Department Chair | English Faculty Handbook` | Kent State University

Department Chair

The Department Chair (hereinafter “Chair”) is the chief administrative officer of the Department and reports directly to and is accountable to the Dean of the College (hereinafter “Dean”).  The Chair is responsible for recording, maintaining, and implementing the policies and procedures stated in this Handbook through regular and thorough consultation with the Department faculty and the Department’s various committees as provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Chair is an ex officio, non-voting member of all Department committees, and may make appointments as necessary and permitted to Department committees and to the various administrative and service positions in the Department.

The selection, review, and reappointment of the Chair is the responsibility of the Dean, who consults with the Department faculty on such matters. Procedures for the selection, review and reappointment of the Chair are included in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Specific duties and responsibilities of the Chair are:

  1. Primary Duties and Responsibilities of the Department Chair

    The Chair is expected to seek the advice and counsel of colleagues and work in close cooperation with them before making decisions and/or recommending decisions to a higher academic officer.  The CBA (TT) states that “with respect to any matter on which the FAC has been consulted, the Chairperson will notify the FAC of his/her decisions and/or recommendations.”  In making written recommendations or reports to a higher academic officer on such a matter, the Chairperson will indicate the substance of pertinent FAC advice.  The Chairperson routinely will inform the FAC of the status and final administrative determination on matters on which it has been consulted.  To this end, and in the spirit of collegiality, the Chairperson shall convene at least three Department meetings, with a previously distributed agenda, during each semester of the regular academic year, and ensure regular meetings of standing committees and other consultative bodies within the Department.  In addition, the Chairperson shall convene a Department meeting upon the request of at least one-half of the members of FAC.  The agenda will be circulated prior to the meeting whenever possible.  Minutes of each FAC meeting will be kept, distributed, and approved at the successive meeting.  Copies of approved minutes will be distributed to Department members within one week of the meeting in which they were approved.  Copies shall also be distributed to Department Coordinators on the Regional Campuses, to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and to the Deans of the Regional Campuses.

  2. Specific Duties and Responsibilities

    • To oversee personnel administration and appropriate professional development for the Department, including hiring of all faculty and staff and all personnel actions related to the reappointment, tenure, and promotion of faculty in the Department.
    • To provide leadership for and commitment to affirmative action.
    • To administer the Department budget by allocating funds to the academic programs in the Department and to monitor and review the expenditures of these funds.
    • To identify the resource needs of the Department and to recommend to the Dean of the College priorities for addressing such needs.
    • To oversee the development of schedules and an enrollment plan for the Department and to advise the Dean on all issues related to the recruitment, academic advising, attrition, and retention of all qualified and able students in the Department.
    • To represent the Department at all appropriate bodies, committees, and councils of the University, or designate appropriate departmental representatives to such bodies.
    • To represent the Department and, when requested and deemed appropriate by the Dean and/or the Provost, serve as official spokesperson for the Department with other universities, academic and professional agencies, state agencies, and honorary and accrediting bodies.
    • To represent the Department to its external public constituencies and to develop and maintain contacts and relationships with professional organizations and leaders in the profession.
    • To engage, where and when appropriate, in external fundraising activities in support of the University, the College, and the Department.
    • To accept ad hoc assignments related to Department, College, and/or University matters as deemed appropriate by the Dean, the Provost, or the President of the University.
    • To uphold and enforce all University regulations, policies, and procedures.
  3. Other Specific Administrative Duties

    • Enforce University regulations.
    • Develop and carry out, with appropriate consultation, all administrative and educational policies of the Department.
    • Recommend new staff appointments to the Dean and recommend the promotion or tenuring of members of the Department who are eligible and qualified.
    • Appoint and direct the non-academic staff of the Development.
    • Recommend leaves of absence.
    • Supply prompt notification to the offices of the Dean of the absence or resignation of a faculty member.
    • Expedite registration in class sections of the Department by properly advised and qualified students.
    • Recommend course changes through the appropriate Dean or Deans, if more than one college is significantly involved.
    • Distribute teaching assignments, schedule class hours and rooms within allocation, and prepare and supervise reports to appropriate University officials.
    • Maintain custody of University property charged to the Department.
    • Supervise the academic counseling of student majors in the Department.
    • Notify the appropriate executive officers, through channels, of departmental needs for which gifts or bequests should be sought or are being sough.  Engage in appropriate development activities related to gifts and bequests.  Promote cordial and productive alumni relations.
    • Perform other necessary tasks, all of which cannot be specified, such as noting the progress of graduates, maintaining relations with the Regional Campuses, inducting new faculty, developing brochures of course syllabi, etc.