Department Chairs

Teaching Load

Both graduate and undergraduate Chairs carry a minimum 2:1 teaching two courses in the fall semester and one course in the winter) or 1:2 (one course in the fall semester and two courses in the winter) teaching load. 


The Department Chair is a faculty member, administrator, and leader. The Department Chair is responsible for planning and managing the educational objectives and the human, financial, and physical resources of the department. The Department Chair, working closely with the faculty and Program Manager of the department, sets standards of excellence and maintains the quality and reputation of the department, encourages innovation to sustain the department’s vitality, encourages cohesion and harmony within the department, supports formal and informal interdisciplinary activities and programs, and is a vigorous advocate for the department’s faculty, staff, and programs. As a member of the faculty, the Department Chair is expected to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a faculty member as described in this Handbook, although the number of credits a Chair teaches is typically fewer. In addition, the Department Chair’s duties are as follows:

  1. Direct and support faculty development
    1. In consultation with the faculty member, set development goals, motivate and encourage professional development, and conduct annual performance reviews in accordance with established College procedures, including preparing a written evaluation of each faculty member using the established template.
    2. Advocate on behalf of faculty in the support of professional development goals.
  2. Curriculum development
    1. Provide leadership in the development of courses and programs of study.
    2. Approve the syllabi of all courses and independent study courses offered by department faculty.
    3. Communicate approved curriculum requirements and changes to the Academic Advising and Registration Office.
  3. Planning/managing
    1. Hold and preside over regular department meetings throughout the academic year, preparing the agenda, and ensuring that Department minutes are posted to a College archive, as appropriate.
    2. Make written recommendations to the Faculty Review Committee (FRC) and the appropriate Dean regarding promotion in rank, renewal of contracts, or dismissal of faculty.
    3. Coordinate with the Program Manager to develop the teaching and course schedule of the department after consultation with the faculty, subject to the approval of the appropriate Dean, ensuring that the workloads, teaching, and departmental responsibilities are equitably distributed.
    4. Recruit new faculty, in accordance with institutional policy and in consultation with the appropriate Dean.
    5. Orient new faculty members.
    6. Develop, in consultation with departmental faculty and the appropriate committees, long-range plans, and departmental objectives. Develop, prepare, and administer the yearly budget in consultation with members of the department.
    7. Assure that faculty members provide appropriate and ongoing assessments to students, including midterm and final grades, in accordance with College deadlines. 
    8. In partnership with members of the department, develop and coordinate the department’s mentoring program.
    9. Ensure timely submissions of the department’s monthly report.
    10. Review student and faculty concerns arising within the department and handle them in accordance with College policies and, when necessary, in consultation with the Academic Affairs office.
    11. Ensure functionality of CCS facilities of which the department is the primary user.
    12. Hire departmental support staff according to institutional procedures, supervise their duties, and evaluate their performance.
    13. Participate in the recruitment of new students to the College.
    14. Partner with the Admissions Office in the screening and evaluation of applicants.
    15. Participate in the Chairs’ meetings as a partner in developing College governance and policy.
    16. Plan activities to augment the academic program by securing visiting artists, critics, lecturers, exhibitions, workshops, and international study programs.
    17. Coordinate responsibilities regarding accreditation requirements, assessment, strategic planning, and program evaluations.
    18. Support and facilitate interdisciplinary activities between departments and other colleges and universities.
    19. Partner in the development and assessment of the College retention plan.
    20. Delegate responsibilities, as appropriate, to support the mission and goals of the department.
    21. Support student international study opportunities by working with individual students, international institutions, and the Office of International Student Services at CCS.
    22. Develop, facilitate, approve, and manage, when appropriate, international programs through the College for Creative Studies.
  4. External Relationships
    1. Coordinate the department’s efforts and work with the Office of Career Development regarding internships and employment opportunities.
    2. Collaborator with Corporate and Foundation Partnerships to develop learning opportunities through sponsored research projects.
    3. Facilitate entering student work in national and international art and design competitions.
    4. Maintain and develop contacts in industries and professions for which the department educates students and stay abreast of changes in those fields that may affect the department’s educational mission.
    5. Partner with Marketing and Corporate Relations in developing the tools and communications necessary to achieve the department’s marketing and PR goals.
    6. Assist and encourage student and faculty participation in community art and design partnerships.

The graduate or undergraduate Dean or President may assign other duties from time to time.


Each year, the Chair completes an Annual Self Appraisal as a self-evaluation. The appropriate Dean provides written responses within the same document. Afterward, a meeting between the Chair and the appropriate Dean is conducted to review the evaluation.

Calendar Year Responsibilities

The Department Chair’s responsibilities for administering the department extend throughout the calendar year. The departments remain open during the summer, and numerous activities occur on campus, including summer classes, planning, and preparation for the coming academic year, admissions, readying of facilities, long-range planning, and community education. While Department Chairs determine their own schedules during the summer, including vacation time, they continue to take all necessary steps to maintain the operations of the department and honor reasonable requests from the President, Deans, and other administrators to attend to College responsibilities.


The Department Chair is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the appropriate Dean and serves at the pleasure of the President. Chairs report to the graduate or undergraduate Dean.