Skip to body

College of Arts and Humanities

Give to CAH

Related Links

Contact Us

College of Arts and Humanities
Black Hall, 127
(509) 963-1858

Follow Us

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn


Duties and Responsibilities of Department Chairs

The department chair is the chief administrator of the department and is responsible for its academic business. The chair represents the department in College and University matters. The chair reports to the dean. The chair is responsible for the following functions (CBA 12.4.1):

Election of Department Chairs (CBA 12.3.1)

Department chairs are to be elected in accordance with section II.A of the CWU Faculty Senate Academic Code (
Specific procedures for the election of chairs in CAH are as follows:

1. Departments will be notified by the dean's office at the beginning of the academic year in which a chair election is scheduled. Chair elections may take place in either winter or spring quarter, depending on the preference of the department. The dean is to be informed of the department's preference, at which point a date for the election will be set.

2. No later than one month before the election date, all candidates for chair must formally announce in writing to department colleagues and the dean their intention to run. Candidates may also be nominated by full-time faculty in the department, as long as the acceptance of the nomination and decision to run are formally announced in writing one month in advance of the election.

3. Faculty in departments should have some formal exposure to candidates' positions on matters pertaining to the department and relevant academic issues, along with candidates' approaches to leadership and administrative style. It is up to each department what mechanisms they wish to put into place to ensure that such information is available to faculty. Meetings or forums to present ideas and discuss relevant issues, with question and answer sessions, are encouraged.

4.  On the day of the election, written secret ballots will be distributed to voting faculty in their mailboxes or via electronic ballot for those faculty not on campus. Ballots are cast, turned in to the Dean’s office.   Ballots are counted by the dean’s office.

Department Chair Performance Appraisal (CBA 12.5)

Policy: Feedback is essential to the effective functioning of any administrative position. The goal of the review process is to enhance the effectiveness of the chair through a thoughtful analysis of areas of strength and weakness.
Timeline: Chairs serving four-year terms will be evaluated in the spring of the first and third years of their terms. Chairs serving shorter terms will be evaluated at least once every two years.
Process: The dean will conduct the review as follows:

1. The chair will complete a self-evaluation including the categories below, and this will be provided to all full-time faculty and staff in the department.

a. Goals established for the year, and for the long range in the context of department circumstances

b. Significant accomplishments

c. Significant challenges

d. Areas for improvement

e. Changes to enhance performance as department chair

2. After the chair self-evaluation has been distributed, full-time tenure-track and senior lectures faculty (as Defined by CBA article 9 and 10)  and staff will complete the CAH Chair Performance Appraisal available at

3. Interviews may be conducted with students, staff, faculty, or other constituencies, at the dean's discretion. Chairs may submit names for interviews.

4. Utilizing the self-evaluation, faculty and staff appraisals, interviews (if appropriate), and her/his own observations, the dean will write an evaluation that addresses the following categories:

• Budget management

• Management and efficiency of department office and day-to-day business

• Procedural oversight: development of clear, accessible, and codified procedures and policies

• Accessibility and collegiality

• Handling of matters related to students

• Support for faculty and staff

• Fairness and even-handedness

• Development and maintenance of interactions with CWU departments and individuals external to his/her department

• Leadership, vision and direction

• Curriculum planning, delivery, assessment, accreditation, improvement, and development

5. In a meeting between the chair and dean, the dean will summarize the information collected from faculty and staff and share the written evaluation. A final report will be sent to the department faculty and staff.

Department Chair Compensation

Department chair compensation will be in accordance with the CBA 12.6.

Summer: University policy on summer chair compensation is outlined in section 5-110-030 of the CWU Policy Manual. Ten-month chairs may teach in the summer for additional compensation. Administrative credits and teaching that exceed 10 workload units are compensated at the non-tenure-track salary rate. For eleven-month chairs in CAH, teaching duties are compensated at the non-tenure-track salary rate.

Merit Salary Increases: For information on merit salary increases for chairs, see CBA 16.6.3 and Appendix 3 of the CAH Faculty Performance Evaluation Criteria and Guidelines.


Back to Index

This page was last updated 28 November 2017​

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.