Chair Assignment Cycle

Chair Assignment: Board Policy 3804 established Career Program and Academic Department Chair Compensation and Responsibility. This policy states chairs are appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), upon the recommendation of the appropriate Division Dean, each August for the subsequent academic year. The structure for compensation and responsibilities to be performed will be determined during the annual salary plan process.

Chair Assignment Cycle: Beginning Academic Year 2020-2021, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will implement a Chair Assignment Cycle whereby assignments will be reviewed based on cohort and number of years the faculty has served as chair.

Purpose: To develop a  process where department chairs will go through a review cycle and all faculty will have the opportunity (including the current chair) to apply for the assignment.

This new chair assignment cycle does not change the following:

  • Dean’s annual process of chair recommendations to the VPAA for the following academic year
  • Dean’s option to recommend a new chair for the new academic year, based on their review of chair's performance or faculty evaluation of the chair
  • New Division Deans will have the option to review and assess all existing chairs before making recommendations to the VPAA for the next academic year

Establishment of Chair Assignment Cycle:

To establish this new process, all existing programs and department chairs were alphabetically, by department name, placed into three cohorts. View Chair Cohort information.

Currently, the College has 48 chairs assigned to oversee one or multiple disciplines. Below are the number of chairs in each cohort and respective review dates.

Number of Chairs in each Cohort & Review Dates
Number of Chairs in each Cohort & Review Dates
Cohort Number Number of Chairs in Cohort Review Date
Cohort 1 19 Spring 2021
Cohort 2 15 Spring 2022
Cohort 3 14 Spring 2023
Total 48

Implementation of New Process:

Spring 2021 – Cohort 1
Departments assigned to Cohort 1 will go through the review process during the Spring 2021 semester.  Chairs from Cohort 1 who have been performing the chair assignment for three or more consecutive years will go through this process. Departments with chairs that have fewer than 3 years of service will be exempt for that cycle and will go through the process during the cohort’s next assigned cycle.

As the chart below indicates, only 8 out of 19 chairs who are part of Cohort 1 will go through the review process in Spring 2021.

Spring 2021 - Cohort 1
Spring 2021 - Cohort 1
Number of Chairs by Division Departments Assigned to Cohort 1 Number of Chairs in Cohort 1 (Excludes chairs with fewer than 3 years of service)
BPST 11 5 1
LA 7 3 2
MSITB 10 4 1
NAH 13 5 2
SBS 7 3 2
Total 48 19 8

Review Timeline & Activities:

  • March: Division Deans will inform all faculty in the selected departments regarding the opportunity to submit their interest to serve with special assignment as the department/program chair. The current chair is qualified to apply for the assignment again. To be considered, the chair has to indicate their interest and go through the recommendation process. 
  • April: Recommendation Process: Interested faculty will submit their interest to serve as chair (including current chair who is interested in being considered again). The Division Dean will select one of the following two methods to recommend a faculty member to the VPAA:
    • The Dean will select a day where each interested faculty will have a specified amount of time to provide their presentation/speech to the department faculty and showcase their interest and abilities to be recommended as a chair. The Dean will observe the process and then make their recommendation to the VPAA.
    • The Dean will chair a small committee that will include one faculty from the department and one chair from the division. The committee will meet with all interested candidates to select a faculty member to recommend to the VPAA.
  • May: Dean will submit the recommendation to the VPAA who will review the potential assignment as a chair for the next academic year. The VPAA will have the option to approve or reject the recommendation.
  • Summer: If the recommended faculty member has never been a chair, the current chair may mentor the new chair to prepare them for the Fall semester. 
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