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Department Chair Checklist

This is a check list for new department chairs.  This list includes information all departmental chairs should know when assuming the role as the leader of their unit.  Most of this information will come from the outgoing chair or director, but it may be necessary to contact members of the Dean's office or other University officers for information about some of these items.  Click here for a printable .pdf version of the Department Chair Checklist.

Faculty Issues



Where is each tenure track faculty member in their promotion and tenure schedule?  That is, when does each of the department's faculty members come up for tenure, promotion, and peer-review?



Where is each fixed-term faculty member in their promotion schedule?



Are there any special or unusual contractual agreements with faculty members regarding their tenure and promotion?  For instance, have any faculty members been given credit for prior service or has their tenure clock been altered for some reason?



Do you have a copy in the office of every faculty member's current CV?



Development and Fund Raising



What is the department's development or fund raising plan?



What departmental development efforts are on going?



Are there important donors, contacts, or other relationship that need to be maintained or pursued?



What kind of development activities does the department conduct on a regular basis, i.e. newsletters, receptions, etc.?



Curriculum and Course Scheduling



How does the course scheduling process work?



How does the department decide who teaches what?



Are all faculty teaching their contractual load? 



What are the deadlines for the course schedule each term?



Who in the unit actually does the scheduling? (You are ultimately responsible.)



Do you have a list of available contingent faculty that can be used for extra sections or when regular faculty are not available to teach?  (You should have a backup list of potential adjunct faculty that could teach is needed. This list should include their terminal degree, area of expertise, and the classes they could teach.)






Have your reviewed the Department's budget with the CLAS CFO?



What does the department budget look like?  That is, what is the unit's total budget, how is it allocated, how much is from exhibit A, how much from the Dean's fund, and how much from other income?



What index numbers does the department have and what are their purposes?



Who does the purchasing for the department?



Do you have a departmental credit card and who controls it?






What is the department's assessment plan?



Who is responsible for assessment?



How often do you conduct assessment?  Each term, annually...?



How is the assessment information used in reviewing and restructuring courses and programs?






What is the departments advising plan?



Who is responsible for advising at the graduate and undergraduate levels?



What is the department doing to increase student retention and graduation rates?



Do you have an advising webpage?



Office Staff and Office Functions



Is your office properly staffed?



Does the office staff understand what their roles are and do you?



Does the office keep regular office hours, which is from 8 to 5?



Who covers the office during the lunch hour and other times when the office staff might be absent?



Grants and Contracts



What grants and contracts do faculty members in the department have?



Who is responsible for the budgets of these grants or contracts; the PI, the Department, you?



What new grants or contract proposals are in the works?



Enrollment Management



What are your department enrollment targets for the year and what mixture of courses will you use to meet these targets?



What are the trends in department's enrollment in the last five years?  Is your enrollment increasing, decreasing, or changing in other ways?



Where do you expect your enrollment to be in five years?



Student Success



How many majors do you have and how many graduate each year?



What steps has the department taken to increase retention and graduation rates?






Does the department have up to date by-laws?



Does you department have up to date promotion and tenure procedures?



Have these by-laws been approved by the Dean's office and by OAA?



Does every faculty member have a copy of the by-laws?



* External Search as part of proposal for Ph.D. program.