E08.0 College Academic Administrative Positions


Applies to college and academic-unit level academic administrative positions

I. Introduction

The procedures for filling all academic administrative positions with the exception of deans shall be defined by college policy as approved by the voting faculty of the college as defined in B02.0.  In college policy, it shall be clear that individuals in college academic administrative positions serve at the pleasure of their administrative supervisor.  In all cases, the procedures shall include formal input from the faculty and staff and be clearly outlined and available. Search procedures for deans are defined at the university level and are not addressed in this policy.

II. Administrative Positions

Academic administrator positions at the college and academic-unit level may be filled through either a faculty search procedure (II.A) or by appointment with faculty input (II.B) as defined by university and college policy.

When filling an administrative position whose primary professional responsibilities include administration or direct supervision of faculty, the administrative supervisor, in consultation with the representative full-time faculty and staff as defined in college policy, shall specify the nature of the position, the term of the position, the process for filling the position, and the qualifications for the position.  Administrative positions that have responsibilities for evaluation of faculty teaching should be held by faculty with teaching experience. Administrative positions that have responsibilities for evaluation of faculty and staff who are engaged in research, scholarship, and creative activities should be held by faculty with appropriate experience in those domains. Selection criteria for these administrative positions shall include, among other factors, a candidate's accomplishments in the area they are responsible for evaluating. This process shall be transparent and representative.

Administrative positions that require the supervision or assessment of tenure-track faculty shall be held by tenured faculty.  Administrative positions that do not require the supervision or assessment of tenure-track faculty may be held by regular tenure-track or non-tenure-track faculty, as defined in E06.0.

  1. Search Procedure

    The search procedure is characterized by the following:
    1. As soon as possible after notice of an impending vacancy, the administrative supervisor shall initiate the search following university procedures defined by the Department of Human Resources and the Office of Faculty Recruitment.
    2. The administrative supervisor, after consultation according to college policy, shall specify the nature of the position, the criteria for the search, qualifications for the position, and the form of the recommendations expected from the search procedure. The administrative supervisor shall also appoint the chair of the search committee or determine how the chair shall be selected.
    3. College policy shall define the composition of the search committee.
    4. The administrative supervisor's decision regarding the appointment shall be announced as specified by college policy.
  2. Appointment Procedure

    In cases where college academic administrative positions are filled by appointment, qualified faculty shall have the opportunity to be considered for the position. The process for determining the qualifications for the position and identification of potential candidates shall be defined in college policy. The method for appointing individuals to these positions and the conditions of the appointment shall also be defined by college policy. Where the position involves the direct supervision of full-time tenure-track and non-tenure- track faculty (e.g. department chair), college policies shall provide for an advisory vote from voting faculty as part of the selection process. The administrative supervisor makes the final appointment.
  3.  College Policies

    College policies regarding filling academic administrative positions shall be posted and publically available and on file with the Department of Human Resources.

III. Interim Appointments

  1. An interim appointment is defined as a temporary appointment made while filling a vacancy between appointments to permanent positions. Interim appointments are limited to two years in duration but may be extended for one additional year with approval from the provost.
  2. Interim appointments shall follow the appointment procedure for filling academic administrative positions as defined above (II.B.).
  3. People serving in interim positions who wish to be considered for the permanent position shall follow the designated procedure (either II.A or II.B above) as determined by the administrative supervisor.

IV. Acting Appointments

  1. Acting appointments are used when the permanent academic administrative position is filled but the current appointee is unavailable, e.g. because of extended travel, sabbatical leave, or illness. These appointments, not to exceed one year, are for a specified period of time or the duration of the absence.
  2. Acting appointments are made by the administrative supervisor. When possible, input from the faculty and staff in the unit will be sought.

V. Terms for Chairs

Subsection V. applies to all those among the faculty who report directly to a college dean and supervise a cohort of faculty and staff.  Typically, these individuals are given the title Department Chair, Department Head or Director (hereafter referred to as “chair”).  College policy shall specify the duration and number of terms of service for the position of chair as informed by the following principles and guidelines.

  1. Principles:  Continuity and Renewal

    Academic units benefit from a balance of stability and change.  A chair’s knowledge and experience may develop with time, and may serve to form order and continuity for the unit.  Regular revitalization may help the academic unit better identify and adapt to evolving needs and opportunities that an institutionalized order might impede, and it may help develop a sense of shared commitment to unit governance.

  2. Guidelines: Terms

    To achieve the balance between stability and change, it is recommended that the term of chair be three to five years, renewable once.  Performance evaluations (as explained in Section C below) and extraordinary circumstances may require adjustments to term length or number of terms, or both, at the discretion of the dean after formal consultation with the faculty. Colleges shall develop policies to align current college administrative terms within twelve (12) months of most recent policy effective date.

  3. Annual Evaluation and Comprehensive Assessment

    1. Annual Evaluation

      Once annually, the college shall formally solicit information from peers and direct reports to inform the dean’s annual review of the chairs (see E07.0).

    2. Comprehensive Assessment

      Every college shall conduct a comprehensive assessment of chairs at least once per term of appointment, involving the full and formal engagement of faculty and staff, which is directed and managed by the college dean.  This assessment shall inform appointment decisions.

Responsible Party: Faculty Senate in consultation with the Department of Human Resources. Inquiries may be direct to:

Faculty Senate

Approved: March 16, 1988

Policy History:

  • Edited October 2010
  • Last Revised April 2017
  • Effective Date of Last Revision: July 1, 2017
  • Revised by Faculty Senate February 14, 2019
    • scope was rewritten to add the words "and academic unit";
    • Section I. to clarify that this policy refers to administrative positions in the college
    • Section II. minor revisions throughout this section; added a statement to require department heads who evaluate faculty teaching should have teaching experience and department heads who evaluate faculty engaged in scholarship and research should have scholarship and research experience; added a statement that requires positions that require the supervision or assessment of tenure-track faculty be held by tenured faculty and that other administrative positions can be held by non-tenure-track faculty.