Office of the Provost
Department Chair Role and Responsibilities
The chair is responsible for facilitating the operation of a department, the fundamental academic unit within the university. Description of the chair's roles and responsibilities must be understood in the overall context of responsibility and accountability. In doing so, the chair has three broad areas of responsibility:
1. The chair facilitates the long-range development of the department within the context of the university vision, mission, and goals. The chair works with faculty to ensure that the department's evolution reflects external changes in the discipline and that the department maintains a sense of its place within the university. To facilitate the fostering of congruence and interdisciplinary integration in the curriculum, the chair should maintain contact with chairs of related departments, and with other professionals in the field. Chairs should attend national meetings to facilitate interaction with other chairs in their discipline. The chair is a primary voice for communicating the UW-Superior and department vision and mission to the department.
2. A chair has numerous opportunities to help the faculty of the department shape their vision and evolution. Fundamental to activities that ultimately enhance a department's stature and competitive position is developing a strategic plan that defines a clear sense of direction congruent with the university mission and the university strategic plan. The successful chair is able to lead the development and implementation of this plan with faculty and student support. The chair articulates the department's goals and needs within the university, and works with the dean/provost to advance the department's programs in the university as well as outside the institution. Because a department's reputation is built upon the quality of its faculty and students, the chair plays a leadership role in faculty hiring and in faculty development, including working with faculty peers creating and assessing faculty development and growth plans.
The chair facilitates the management of the department. To carry out this responsibility, the chair oversees, directly or indirectly, the daily progress toward achieving teaching, research, and service goals as set out in the department's plan. With the Chair's leadership and facilitation, faculty members provide students the educational opportunity necessary to be prepared for meaningful personal and professional lives. To this end, the chair plays an important role in providing the dean/provost, through the budget and planning process, with class schedules, program plans and estimates of resources needed to carry out department functions.
The chair's effectiveness in his/her leadership, facilitation, and managerial roles should be enhanced by support from the respective dean/provost. Growth of each University of Wisconsin - Superior department will be enhanced if the chair has the opportunity to devote his/her attention to long-range planning and facilitating the development of the department and faculty. This requires opportunity for the chair to benchmark his/her performance and the department's performance in both external and internal educational contexts. Regular meetings for chairs are a valuable first step in the internal professional growth process. Leadership, facilitation, and management enrichment can contribute to the chair's overall success. Other desirable developments include:
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