Associate Chair Position


The associate chair is an elected member of faculty who answers directly to the chair of the department but carries out a distinct scope of work (in other words, the associate chair’s responsibilities are separate from but complementary to the responsibilities of the department chair).  The associate chair will remain a member of the faculty during his/her tenure; this is not a formal administrative position.

The associate chair will serve a three-year term.  A successor will be chosen in year three. 


Candidates for the position of associate chair must be tenured Associates or Full Professors.

The person assuming the position of associate chair must be 1) an active member of the department who has demonstrated a commitment to department activities and service and 2) someone who is readily available to consult with faculty via email and on a one-on-one basis.

The associate chair must be someone with whom the department chair has a productive and collegial working relationship.

Responsibilities and Tasks

The associate chair will have responsibility for the following tasks:

•Oversee the Research and Development Committee: schedule and coordinate regular meetings; oversee the administration of departmental support for intra and extramural grants for faculty.

•Oversee undergraduate curriculum:  Leadership and vision with respect to modifying/changing the curriculum; consulting with faculty about special topics courses and helping to secure approval for these courses.  The CUSC chair will report directly to the associate chair.

•Assume responsibility for public image of the department: supervise website content and construction (Common spot); develop and maintain alumni contact lists; provide PR and press for the department; create and maintain a Facebook and Twitter presence for the department.

•Oversee/advise Colloquium Committee: promote intellectual life of department by working with CC to regularly invite faculty, graduate students, and guest speakers.

•Serve as acting chair of the department in the chair’s absence.


The associate chair will receive three units of assigned time per semester during his/her time in the position as well as summer compensation.Additionally, he/she will receive three units of assigned time in the first semester following the end of his/term as associate chair.During this last semester of assigned time, the associate chair will be available for consultation as the new AC transitions into the position.

Procedures for Appointment

FAC will solicit nominations for the position of associate chair from the faculty.  Self-nominations are accepted.  FAC will generate a ballot listing all nominees and the faculty will cast their vote for associate chair via email ballot.  The associate chair will be elected by majority vote.

Each candidate who has agreed to stand for the position of associate chair will provide a written statement discussing 1) why they are interested in the position and 2) how they are qualified to meet the responsibilities and tasks of the position.  This written statement will be distributed to the faculty prior to the vote by email.

Procedures for Review and Reappointment

During each spring of the associate chair’s tenure, the FAC will formally review the associate chair’s performance.  The FAC will solicit feedback (in the form of a single item questionnaire) from the broader faculty to assess whether the sitting associate chair is performing to expectations.[1]  FAC will then generate a report to the chair.  This report will be available to the faculty on request.


[1] The review of the associate chair is part of a larger process that will include annual reviews of CUSC and GEC coordinators and the department chair.