ATTACHMENT 2 to AS-2592a-03/FA
Report of the Task Force on Roles and
Responsibilities of Department Chairs
The objective of this report is to make recommendations that will "enhance
roles, rewards and resources" for Department Chairs. The goal is to improve
training, recruitment, and retention of chairs with the end of making them
more enduring and effective leaders of their departments. The data and
observations that form the basis for the recommendations that follow come
in large part from the California State University Department Chair Survey.
The report also draws from job descriptions and practices of individual
campuses, the contract between the CSU and the CFA, personal observations,
and the academic literature.
The Task Force on Roles and Responsibilities of Chairs recommends that:
- each campus establish a committee on the "status of chairs" to develop
an action plan to address the findings of the CSU Chair Survey and home
campus surveys and the recommendations of the Task Force. The Task Force
recommends that this committee report annually on its progress to the campus
senate and representatives designated by the Statewide Senate.
- the Academic Senate CSU, chancellor's office, campus presidents, and
academic vice presidents discuss and address the findings of the CSU
Department Chair Survey and home campus surveys and the recommendations
of the Task Force.
Further, the Task Force makes the following additional observations and
Campuses need to give chairs the resources they require to be effective
- Campuses should give chairs more authority/control over
financial and other departmental resources. Chairs should have
dollar-based budgets, should be able to roll funds forward from year to year,
and should be able to use saved dollars to best benefit their
- Campuses and the CSU should provide chairs with more training
prior to and after they assume the role of chair. Campuses should
also provide chairs with more opportunities, resources, and time to attend
campus, CSU-supported, and other professional development
- Campuses should give chairs more access to the information
required to effectively run their departments, including FTES targets and
budgetary information. The university administration should keep
chairs in the same information loop as the deans.
Campuses and the CSU should treat chairs equitably regarding their
conditions of appointment.
The compensation for chairs should match the demands of the position.
- Campuses should give all chairs the option of 12-month
appointments or establish a mechanism for compensating chairs for unpaid
- Campuses should establish an advisory committee to review the
means used to determine the percent of administrative appointment and the
length of the chair's contract to:
- Establish a formula or procedure that best represents the current
workload of chairs
- Achieve equity among chairs on a single campus and ultimately promote
equity across the CSU b
- At a minimum the formula should take into account total FTEF
(including part-time faculty and teaching associates), FTES, number of
majors, and number of staff.
- Campuses should provide chairs with job descriptions and other
details of their duties so they are fully informed of what is expected of
them before they assume their roles.
- Campuses should have reasonable expectations of chairs given the
amount of time and resources available to them.
- Campuses should review the tasks that chairs are expected to
perform to assure that they are appropriate and manageable within the
constraints of the chair's administrative appointment.
- Campuses should evaluate and reward chairs based on their job
descriptions. Campuses should evaluate chairs annually based on
clear performance objectives and reward chairs based on their job
descriptions, not on the traditional criteria for performance evaluation of
Too much of the chair's time is squandered on routine administrative
functions (the "bureaucratic grind"). Campuses should provide chairs with
time to undertake creative management or other significant creative
- The CSU and CFA should review the appropriateness of current
levels of compensation for 12-month and academic year chairs and bargain
compensation that rewards chairs according to their true administrative
Communication among chairs should be facilitated.
- A campus committee should analyze the workload of chairs and make
recommendations to reduce or redistribute it to allow chairs more time for
creative activity. Recommendations should be shared among campuses
within the CSU.b
- Campuses should reroute or reduce the bureaucratic
- Campuses and the CSU should provide chairs with assigned time to
allow chairs to undertake creative management or other creative activities
that would benefit their departments.
- Campuses should consider diverting some of the routine workload
of chairs to clerical personnel.
- Local campus chairs across colleges should meet at least
- CSU chairs within disciplines should meet at least
- The CSU should sponsor an annual conference for chairs.
Through this conference, the CSU can provide a forum for chairs to
communicate with one another about what they do and how they do it. Time can
be provided for meetings among chairs within disciplines and for sessions
that deal with issues that chairs would like to address.
- CSU department chairs should consider establishing a list-serve
of all CSU chairs or CSU chairs within disciplines
- The Academic Senate CSU, or the office of the chancellor of the
CSU, should conduct a survey of CSU deans, similar to the Chair Survey, which
includes questions about how deans manage chairs and what deans think are
best practices for chairs.
- Campuses should educate faculty about the roles and
responsibilities of contemporary chairs, both to recruit qualified faculty
into the position and to enhance understanding of what chairs