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, he or she 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 consults with 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:

  • Maintenance of high academic standards within the division, including assuring regular assessment in all academic departments within the division. This includes the coordination of self-studies.
  • Regular evaluation of all faculty in the division, conducted in collaboration with appropriate Department Chairs.
  • Orientation and guidance of new faculty, including the creation of a mentoring team for each new faculty member in the division and encouragement for professional growth of all members of the division.
  • Serving as a liaison between the academic departments and other areas of the institution.
  • Initiation of recommendations for continuation, promotion, and tenure. Policies governing reviews of full and part-time faculty are found in the section titled Personnel Policies for Faculty.
  • Maintaining an equitable distribution of total workload for faculty within the division.
  • Coordination, review, and submission of teaching schedules provided by Department Chairs; working collaboratively with Department Chairs for courses in major and minor programs and with the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning for general education course assignment, with consideration for equitable distribution of total workload within the division in accordance with College policies.
  • Recruitment of faculty, in cooperation with the primary Department Chair, and the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty (See Procedures for Recruiting Faculty).
  • Coordination of advisee assignments in the division.
  • Formulation of and review of annual budget requests and administration of funds allocated to departments and the division.
  • Service to the institution and to the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty as a member of the Division Council.
  • Representation of the division in interactions with various administrative offices, as appropriate.
  • Consultation with the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty in the assignment of faculty offices.
  • Designating labor and payroll coordinator(s) as appropriate within the division.
  • Support of occasional grant proposals, in conjunction with the College Relations Office and with Partners for Education.

A Division Chair is encouraged to delegate some specific tasks to faculty within the division as appropriate, but he or she 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 he or she reports, as well as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.