Skip to main content area Skip to sub-navigation
Skip to main content

Departmental Leadership

A brief overview of your departmental structure and your position as a department leader: 

1. Departmental Transition to a New Chair

The Dean appoints new department chairs in consultation with the President and with the advice of the department. Outgoing Chairs are asked to help new Chairs to understand their new administrative role. Discussions about the main elements of the job, any suggestions for organization or management that the outgoing Chair may have, and the filing system will be especially helpful to new chairs and smooth the transition to the new administration of the department. Current Chairs should discuss their desire to leave the chair’s position with the Dean during the fall semester, one year before vacating the position.

2. Associate Chairs

After consultation with members of the department, a Chair may request the Dean to authorize an associate Chair to assume some of the department’s administrative duties. The kinds of circumstances that could support such a request might include the large number of departmental faculty, high course enrollments, numerous majors, high demand for student advising, an extensive slate of upcoming personnel reviews, an impending external review, unusual expectations for departmental involvement in community service, and a two-in-one departmental structure (Art History and Art Studio, for example).

When the Dean authorizes the appointment of an associate Chair, the Chair must specify, in writing, the duration of the appointment and the associate Chair’s duties, which, in some cases, may warrant application to the Dean for an additional Block without teaching. These duties do not, however, diminish the Chair’s overall responsibility for the affairs of the department. 

3. Other Department Staff

Some departments have various categories of support staff, such as administrative assistants, technicians, and paraprofessionals. All of these personnel report to the Chair. A clear assignment of responsibilities to each staff member is important. 

4. Department Meetings

Most departments and interdisciplinary programs meet once a block to discuss departmental matters. For example, a department meeting in the fall may be devoted to constructing the academic schedule for the following year, while a department meeting in the spring may be devoted to determining awards and honors for graduating majors. Departments also meet to discuss job announcements, applicant files, tenure candidates’ files, the curricular direction of the department, and so on. Chairs should share with department members the monthly department budget statements, so that all department members understand what resources are available and how departmental monies are being spent. Most departments hold at least one meeting per year with their majors.

5. Standing Committees, Task Forces, and Further Delegation

Some departments have internal standing committees that accomplish routine tasks within the department. For example, the English department has standing committees for the poetry contest, the senior majors program, the visitors program, and the novella contest. Chairs may delegate to individuals or task forces other department business, such as revision of requirements for a major or minor.

6. The Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance program is a professional counseling service that is available to all College employees free of charge. All Colorado College employees and their immediate families are eligible for five (5) counseling sessions per problem per year. Should a Chair want help in handling a crisis, a counselor can be reached 24 hours a day at (719) 634-1825. Office appointments can be made 7:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday at the same number. EAP may be useful to faculty or staff dealing with personal or work-related problems. EAP may assist faculty or staff dealing with, for example, marital and family problems, anxiety and depression, chemical dependency and co-dependency, grief and loss, job stress and co-worker conflict.