Appendix B

Ad Hoc Committee on Department Chairs Questionnaire

26 August 1998

The Academic Councilís Ad Hoc Committee on Department Chairs has been asked to examine the role department chairs play on campus, explore ways of revising the powers and responsibilities currently delegated to chairs, and develop a job description which would enable chairs to work effectively in the current administrative structure of the college, while compensating chairs for the work they are asked to perform. We would like your input on these issues, in order to help us understand the role department chairs SHOULD play on our campus. The following questions will help us recognize your perspective on these issues, and see aspects of the job we may be overlooking.

Please respond by Monday, September 14. We would like to complete our work during this academic year, so it is important that we begin our work quickly. We are interested not only in your answers to the following questions, but your explanations as to why you believe as you do will be valuable, as well. The final question offers you the space to share other ideas with the committee that you feel are important. We will continue to ask for your input, so feel free to share your ideas with the committee members at any time. Please return your responses to 2312 Campus Box or email your response to

Thank you for your help,

Ad Hoc Committee on Department Chairs

Steve Braye (Chair), Janie Brown, Richard Haworth, Nancy Midgette, and Rosalind Reichard


1.  What should the role of the department chairs be vis-a-vis the department members and the administration?

2.   Should there be a standard length of service for a department chair? If so, what should it be?

3.   What are the most positive aspects of the chair position?

4.   What are the most negative aspects of the chair position?

5.    Should all department chairs be at the Associate Professor level or higher?

6.    Should all department chairs have Professional or Tenure status?

7.    Should the chairís position rotate among department members, becoming a responsibility for most, if not
       all, the department members? Or should chairs be selected according to specific criteria?

8.    How should the authority of the position be adjusted in order to enhance your effectiveness?

9.    What additional duties should chairs perform that are currently handled in another manner?

10.  What duties are you currently performing that should be handled in another manner?

11.  What chair duties take most of your time? How much of your work week is taken up by chair duties?

12.   What impact do the chairís duties have on your teaching?

13.   What training did you have before coming the chair?

14.   What training have you had while chair?

15.    What kinds of training should the college offer for all incoming and ongoing chairs?

16.    What role in the evaluation process (for salary, retention, promotion, professionalization, tenure,
         etc.) should chairs play?

17.    How should department chairs be evaluated?

18.    In what ways should chairs be compensated for their work? Should chairs in different departments
         receive different compensation?

19.    What changes would make the department chair position more attractive?

20.     What other opinions about the position of chair would you like to share with us?

Return to Chairs Report.