Division Chair

Each of the six divisions is headed by a Division Chair, who is broadly responsible for the effective functioning of the academic division. As circumstances dictate, the Division Chair may function as organizer, initiator, catalyst, facilitator, friendly critic, consensus-builder, and interpreter. Division Chairs are appointed for a specified term, which is five years except in unusual circumstances, and will have a reduced teaching load. Such work counts as service to the College.

Division Chairs are designated through a process reflecting principles of shared governance at the College. Each five years, the division uses the opportunity of the selection of a new Division Chair for planning for the division. In the fourth year of a current Division Chair’s term, the Chair solicits from all members of the division written statements addressing 1) strategic opportunities within and beyond the division, and 2) written nominations for the position of Division Chair addressing both leadership strengths as well as weaknesses of the nominee. Guided by the written nominations received from the division, the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty solicits feedback from every member of the division in order to devise a list of two to four candidates. The division then conducts an election to identify which of the candidates will be appointed to serve as Division Chair for the next term. The current Chair and Chair-designee then work together during the year of overlap in order to effect a smooth transition to new leadership of the division. In order to promote faculty leadership within each division, Division Chairs should ordinarily not immediately succeed themselves.

The Division Chair is specifically responsible for the following, though this list is not exhaustive:

  1. Providing service to the institution and to the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty as a member of the Division Council.
  2. Working regularly with Department Chairs and convening divisional meetings as necessary to ensure effective communication between Division Council and division faculty.
  3. Maintaining high academic standards within the division, including ensuring regular assessment in all academic departments within the division, reviewing curriculum proposals, approving course substitutions and Special Topics courses, and assisting departments in long-range planning and curriculum development.
  4. Evaluating regularly all faculty in the division, including those on term contracts, in collaboration with appropriate Department Chairs. This includes annual review of Faculty Activity Reports (FARs) and review of Instructor Evaluation Questionnaires (IEQs) each term. Review of faculty on term contracts may be delegated to Department Chairs.
  5. Coordinating probationary and tenure reviews, and initiating recommendations for promotion and contract extension or conversion, based on consultation with the relevant Department Chair(s) and the Dean of the Faculty. Policies governing reviews of full and part-time faculty are found in the section titled Personnel Policies for Faculty. This includes writing letters; visiting classes or other instructional settings; interviewing students, advisees, and colleagues; and convening meetings with faculty, mentoring teams, tenure team, and other colleagues.
  6. Providing orientation and guidance to new faculty, including the creation of a mentoring and tenure teams (as applicable) and encouraging professional growth of all members of the division.
  7. Recruiting faculty, in collaboration with the primary Department Chair, the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty (See Procedures for Recruiting Faculty).
  8. Coordinating the position request process with appropriate Department Chair(s) for faculty positions involving the division.
  9. Fostering an equitable distribution of total workload for faculty within the division.
  10. Coordinating and reviewing teaching schedules provided by Department Chairs as appropriate in consultation with the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning for General Studies contributions.
  11. Serving as needed as a liaison between the academic departments and other areas of the institution.
  12. Overseeing compliance for all Purchasing Cards within the Division. This may include delegating review of some cards to Department Chairs.
  13. Consulting with the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty in the assignment of faculty offices.
  14. Supporting occasional grant proposals, in conjunction with Partners for Education for federal grants and College Relations for all other grants. Partners for Education ensures compliance for all federal grants.
  15. Fostering good relations within the division (faculty, staff, and students) and working, when necessary, to manage conflict.

A Division Chair is encouraged to delegate some specific tasks to faculty within the division as appropriate, but remains responsible for general oversight of all academic affairs within the division. In all these matters, the Division Chair works closely with the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, to whom Division Chairs report, as well as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.