2:049 Chairs, Directors, and Coordinators
|Austin Peay State
|Chairs, Directors, and Coordinators
|| March 24, 2020
||Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to employ academic chairs, directors,
The purpose of this policy is to establish general guidelines for the employment of
academic chairs, directors, and coordinators.
-Selection and Review of Chairperson
-Procedure for Filing a Grievance
-Procedure for Vote of No Confidence
-Administrative and Instructional Responsibilities
|Unless otherwise noted, “chairs” refers to chairpersons, directors, and coordinators
of academic units.
|Appointment and Removal: Department chairs serve at the pleasure of the University
Provost and shall be appointed and removed in consultation with the Provost, the appropriate
College Dean and department faculty. The chair of a department, who serves as the
chief representative of the department within an institution, should be recommended
by departmental election. Appointments normally should be in conformity with department
- The President of the University, is authorized to appoint, determine the compensation
and change of status of, and terminate all other employees at the institution or center
subject to the provisions of this and other relevant policies and procedures and the
approved Compensation Plan Guideline.
For purposes of this policy, the President delegates the foregoing authority to the
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Term of Office: Chairs ordinarily shall be appointed for four-year terms. Chairs
may be reappointed upon the favorable review of the department, the college dean and
- Reappointment or Selection of Chair: A chair may be reappointed at the end of a term
with favorable recommendations at all levels of review. If a chair is not reappointed,
or if the chair chooses to vacate the position, a new chair will be selected through
either an internal or external search. The decision to make the search internal or
external shall be made by the Provost, with recommendations from the departmental
faculty and the College Dean.
- Reappointment Recommendations: If the chair wishes to stand for reappointment review,
it shall be indicated in writing to the appropriate dean in the year prior to the
expiration of the chair's term of office. Should the chair decline the review, he/she
shall step down as chair at the end of that term of office and shall not be eligible
to serve as chair for the next term.
When a chair requests to be reviewed for possible reappointment, the department faculty
shall be convened by the Dean to evaluate his/her performance. The College Dean shall
appoint a chair from outside the department to preside at the meeting. The review
process shall include all tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department. The
faculty will make a recommendation to the appropriate Dean to reappoint the individual
as chair or to recommend that a new chair be selected. The presiding chair shall
forward this recommendation to the appropriate Dean.
Fourth Year Evaluations: Should the Chair desire to be reviewed for reappointment
on the fourth year, the committee members will use the Academic Chair Survey Form
available at the Human Resources website. A detailed summary of the average response
and number responding will be shared with the tenured and tenure-track faculty by
the Dean. Although other criteria may vary depending on the department, committees
will use these results as one of the criteria for recommending for or against reappointment
for another four-year term.
The recommendation of the department and the College Dean's recommendation will be
forwarded to the Provost. The Provost will make a decision and will notify the appropriate
Dean, the Chair of the department and all full-time faculty in the department in writing
of the Chair’s reappointment or failure to be reappointed.
- Voting Procedures: All voting shall be by secret ballot. The results of the vote
are to be presented immediately to the departmental faculty and Chairperson. A recommendation
for or against reappointment as Chair or for nomination of a new Chair shall require
a majority of the votes.
- Resolving Voting Deadlocks: Special circumstances of a voting deadlock or failure
to achieve a majority shall be resolved by the members of the faculty in a cooperative
effort with the College Dean.
- Internal Search for New Chair: All tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department
shall be convened by the Dean or designee to nominate faculty for chair. The College
Dean shall appoint a Chair from outside the department to preside at the meeting(s)
and lead the nominating process. The voting procedure will be the same as that which
is described above in 1 (b). The presiding chair will send forward to the College
Dean the name(s) of faculty to be considered for chair and the number of votes received
by each. In most situations, departments should send forward at least two ranked names
of acceptable nominees; however, departments may send forward one name. The name(s)
of the nominees, the precise vote count, and the College Dean's recommendation will
be sent to the Provost. The Provost will name the new department chair. Normally,
the Chair will be appointed to a four-year term.
- External Search for New Chair: An external search will follow the University's faculty
- Interim Chair: In the event a chair cannot or does not complete the full four-year
term, an interim chair may be appointed to complete the term. Except for emergency
situations, the process used for this search will be the same as the one developed
for the internal search for a new chair (number two above). In cases of emergency,
as when the loss of a chair occurs unexpectedly without leaving sufficient time to
follow the process before a new chair is needed in place, an interim chair may be
appointed by the Provost based on recommendations from the College Dean. The evaluation
of the interim chair will be the same as the one used for new chairs; that is, he/she
will undergo an evaluation each year as chair.
- Untenured Chairs: Untenured faculty members sometimes serve as chairs. When an untenured
chair is not retained or is denied tenure during the regular personnel review process,
the College Dean shall inform the department as early as possible. If a chair is not
retained, an interim chair will be appointed by the Provost to administer the daily
business of the department, and the search process (external or internal) for a new
chair shall commence.
- Chair Evaluations
- Annual Evaluations: Each year, the Dean will distribute the Academic Chair Survey
Form to all faculty to obtain input in regard to the Chair's administrative function.
This Academic Chair Survey Form is intended to measure effectiveness in the administrative
component of the position, not teaching effectiveness. The Dean will then complete
the annual evaluation of the chairs using the standard Academic Faculty Evaluation
The Chair shall be permitted ONE rebuttal document in response to a negative evaluation
from the Academic Chair Survey Form. This document shall be no longer than two pages
in length and shall take the form of a narrative document. This rebuttal document
will be housed with the appropriate Dean.
The Chair shall also be permitted ONE rebuttal document in response to a negative
evaluation from the Academic Faculty Evaluation Review Form. This document shall be
no longer than two pages in length and shall take the form of a narrative document.
This rebuttal document will be housed with the Provost.
- Removal of Chairs
Chairs serve at the pleasure of the Provost. If a chair is removed at any time during
their administrative term and returns to the faculty, their administrative stipend
ends at that time. Ordinarily, the chair of a department serves a four-year term and
is eligible for reappointment following current procedures for evaluation of chairs.
When a chair engages in egregious behavior that is clearly counterproductive to the
vision and mission of the University, the Provost has the right to remove that chair
without any lengthy formal process and appoint an interim chair for the department
until a new chair can be appointed through usual search procedures in place. When
a chair loses the respect, trust, and confidence of the majority of the faculty within
a department, the faculty in that department have the right to file a grievance. Dependent
upon the results of the following procedures, the grievance may be followed by a vote
of no confidence and possible removal.
Faculty and chairs are strongly urged to try to resolve differences through informal
processes, which may include activities such as mentoring or professional development;
one-on-one meetings between the Chair and a few senior faculty; a joint meeting between
the Dean and the departmental faculty (without the Chair); or an open discussion including
faculty, the Chair, and the Dean. If the situation is not resolved through informal
processes, then faculty shall observe the following steps to file a grievance against
Procedure for Filing
- First, faculty in the department shall convene a meeting to decide, via secret ballot,
if the majority of the eligible tenured and tenure-track faculty believes that the
Chair’s behaviors warrant filing a written grievance to address the Chair’s administrative
failures. The majority of the faculty shall be present at the time the vote is taken.
The chair shall be notified of the meeting, but shall not attend. If a faculty member
is unable to attend this meeting, has to leave early, or is late in attending because
of extenuating circumstances, the faculty member should still cast a vote. That faculty
member shall make every effort to leave an absentee ballot (by voting to support or
oppose filing a grievance against the Chair) in a sealed envelope entrusted to a colleague
attending the meeting. The Chair of the department shall be notified of the voting
outcome. The vote count also shall be made available to assist administrators in the
- If the majority of the eligible tenured and tenure-track faculty votes to file a grievance
against the Chair, a faculty member voting with the majority shall prepare a written
report for the Dean clearly articulating their collective position and the specific
reasons for the vote. All members voting with the majority shall sign the report.
The written report shall contain detailed information regarding the Chair’s performance
and conduct. The faculty may make suggestions to the Dean regarding a remediation
plan. If the majority of the eligible tenured and tenure-track faculty votes not to
file a grievance against the Chair, then the minority is encouraged to continue attempts
to resolve differences as collegially as possible.
- The Dean, after receipt of the written grievance report from the faculty, shall meet
with the Chair and discuss the report to determine the reasonableness of the allegations.
The Dean shall create a remediation plan including a specific timeline for the Chair
to respond to grievances. Copies of the written remediation plan and the grievance
shall be provided to the Provost. A copy of the written remediation plan shall be
provided to the faculty and Chair. If the Dean determines that the grievance lacks
merit, the Dean shall explain his/her position in writing to the faculty and provide
a copy of this document to the Chair and to the Provost.
|Procedure for Vote
of No Confidence
|If faculty remain dissatisfied with the Chair’s performance after remediation plan
is executed, they may follow the procedure described below to vote on a motion of
no confidence against the Chair. Because of the serious nature of a vote of no confidence,
faculty should reconsider their options and aggressively pursue all other avenues
to resolve the situation prior to taking a no confidence vote.
- Faculty in the department shall convene a meeting to decide, via secret ballot, if
the majority of the eligible tenured and tenure-track faculty lacks confidence in
the Chair’s abilities to continue serving as Chair of the department. The majority
of the faculty shall be present at the time the vote is taken. The Chair shall be
notified of the meeting but shall not attend.
If a faculty member is unable to attend this meeting, has to leave early, or is late
in attending because of extenuating circumstances, the faculty member should still
cast a vote. The faculty member shall make every effort to leave an absentee ballot
(by voting for or against a recommendation of removal of the Chair) in a sealed envelope entrusted to a colleague
attending the meeting.
Should the majority of faculty vote in favor of retaining the Chair, the minority
is encouraged to continue attempts to resolve differences as collegially as possible.
The chair of the department and other administrators in the review process shall be
notified of the voting outcome, including vote count.
As stated in Policy 2:052 [Academic Freedom and Responsibility], “the right to academic freedom imposes upon
the faculty an equal obligation to take appropriate professional action against faculty
members who are derelict in discharging their professional responsibilities.”
- A faculty member voting with the majority in a vote of no confidence against a chair
shall prepare a written report for the Dean clearly articulating their collective
position and the specific reasons for the vote of no confidence. All members voting
with the majority shall sign the report. If a majority report is not prepared, the
no-confidence vote of the department shall be nullified. Any allegations in the majority
report concerning behavior that occurs after the remediation plan has been implemented
must be documented in writing with specific instances.
Faculty members who voted to support the Chair continuing in the position may prepare
a minority report outlining their position(s). All members voting with the minority
shall sign the report. All written documents (including majority and minority reports)
shall be forwarded to the chair and to the Dean of the college within seven (7) business
days of the meeting on a vote of no confidence. Copies of majority and/or minority
reports shall be forwarded to all tenure-track and tenured members of the department.
- The Chair of the department, upon receipt of the document, shall have seven (7) business
days to prepare a response in writing if he/she wishes. The Chair’s rebuttal or explanation
of the department’s allegations shall be forwarded to the Dean. After the Dean has
obtained a copy of the Chair’s document rebutting or explaining the department’s allegations,
the Dean shall have ten (10) business days to prepare a written report (including
all documents) and move it forward to the Provost. Before the dean writes the report,
the Dean may meet with the faculty in the department. The Chair shall receive a copy
of the Dean’s report. Copies of the Chair’s response and Dean’s report shall be forwarded
to all tenure-track and tenured members of the department.
- The Provost shall examine all reports and have ten (10) business days to rule on the
- The Provost shall have all the latitude necessary to conduct an independent investigation
and inquiry into the circumstances that resulted in the vote of no confidence. The
Provost will decide what actions need to be taken and whether removal of the Chair
is in the best interest of the department and/or the University. As part of the investigation,
the Provost may seek the counsel of other faculty, staff, and/or administrators within
or outside the University.
If a Chair is removed, an interim Chair will be appointed by the Provost to administer
the daily business of the department, and the search process (external or internal)
for a new chair shall commence. If a Chair is removed, he/she shall be accorded the
same professional rights as any other faculty member of like academic status.
- Administrative Responsibilities
- Department Administration: Preside at bi-monthly faculty meetings; prepare and manage
course offerings and schedules, and coordinate these decisions with affected departments;
manage department's budget; coordinate and administer curricular changes; approve
travel authorizations, travel claims, absence forms, personnel time sheets and other
appropriate forms and documents; and coordinate library collection and purchases and
- Official Department Representation: Participate in the development of institution,
college, and department mission, vision and goals statement; articulate policies and
procedures to faculty and staff; articulate and advocate departmental needs for funding,
resources and staffing; represent the department (or assign a designee) in meetings
with accreditation agencies, at college chairs meetings, Austin Peay Day, and any
other gathering where departmental representation is required; oversee regular departmental
program review; maintain acceptable relationships with other university offices and
administrators; assume a leadership role in fund-raising for the department; and serve
as liaison with local and regional businesses, industries, government agencies, school
systems, and other institutions related to the department and its programs.
- Personnel Management: Coordinate faculty/staff workload; recruit faculty and staff,
including adjuncts in accordance with University policy; conduct faculty and staff
evaluations and make recommendations for promotion, reappointment, salaries, tenure
and merit pay increases; encourage faculty and staff to be involved in professional
development; supervise staff and student workers; recommend committee assignments;
promote effective professional working relationships among faculty and staff; provide
an effective work environment for faculty and staff; and mediate faculty and staff
- Student Services: Coordinate recruitment of graduate/ undergraduate students; oversee
advisement; approve course substitutions in the department's major programs; coordinate
graduate placement efforts with Career Services; and mediate student grievances.
- Administrative and Instructional Responsibilities and Compensation: Academic chairs
will have duties and responsibilities during the academic year (mid-August–mid-May).
They will receive nine monthly stipends from September through May to cover their
service during the academic year. All chairs will have summer duties.
- The academic chairs shall have academic year administrative responsibilities, academic
year instructional responsibilities, academic year administrative stipends, summer
administrative responsibilities, and summer administrative stipends in relation to
the number of full-time equated (FTE) faculty in the department per guidelines established
by the Provost Office
APSU Policy 2:049 – Rev.: March 24, 2020
APSU Policy 2:049 (previously 5:029) – Rev.: April 20, 2017
APSU Policy 2:049 – Rev.: July 26, 2016
APSU Policy 2:049 – Rev.: January 14, 2016
APSU Policy 2:049 – Rev.: August 14, 2013
APSU Policy 2:049 – Issued: August 10, 2012
President: signature on file