Recurring Chair Activities
1. Fall Semester Meeting with Dean
Near the start of the fall semester the Dean’s Office distributes a memo requesting all Chairs to schedule a meeting with the Dean of the College, along with a form for the Chair to complete in advance of the meeting. At this meeting, Chairs talk with the Dean about the department’s current and future plans. The Dean and Chair discuss faculty personnel reviews (third-year, tenure, and promotion), sabbaticals, faculty going on Early/Phased Retirement, and hiring, as well as other issues either wishes to discuss.
2. Chairs Meetings
Chairs are expected to attend all-college meetings of Chairs. Associate chairs may attend as well, as the Chair sees fit. Generally, these meetings will be held on the second Monday of Blocks 1, 3, 6, and 8 in the afternoon. Additional meetings may be called when necessary.
3. Department Teaching Schedules
Following the fall meeting between the Chair and the Dean, the Chair will receive from the Dean a letter concerning authorization for new full-time hires, the number of blocks any phased retirement status and adjunct faculty may teach, and the number of block visitors the department may hire. Based on that information, the Chair initiates departmental discussion about the forthcoming academic year’s schedule of courses. This discussion often begins with a query to faculty about the courses they hope/plan to teach. Some departments delegate the responsibility of constructing the teaching grid to an Associate Chair; other departments draft a teaching grid and develop their plan in full departmental session. In late December, the departments send draft copies of the teaching grid to the Dean’s office and the Registrar’s Office. By late January, departments respond to any questions the Dean or Registrar have and send a final teaching grid as well as a copy of each person’s teaching schedule to the Registrar’s Office. Chairs should send a final copy of the teaching grid to the Dean’s Office by the end of block six.
The completed schedule should indicate probable class sizes and room allocations / space needs. Chairs may request specific classrooms for specific courses. The Registrar's Office will try to accommodate these requests. In order to utilize classroom space effectively, Chairs should try to space the department’s courses evenly over the year. Blocks 1 and 2 are particularly full teaching blocks; both classroom and office spaces are in high demand; blocks 4 and 8, especially, often contain fewer courses. When possible, schedule block visitors into blocks 3 through 8, and encourage faculty to take non-teaching blocks in even distribution throughout the academic year.
4. Updating the Course Catalog
The Registrar's Office will send the department chair the section of last year's catalog that pertains to the department each spring. The Chair should review this material carefully, update it as necessary, and return it to the Registrar’s Office by the date specified. The Chair will not see proofs of the catalog at any later point, so attention to detail at this stage in the catalog-updating process is crucial. All changes in course numbers, descriptions or limits must be approved by the Faculty.