Academic Departments and Programs
Academic departments and programs offer a minor or major and have faculty with full-time appointments assigned to them or faculty cross-listed from other departments.
Selection: The Dean of the College will solicit nominations from members of the department. Department chairs are then appointed by the Dean in consultation with the President.
Term: The term of appointment is normally for three years. Rotation in office is desirable, but because at a small college rotation is not always in the best interest of the department, a chair may be re-appointed.
Compensation: In order to facilitate their performance of the duties and responsibilities of department chairs, all chairs receive one course release. The Dean may grant a second course release to department chairs who have additional responsibilities, which could include a large number of faculty and staff to oversee and evaluate; an unusually large budget to oversee; or equipment and infrastructure requiring significant oversight and maintenance.
Duties and responsibilities of department chairs: The chair has a dual responsibility as representative of the department externally and as representative and administrator for the College within the department. In order to exercise their responsibilities, chairs must enjoy the confidence both of colleagues in their department and of the college administration. They should also enjoy a reputation for professional competence in teaching and scholarship, as well as character and integrity.
No chair is expected to perform all departmental duties unassisted. The principle of collegiality should encourage all department members to assist chairs in the execution of their duties and to promote the welfare of the college and the department.
The duties and responsibilities of chairs include governance, faculty affairs, curriculum and instruction, and administrative and general concerns.
The chair is responsible for departmental governance, including:
- chairing department meetings
- developing the structure of departmental organization;
- assuring fullest possible faculty participation.
The chair is directly responsible for the effective use of faculty. To accomplish this, chairs are responsible for faculty affairs, including:
- maintaining high faculty morale;
- assuming a major role in recruiting new faculty, including making recommendations to the Dean on new faculty appointments;
- mentoring of new faculty;
- keeping faculty informed of department and college plans, activities, and expectations;
- conducting evaluations as outlined in Part I, “Faculty Evaluations,”
- making recommendations to the Dean on appointments, tenure, promotions, and leaves;
- encouraging and fostering individual career planning and professional development;
- encouraging senior faculty to take special responsibility to assist junior faculty in teaching and professional development;
- ensuring an appropriate level of advising and mentoring responsibilities for all faculty in the department.
The chair is responsible for the quality of the instructional program of the department. Curricular and instructional responsibilities include:
- working to ensure the maintenance of high academic standards, a high level of teaching effectiveness, and a curricular program appropriate to the mission of the College;
- leading the department in periodic review of departmental goals, curriculum, and assessment;
- recommending on behalf of the department proposed curricular changes;
- arranging adequate advising of majors and minors;
- dealing with students’ academic concerns that relate to the department or its faculty.
The chair has general administrative responsibility for the department, including:
- developing and submitting annually proposed budgets for the department;
- assigning teaching duties and developing a schedule of classes for the department, subject to approval of the Dean;
- overseeing various administrative matters such as those relating to student assistants, clerical personnel, library and textbook orders, space allocation, physical facilities, material and equipment.
Evaluation: Chairs will be evaluated according to the criteria outlined in Part One, “Evaluation.”
Selection: The Dean of the College appoints coordinators. Some interdisciplinary programs may have more than one coordinator.
Term: The term of appointment is normally for three years. Rotation in office is desirable, but because at a small college rotation is not always in the best interest of the program, a coordinator may be re-appointed.
Compensation: Program coordinators are not compensated.
Duties and responsibilities of program coordinators: The coordinator has a dual responsibility as representative of the program externally, and as representative and administrator for the College within the program. In order to exercise their responsibilities, coordinators must enjoy the confidence both of colleagues in their program and of the college administration. They should also enjoy a reputation for professional competence in teaching and scholarship, as well as character and integrity.
No coordinator is expected to perform all program duties unassisted. The principle of collegiality should encourage all program members to assist coordinators in the execution of their duties and to promote the welfare of the college and the program.
Duties and responsibilities vary from program to program but may include communicating with the department chairs from the contributing departments, governance, curriculum and instruction, and administrative and general concerns.
Common Intellectual Experience Chair and Coordinators
The Common Intellectual Experience Seminars (CIE-100 and CIE-200) introduce students to the intellectual life of the college through a shared interdisciplinary inquiry during two integrated seminars.
CIE is staffed by faculty from across the college. There are four CIE coordinator positions: Chair, Institute/Syllabus Coordinator, Weekly Meeting/Fellows Coordinator, and Common Events Coordinator.
Selection: Anyone who has taught CIE at least twice is eligible. In addition, the CIE Chair and other Coordinators must commit to teach CIE at least once each year and are encouraged to teach every semester, during their term. It is desirable for coordinators to work together to ensure that at least one of the four is teaching CIE each semester.
Divisional representation: To achieve divisional representation among the coordinators, the Governance Committee will assist in soliciting candidates from underrepresented divisions. No more than two of the four positions shall be from the same division, and ideally, all three divisions should be represented among the four coordinators.
Terms and limits: For each position, there is a three year term. No one may serve as CIE Chair or Coordinator for consecutive terms.
Selection of the Chair: The Governance Committee will call for nominations from the faculty and then conduct an election, with the names of the three nominees who receive the highest number of votes being announced and then sent in rank order to the Dean, who will select the Chair from those three candidates.
If four candidates for the position of CIE Chair with appropriate divisional representation cannot be obtained, then 3 or 2 will be accepted. If there is only one candidate, then the rule about divisional representation will be broken and the candidacy will open up to professors from other divisions. There must be at least two candidates for the position before the ballot will go to the Faculty for a vote to close it. An election will always be held to determine the rank order of the candidates to send to the Dean so that the Faculty’s preference will be noted.
Selection of other coordinators: The Institute/Syllabus Coordinator, Weekly Meeting/Fellows Coordinator, and Common Events Coordinator are determined by a vote of the faculty and are elected by position. Nominations and elections will be held by the Governance Committee. For each position, the name of the candidate with the most votes is sent to the Dean who will appoint or not appoint the coordinator based on this recommendation. If the Dean chooses not to appoint, the issue will come back to the Governance Committee for further nominations and voting.
Voting eligibility: All governing faculty are eligible to vote in CIE chair and coordinator elections.