University Personnel

Department Chair Appointment and Evaluation Policy

1.00 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out the guidelines and standards for the appointment and evaluation of Department Chairs. The term “Department Chair” as used here also applies to Division and School Chairs. Faculty Program Directors in Service Learning, First Year Seminar, and University Writing Program are also covered by this policy. This policy is intended to reflect the University's commitment to the principles, goals and ideals described in the CSUMB Vision Statement and to its core values.

2.00 Responsibilities of the Department Chair

Department Governance

  • Keeps faculty informed of department, college, and university plans, activities and expectations.
  • Coordinates development and implementation of department governance structure, policy, and procedures.
  • Coordinates faculty involvement in department responsibilities, as appropriate.
  • Presides over department meetings.
  • Establishes department committees in consultation with the faculty.
  • Facilitates election of department RTP Committee.
  • Represents the department to the Dean and campus community.
  • Communicates decisions by the Dean and university back to the department.
  • Mediates conflicts and attempts to resolve problems between faculty, students and staff.
  • Models and maintains confidentiality with regard to performance reviews, personnel decisions, grievances, etc., and encourages others to do so.

Curriculum and Instruction

  • Develops course schedules, in consultation with the faculty and Dean, that reflect the department’s range of course offerings and fosters student learning.
  • Works with faculty to create and manage curriculum including changes and revisions.
  • Works with faculty to develop Annual Faculty Workload Agreements.
  • Leads the department in carrying out required external reviews of curricula and assessment of student learning outcomes.
  • Leads or participates in departmental accreditation activities, as appropriate.
  • Considers departmental retention and graduation rates, recommending adjustments that enhance student success.

Faculty Affairs and Professional Development

  • Fosters high-quality teaching and learning in the department.
  • Approves, facilitates, and implements grant concepts including pre- and post- award activities
  • Assists probationary faculty in understanding the evaluation process and criteria for retention, promotion and tenure and in presenting accurate and effective Working Personnel Action Files (WPAFs).
  • Exercises leadership in recruiting tenure-track faculty. Ensures that requests for positions are appropriately submitted, search committees selected, candidates interviewed, and appointments recommended in accordance with university policies and procedures.
  • May write letters of evaluation for department faculty during the RTP process.
  • Follows hiring protocols and the CSU/CFA Collective Bargaining Agreement for appointment of lecturers.
  • Mentors, evaluates and provides feedback to lecturers.


  • Recruits and retains students by working with faculty and ensuring faculty participation in initiating and implementing student related activities, e.g., orientations, student recruitment, competitions, awards, professional organizations and clubs.
  • Works with all parties who advise students. Facilitates resolution of administrative difficulties that students may encounter.
  • Considers and responds to students’ comments and suggestions about courses, instructors and programs.
  • Responds to student requests for waiver of departmental regulations, independent study proposals, internships and related special student concerns. Ensures successful and timely completion of incomplete grades.
  • Manages formal student grade appeal process.
  • Fosters student success through mentorship and career advising.

Staff Personnel

  • Exercises leadership in the selection and appointment of staff personnel, including student assistants working for the department.
  • Provides daily oversight and work direction to staff assigned to the department.
  • Conducts staff performance evaluations in a timely manner.
  • Encourages and supports staff training and development.
  • Fosters collegial and productive relationships among faculty, staff and students.

Budget and Resources

  • Manages department activities to meet FTES targets.
  • Administers the departmental budget in consultation with department faculty and Dean.
  • Oversees the ordering of department equipment and supplies.
  • In consultation with appropriate department personnel, develops and implements appropriate procedures for the use, maintenance and repair of equipment.

External Relations

  • Works with the Dean and University Advancement to promote the department outside the university community.
  • Promotes discipline-based contact with appropriate off-campus groups, including community college faculty, high school teachers, community organizations, professional organizations, private companies, alumni, etc.
  • Maintains and enhances the department’s image and reputation outside the university.

3.00 Appointment of Department Chairs

Appointment of a Chair may occur through the regular faculty hiring process or through nomination and recommendation by vote within the department. Only full-time faculty with tenure/tenure track appointments are eligible to serve as Chair. Exceptions to this must be approved by the Provost. If appointment occurs through the hiring process, the position shall be identified and advertised as that of a "Department Chair,” and all faculty hiring policies and practices shall be followed. Information concerning term of office and faculty rank/status shall be communicated to candidates during the recruitment process.

If an appointment recommendation occurs through a vote, those eligible to vote shall include department faculty with tenure/tenure-track appointments, lecturers on three year appointments appointed to 20 or more units per academic year, and full-time department staff not serving on a temporary appointment. Voting eligibility for academic year lecturers shall be determined in accordance with departmental governance policy. Faculty who will not be reappointed, have been given terminal notice or have resigned are ineligible to vote.

Department elections shall be held and the name of the candidate receiving the majority of votes shall be forwarded to the Dean for review and approval. The Dean forwards the results of the election to Academic Personnel and to the Provost. If the Dean and the department faculty and staff do not concur, the department may appeal the decision to the Provost and the Provost shall make the final decision.

Following the selection of the Chair, the appointee shall receive a letter of appointment from the Provost, as President’s designee, specifying duties and responsibilities consistent with this policy, compensation as defined by the CSU/CFA Collective Bargaining Agreement, and term of office. Chairs are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the President.

4.00 Term of Office

The term of office for Chairs ordinarily shall be three years. The term of office may vary if agreed upon by department faculty and the Dean. After the initial term of office, a Chair may be recommended again through election via the process described in Section 3.00 of this policy. If a Chair does not complete a term of office, then the vacancy shall be filled consistent with Section 3.00 or Section 7.00 of this policy.

5.00 Evaluation of Department Chairs

The Dean or appropriate administrator shall evaluate the performance of the Chair once per three-year term or more frequently at the discretion of the Dean or upon request of the Chair. The evaluation process shall include the opportunity for department faculty and staff to provide input regarding the Department Chair’s performance. Department faculty and staff who choose to provide input shall utilize the Department Chair Feedback Form available from Academic Personnel. Performance evaluations are in narrative format and based on the performance of duties as stated in Section 2.00 of this policy. In instances where a majority of department faculty have issued a vote of no-confidence, the Dean shall immediately conduct a performance evaluation of the Chair.

Upon completion of the evaluation, the Dean shall meet with the Chair to discuss the evaluation. The Dean is responsible for forwarding the evaluation to Academic Personnel for inclusion in the Personnel Action File (PAF) at the same time a copy of the evaluation is given to the Provost and the Chair. This serves as notice that Academic Personnel will place the evaluation in the PAF five (5) calendar days after receipt. The Chair may submit a response or rebuttal in writing within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the evaluation. This shall not require that evaluation timelines be extended.

Program Directors in Service Learning, First Year Seminar and the University Writing Program shall follow the same evaluation practices described here.

6.00 Resignation or Removal

Chairs may resign or be removed from office. If a Chair resigns before completion of the term of office, the vacancy shall be filled consistent with the provisions set out in Sections 3.00 or 7.00 of this policy, whichever is appropriate.

Rationale for removal shall be recorded through a performance evaluation conducted by the Dean. Once the Dean has determined that removal is warranted, the Dean shall present a written rationale for removal to the Provost. The Chair shall have an opportunity to meet with the Dean and Provost to discuss the proposed removal. The Provost shall make the final decision.

7.00 Acting Appointments

When a Chair position is temporarily vacated for a period of one year or less, or during the search for a permanent replacement, an Acting Chair may be appointed by the Dean. Acting Chairs shall ordinarily be chosen from faculty within the appropriate department and the term of office shall be no longer than one year in duration.

8.00 Continuous Renewal

This policy shall be assessed in seven years from its effective date to determine its effectiveness and appropriateness. This policy may be assessed before that time to reflect substantive changes as a result of CSUMB's infrastructure build-out or changes to the CSU/CFA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

s/President Eduardo M. Ochoa

Effective Date: October 24, 2013

Certification of Process

Reviewed by: Faculty Affairs Committee, Academic Senate Executive Committee, Academic Senate, Policy Facilitation Team, Provost, Deans, Academic Personnel, CSU Labor Relations