316.245 - Review of Department Chairs

UCSC:APO:CAPM rev 10/96


APM 245 Appointment and Continuance in Office Department Chairpersons


  1. A department chair who discharges administrative duties with thoroughness and distinction and who gives effective academic leadership to the department cannot have much time left for teaching and research. It will be difficult enough to maintain oneself as a scholar and to keep abreast of developments in the field. It may be impossible to satisfy the normal criteria for advancement in step or rank in such a way as to permit the advancements to which the department chair is entitled. It must be acknowledged that time has been given up to administrative duties that would otherwise have been available to devote to teaching and scholarship. The extent and quality of the administrative service must be taken into consideration for merit increases and for promotions. The principle involved is that academic leadership is, in itself, a significant academic activity. It is entirely appropriate to award a merit increase to a department chairperson primarily on the grounds of excellence of service in the chairship, and toward accelerated increases for particularly outstanding service.
  2. Promotion in rank for department chairs, and advancement to the higher steps (above Step 5) of the Professorship or to an above scale salary, should also be considered with this criterion in mind. However, such advancements are of greater significance than merit increases within rank up to professor, Step 5, and should not be justified wholly on the basis of administrative service. Nevertheless, although promotion from associate professor to professor requires evidence of intellectual attainment and growing distinction, substantial evidence of these qualities may well be found in the way in which a really successful chair performs those duties. In the case of promotion from assistant professor to tenure rank, it would be undesirable to waive the requirement of "superior intellectual achievement." But an assistant professor who has served effectively as a department chair has evidenced a considerable degree of intellectual maturity if the department chair has provided academic leadership for persons of higher rank, and this certainly should count heavily in considering their promotion to tenure. Advancement to the highest professional salary steps or to an above-scale salary would require substantial justification in addition to service in the chair; but the time spent as a department chair should not be allowed to become an obstacle to merit increases of this kind.
  3. In assessing the merits of a department chair, it will of course be necessary to follow the regular procedures of review, including review by the Divisional Committee on Academic Personnel. However, a special effort would be made to assure that chairs are not passed over, and the advice of deans and other administrative officers will be particularly important in such cases. After a chair leaves the position, all further advancements in salary and rank should be judged by the regular criteria. Advancements in salary or rank should not be delayed in any way by reason of accelerations received on the grounds of distinguished service as a chair.


  1. Department chairs shall normally be reviewed in their third or fourth year of service, if possible as part of a regular review for advancement. If the chair is not continuing past a third year, no review need be undertaken. A chair shall not serve longer than 5 consecutive years without a review.
  2. The divisional dean shall call for department chair reviews as appropriate. The department chair will submit a self-evaluation of their department chair service to be included in the personnel action file. The department may solicit letters from other appropriate administrators, department faculty, staff and students, as well as other chairs in the division, to be included in the file. The department letter shall include a section evaluating the chair's service.
  3. The dean and subsequent reviewing bodies will review and comment on department chair service, as a component of general University service.
  4. The department chair shall receive commentary from the dean and/or executive vice chancellor on the department chair's service as part of the personnel action decision.