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EIU Office of Internal Auditing

#29 - Department Chairs

Approved: April 13, 2009

Nomenclature changes: June 7, 2021

Monitor: Vice President for Academic Affairs

Department Chairs serve as non-negotiated administrative and professional employees (Section II.A.4.b and II.B.2. of the Board Regulations).


Each Chair shall be appointed by the Dean, subject to the approval of the Provost and the President, in accordance with University policies and procedures.


A Department Chair is normally appointed on a twelve-month basis, normally for a three-year term. Chairs in their first or last year of service may receive partial contracts as appropriate. A chair may be reappointed for successive terms consistent with University policies and procedures established by the Provost (Procedures for Conducting the Evaluation of Department Chairs When Associated with Reappointment, Promotion, or Tenure).


The Dean shall consult with the Director of the Office of Civil Rights prior to initiating the process for appointment and before recommending appointment to the Provost and the President.

There are four options for selecting a Department Chair: (1) reappointment of the incumbent, (2) appointment through a national search process, (3) appointment from within the department following an advisory nomination, and (4) appointment by the Dean of an acting chair for a specific term. All nominations and recommendations (including recommendations made by the department members) concerning these appointments are advisory to the Dean.

  1. Reappointment of the Incumbent Department Chair
    • No later than November 1 of the last full year of the term of office, the incumbent must notify the Dean whether or not reappointment is desired.
    • If the incumbent wants to be considered for reappointment, the Dean shall conduct a review of the incumbent?s performance prior to December 15 of the final year of the incumbent?s term of office. This review process will include:
      • Annual reports and dean evaluations. (See ?Administrative Role and Responsibilities? below.)
      • The Administrative Appraisal Instrument. The Dean shall consult with eligible members of the department concerning the Chair?s performance, in accordance with IGP 31.
    • By February 1, the Dean shall submit the dean?s evaluation to the chair and provost and make a recommendation regarding the reappointment of the incumbent chair to the Provost.
  2. Appointment of a Non-Incumbent
    • If the incumbent will not be reappointed, the Dean shall determine if there is budgetary support for a national search.
    • If a national search is feasible, the department may advise the Dean of its preference for a national search or an internal search. An advisory vote should be sought from tenured and tenured-track faculty members. If the Dean selects a national search, the Dean and department then follow the procedures outlined in Section 3 below.
    • If the incumbent will not be reappointed and the Dean does not select a national search, the Dean and department then follow the procedures outlined in Section 4 below.
  3. Appointment of a Non-Incumbent Through a National Search
    • If the Dean selects a national search, the Dean will appoint a Search and Screening Committee and select its chair.
    • University employment procedures will be followed.
    • Internal candidates may apply.
    • Department faculty may participate in interviewing candidates invited for interviews.
    • If the search process does not yield a candidate acceptable to the Dean, the Dean may reopen the search with the same committee or name a new committee, or authorize the Department to nominate candidates from within the department according to procedures outlined in Section 4.
  4. Appointment of a Non-Incumbent From Within the Department
    • The Dean will set the date, time, and place for an advisory ballot through which the department will nominate candidates from among tenured and tenure-track faculty members.
    • Candidates and all participants in advisory balloting must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members.
    • Permission of nominees must be received prior to tendering their nomination.
    • Nominations may be made on the first, or any succeeding ballot, by tenured and tenure-track faculty. Nominations and votes will be by secret ballot.
    • Any nominee may withdraw at any time by personal request.
    • Any tenured and tenure-track faculty member who cannot be present at the meeting for a reason acceptable to the Dean may participate by arranging with the Dean prior to the election to vote absentee. Absentee ballots must be received on or before the stated election time.
  5. Appointment of an Interim (Acting) Chair
    • Under most conditions, chairs should be appointed through an internal appointment or a national search. However, in rare circumstances, an interim chair appointment may be necessary. For example, unexpected midyear vacancies, failed national searches, or other unusual circumstances as deemed by the Dean or Provost, may require an interim appointment. The appointment of an interim chair shall be made by the Dean, in consultation with the members of the department, the Provost, and the Affirmative Action office. Ordinarily, interim chair appointments will be one year with the expectation that a permanent chair will be appointed as soon as possible.


  1. Initial Salary Determination
    • Interim (acting) Chairs appointed internally from faculty ranks will have an administrative supplement added to their monthly salaries. The amount of the administrative supplement will be determined by the Dean in consultation with the incoming chair and will be clearly identified on the personnel authorization and appointment forms.
    • When appointing a Chair on a continuing appointment from within the existing faculty ranks or when appointing a chair on a continuing appointment from a national search with faculty rank and/or tenure, the monthly base salary will be established relative to the individual?s qualifications and the market for chairs at the rank in the discipline.
  2. Base Salary and Adjustments for Chairs
    • For interim (acting) Chairs, the monthly base salary plus the monthly administrative supplement will be used in calculating percentage-based annual administrative salary adjustments.
    • For continuing Chairs, the monthly base salary will be used in calculating percentage-based annual administrative salary adjustments. Upon reappointment, chairs will receive a salary adjustment of $500 added to their monthly base salary. The amount will not be decreased. Chairs who receive a promotion will also receive an appropriate base salary adjustment.
  3. Salary for Chairs Returning to or Assuming Faculty Status
    • For an interim (acting) Chair hired internally, the administrative supplement will be removed and the salary adjusted to 9/12ths of the then current annual salary. In no case will the adjusted salary be less than the salary would have been had the Chair remained in the bargaining unit and received non-discretionary negotiated base salary increases.
    • If/When a Chair assumes or returns to faculty status, the salary will be adjusted so as to be consistent with department faculty of comparable rank and experience and will be no less than 9/12ths of the then current annual salary. In no case will the adjusted salary be less than the salary would have been had the chair been in or remained in the faculty bargaining unit and received negotiated non-discretionary base salary increases including, but not limited to, across the board increases and market adjustments.


In accordance with Board Regulation II.B.3 a and b., Department Chairs shall be eligible for consideration for tenure or promotion during the term of service as Chair as specified in Procedures for Conducting the Evaluation of Department Chairs When Associated with Reappointment, Promotion, or Tenure if they hold at least the rank of Assistant Professor and meet the educational requirements and years of service outlined in Board Regulations. A Chair hired from outside the University may be granted tenure at the time of employment.


A Department Chair may be removed by a Dean after consultation with the department faculty and agreement by the Provost and the President and in accordance with Board Regulation II.B.4.


  1. Job description.
    • The Department Chair is the chief administrative officer of the department who represents the faculty of the department and the administration and who is responsible for the execution of University policies which concern the department. More specifically, with the counsel and advice of the faculty, the Chair is responsible for:
      • Developing and reviewing long-range department goals and objectives;
      • Providing leadership in curricular matters, improvement of instruction and academic advisement;
      • Facilitating communication and coordination of activities between the department and the college, the administrative offices, the community, and the alumni;
      • Recruiting and making recommendations for hiring high quality faculty and staff;
      • Encouraging professional development of faculty members through study, research, and participation in professional organizations;
      • Facilitating actions which support and promote diversity and providing leadership regarding compliance with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination;
      • Supervising and evaluating departmental faculty and staff;
      • Preparing class schedules and assignments of department faculty and staff;
      • Reviewing grade appeals and other student concerns;
      • Preparing and administering the department budget;
      • Convening department meetings on a regular basis, at least once each term;
      • Overseeing the preparation of Board of Higher Education program reviews, as well as annual departmental planning documents, accreditation, and other appropriate administrative reports and;
      • Performing such other responsibilities as assigned, which may include scholarly or creative activity, in the job description agreed upon by the chair and dean, in consultation with the Provost, at the beginning of the chair?s term. The job description provides the criteria for the chair?s 3-year evaluation for reappointment.
  2. Evaluation.
    • Each year, the dean will evaluate the chair?s performance of their duties and responsibilities. The evaluation will be based on a written report, no longer than 2 pages in length, submitted by the incumbent by July 1 each year. The report shall summarize activities and accomplishments over the previous year based on the chair?s job description. The dean shall provide formal, written feedback by August 1.


With the approval of the Provost, the Dean determines the teaching load of a Department Chair commensurate with administrative duties and program need. The Chair?s teaching load may vary based on the number of faculty, scope and complexity of the undergraduate and graduate program, the department?s research program including the chair?s scholarly or creative activities, community and public service, and co-curricular activities.

Effective September 1, 2021.

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