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3.3.6 Academic Department Chairperson/School Director Responsibilities, Appointment, Compensation, and Evaluation

Responsibility, Roles, and Authority

Academic Department Chairperson/School Directors occupy a unique place in the continuum of academic administrators, as the facilitating link among Department/School faculty members, students, and higher administration. All activities and roles of the Department Chairperson/School Directors are undertaken in light of furthering the best interests of the students of Illinois State University.

 Chairpersons/Directors play five essential roles, serving as:

1.  academic leaders of Department/Schools;

2.  representatives of their Department/Schools and faculty members to the rest of the University, especially higher administration;

3.  representatives of higher administration to their faculty members and Department/Schools;

4.  managers of Department/School resources; and,

5.  representatives of the Department/School and University to external bodies.

These five roles remain constant even though specific responsibilities and duties may vary according to the mission, size and complexity of the Department/School.

The responsibilities of the Chairperson/Director include, but are not limited to;

  • coordinating the development of and implementing the Department/School Vision and Goals Statement;

  • leading Department/School effort toward achieving University and College goals and initiatives;

  • developing a Department/School budget;

  • managing the fiscal affairs of the Department/School;

  • leading and coordinating Department/School strategic planning and curriculum development;

  • assigning and assessing the distribution of faculty workload including instructional, research, and service responsibilities;

  • promoting excellence in instruction, scholarly and creative productivity, and service at Illinois State University;

  • leading and coordinating the governance of the Department/School;

  • leading the processes of faculty selection and ensuring that the appointment of tenure-track faculty follows university, college, and departmental ASPT policies;

  • coordinating the professional development of faculty members;

  • leading the evaluation of faculty members for retention, tenure, and promotion;

  • providing recommendations to the Dean and Provost regarding sabbaticals and other leaves for faculty and staff;

  • managing non-faculty staff members;

  • developing, leading, and encouraging outreach and public service efforts.

Nature of Appointment

Chairpersons/Directors serve at the pleasure of the Dean and the Provost, and may be removed from the position at any time by the Provost, upon the recommendation of the Dean. In such an instance, the individual will be reassigned to responsibilities as a full-time faculty member.

A.  Faculty Status: At the time they assume their responsibilities, Chairpersons/Directors selected from among the faculty members in the Department/School must hold the academic rank of Associate Professor or Professor within the Department/School of appointment and possess academic tenure. Chairpersons/Directors hired from outside the University must be employed at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, and must have credentials adequate for the award of academic tenure at the time of appointment. The recommendation on tenure for an incoming Chairperson/Director will follow the established ASPT procedures for determining tenure, but on a time schedule appropriate for hiring negotiations. Exceptions must be recommended by the Dean of the College and approved by the Provost of the University. During their service as Chairpersons/Directors, individuals retain their faculty rank and tenure; they continue to have the rights and responsibilities of other faculty.

B.  Compensation: Chairpersons/Directors normally serve in twelve-month appointments. The salary of newly appointed Chairpersons/Directors, whether internal or external, will be negotiated at the time of appointment. Criteria for salary determination shall include the professional accomplishments of the individual, market salaries for Chairpersons/Directors within the discipline, and the salary levels of Chairpersons/Directors in similar Department/Schools at Illinois State University.

Annual performance based salary increases may be recommended by the Dean.

Upon the return of a Chairperson/Director to a full-time faculty assignment, the appropriate salary shall be determined as follows:

1.  If the return to faculty assignment is within five years of the initial administrative appointment as Chairperson/Director, the salary shall be renegotiated. Such renegotiations shall be based upon the market level of salaries for faculty in the discipline, the relative salary of others in the Department/School, the professional accomplishments of the individual, and the performance of the individual as Department Chairperson/ School Director. In no case shall the monthly salary of the individual be reduced by more than fifteen per cent.

2. If the return to faculty assignment is more than five years after the initial administrative appointment as Chairperson/Director, monthly salary shall remain the same as that paid during the administrative appointment.

C.  Leaves and Sabbaticals: During the course of the first five-year period as Chairperson/Director, incumbents usually will not be recommended or approved for extended leaves or sabbaticals, except under unusual circumstances. Upon completion of five years as Chairperson/Director, the individual shall receive all possible consideration for a sabbatical, consistent with other expectations of the sabbatical leave program and relevant policies and procedures.

Selection Procedures

A. Determination of a Vacancy: A vacancy will be declared by the Dean when a Chairperson/Director is not re-appointed, has elected not to continue in this role, are unable for health or other reasons to continue, or has been removed by the Provost upon the recommendation of the Dean. A declaration of an anticipated vacancy might also occur with the creation of a new academic Department/School or the merger of two or more existing Department/Schools.

B.  Selection of a Chairperson/Director: New Chairpersons/Directors are selected according to the guidelines in the Administrator Selection section of the Policies and Procedures manual.

C.  Acting/Interim Chairpersons/Directors: Acting/Interim Chairpersons/Directors may be appointed by the Provost upon the recommendation of the Dean, when in the Dean’s assessment such an appointment is in the best interests of the Department/School, its programs, students, and faculty members. Acting/Interim Chairpersons/Directors shall have the same responsibilities and authority as all other Chairpersons/Directors, but usually will not serve more than two fiscal years or parts thereof without the explicit approval of the Provost. Acting/Interim Chairpersons/Directors need not have academic rank or tenure in the Department/School.


The evaluation process for Chairpersons/Directors follows the guidelines in the Administrator Evaluation section of the Policies and Procedures manual.

Revisions to this  policy approved in 2011-12 will go into effect only for chairperson/directors appointed on or after July 1, 2012.

Initiating body: Vice President and Provost / Academic Senate

Contact: Assoc. Vice President Academic (309-438-2931)

Revised on: 04/2012

2018-12-07T11:08:08.338-06:00 2018