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Chapter 20: Organization

20.110 Department Chair

Executive Guideline No. 7, 2-2-73, Revised 7-14-08.

  1. In those schools or colleges which have departments, or on campuses having no schools or colleges but which have departments, that unit is or becomes the primary unit of education and administration within the University of Missouri. This statement is not intended to promote the creation of departments where the educational function is not served by such a change in the organizational pattern. The Department Chair is in a position of great strategic importance because the department is the organizational unit closest to the day-to-day working of the University. The Chair is the chief executive and academic officer of the department. The Chair is responsible, within the Rules and Regulations of the University, the rules of the campus, and the rules of the college or school where they exist and department, for the effective and efficient administration of the department.
  2. The Chair is responsible for providing leadership toward the achievement of excellence in teaching, research, extension and service activities of the department. He/she is responsible for representing the needs and aspirations of the department to the rest of the University. He/she is responsible to the Dean or on campuses having no deans, to the Provost, and also to his faculty for conducting the fiscal, academic, and personnel affairs of his department. He/she must diligently attempt to do these things in a manner that will make the most efficient and beneficial use of the resources available whether they be financial, physical, or human. He/she must develop, improve, and execute departmental policies and procedures in harmony with campus, school, or college (on campuses having schools or colleges), and University policies. The Chair will have such authority as is required to accomplish these responsibilities.
  3. Chairs are appointed by the respective chancellors upon the recommendation by the dean of the school or college or on campuses having no schools or colleges, by the Provost, after consultation with the departmental faculty. The term of office of a chair is specified by appointing authority. The appointment is subject to periodic review by the department faculty and the dean, or on campuses having no schools or colleges, by the Provost. Responsibilities of the chair are continuous throughout the year. The position of chair should be compensated in some manner and appropriate to the added responsibilities.
  4. As principal executive officer of the department, the Chair has a variety of planning and management functions, and should seek the counsel of his staff and delegate duties when possible. In addition, as a faculty member, he/she is expected to participate in the department’s teaching, research, and extension activities.
  5. The position of Chair carries financial obligations associated with the responsibilities of the office, in connection with travel, recruiting, providing for distinguished visitors, etc. Whenever possible, funds in a special account should made available by the dean of the college or division to be used at the discretion of the dean within guidelines provided, or on campuses having no deans, schools or colleges, by the Provost.
  6. Departments may be provided with special administrative assistance to relieve the Chair from routine chores. Justification of this assistance should be based on such problems as large departmental hourly payrolls, complicated laboratory facilities, large student enrollments, extensive curatorial responsibilities, and major committee responsibilities of the staff.
  7. Check List of Typical Activities of Departmental Chair at the University of Missouri—The sole purpose of the following list is to aid chairs and their assistants in organizing various departmental duties. This list is not intended to supersede general University guidelines for department chairs. Further it is understood that this suggested list of responsibilities will involve appropriate faculty consultation and participation.
    1. Fiscal—Prepare departmental budget requests. Supervise the expenditure of funds allocated to the department (or school) and the assignment of space, facilities, equipment, and supplies.
    2. Staff —Recruit, recommend for appointment, orient and evaluate faculty members, research associates and assistants, teaching associates and assistants, and other staff. Prepare recommendations for reappointments, promotions, changes of status, salary changes, leaves of absence, tenure, fellowships, associateships, and assistantships for the faculty and non-teaching staff. Promote the scholarly growth of the department through the presentation of speakers, initiation of new research, attendance of staff at scholarly meetings, etc.
    3. Teaching—Review and propose improvements in departmental (or school) curricula and courses, and plan for the future year-round needs and development of the department (or school). Provide supervision for Extension Division or Continuing Education classes, including approval of courses and instructors. Organize and assign teaching schedules for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Improve the quality of teaching of both permanent staff and teaching assistants.
    4. Students —Develop and supervise sound academic advising for students. Review applicants for admission to graduate studies in the department. Transmit grades of all students who have taken courses in the department to the Office of the Registrar.
    5. Miscellaneous—Work with the Director of Libraries on the improvement of the collection of books for teaching and research purposes; maintain an acceptable public service; answer general inquiries by students, staff and public in general; respond to directives, requests, and questionnaires generated by committees, student groups, administrators, public organizations, and professional societies.

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