5.3 Responsibilities and Expectations for Departmental Leadership
This section provides the overarching responsibilities and expectations for departmental leadership, including the Department Head, Associate Department Head, and Graduate and Undergraduate Program Directors. It is expected in all positions that leaders engender a culture of excellence, co-operation, diversity, and respect both within and outside of their unit, and demonstrate high ethical values and transparency in decision making.
Department Head (DH)
The Department Head (DH) provides vision, leadership, and overall management for their department. The DH reports directly to their Dean and works closely with the Dean and Provost to establish and achieve departmental goals that are aligned with and contribute to overall university goals, metrics, priorities, and mission. The DH is expected to maintain a climate that is supportive of excellence, creativity, innovation, and success among the unit’s faculty, students, and staff, promotes collaboration with other university leadership, and is receptive to external input on the evolution and assessment of the department’s programs, support, and creative/research activities.
Duties and Responsibilities
The department head has a variety of responsibilities, including:
- Lead the development and implementation of a strategic vision for the department that is aligned with university goals and aspirations, and leverages synergistic activities across and outside of the university, leading to the creation of distinctive programs managed and supported by the unit.
- Effectively communicate both unit-level and university-level visions, goals, and aspirations to internal and external audiences.
- Create and foster an intellectually stimulating environment.
- Create and foster a supportive educational environment for all students.
- Encourage, develop, and support strategies to achieve student success.
- Encourage, develop, and support strategies to achieve both research and teaching excellence.
- Promote and positively represent the department and university both internally and externally.
- Recruit, select, mentor, and evaluate faculty and staff to advance both departmental and institutional priorities and initiatives.
- Ensure that faculty and staff are managed and evaluated fairly, effectively, and efficiently, and in a way that is consistent with university requirements and expectations.
- Oversee assignment of teaching and other duties for all faculty and staff in a way that is consistent with university requirements and expectations, and consistent with the concept that the appropriate mix of teaching, research or creative work, scholarship, and service that may differ from person to person, and from time to time during an individual's career.
- Manage overall budget and department administration in strict accordance with dollar and FTE allocations and in accord with university rules and procedures.
- Ensure that students supported by the department are served ethically and effectively, while meeting the expected educational or scholarship outcomes.
- Share messaging from around campus to faculty, as well as communicate happenings in their department to Academic Affairs.
- Engages department faculty in university and portfolio initiatives such as:
- interdisciplinary research, and collaborative cross-institutional activities.
- interdisciplinary degree programs, joint appointments etc.
- Engages in university budgetary discussions and strategic decision making.
- Engages department faculty in university recruiting activities.
- Represents and advocates for the department in the university context, while also representing and advocating for university administration with the department.
Associate Department Head
Reporting to the Department Head, the Associate DH will provide administrative support on matters pertaining to departmental faculty, staff, and students.
Suggested Duties and Responsibilities
- Serves as primary advisor to the DH regarding overall programs, management and operations of the unit, with major program development, supervision and policy-making responsibility. Acts as an administrator of the department in accomplishing necessary managerial tasks.
- Assists with the management of resources, determination of staff functions, and setting operating policies for the unit. Helps with development of “standard operating procedures” to improve efficiency within the department.
- Acts as the representative of the department to administration and outside constituencies in the DH’s absence.
- Mentors or assigns mentors for assistant and associate professors--these mentors should meet with assistant professors and associate professors at least annually, talk through P&T process and steps to success; help them with research portfolios; find funding opportunities; and locate tools to push quality teaching in the classroom at undergraduate graduate and graduate levels.
- Helps the DH with writing new job advertisements as needed.
Graduate Program Director
Reporting to the Department Head or Associate Department Head, the Graduate Program Director coordinates all matters pertaining to the departmental graduate program(s).
Suggested Duties and Responsibilities
- Manages the departmental graduate program, including curriculum.
- Ensures the accuracy of information about the graduate program published in the Graduate Catalog.
- Coordinates departmental TA training.
- Advises the University Graduate Council liaison about matters of concern to the faculty and students, suggesting any desired modifications in university procedures.
- Provides periodic reports of the Graduate Program Committee to the faculty.
- Coordinates admissions, including communication with the department about applicants, organizing a committee if appropriate to determine and uphold admissions standards
- Coordinates departmental funding allocations (including departmental fellowships, Foundation funds focused on students and TAs, as appropriate).
- Handles general questions about the graduate program from prospective students and campus more broadly.
- Is responsible for communicating requirements, departmental policy changes, and departmental events to the graduate student community.
Undergraduate Program Director
Reporting to the Department Head or Associate Department Head, the Undergraduate Program Director coordinates all matters pertaining to the departmental undergraduate program(s).
Suggested Duties and Responsibilities
- Manages the departmental undergraduate program, including curriculum.
- Ensures the accuracy of information about the undergraduate program published in the Undergraduate Catalog.
- Advises the University Undergraduate Council liaison about matters of concern to the faculty and students, suggesting any desired modifications in university procedures.
- Provides periodic reports of the Undergraduate Program Committee to the faculty.
- ABET coordination, including collecting data from faculty for visiting committees (every 6 years).
- Handles general questions about the undergraduate program from prospective students and campus more broadly.
- Ensures that all majors and minors receive appropriate academic and career counseling.
- Handles transfer requests into the department
- Is responsible for communicating requirements, departmental policy changes, and departmental events to the undergraduate student community.
July 21, 2022