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Chairs Handbook

East Tennessee State University


Roles and Responsibilities of the Academic Department Chair

The Academic Chair assumes the leadership and administrative responsibilities required to achieve the department, college, and university goals associated with the mission of ETSU. The Chair is committed to meeting the needs of faculty, staff, and students for their academic unit essential to quality instruction in an environment that is conducive to quality instruction. The Chair is a primary link between the department faculty and the administration.

The leadership and administrative responsibilities assumed by the Chair may best be carried out by individuals who exhibit honesty, optimism, integrity, loyalty, empathy, and fairness. Along with these character traits, the Chair should possess good written and oral communication skills. Further, the Chair should be capable of earning a position of trust and respect through exemplary roles in teaching, scholarship and service.

The Chair should exhibit, or be capable of developing managerial skills, including the ability to: (1) manage time effectively, (2) negotiate with superiors and subordinates, (3) manage budgets, (4) delegate responsibility, (5) plan and schedule academic programs, (6) effectively and fairly distribute resources, (7) make decisions to foster the overall welfare of the academic unit, and (8) evaluate faculty and staff objectively.

By way of encouragement and various mentoring activities, the Chair maintains the department's intellectual capital, supports faculty in their pedagogical and scholarly pursuits, and vigorously acts as the strong advocate for the department.

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