Responsibilities: Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Deans and Department Chairs


  A.     Position Descriptions for the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Deans and Department Chairs


1.   Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

a.   As leader of academic affairs, the provost/vice president for academic affairs guides the establishment of overall directions for the university’s academic programs. The provost/vice president for academic affairs anticipates future developments in higher education and their impact on the university, identifies the threats and opportunities they pose, and evaluates the needs inherent in meeting those challenges creatively and effectively. The provost/vice president for academic affairs is responsible for ensuring the academic quality of all departments, programs, and services within the academic affairs unit through the appropriation and allocation of necessary resources, through the oversight of hiring and evaluation activities, and through the establishment and coordination of policies and priorities.

b.   Appropriation, Allocation, and Assessment of Resources

The provost/vice president for academic affairs has primary responsibility for securing internal and external funding in support of academic programs and services. The provost/vice president for academic affairs establishes policies for and retains ultimate responsibility over the management of budgets within academic affairs. The provost/vice president for academic affairs authorizes the creation and elimination of faculty and academic staff positions as appropriate to the plans and priorities of the academic affairs unit, and oversees that the allocation of resources to the various programs within the unit reflects established priorities. The provost/vice president for academic affairs oversees the ongoing evaluation of personnel and assessment of programs to ensure appropriate levels of quality throughout the academic affairs unit of the university. The provost/vice president for academic affairs makes recommendations for promotion and tenure decisions to the president.

c.   Establishment and Coordination of Policies and Priorities

The provost/vice president for academic affairs oversees the development of the strategic plan for academic affairs, assigns responsibilities for its implementation, reviews academic policies for their consistency with the strategic plan and university mission, and has responsibility for the overall evaluation of the plan's implementation and outcomes. The provost/vice president for academic affairs coordinates initiatives and ongoing programs across all areas of academic affairs and guides the establishment of annual and long-term priorities.


2.   Deans

a.   As leaders of the academic college and various schools, deans are responsible for the overall direction of programs within their units. Attuned to the institutional and societal contexts affecting current and potential programs within their units, deans coordinate and motivate the efforts of department chairs, program directors, and faculty to respond creatively to these contexts. The deans ensure the effective implementation of these goals through allocation and management of resources, through appropriate initiatives for external funding, and through evaluation of the quality of personnel, programs and related services.

b.   Allocation and Management of Resources

Deans coordinate the use of budgeted funds to ensure appropriate staffing within their units (balance of full-time, part-time, and overload) and recommend areas within their units that require additional staffing. The deans coordinate course offerings within their units to meet departmental and general studies needs. The deans coordinate and make recommendations concerning departmental and program initiatives and their budgetary priorities.

c.   Evaluation and Improvement of Programs and Personnel

Deans oversee that department and program planning are consistent with missions of the institution and their school/college, and evaluate the assessment efforts of departments and programs to ensure that results yield meaningful information which is used in ongoing planning. The deans work closely with chairs, program directors, and faculty in implementing program improvements. The deans are responsible for the summative, administrative evaluation of their unit’s faculty and make recommendations to the provost/vice president for academic affairs in matters of salary, promotion, continuance and tenure. The deans also assure appropriate faculty development activity throughout their unit.

     3.    Department Chairs

a.   As leaders of their academic departments, department chairs foster a sense of cohesive team building within their units and represent their departments to other areas of the university. Chairs direct and motivate faculty efforts to explore new directions for their departments as well as exercise oversight to ensure the academic quality of their departments’ existing programs. Toward these ends, major responsibilities of the chairs include attention to curricular and programmatic issues and the professional development of the faculty.

b.   Curricular and Programmatic Issues

Chairs keep abreast of developments in the content and pedagogy of their disciplines to ensure the currency and appropriateness of curricular offerings. Chairs oversee those further activities (advising, student organizations and/or honor societies, events for majors/minors, etc.) which complement the curricula of their majors to ensure students a complete and high quality educational experience. Chairs coordinate their departments’ strategic planning in these curricular and programmatic areas and ensure that assessment of goals is conducted and used in ongoing planning.

c.   Faculty Development

Chairs assist departmental faculty in the creation and implementation of individual professional development plans and engage in formative evaluation of the faculty, the primary purpose of which is to advance professional development. Chairs also assists deans in matters of hiring, contract status, salary, promotion, and tenure.


B.     Responsibilities at Department Chair, Dean and Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs Levels


1.   Recruitment of Full-Time Faculty

a.       Chair

1.) Initiates position request to dean following departmental consultation

2.) Works with dean and department to define position

3.) Organizes and coordinates search committee

4.) Makes preliminary reference calls

5.) Consults with department about final candidates

6.)  Recommends to dean candidates to visit campus

7.)  Organizes candidate visits (with search committee chair)

8.)  Conducts formal interview with candidates

9.)  Supervises collection of supporting documents

10.)   Confers with department and dean regarding candidates

11.)   Recommends final candidate to dean

12.)   Coordinates letters to inform candidates of status of the search

13.)   Provides support to successful candidate (information about the area, book orders, etc.)

b.      Dean

1.)       Requests authorization to advertise and salary from P/VPAA

2.)       Authorizes timetable for search and EEO strategies

3.)       Places ads within budgetary guidelines

4.)       Approves candidate visits

5.)       Conducts formal interview with candidates

6.)       Makes reference calls for final candidates

7.)       Approves final selection

8.)       Completes negotiations and prepares contract specifications

9.)       Supervises collection of documents for employee file

10.)   Supervises collection of EEO-related information on applicants

c.      Provost/VPAA

1.)    Authorizes recruitment expenditures for searches

2.)    Verifies information submitted by deans for contract preparation and forwards info to human resources for contract preparation


2.   Evaluation of Full-Time Faculty

a.       Chair

1.)   Receives copy of faculty self-evaluation (Unit I)

2.)   Receives teaching evaluations for each course

3.)   Makes appropriate classroom visits

4.)   Reviews appropriate course related material (e.g., syllabi)

5.)   Conducts annual review of faculty (Unit III)

6.)   Makes recommendations to the dean concerning salary increases

7.)   Makes recommendations concerning promotion, professional status, and tenure decisions to dean and PT&PS committee

8.)   Provides input to dean on for appropriate personnel reviews (on midpoint and 5th year reviews for tenure track and professional track faculty, on 2nd and 4th year reviews for continuing track and lecture track faculty)

9.)  Receives copy of appropriate personnel reviews from dean (midpoint and 5th year review for tenure track and professional track faculty, 2nd year and 4th year reviews for continuing track and lecture track faculty).

b.   Dean

1.)       Oversees faculty evaluation process within school/college

2.)       Reviews faculty self-evaluation (Unit I)

3.)       Reviews content and quality of Unit III (chair evaluation)

4.)       Receives syllabi for each course taught

5.)       Receives teaching evaluations for each course

6.)       Meets formally with tenure track and professional track faculty members during 1st, midpoint, and 5th year; meets formally with continuing track and lecture track faculty members during 2nd and 4th year.

7.)       Visits classroom as appropriate

8.)       Recommends continuation or non-continuation of non-tenured and probationary faculty

9.)       Writes appropriate personnel reviews (e.g., midpoint and 5th year reviews for tenure track and professional track faculty and 2nd and 4th year reviews for continuing track and lecture track faculty) and submits to Provost/VPAA (copy to faculty member and chair)

10.) Discusses status of each faculty member annually with chair

11.)   Recommends salary increases (with justification) to P/VPAA

12.)   Recommends promotion, professionalization, and tenure decisions to P/VPAA

c.       Provost/VPAA

1.)       Receives copy of Unit I for employee files

2.)       Receives copy of Unit III for employee files

3.)       Approves annual salary increases

4.)       Approves continuation/termination of non-tenured and probationary faculty

5.)   Recommends promotion, professionalization, and tenure decisions to president


3.   Development of Full-Time Faculty

a.       Chair

1.)   Coordinates departmental development opportunities

2.)   Works with department members in establishment of annual professional development goals

3.)   Supports mentor program for first year faculty and attendance at new faculty functions

4.)   Encourages applications for research funds and release-time/sabbatical opportunities

5.)   Reviews and supports activities to advance teaching development

6.)   Advises and promotes appropriate institutional activity (e.g., committee work)

7.)   Reviews and signs Faculty Research and Development (FR&D) applications

8.)   Encourages participation at professional conferences/workshops and on-campus development opportunities

b.      Dean

1.)          Confers with chair about appropriate faculty development; confers with faculty as appropriate

2.)          Assures appropriate level of faculty development throughout the division

3.)       Authorizes reimbursement for professional conference expenses

4.)       Supports activities to advance teaching development

5.)       Reviews and signs FR&D applications

c.       Provost/VPAA

Plans for institution-wide development opportunities, including participation in general studies programming


4.   Recruitment and Evaluation of Adjunct Faculty

a.       Chair

1.)          Projects needs for adjunct faculty and discusses with department and dean

2.)          Recruits and hires adjunct faculty for approved needs, with appropriate inclusion of departmental faculty input on candidate(s)

3.)          Provides dean necessary contract information

4.)          Arranges campus visits and conducts interview with candidates

5.)          Supports participation of adjunct faculty in selected activities (e.g., family weekend and adjunct orientation session)

6.)          Oversees preparation and performance of adjunct faculty and discusses with dean

7.)     Provides appropriate support to adjunct faculty in performance of responsibilities in line with institutional and departmental missions

b.      Dean

1.)     Discusses adjunct faculty needs with chair and approves additional courses

2.)     Prepares information for contract and schedule

c.       Provost/VPAA

1.)   Establishes guidelines for employment and responsibilities of adjunct faculty

2.)   Disseminates guidelines via adjunct faculty orientation sessions and adjunct faculty handbook

3.)       Prepares contracts

4.)       Maintains employee files


5.   Scheduling/Registration

a.       Chair

1.)          Assembles schedule for department within institutional guidelines, consulting with department members and other departments as necessary

2.)     Submits schedules to dean for review

3.)          Supervises departmental participation in pre-registration

4.)          Recommends to dean addition or deletion of courses based on pre-registration information

5.)          Approves student admission to closed classes

b.      Dean

1.)          Coordinates schedule to comply with institutional guidelines

2.)          Coordinates with director of general studies for scheduling of general studies offerings

3.)          Oversees entering and correcting of scheduling information for pre-registration

4.)          Approves addition or deletion of courses, after consultation with chair

c.       Provost/VPAA

1.)          Sets institutional guidelines regarding scheduling needs, class sizes, and timelines

2.)          Supervises (via registrar) registration processes

3.)     Supervises (via director of advising) institution-wide advising procedures


6.   Budget

a.       Chair

1.)          Oversees monthly expenditures in departmental budget

2.)          Consults with department about use of departmental funds

3.)     Authorizes specific expenditures in departmental budget

4.)     Prepares annual budget requests for submission to dean

b.      Dean

1.)       Oversees budgetary management

2.)       Authorizes expenditures according to sign-off guidelines

3.)       Authorizes expenditures from faculty travel budget

4.)       Prepares and prioritizes budget requests

5.)       Authorizes reimbursements to chair

c.       Provost/VPAA

1.)          Prepares and prioritizes budget requests

2.)          Authorizes budgetary allocations

3.)          Oversees expenditures

4.)          Authorizes reimbursements to deans


7.   Curricular Programming, Planning, and Assessment

a.       Chair

1.)          Oversees overall currency and quality of department curriculum

2.)          Oversees the quality and effectiveness of instruction of department faculty

3.)          Recommends additions, deletions, and modifications of catalogued courses and changes in major and minor requirements to dean, following consultation with the department

4.)          Prepares curricular materials for curriculum committee

5.)          Presents proposed changes to curriculum committee

6.)           Reviews and edits catalog descriptions

7.)          Works with department members to establish departmental goals and procedures for assessing goal attainment

8.)          Oversees procedures to assess student performance, including performance of seniors on comprehensive exams

9.)          Approves internships, independent studies, and independent research applications

10.)      Organizes co-curricular departmental programs and opportunities for students

11.)      Approves grade changes

12.)      Oversees development of departmental five-year plan and annual priorities (including learning outcomes)

13.)      Submits annual report to dean (June

b.   Dean

1.)          Oversees the quality of curriculum and the effectiveness of teaching

2.)          Recommends changes in departmental curriculum to P/VPAA

3.)          Reviews departmental goals and assessment procedures

4.)          Coordinates interdivisional or interdisciplinary programs

5.)          Monitors curricular offerings for compliance with accreditation requirements

6.)          Reviews departmental annual reports

c.   Provost/VPAA

1.)     Oversees long-range curricular planning

2.)     Establishes guidelines for curriculum development and assessment

3.)          Supervises periodic institution-wide assessments (e.g., accreditation)

4.)          Reviews changes in curriculum recommended by chairs and deans for submission to curriculum committee.

5.)          Supervises annual changes in university catalog

6.)          Facilitates interdisciplinary programming (e.g., general studies)

  1. Student Concerns/Advising

a.   Chair

1.)          Mediates student appeals with regard to grades or other concerns with course policies

2.)          Assigns faculty advisors for student majors

3.)          Administers procedures to assess student learning and student programmatic needs

4.)          Oversees graduation audit for all majors and resolves student problems regarding graduation requirements

5.)          Oversees quality of advising throughout department faculty

6.)          Promotes graduate school attendance through provision of information, through departmental programs, and through support of faculty encouragement of promising students

7.)          Oversees co-curricular programming (honor societies, guest speakers, etc.)

8.)          Works with admissions office, providing information on program and representing department

9.)          Approves any exceptions to final exam times

b.   Dean

1.)          Mediates student grade appeals when chair is professor in question or when chair fails to reconcile conflict

2.)          Authorizes any recommendations from chair concerning changes to stated graduation requirements

3.)          Approves any exceptions to routine student withdrawal procedures

4.)          Works with admissions, providing information on programs and representing the institution

c.   Provost/VPAA

1.)          Establishes institution-wide procedures for student appeals

2.)          Mediates student grade appeals when dean fails to reconcile conflict

3.)          Establishes institution-wide advising policies

4.)          Supervises university academic honor code system


9.   Relationship to External Communities

a.   Chair

1.)          Responds to requests regarding department from external communities (local community, alumni, professional associations)

2.)          Conducts surveys of alumni

3.)          Assures departmental representation at university admissions days, family weekend, etc.

4.)          Pursues opportunities for external funding as appropriate

b.   Dean

1.)          Represents institution to external communities

2.)          Oversees compliance with accreditation guidelines

3.)          Represents institution at university admissions days, family weekend, etc.

4.)          Pursues opportunities for external funding as appropriate (grants, endowments, scholarships, etc. from both private and public agencies)

c.   Provost/VPAA

1.)          Represents institution to external communities

2.)          Oversees compliance with current institutional accreditation requirements  (e.g., SACS)

3.)          Represents institution at university admissions days, family weekend, etc.

4.)          Pursues opportunities for external funding as appropriate


10. Appointment, Selection, and Evaluation of Administrative and Program Heads

a.   Chair

1.)     Selects and evaluates disciplinary coordinators within departments

2.)     Appoints faculty to departmental committees, advisory groups, honor societies, etc.

b.   Dean

1.)     Recommends appointment of chairs and cross-disciplinary program heads (e.g., interdisciplinary majors or minors) to Provost/VPAA.

2.)          Consults with department members regarding appointment of department chair

3.)          Evaluates department chairs and program heads

4.)          Appoints department chairs in consultation with departmental members

c.   Provost/VPAA

Appoints and evaluates deans and institution -wide program heads.