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Office of the President

Appointment of Department Chairs; Supersedes EM 79-011

Executive Memorandum 83-009 August 18, 1983

From: Robin S. Wilson, President

Subject: Appointment of Department Chairs; Supersedes EM 79-011

Upon recommendation by the Faculty Senate and review by the Vice President for Academic Affairs I approve the following procedures for appointment and service of department chairs. The new procedures are effective beginning fall semester, 1983.


The following procedure for the selection and appointment of department chairs is currently in effect:

  • The department will meet and select a nominating committee of three or more department members. The incumbent chairperson is not eligible for service on this committee.
  • The committee will review the department chair position description and will consult with the department and the school dean to establish criteria for the selection of candidates.
  • The committee will receive nominations and seek candidates for the position of department chair.
  • The committee will submit to the department the names of all candidates found acceptable in terms of the established criteria, along with its recommendations.
  • Candidates may also be nominated by a petition signed by at least one-third of the department faculty.
  • The department will elect the chair nominee by secret ballot; the nominee must receive a majority of the votes cast. Candidates will include the committee-submitted names and those nominated by petition. Voter eligibility will be determined by the department. The results of the balloting will be forwarded to the school dean. The report to the dean will indicate the faculty nominee and the votes cast for all acceptable candidates.
  • The dean of the school will forward the faculty selection together with a recommendation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • Appointment of department chairs will be made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs as chief instructional officer.
  • If the department is unable to select a chair acceptable to the Vice President for Academic Affairs by the date sixty days before the expiration of the current term, the incumbent department chair will notify the school dean. In this event, the appointment will be made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs for a term not to exceed two years.
  • Prior to the selection process, each department will specify the term of office for the department chair. Terms will be no less than two years and no greater than three years. The department chair will serve at the pleasure of the President.
  • The faculty may initiate an administrative recall action of the department chair by petition to the dean. The petition must be signed by twenty-five percent of the full-time faculty members serving at or above the rank of instructor or equivalent. Within three weeks of receipt of the petition, the school dean will preside at a duly scheduled meeting of the department faculty to conduct a secret ballot on the matter of administrative recall. The results of the balloting will then be transmitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for consideration and decision