Selection, Appointment, Evaluation and Reassignment of a Department Chair
Selection and Appointment
a. Department chairs are appointed for a term of four years by the dean of the college, with review and final approval by the provost. The appointment is made only after considering the evaluations and advice of the faculty of the department as described below. The appointment of a department chair occurs as the result of either a comprehensive external or internal search.
b. In September of the fourth year of a chair's term of office, or at other times when the position is vacant, the dean will meet with members of the department as a group to discuss the duties and responsibilities of the position and to determine whether to conduct an external or internal search. Conducting an external search is contingent upon the budget permitting the recruitment of a chair from outside the university.
c. The appointment normally will be an eleven or twelve-month appointment. The chair will continue to teach on a regular basis but with a reduced teaching load. The extent of the load reduction and the type of appointment is established for each department by the dean with the approval of the provost, and depends upon the size and scope of the department's activities.
d. A vacancy for more than one calendar year is filled by the regular selection procedure, and the term of office will be four years. A vacancy for one calendar year or less is filled by an interim or acting chair appointed by the dean. The dean may make interim or acting appointments when it is necessary, after considering the advice and concerns of the faculty in the department. Alternate methods of discharging the duties of chairing and administering departmental resources may be adopted as a result of agreement among the department, the dean, and the provost.
The External Search Process
a. When an external search is conducted, the dean will meet with the members of the department as a group to discuss the duties and responsibilities of the position, and the size and composition of a representative search committee. Faculty members make recommendations to the dean in writing relative to appropriate committee membership and other matters discussed. Members of the search committee are appointed by the dean. Giving due regard to the advice and concerns of the faculty, the dean also appoints the chair of the search committee.
b. The search committee solicits nominations and applications and coordinates the departmental search process. If a member of the committee becomes a candidate, he or she may not continue as a committee member. The search committee, working in cooperation with the dean and with appropriate participation from constituent groups, establishes selection criteria, announces and advertises the position in a manner appropriate to the nature of the search and affirmative action guidelines, and coordinates the review and evaluation of candidates for the position. Throughout the search process, the committee solicits, encourages, and provides for the participation of the faculty and other constituent groups. Faculty must have ample opportunity to review the credentials of qualified candidates. On the basis of faculty evaluations and its own judgment, the search committee will reduce the list of candidates to those best qualified for the position; the committee and the dean will recommend candidates to be interviewed from this reduced list. Campus interviews must be authorized by the provost. Events to be arranged during the candidate's campus visit are similar to those arranged for faculty candidates. Interview schedules of candidates should allow for discussions with the dean, the provost, the president, search committee members, individual faculty, students, and others.
c. Following these interviews, the search committee obtains the views of the department faculty and appropriate constituent groups. The advice of the faculty is sought by individual written evaluations, or by expression of faculty sentiment at a called faculty meeting, or by such other means as the faculty and the search committee consider appropriate. The advice of the faculty concerning those candidates who have general faculty support is determined by secret ballot at a departmental faculty meeting called by the chair of the search committee. General support of the departmental faculty is normally necessary for further consideration of a candidate. Upon completion of interviews and the selection process, the chair of the search committee submits to the dean a summary of the evaluations on each person interviewed. The dean confers with the provost and extends a letter of offer to a candidate that the search committee deems acceptable. In the event that the dean does not secure the appointment of a chair from the list of candidates who have general faculty support, the dean will appoint an acting chair for one year.
The Internal Search Process
a. When an internal search is to be conducted, the dean meets with the department as a group to discuss the duties and responsibilities of the position. Eligible department faculty serve as a search committee of the whole. Those faculty eligible to participate formally in the search process (referred to hereafter as departmental faculty) are tenured faculty, tenure-earning faculty not under termination notice, clinical faculty, and research faculty, excluding administrators above the level of department chair. Giving due regard to the advice and concerns of the faculty, the dean appoints the chair of the search committee. Any tenured or tenure-earning faculty member in the department who is not under termination notice and who holds the rank of professor or associate professor is eligible to serve as committee chair; however, it is preferable that the chair be filled by a tenured faculty member.
b. The search committee, working in cooperation with the dean and with appropriate participation from constituent groups, establishes selection criteria and then solicits nominations. Each nominee presents a position paper supporting his or her candidacy and is interviewed by the faculty of the department and the dean. Interview schedules of candidates should allow for discussions with the dean, the provost, the president, individual faculty, students, and others.
c. Following these interviews, every reasonable effort should be made to obtain the views of the departmental faculty and appropriate constituent groups. The advice of the faculty is sought by individual written evaluations, or by expression of faculty sentiment at a called faculty meeting. The recommendations of the faculty are determined by secret ballot at a departmental faculty meeting called by the chair of the search committee. General support of the departmental faculty normally is necessary for further consideration of a candidate. Upon completion of interviews and the selection process, the chair of the search committee submits to the dean a summary of the evaluations on each candidate. If the dean is satisfied with the candidate(s) recommended by the department, he or she makes the appointment with the concurrence of the provost. If the dean does not accept the candidate(s) submitted by the department, he or she will convey the reasons in writing to the faculty of the department. If the department and the dean continue to disagree on an acceptable candidate for chair, the provost will resolve the issue.
Review and Evaluation of a Department Chair
a. The dean performs an annual evaluation of each chair in the college during the spring semester. The evaluation is in writing. The dean counsels each chair regarding his or her relative strengths and weaknesses as set forth in the evaluation. The dean forwards the evaluation to the provost.
b. Provided the chair wishes to be considered for reappointment for a subsequent term, the dean conducts a comprehensive review to evaluate the performance of the chair during the spring semester of the third year of the chair's term. This review includes written evaluations by members of the department, students majoring in the department, and the individuals from other areas of the university with whom the chair frequently interacts. An underlying principle of the entire evaluation process, however, requires that all analyses be supported by factual documentation, and that the evaluations be based exclusively upon the consideration of professional standards of performance. These views are an important component of any personnel decision by the dean growing out of the review.
c. During the comprehensive review, the evaluation and assessments provided by the various constituents will be collected by the dean and held in strict confidence. The dean will develop a summary of the evaluations and meet with the department chair to discuss the preliminary results of the evaluation and to determine whether additional information should be sought. After the evaluation process is complete the dean communicates the results of the review to the departmental chair and to the provost. Normally, no later than one month following the completion of the review the dean will report to the departmental faculty concerning the general results of the evaluation. Personnel actions growing out of the evaluation must have the concurrence of the provost.
Reassignment of a Department Chair
In unusual circumstances a dean may, on his or her own initiative or at the request of the majority of the eligible departmental faculty, initiate an early review of a chair for possible reassignment. Those faculty eligible to participate formally in the request for an early review will be tenured faculty, tenure-earning faculty not under termination notice, clinical faculty, and research faculty, excluding administrators above the level of department chair. In such a case, the chair in question and the departmental faculty will be informed by the dean that the chair's performance is being reviewed for possible reassignment. In so far as possible, this review will follow the procedures set forth in the section on the "Review and Evaluation of a Department Chair." Based on the results of this early review, a dean may remove a chair with the concurrence of a majority of the eligible departmental faculty and the provost.
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