Selection of Chairs on the Charles River Campus

Note that in September, 2011, the University Provost delegated the approval for the appointment and re-appointment of department chairs to dean of the School or College on the Charles River Campus. Prior to 9/2011, the appointment of a Charles River Campus department chair, acting or otherwise, was subject to the approval of the University Provost. Although the dean is now responsible for the final approval, the following procedure should still be followed.

Whenever it becomes necessary to appoint a chair on the Charles River Campus, the dean of the School or College may appoint an acting or ad interim chair, and, after consultation with full time members of the faculty of the department concerned, shall decide whether to seek a chair from among the members of the department or to open a search to individuals from outside the department. If the appointment is only for the temporary absence of the current chair, the appropriate title is acting chair. If a process for selecting a new chair is to be undertaken, the dean may appoint an ad interim chair from among the current faculty.

Internal Appointment: If the chair is to be selected from within the department, the procedure for the nomination of candidates shall be determined by the departmental faculty after consultation with the dean. The results of that nomination process are provided to the dean.

External Appointment: If the decision is made to conduct an external search, a search committee shall be formed to advise the dean. The committee shall normally comprise six in all, with an equal number of faculty from the department, elected by the faculty of the department, and faculty members from cognate fields appointed by the dean. The chair of the search committee shall be appointed by the dean. The search committee shall solicit nominations and applications through appropriate professional channels, observing appropriate affirmative action procedures, and it shall also request nominations from within the University. However, no member of the Committee shall be a candidate for the position. Upon completion of the search process the committee shall report its recommendations to the dean along with a summary evaluation of the recommended candidates and provide to the department a summary report of its recommendations.

Dean’s Approval: It is the Dean’s responsibility to approve the appointment of department chairs. Normally the individual approved by the dean for appointment as department chair will have been recommended by the departmental faculty or by the search committee if there is an external search. However, upon receipt of the departmental recommendation or the search committee summary evaluation, the dean may choose to ask the department faculty or search committee for further recommendations. Failing receipt of recommendations acceptable to the dean within a reasonable period of time, and after consultation with the department, the dean may appoint either an acting or ad interim chair, or a regular chair.

Term: The appointment term of a department chair on the Charles River Campus shall normally be for three years. After consultation with the department, the chair may be reappointed. Unsatisfactory performance, as determined by the dean, may result in termination of the appointment of the chair prior to completion of a term.

Adopted April 18, 2007, by the University Council.

Last edited May, 2013 to accommodate approval authority devolved to the deans by the University Provost