Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Site-wide links


COACHE is a research initiative that gathers benchmarking data on best practices for faculty recruitment and retention. In fall 2012, RIT participated the COACHE survey and we will repeat the process in 2015-2016. Visit the COACHE website to learn more, including results from the 2012 survey.

Department Head Resource Portal

Department Head Resource Portal

The tools and materials provided here can assist you in performing a number of your job responsibilities and addressing challenges effectively.

General Leadership Development

Resources related to leadership and management from RIT's Center for Professional Development and RIT Libraries.

Department Head Competency Model

The Academic Leadership Development Portal has been designed for you, based on RIT's Department Head Competency Model created and approved by Deans and senior leadership. Department Heads perform a variety of functions that are vital to RIT. They are leaders who work closely with faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure the quality of our academic programs and work to help students succeed in those programs. It's a challenging position, and while we have confidence in the people asked to fill this role, few will come into the job with all of the skills needed to carry out the myriad tasks that they will face everyday. We hope the tools on this site serve as a valuable resource to you. Read the full report about the Academic Leadership Development Program at RIT here.

RIT Libraries

The RIT Libraries provides a variety of resources; among those most useful for Department Head Leadership Development are:

  • ExecSummariesTM - brief summaries of foremost leadership books
  • Leadership Development Channel/50 Lessons - includes interviews with preeminent leaders
  • ExecBlueprintsTM - best practices in strategic business issues

To access: Go to Books24x7 database and search or browse by the topics listed above.
Log in is required to access these resources.

NEW: The Department Chair
RIT Libraries has recently added this publication to its collection of online journals, just for you! The Department Chair is an award-winning periodical featuring in-depth articles that deliver sound insight and proven strategies essential for successfully leading an academic department. It is a unique resource for chairs, deans, academic vice presidents, and other administrators, delivering practical information in every issue. Click here for direct access.

RIT Center for Professional Development (CPD)

CPD offers a variety of workshops related to leadership and management. The courses below are required for all RIT managers, including Department Heads:

Information on student recruitment, student engagement, student retention, admissions, and parents

Faculty and Programs
Information on faculty searches, appointments, assignments, evaluation, tenure, promotion, and mentoring; as well as information on program development and review (current and future)

Policies and Governance
Links to legal, human resources, financial, and academic affairs policies and guidelines

Information on staff searches, performance management, job descriptions, evaluation, and staff onboarding

Letters, templates, worksheets, and other material for common department head activities

Resource Management
Information on budget and expenses, fund raising, and strategic planning

General Development
Resources related to leadership and management from RIT's Center for Professional Development, RIT Libraries, and Wiley Institute's online workshops

Engaging Students

Information on student recruitment, student engagement, student retention, admissions, and parents

Student Engagement and Retention Five articles on the topic of student retention: "Where Current Retention Efforts Fall Short", "Defining and Delivering the Unique Student Experience", "Building Bridges Across Student and Academic Affairs", Removing Barriers to Student Success", "Identifying and Interviewing with At-Risk Students"
Student Recruitment Activities A list of best practices for departmental/faculty involvement in student recruitment. Includes activities and practices that departments can use to promote student recruitment.
Student Engagement Best Practices Lessons from a national survey of first-year and senior students at baccalaureate-granting colleges and universities to assess the extent to which they engage in proven educational practices.
Engaging Millennial Students A list of leading characteristics of Millennials’ ideal learning environments, their preferences regarding assignments and assessment, and the characteristics of their ideal professor.
Using Teaching Evaluations Guidelines for using student evaluations to improve teaching. Includes information on sufficient response ratios, appropriate comparisons, and written comments.
Working with Parents Suggestions for understanding and communicating with concerned parents.
Student Retention Best Practices A compendium of successful, innovative retention programs and practices throughout North America.
RIT Admissions Office Admission information for freshmen, transfers, graduate students, NTID, online learners, as well as financial aid and student orientation information.
RIT Office of Graduate Studies Graduate student guide, resource links, news, and contacts.
Improving Student Retention Describes two important steps for improving student retention. Also includes a brief list of recommended readings.
ACT Survey on Student Retention Practices This report presents the findings for private four-year colleges that participated in ACT’s 2010 What Works in Student Retention survey.

Faculty Relationships

Information on faculty searches, appointments, assignments, evaluation, tenure, promotion, and mentoring; as well as information on program development and review (current and future)

Enhancing Department Climate A guide containing suggestions for promoting positive attitudes and behaviors within a department.
Faculty Mentoring@RIT Link to the Faculty Mentoring website for all faculty members to help them build a constellation or network of mentors.
Tips for Your Role in Faculty Mentoring A checklist for supporting new faculty. Includes helpful tips that are categorized into the following three areas: general support, mentoring support and tenure support.
RIT Office of Faculty Recruitment Provides support, direction, and training to committees conducting faculty searches.
Advocating for Your Department Ideas for outreach to alumni and the public with the goal of acquiring resources or furthering your department's goals.
Working with your Dean A list of suggestions for building solid working relationship with your Dean.
Common New Faculty Issues and Solutions Some of the most common issues new faculty members face are described here, along with suggestions on issues to address or avoid.

Policies and Governance

Links to legal, human resources, financial, and academic affairs policies and guidelines

Appointment, Tenure, and Academic Affairs Policies

Intellectual Property Policy Policy protects the interests of both intellectual property creators and RIT, and includes details on: Ownership and Use, IP Administration, and Revenue Distribution.
Best Practices for Tenure Evaluation Practical suggestions for tenure evaluation. Contents include: Clarity in Standards and Procedures for Tenure Evaluation, Consistency in Tenure Decisions, Candor in the Evaluation of Tenure-Track Faculty, and Caring for Unsuccessful Candidates.
Guidance for tenured and tenure track faculty evaluation letters Information for department chairs, peer committees, and deans regarding 3rd year review, tenure review, and promotion to full professor (Summer 2012).
Administrative Policy: Required Documentation for RIT’s tenure and promotion processes This administrative policy provides guidance on the required documentation for RIT’s tenure and promotion processes to include tenure and promotion to associate professor, promotion to full professor, promotion to senior lecturer, promotion to principal lecturer, and mid-tenure comprehensive review (8/8/2012).
Policy on Tenure Includes details on appointment, tenure location, probationary period, criteria for granting tenure, documentation, reviews, granting or denial of Tenure.
Policy on Faculty Rank Responsibilities of and promotion process for Tenure, Non-Tenure-Track, Lecturers, and Senior Lecturer.

Curriculum, Classroom and Student Policies

Academic Programming & Curriculum Management
Policy for Curriculum Development Includes details on initiating proposals, curriculum committees, student load and credit hour restrictions, the intercollege curriculum committee, general education committee, and the graduate council.
Protection of Human Subjects in Research Outlines protection procedures including: Institutional review board, informed consent, and cooperative research.
Plagiarism Policy deals with misconduct in research and scholarship and covers allegation procedures, the inquiry/investigation, determination procedures, and sanctions against inappropriate retaliatory actions.
RIT Educational Records Includes details on access to records, confidentiality of records, records destruction, rights to correct records, records notification policy, and location of records.
Student Alcohol and Drug Policy Sanctions regarding violations of RIT student alcohol and drug policy as well as details on the RIT Good Samaritan Policy.
Student Involuntary Leave Policy Procedures for involuntary student leave under two conditions 1)emergency situation/imminent danger and 2) non-imminent emergency situations.
Admissions Policy Undergraduate and graduate student admission details as well as specifics on student classification, student change processes, program change, leave of absence, credit by examination, continuing education unit, credit for non-traditional learning, and overlapping credit for second degree.
Academic Conduct and Appeals Procedures Procedures for when either a student, faculty, or staff violate the standards of personal and professional integrity. Includes details on: bringing charges, academic conduct committee hearings, and appeals.
Emergency Closing Procedure Implementation details for the closing of the university or cancellation of classes, includes emergency closing message phone numbers and a list of local television channels that make these announcements.
Policy on Discontinuance, Reduction or Transfer of Academic Programs Components of program review, program discontinuance, program reduction and associated downstream effects such as termination of a tenured faculty member.

Separation, Absence, Leave, and Legal Policies

Staff Leave of Absence Procedures for staff leave of absence that include both personal leave and professional leave.
Absence Reporting Covers the procedures for when illness or injury results in absence from work.
Voluntary Separation/Termination Procedures for when an RIT staff voluntarily terminates employment, includes the required actions for both employees and supervisors.
Faculty Dismissal Policy Provides details on the dismissal of faculty before the expiration of an appointment for adequate cause. Specific components of the policy include: charges, dismissal review committee, dismissal hearings.
Faculty Leave of Absence Explains that a leave of absence without salary may be granted to faculty members for good cause, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made to cover their work loads.
Faculty Leave for Professional Development Provides eligibility and administration details for faculty that engage in some form of advanced study, writing, research or other creative activity.
Faculty/Staff Alcohol and Drug Policy Compliance details in accordance with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.
Procedures for Handling Claims or Lawsuits Details on how to address any informal or formal claims such as: contact from an attorney; receipt of Summons & Complaint; or receipt of an employee-based complaint filed with an external agency such as OSHA, EEOC, EPA, NYS Division of Human Rights.
External Complaints Involving Alleged Discrimination Policy outlines the process for addressing complaints raised outside of RIT, through lawsuits or government proceedings.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Applies to all RIT employees and covers the polices of the Family and Medical Leave Act signed into law in 1993.

Compensation and Classification Policies

Salary Determination Overview of salary structure and Includes definitions of: promotions, demotions, lateral transfers, title changes, annual salary increase, and denial of salary increase.
Premium Pay Practices Includes details for both regular and non-exempt employees on Call-In Pay, Double Time, Emergency Closing Pay, Holiday Pay, Overtime, Shift Premium, and Sunday Premium.
Employee Classification and Status Information on employee classification ( faculty, professional, non-exempt) and status (full-time, extended part-time, part-time, temporary) for the purpose of determining benefits.
Position Classification and Job Evaluation Procedures Includes job evaluations and re-evaluations to review a position’s FLSA status (exempt or non-exempt) and market band pay rate.
Position Control Procedures Procedures to assist managers with job evaluations and re-evaluations for all regular faculty and staff.
Hours of Work Includes details on work schedules, breaks, meal periods, and compensation.

Finance and Travel Policies

Travel Policy Information about the payment/reimbursement process for approved business travel from the RIT campus.
Budget Policies Includes the following: Budget accounts, Chargeback Info, Discretionary Expenditures, Budget planning cycle.
Procurement Policies Includes the following links: Indemnification and insurance specifications, independent contractor or employee, purchase orders, supplier contract management, RIT surplus.
Policy on financial Exigency Details on the declaration and review process of a financial exigency.
Vendor Contract Management Procedure Outlines the roles and responsibilities of RIT departments involved in the supplier contract review process.

Performance Management Policies

Staff Grievance Procedure This policy guides supervisors and employees in addressing a complaint on the part of an employee that an action taken by management violates a provision of the university policy or procedure in a way that adversely affects the employee.
Staff Performance Evaluation Policies, Procedures, and Forms Includes links to a variety of staff focused appraisal templates including: self-appraisals, staff appraisals, development plans, and upward appraisals.
Faculty Annual Review Policy This policy on Annual Review of Faculty establishes guidelines for the evaluation of the performance of each faculty member against established university criteria and in accordance with the mission and goals of the department, college and university.
Staff Performance Improvement Process and Procedure This policy guides supervisors and employees in addressing the need to improve performance, including problems in fulfilling the duties of a position and conduct that violates university policies, procedures, or practices.

Hiring Policies

Staff Recruitment Procedures for Managers Resources for each phase of the Onboarding process including: the pre-hire process, hiring process, and post-hire process.
Faculty Employment Policies Contains information on faculty hiring, academic year, responsibilities, and ending employment.

Staff Performance

Information on staff searches, performance management, job descriptions, evaluation, and staff onboarding

New Staff Orientation Checklist Stay organized when onboarding new staff.
Building a Development Plan This quick reference will help supervisors and employees work together to build a Development Plan; that is a formal set of developmental goals with action steps and targeted completion dates, established at the beginning of the performance year.
RIT Human Resources Link to the list of Human Resources Services Managers (HRSMs) that are assigned to specific colleges and divisions.
Staff Development Plan Template Staff development plan template/worksheet.
Defining Performance Goals This quick reference will help supervisors and employees work together to develop performance outcomes that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-limited (SMART).
Candidate Evaluation Matrix This form enables your staff members, who are participating in the interview process with a candidate, to assess the individual's qualifications. The format provides a method for comparing the interviewers' impressions of various candidates.


Letters, templates, worksheets, and other material for common department head activities

RIT Administrative Forms

Controller Link to Controller's Office. Forms include: Accounting, Accounts Payable, Fixed Assets, Payroll, Travel
Academic Program Management Academic Program Planning, Review, Assessment & Evaluation Management. Forms include: New Program Approval & Curriculum Change
FERPA Consent Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act consent form to release student information.
Human Resources Forms Faculty specific human resources forms including: New Hire, Leave Start, Leave Return, Salary Redistribution, Promotion, Term Change, Summer Salary Grants & Contracts, Termination, Overload Pay, Special Assignment Pay, Transfer Checklist, FTE Calculator.
Budgetary Link to the Office of Budget. Forms include: Budget Change, Capital Equipment, Volunteer Budget Relief, Operating Department Number Set-up

Faculty Performance Management Forms

Sample Feedback Text for Faculty Review Letters The following text can serve as starting point in writing review letters. The order in which teaching, research/scholarship, and service are discussed can be varied by the chair reflecting the mission of the unit and assignment of the faculty member.
Guidelines for Faculty Annual Activities Report A tool to document faculty contributions to teaching, research, service, and other activities that occurred in the past year.
Classroom Observation Form A tool to capture observations of knowledge, organization, skills and techniques, communication, and student performance in the classroom.
Constructive Feedback on Faculty Performance Sample text containing best practices for providing constructive feedback during performance reviews.
Faculty Workload Distribution Form A tool to document faculty projected activity vs. actual activity for instruction, research, and department administration.

Department Management Forms

Meeting Toolkit Contains agenda template, meeting norms, facilitator checklist, and best practices guidelines for meeting participants.
RIT's Office of Faculty Recruitment Support, direction, and training to search committees conducting faculty searches. Login with your RIT username/password to access.

Resource Management

Information on budget and expenses, fund raising, and strategic planning

Strategic Planning for Academic Departments A model for strategic planning that integrates planning and student outcomes. This article is from American Council on Education.
RIT Accounting & Finance Link to RIT Accounting & Financial Reporting. Includes budget guidance and policies.
Preparing the Department Budget This article is from the American Council on Education.
Creating Department Goals Self-questionnaire and attached goals grid to assist with developing departmental goals.
Managing Tight Budgets Strategies for staying within budget including information on: position sharing, revising curriculum, forming partnerships, and analyzing course enrollment.
Four Steps to Successful Fund Raising This article is from the American Council on Education
Strategies for Tough Times Tips for planning in the midst of financial crisis. This article is from the American Council on Education.
Fundraising Tips The department head's role in fundraising is less about going to get money and more about developing a culture where the department thinks proactively about its funding. This list includes ideas for enhancing departmental fundraising efforts.