1. This document sets forth the procedures to govern the selection of department heads. It also identifies selection, qualifications, administrative role and responsibilities, terms of service, tenure, reassigned time, stipends, and evaluation of department heads.
Department heads may be selected as a result of an internal or external search. The administrative channel for this selection process is as follows: a departmental recommendation to the respective college dean; the dean’s recommendation to the vice president for academic affairs (vpaa); and a recommendation to the president from the vpaa. The president has responsibility for final approval. If it is determined that a national search rather than an internal search would be in the best interest of the department and college, the rationale should be provided to the department by the respective dean’s office. Whether an internal or external search is chosen, the procedures outlined in the Texas A&M University-Commerce Search Procedures Manual must be followed.
3. Department Head Qualifications
All candidates for the position of head of a department should hold the Ph.D., Ed.D., or the usual terminal degree for the discipline involved. Candidates should also possess an excellent record of academic leadership; teaching effectiveness; evidence of scholarly or artistic achievement; verbal and written communication skills; interpersonal skills; and professional service.
4. Administrative Role and Responsibilities
The administrative role and responsibilities of the department head are varied. The head of the department should be a team leader in working with the faculty and staff, the dean and other administrators to achieve university goals. Department head administrative responsibilities include short and long-range planning, and implementing and evaluating goal achievement. The department head must work with both departmental faculty and the administration regarding the most effective and efficient strategies for achieving departmental goals and objectives in line with institutional goals. The department head will also demonstrate effective budget management, initiative, and institutional commitment.
The department head has leadership and management responsibilities for: 1) academic programs, 2) faculty, and 3) students. Academic program responsibilities of the department head include reviewing existing programs for relevancy, initiating curriculum development when needed, developing new programs as the market requirements change, and maintaining program quality at all levels.
The department head is accountable for efforts to achieve a diverse faculty and staff, faculty development, and annual faculty evaluations. The head should promote an academic climate within the unit that is conducive to intellectual inquiry. The department head shares the same responsibilities as other faculty members for teaching, research, scholarly and creative activity, and service, commensurate with his or her appointment. As the unit leader, the department head should set an example for the department.
The department head plays a leadership role in matters pertaining to students. This role includes a shared responsibility for recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, and for student academic advising.
5. Terms of Service
Department heads shall be evaluated annually by the departmental faculty and the appropriate dean. Contingent upon these evaluations, the department head’s term shall be open-ended.
Depending on their qualifications and experience, department heads may be granted tenure at the time of their appointment. If the department head is not tenured at this time, tenure may be applied for in subsequent years in accordance with Policy 12.01 (Academic Freedom, Responsibility and Tenure) of The Texas A&M University System, as well as the provisions of Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Procedure A12.01 (Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Responsibility).
7. Administrative Reassigned Time
Department heads should be treated, in terms of administrative reassigned time, in accord with the demands of the position. All department heads, regardless of the size of the department, should be given a minimum course load reduction of six (6) semester hours in each of the long terms and a minimum course load reduction of three (3) semester hours in one of the summer terms. In the department head’s absence, arrangements should be made in conjunction with the dean’s office for accomplishment of administrative responsibilities.
Each department head, regardless of the size or complexity of the department, should be treated equally in terms of administrative stipend. That stipend shall be paid for the duration of the department head’s term of office and shall end when that person leaves the position. The administrative stipend shall not be considered a part of the person’s base salary.
Department heads will be evaluated each year in accord with university procedures (12.01.99.R0.02, Annual Evaluation of Faculty, and 12.01.99.R0.03, Academic Administrator Evaluation). Merit will be determined by the average of these evaluations.
References: Former ETSU Policy B-8 approved January 31, 1995; Procedure A12.13
Contact for Interpretation: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs