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200 Role and Responsibilities of Departmental Chairpersons

200.01 Role and Responsibilities

  1. The Policies of the Board of Trustees provide that chairpersons, in consultation with the members of their departments, are responsible to the President of the College for the supervision of the department personnel and programs. They have such powers, duties and the President of the College may assign responsibilities as. Chairpersons have a dual role as teacher and administrator. They are accountable for the implementation of College and faculty policies and procedures consistent with those of the College and the appropriate faculty. Chairpersons are responsible for and supervise the instructional program of the departments within the context of the mission and goals of the College and of the appropriate faculty. They serve as spokespersons for the institutional needs of the College and the faculty to the members of the department and for the department needs to the dean and other appropriate administrators of the College. The responsibilities of a chairperson cover six major areas: (A) Academic Planning, (B) Personnel, (C) Students, (D) Budget, (E) Space and Equipment, and (F) General Operations.

200.02 Academic Planning

  1. Ensures that clear goals and objectives, consistent with those of the College and the appropriate faculty, are established by the departments; that department programs are designed to achieve these ends; and that goals, objectives, and programs are periodically evaluated to guarantee that they are suited to the needs of students, both majors and non-majors.
  2. Supervises the development of a comprehensive and coherent department curriculum.
  3. Supervises and coordinates the development, revision, and evaluation of courses, sequences, and programs for the academic year and the summer program.
  4. Recommends to the appropriate dean the schedule of courses for the academic year and the summer session.

200.03 Personnel

  1. Coordinates department recruitment of new faculty, recommends appointments to the dean, oversees the orientation of new faculty.
  2. Supervises the department affirmative action program and ensures that it is consistent with that of the College.
  3. Evaluates the teaching effectiveness, scholarship, research, and College and community service of individual faculty members; initiates and oversees the evaluation process of the Departmental Evaluation Group; and makes personnel recommendations to the dean for each member of the department.
  4. Fosters the scholarly growth, research, creative activities, and teaching effectiveness of departmental members.
  5. Ensures that the workload within the department is equitably distributed among its members and suited to their individual talents and accomplishments and to the needs of its approved programs.
  6. Assigns courses for the academic year and summer session after consultation with members of the department and with the concurrence of the dean.
  7. Supervises clerical, non-teaching personnel, students, and graduate assistants assigned to the department by the dean.
  8. Counsels and advises faculty on professional matters.
  9. Supervises faculty to ensure that teaching and institutional obligations are met.
  10. Records faculty absences from class, keeps records of faculty sick leave and forwards such information to the dean, and/or the Payroll Office.

200.04 Students

  1. Supervises the department advisement program, assigns advisers for majors, provides faculty with advisement materials, and counsels students who seek advice beyond the advisor.
  2. Supervises the independent study, honors, and thesis programs within the department and ensures that they are consistent with College and faculty policies and directives.
  3. Maintains department student records.
  4. Approves waivers from department requirements and recommends to the dean waivers from appropriate faculty or College requirements.
  5. Approves requests, consistent with College or faculty policies or directives, for independent studies, change of major, undergraduate enrollment in graduate courses, course withdrawals, and permission to take courses at other institutions; recommends to the dean course overloads; signs reports of incomplete work; and participates in academic progress decisions.
  6. Assists in student orientation and registration.

200.05 Budget

  1. Formulates, after consultation with the department, long-range department budget projections to indicate how resources will be allocated to achieve department goals and objectives.
  2. Allocates and administers the departmental budget and authorizes valid expenditures from this budget.
  3. Prepares a yearly report for the Dean delineating how expenditures were related to the department goals and objectives.
  4. Monitors department expenditures to ensure that they are within departmental allocations.
  5. Disseminates full information on budget and expenditures to members of the department.

200.06 Space And Equipment

  1. Maintains a current inventory of department equipment.
  2. Prepares long-range projections of department space and equipment needs.
  3. Coordinates the allocation and utilization of space and equipment assigned to the department.
  4. Submits to the dean requests for repairs, maintenance, and plant improvements.
  5. Supervises the security of department equipment and supplies.

200.07 General Operations

  1. Maintains records for the department on faculty workloads, student majors, and enrollments; and provides the pertinent data to the dean for the preparation of official faculty and College statistics on these subjects by the Office of Institutional Research.
  2. Prepares department reports. (Routinely reports may be doen by the chairperson alone; all other reports should be prepared by the chairperson after appropriate consultation with the department or departmental committees.)
  3. Represents the department to the general public and communicates newsworthy department or individual faculty activities to the Office of Marketing Communications.
  4. Appoints appropriate departmental committees; prepares agenda for, and chairs, departmental meetings; and coordinates departmental activities.
  5. Advises the dean and communicates departmental opinions and needs to the dean; transmits faculty and College policies, directives, and opinions to the department; and fosters inter-departmental communication.
  6. Encourages and participates in inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary activities
  7. Attends faculty chairpersons meeting called by the dean and Academic VP.
  8. Assumes such other responsibilities or duties as the President may assign.

200.08 Designation Of The Chairperson

  1. Designation of a new chairperson from outside the College of the unit: The process of searching for and designating a new chairperson from outside the College or unit is clearly delineated in the Affirmative Action Search Procedures (1991).
  2. Designation of a chairperson from inside the unit:
    1. The academic vice president, in late August of each year, will submit to the appropriate dean a list of chairpersons, directors, and coordinators (all will be referred to hereafter as chairperson(s) of programs whose terms end during the academic year.
    2. The dean or designee will charge the departmental APT Committee (or the department when no APT Committee exists) for the purpose of beginning the designation process.
    3. The department will either elect a designation committee or resolve to establish itself as a committee-of-the-whole. Hereafter referred to as designation committee. In either case, a recommendation will go to the dean following a vote in accordance with the department's voting policy and procedures.
    4. The chairperson of the departmental APT Committee will chair the designation committee, or if no APT Committee exists, the department will elect a designation committee chair.
    5. Student representation is in accordance with Resolution #3, 1979-80, Policy for Student Involvement in Governance of Academic Department and Programs. Per SUNY College at Brockport Affirmative Action Guidelines/Search Procedures, item 4, search committees normally have one student representative. Student participation is encouraged.
    6. The designation committee is charged with the following responsibilities:
      1. Establishing procedures for the designation process normally including, but not limited to the following:
        1. Prepare a committee time line, including meeting dates and deadlines.
        2. Elect a recorder for all meetings related to the designation.
        3. Prepare interview questions.
        4. Determine what supporting documents will be required from applicants.
        5. Prepare rating a criteria sheets.
        6. Determine the maximum number of candidates to be recommended for chairperson.
        7. Establish voting procedures, including how many positive votes will be required for recommendation.
        8. Determine the level of participation of the department, when the designation committee is not a departmental committee-of-the-whole, unless already established by departmental constitution or by-laws.
        9. Determine the level of participation of declared candidates in the designation procedure.Make accommodation for departmental members who cannot be present at meetings due to sabbatical, illness, etc. A reasonable and timely effort must be made to include members in related procedures by communicating through mail, telephone, etc.
          • It should be noted that minimum areas of performance for department chairpersons are to be found in the Handbook.
      2. The committee will send its procedures, in writing, through the Dean to the Affirmative Action Office for approval before any further progress is made in the designation process. After approval by the Affirmative Action Office, the procedures will be made available to all departmental members.
      3. Votes or ballots for recommendation will be distributed, collected, and tabulated by the committee, who will announce the results.
      4. Following its deliberations, the recommendation, vote, and rationale from the designation committee, along with the departmental vote count (when the designation committee is not a committee-of-the-whole), will be sent to the dean as soon as the process is completed. If the dean, designation committee chair, designation committee, or department deem necessary, a meeting of the dean and the department, or its designee(s), will take place to discuss any recommendation before it is forwarded to the academic vice president. When there is not consensus regarding a recommendation, all names will be put forth for recommendation. In any case, the dean will forward the recommendation(s) to the academic vice president.
      5. The College President will give notice of appointment to the academic vice president, dean, department chairperson, and designation committee chair. Faculty Senate President, and the chair of the Faculty Senate Appointments and Elections Committee. ONLY the College President is authorized to make College personnel appointments. The designation committee will remain convened until an appointment is made.

200.09 Removal Of The Chairperson

Under the Board of Trustees' Policies, the President may relieve a designee of his/her duties as chairperson, with notification to the Chancellor.

If a majority of a department wishes to have its chairperson removed, it may, by majority vote and secret ballot, request a meeting with the dean. The dean, following consultation with the department and the chairperson, may make a recommendation through the Vice President for Academic Affairs to the President to remove the chairperson from office.

200.10 Additional Items

  1. The role of the department chairperson is one of strong, responsible academic leadership. This role should not usurp or conflict with the appropriate delegated responsibilities of others such as administrative personnel and other department chairpersons nor should it conflict with established administrative lines and responsibilities.
  2. To ensure strong academic leadership, departments should establish procedures, which will assure maximum opportunity to evaluate and weigh the leadership capabilities of individual candidates for the position of department chairperson.\
    1. To ensure responsible leadership, departments (1) must keep avenues of communication with the chairperson open at all times; (2) provide for corrective information flow from members to the chairperson when desired responsibility is not being demonstrated; and (3) seek a change in departmental leadership when the chairperson is demonstratively not functioning in assigned tasks.
    2. The dean shall meet with each chairperson at least once a year to evaluate his/her performance as chairperson.
    3. Department chairs receive a one course per semester-reduced load and a stipend.


A special stipend is for chairs of departments, which in terms of number of faculty, number of students, and other elements of complexity are determined by the Academic Council to create a markedly larger and more demanding position for the chair than the other departments.

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