal statutes, codes, and regulations; the statutes of the State of Wisconsin; the Wisconsin Administrative Code; the Board of Regents; the University of Wisconsin System, and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater - and shares this knowledge with the members of the department charged with personnel actions

  4. Effectively Assesses and Addresses Student Needs
    1. Communicates regularly with students and uses student input to shape the policies and procedures of the department
    2. Supervises student advisement within the department, including both academic and career advisement
    3. Counsels students upon request
    4. Participates in, and contributes to, assessment activities of the department (including staffing with students), college, and university

  5. Monitors and Manages the Financial Operations of the Department
    1. Submits an annual budget request to the Dean
    2. Approves expenditures of funds allocated to the department
    3. Approves travel reimbursement requests consistent with available budgets
    4. Monitors account records to insure that expenditures do not exceed available funds
    5. Maintains an inventory of departmental equipment and assumes responsibility for its security

  6. Encourages Scholarly and Creative Activities and Advocates Service to the University and the Community
    1. Recognizes these activities as important aspects of faculty performance
    2. Encourages faculty participation in scholarly and creative activities
    3. Encourages faculty participation in service activities
    4. Provides time and resources within programmatic and fiscal constraints to stimulate these activities by individual faculty
    5. Encourages submission of grant proposals and other solicitations for external support

  7. Communicates Effectively with Internal and External Constituencies
    1. Schedules and presides over regular faculty meetings which inform the faculty and provide an opportunity for faculty input to the management of the department
    2. Represents the department to off-campus individuals and groups
    3. Seeks supplemental funding from external groups, including alumni, philanthropic foundations, and others
    4. Publicizes the achievements of faculty and students affiliated with the department
    5. Informs the Dean of developments within the department
    6. Provides counsel to the Dean of the college
    7. Communicates the concerns of the department to the Dean
    8. Gathers, compiles, and disseminates statistical information about the activities of the department
    9. Attends university and college chair council meetings

  8. Responds to Additional Requests or Assignments from the Dean