Procedures for the Selection and Appointment of Chairpersons/Directors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
To serve as the policy statement on matters relating to the selection and appointment of chairpersons/directors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Faculty, students, and unclassified academic, professional, and University support staff in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
The following procedures serve as the official statement on matters relating to selection and appointment of chairpersons/directors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
The following three University policies (from the Faculty Handbook and FSRR) dictate the expectations and procedures for the selection and appointment of chairpersons/directors at the University, which are then followed by specific procedures for appointing chairpersons/directors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences:
The chief administrator of the College and each school is a dean, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Provost. Academic departments are headed by chairs and academic programs are headed by directors, who are appointed by and serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the dean of the College or school pursuant to procedures developed by the department or program. The appointment and evaluation of deans, department chairs and program directors is discussed in Part II.A of the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff.
Part II, Section A. University Administrators:
Appointment and review of the Vice Provosts, other personnel within the central administration, and the Deans of the College and professional schools is the responsibility of the Provost, subject to the Chancellor’s approval. Appointment and review of department chairs and program directors is the responsibility of the Dean of the College or school in which the department or program is located, subject to the Provost’s approval.
Article X of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations establishes procedures for selection of chairs or directors, and for review of chairs, directors, academic deans, and vice provosts. Subject to these procedures, the College, school, or other unit may establish specific guidelines for the appointment and review of chairs, directors, and academic deans. Policies and Procedures for appointment and review adopted by the College, school, or other unit are available from the unit.
1. Appointment – The initial appointment procedure for chairs, directors, deans, vice provosts, and other administrative leaders typically involve the formation of a representative search committee (including members from relevant administrative, governance, faculty, staff, student, and professional or alumni constituencies). The committee conducts the search and recommends candidates to the responsible administrative official, who makes the final decision (subject to the approval of the Chancellor and Provost). When circumstances require it, the responsible administrative official may name an acting chair, dean, or vice provost, in consultation with the members of the unit.
Most administrative appointments are made for a specified term (usually three to five years), but continued service may be at the pleasure of the responsible administrative official or contingent upon funding. As part of the appointment process, the terms and conditions of each appointment are stated in writing, approved by the Provost or his designated representative, and communicated to the prospective appointee.
10.1.0. The by-laws of a College or School may provide procedures for the selection of chairpersons, directors, or administrative heads of academic departments and other units.
10.1.0.1. Procedures adopted by a College or School pursuant to this section shall provide the opportunity, at some point during the process of selecting the chair or other administrative head, for the department or unit’s voting members to express their support for the candidate in a secret ballot. Student and staff input should also be sought and considered in a way that protects their confidentiality.
10.1.0.2. Only in extraordinary cases should the dean select a chair who is not supported by a substantial majority of the voting members of the department or unit. In such a case, the dean should provide a confidential explanation to the voting members of the department. If the dean does not provide an explanation or if a majority of the voting members do not accept the dean’s explanation, the matter will be referred to the Provost.
10.1.0.3. In consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the Office of the Provost may adopt default procedures for the selection of chairpersons, directors, or administrative heads, consistent with the provisions of this section, for use if the by-laws of a College or School do not provide such a procedure.
Provost’s Statement on Student Representation on Hiring and Promotion/Tenure Committees:
Per the Provost’s email communication of May 15, 2007, students may not serve as voting members on personnel and hiring and promotion committees; however, appropriate student input should be considered.
CLAS Procedures for Selection and Appointment of Chairpersons/Directors within the College:
The process begins when the Dean, accompanied by the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs, meet with the voting members of the department/program to give them the charge to initiate a search for a new chairperson/director. At this time, the Dean and Associate Dean will review the procedures to be followed for the search, including the steps required to assemble a search committee, provide advice on best practices for such a search, and offer further assistance with the search as needed. It is the Dean's responsibility to decide and inform the voting members whether the search is internal to faculty members in the College or if the search will be external to the University and, therefore, conducted as part of the College’s normal faculty recruitment process.
The search committee is formed at the unit level in accordance with the bylaws of the unit. The department/program has several options for constituting a search committee: election of members, entrusting the responsibility to an existing elected group within the unit, or serving as a committee of the whole. At the recommendation of the Dean, search committees may be augmented with faculty members from outside the unit to serve on the committee as external voting member(s). For interdisciplinary units, it is expected that faculty members will be drawn from the various discipline constituencies that comprise the unit. While University policy states that students may not serve as voting members on personnel committees, individual unit bylaws may allow staff members to serve on the search committee. In all searches, both student and staff input should be sought and considered in a way that protects their confidentiality.
The search committee shall elect a tenured faculty member from among its members to serve as committee chairperson. The search committee chairperson’s responsibilities include close and continuous liaison with the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs.
The search committee prepares a position description that is reviewed, discussed, and approved by the department/program. The discussion of the position description is an important step in establishing the unit’s leadership expectations. The position description shall include the following statements regarding compensation and reporting structure:
- “Chairperson/director compensation consists of an administrative supplement added to the academic-year (nine-month) salary and additional summer salary compensation; the supplement is removed when the chairperson/director steps down from this administrative role.”
- “The chairperson appointment serves at the pleasure of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.”
The position description is ultimately approved by the Dean.
The unit works with the Dean’s Office and the Shared Service Center (SSC) to upload the position announcement to the University’s hiring system. The unit then e-mails a call for applications and nominations to all faculty members of the unit (or to the affiliated faculty members of the unit).
Applicants are vetted through the search committee. If the department is not acting as a committee of the whole, the search committee recommends candidates to the unit’s voting membership. Interviews are conducted by the search committee or whole voting membership, according to the unit’s bylaws. If it has been decided to seek prospects from outside the University, the most promising shall, if responsive to an overture from the University, be invited to campus for a visit. Whether internal or external, top candidates will meet with faculty members, staff, students, and, finally, the Dean of the College with the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs. Additionally, top external candidates are required to meet with a representative of the Provost’s Office, and will have their portfolio reviewed by the College Committee on Appointments, Promotion, & Tenure (CCAPT), whose recommendation is forwarded to the Dean.
Departments and programs should emphasize leadership succession planning in their hiring selections and in their faculty development activities with two goals in mind:
- It is strongly preferred to have individuals at the rank of Full Professor serve as chairperson/director. Associate Professors may be recommended if necessary, providing their progress toward promotion to full professor is clearly on track. No untenured individual may be recommended to serve as chairperson/director.
- An individual’s service as chairperson/director shall be limited to ten (10) years. The rotation of chairperson/director roles provides new leadership opportunities for faculty. The rotation also creates opportunities for units to engage in an explicit conversation about changing leadership expectations. If a qualified candidate cannot be found within the unit, the search may be extended to individuals in other College units with authorization from the Dean.
The committee shall present its recommendations to the unit (if the latter is not acting as a committee of the whole). All applicants should be presented. The voting members of the unit deliberate on these recommendations, identify strengths and weaknesses for each applicant, and follow any of the unit’s procedures and by-laws for gathering additional information.
The committee chairperson shall develop a report for the Dean that includes a detailed, clearly articulated list of the strengths and weaknesses for each applicant. All additional information resulting from the unit’s procedures and by-laws must be forwarded as well, potentially including but not limited to vote results, rankings, and/or a narrative of contextual factors.
The Dean and the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs will jointly interview the applicant(s), after which the Dean will make the final decision regarding the appointment. The Dean and Associate Dean will discuss the conditions of the appointment with the selected applicant and invite the applicant to accept the appointment.
After completing a five-year appointment, and in accordance with University policy, chairpersons/directors will undergo formal review by the College Committee on Evaluation of Chairs & Directors (CECD).
Please note: Sabbaticals and fellowships awarded to chairs/directors during their official term of service will be handled as follows:
- *Sabbaticals for one semester will not alter the term of service or the scheduled review date (if the chair/director wishes to seek an additional term).
- *Sabbaticals and/or fellowships for an entire academic year will extend the term of service by one additional year as well as the review date (if the chair/director wishes to seek an additional term).
The College will approve a formal request for a research intensive semester (RIS) for chairpersons/directors returning to faculty after completion of a five-year term or two back-to-back three-year terms. The RIS:
- must be taken during the year following completion of service as chair or director, with the timing negotiated to the mutual benefit of unit and the chair or director who is returning to the faculty;
- is based on a effort allocation of 20% service, 5% teaching (advising), and 75% research with the goal of future career success in research and teaching;
- must follow a brief plan of activity, approved by the College prior to the start of the research intensive semester; the plan of activity will be used to guide the unit in evaluating progress in the next cycle of annual faculty evaluation; and,
- may be combined with a regularly awarded sabbatical or fellowship leave.
Outline of Specific CLAS Procedures
- Dean and the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs meet with voting members of the unit to give them the charge to initiate the search.
- Search committee is formed; chair is selected.
- Search committee prepares position description and presents it to unit faculty for approval and then to the College Dean’s Office for final approval.
- In conjunction with the Dean’s Office and SSC, the position announcement is uploaded to the University’s hiring system.
- A call for applications and nominations is emailed to unit and affiliated faculty.
- Search committee reviews applicants.
- Search committee conducts interviews with most promising candidates (internal or external, if applicable).
- Search committee presents its recommendations to the unit, and the unit’s voting members identify candidate(s) strengths and weaknesses.
- The search committee chairperson communicates its recommendation to the Dean: a list of candidates that typically includes more than one name; the recommendation shall include each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
- The Dean and the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs jointly interview recommended candidates; if the search is external, recommended candidates meet with the Provost’s Office representative and have their portfolio reviewed by the College Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure (CCAPT).
- Selected candidate meets with Dean and the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs to discuss conditions of the appointment and invite acceptance of the offer.
Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
10/16/2018: Updated policy.
10/12/2018: Updated policy; approved by Interim Dean Clarence Lang.
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
03/22/2016: Per the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the wording of the following was changed from "should" to "shall."; An individual’s service as chairperson/director shall be limited to ten (10) years.
02/05/2016: Added Information regarding the effect sabbaticals and fellowships have on the term of service.
09/29/2015: Added a link to the Position Announcement and Faculty Checklist document. Fixed links so that they would open in new window.
10/23/2014: Updated section: CLAS Procedures for Selection and Appointment of Chairpersons/Directors within the College.
Approved by the Dean of the College