312.245 - Appointment, Duties, and Responsibilities of Department Chairs

UCSC:APO:CAPM rev 9/05

Authority for the appointment of department chairs is delegated to the deans by the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor. The dean will consult with all ladder faculty of the department or the committee before making the appointment. The chairs report to the divisional dean but are ultimately responsible, through the dean, to the Campus Provost. The period of appointment is normally between three to five years, with possibility of reappointment.

A department chair is a faculty member who serves as the academic leader and administrative head of a department of instruction or research. The chair is expected to maintain a collegial environment which will promote professional development of the faculty and promote optimal career patterns. The chair should be especially sensitive to the needs of an increasingly diverse faculty, especially Assistant Professors. Further, the chair is expected to be committed to and enforce the policies that promote the fulfillment of the Campus Principles of Community.

The chair formally represents the department in its dealings or communication with the administration of the university. The Chair participates in regular meetings with the Dean and other Chairs, and contributes to the Divisional planning efforts.

  • 1. As leader of the department, the chair:
    • a. Is in charge of planning the programs of the department in teaching, research and other functions. The Chair is responsible for unit level planning and the development and implementation of unit initiatives; and is expected to keep the department's curriculum under review and to plan changes in form, content and structure. The Chair shall exercise general oversight of the research activities of the department. She or he will promote and maintain a climate conducive to learning, hospitable to creativity, and open to innovation.
    • b. Responsible for maintaining a departmental affirmative action program for faculty and staff, consistent with University affirmative action policies.
    • c. Responsible for the recruitment, selection and evaluation of faculty of the department; in consultation with colleagues, recommends all personnel actions—appointments, promotions, appraisals, merit advances, and terminations; is informed of the criteria prescribed by the university and makes recommendations in accordance with the criteria and procedures stated in the University's "Instructions to Appointment and Promotion Committees" and procedures in the Academic Personnel Manual, campus policies and procedures,and/or the appropriate memorandum of understanding; and is expected to inform colleagues of those same criteria and procedures.
    • d. Responsible for the selection, appointment, performance evaluation, and recommendation of merit increases for department staff, in accordance with , Personnel Policies for Staff Members, campus policies and procedures or the appropriate memorandum of understanding applicable to the employee.
    • e. Receptive to questions, complaints, and suggestions from faculty, from staff, and from students associated with the department and should take action as necessary or report to other administrative persons as appropriate.
  • 2. Administrative duties, to which special assignments and duties may be added from time to time by the Campus Provost or the dean, include the following:
    • a. Make teaching assignments in accordance with the policy described in Regulation #750 of the Academic Senate Manual . Make other faculty assignments as required for the orderly functioning of the department.
    • b. Assign duties for the staff and supervise staff performance.
    • c. With assistance of the department manager, and in accordance with the approved curriculum, prepare course schedules including time and place of class meetings.
    • d. Establish and supervise procedures for compliance with Regulation #546 of the Academic Senate Manual with respect to special study courses, e.g., 98, 99, 197, 199, 298, 299 or any similar independent or group study courses.
    • e. Make arrangements and duty assignments for academic counseling of students associated with the department, for supervision and training of teaching assistants and other teacher aides.
    • f. With assistance from the staff of the divisional dean, prepare department support budgets and administer the financial affairs of the department, including internal allocation and reallocation decisions to insure that monies are spent in accordance with department and divisional priorities and with university regulations and procedures.
    • g. Schedule, and recommend to the dean, sabbatical or other leaves, in a manner which will insure continuity of academic programs and fulfillment of responsibilities to students. Chairs may approve leaves of absence, with pay, for up to seven days, to permit faculty members to attend professional meetings or for conduct of other university business. She or he is responsible to insure that classes are met and that any ongoing responsibility of the faculty member to students or colleagues, is appropriately provided for. Leave by the chair, and all other leaves of longer than seven days, must be approved by the appropriate dean or the Campus Provost in accordance with campus delegations.
    • h. Report promptly the resignation, death or serious illness of a faculty or staff member to dean.
    • i. The chair is responsible for the custody and authorized use of university property assigned to the department, for assigning department office, laboratory or conference space and facilities in accordance with university policy and campus rules and regulations.
    • j. The chair is responsible for departmental observance of proper health and safety regulations, in coordination with the campus health and safety office.
    • k. The chair, as a University official, is responsible for receiving training and keeping abreast of university policy and procedures concerning sex offenses. (Title IX)
    • l. Maintain department records, prepare and submit reports in accordance with university procedures.
    • m. Report failure of staff or academic appointees to carry out their responsibilities and, if appropriate, recommend disciplinary action in accordance with University policy and/or the appropriate memorandum of understanding.

In performance of the duties of the chair, she or he is expected to seek the advice of faculty colleagues in a systematic way, to conduct the department's affairs in an orderly fashion through meetings or appointment of appropriate committees, and to seek student advice and counsel on matters of immediate concern to students enrolled in the department's programs. Vice chairs, executive committees, or such other committees as the chair may appoint, may assist the chair. The chair's responsibility, however, may not be delegated.

ACADEMIC SENATE REGULATION 546
Registration in special studies courses for undergraduates must be approved by the chairperson (or equivalent) of each department concerned. This approval must be based upon a written proposal submitted to the chairperson. (En 19 May 69)

ACADEMIC SENATE REGULATION 750
  • (A) Only regularly appointed officers of instruction holding appropriate instructional titles may have substantial responsibility for the content and conduct of courses which are approved by the Academic Senate.
  • (B) Professors, professors in residence and adjunct professors of any rank, instructors, instructors in residence and adjunct instructors, and lecturers may give courses of any grade. Persons holding other instructional titles may teach lower division courses only, unless individually authorized to teach courses of higher grade by the appropriate Committee on courses or Graduate Council. If a course is given in sections by several instructors, each instructor shall hold the required instructional title. (EC 15 Apr 74)
  • (C) Announcements of special study courses in which individual students work under the direction of various members of a department may state that presentation is by the staff, but a member of the department shall be designated as the instructor in charge.
  • (D) Only persons approved by the appropriate administrative officer, with the concurrence of the committee on courses concerned, may assist in instruction in courses authorized by the Academic Senate.
  • (E) No student may serve as a reader or assistant in a course in which he is enrolled. (Am 16 Mar 70. 15 Jun 71)