UTS 182 Selection, Appointment, Roles and Responsibilities, Evaluation, and Training of Department Chairs at Academic Institutions

Sec. 1 General.

Each academic department shall have a chair who is a member of and serves as the academic leader of the department faculty and the designated administrator of the department. The department chair reports to a dean and serves at the pleasure of the dean, with the concurrence of the provost.

Sec. 2 Eligibility.

To be eligible to serve as a department chair, an individual shall hold a tenured position in his/her respective department and have demonstrated leadership, managerial, and administrative abilities.

Sect. 3 Selection.

The department chair shall be selected by the dean with the concurrence of the provost after an appropriate and inclusive search committee process. Department faculty need to be involved in the selection process, which includes engaging with the Dean on the needs and expectations of the department chair. The selection process needs to incorporate a search process to identify the best leader for the department.

Sec. 4 Appointment.

The department chair shall be appointed by the dean with the concurrence of the provost.

4.1 Term. The term of appointment for a department chair is flexible, with standard terms being between three to five years. Terms may be renewed without limit as long as the department chair continues to meet or exceed expectations as defined by institutional policy. Department chairs are appointed on the basis of a fiscal year (12 months).

4.2 Compensation. Compensation for department chairs shall be set by institutional policy and is set for the fiscal year – 12 months. Institutional guidelines should clarify adjustments to a department chair's salary upon return to faculty status.

4.3 Vacancies. Vacancies in the position of department chair shall be filled at the earliest possible date. After consultation with faculty, interim chairs may be appointed as interim chair for up to one (1) year to temporary fill a vacancy. On an exception basis, interim appointments may be extended by the Dean with concurrence of the Provost.

Sec. 5 Roles and Responsibilities.

5.1 The department chair is responsible for consulting with and representing the interest of department faculty on policies, plans, and procedures that affect the department.

5.2 The department chair is responsible for the overall leadership, management, and administration of the department, including:

(a) Pursuing and achieving departmental excellence in teaching, research, and service;

(b) Strategic planning and goal setting aligned with similar efforts at the college/school and university level;

(c) Management and professional development of faculty members and staff;

(d) Preparation and management of department budget;

(e) Recruitment, retention, evaluation and promotion of faculty;

(f) Development of curriculum;

(g) Communication with faculty and administration;

(h) Enforcement of applicable regulatory policies;

(i) Maintaining an environment of collegiality and shared governance;

(j) Addressing questions, complaints, grievances, and suggestions from faculty, staff, and students;

(k) Performing other duties as assigned by the dean.

Sec. 6 Evaluation.

6.1 Department chairs should be evaluated by deans as part of the regular annual evaluation process. A department chair's performance should be reviewed relative to the assigned roles and responsibilities in Section 5, UTS182.

6.2 At the beginning of the final year of their term, a department chair should undergo an in-depth review process, including input from department faculty and staff.

6.3 In addition to annual reviews, deans shall conduct periodic meetings with department chairs to ensure that roles and responsibilities are being met and areas of department, school/college, and institution priority are being addressed.

Sec. 7 Training.

Each academic institution shall provide a program of orientation for new department chairs, as well as ongoing professional development on administrative processes and effective management and leadership practices for the benefit of all department chairs.

Sec. 8 Re-assignment or Termination.

The department chair may be removed from the administrative position at any time for reasonable cause at the discretion of the dean, and the concurrence of the provost.


Department chair – administrative leader of an academic department appointed by the Dean with the concurrence of the Provost. Some academic departments may refer to this position by another name, such as department head, which also applies, as long as the academic department leadership position is appointed by Dean with concurrence of the Provost.

Policy Details

Responsible Office(s)

Academic Affairs

Date Approved

Related Information

Relevant System Policies, Procedures, and Regents' Rules