Job Description:  Academic Department Chair

Approved by Dr. Glenn:  July 2011
Revised:  May 2013
Revised:  March 8, 2017
Revised:  May 20, 2019

Description Owner:  Provost/VP for Academic Affairs

Job Description: Academic Department Chair

In addition to performing the duties assigned to full-time faculty members at Athens State University, a Department Chair is expected to carry out the traditional duties expected from the administrator of an academic unit.  The Department Chair will be responsible for the daily operation of the department and department programs.  The Department Chair will promote excellence in department programs within the University.  Chair responsibilities are classified as professional duties requiring leadership and mentoring of faculty, administrative expertise to include vision, long-term and short-term planning, decision-making and coordination of instruction.

The Department Chair is entitled to at least four course releases during the contract year and will work with the College Dean to plan these releases effectively for the departments and the college.

Department chairs are appointed by the appropriate College Dean following a recommendation by vote of the faculty in their respective units.  Department chairs serve three-year terms.


  • Terminal degree is preferred; a Masters degree with at least 18 hours in their assigned discipline is required.
  • Administrative experience or evidence of leadership qualities
  • Prior teaching experience
  • Excellent communication and human relation skills

Essential Functions:

  • Assist with the preparation of each semester’s schedule
  • Prepare and assist with assessment
  • Assist in the evaluation and improvement of courses
  • Conduct annual performance reviews of department faculty and adjuncts
  • Review and determine faculty members to be forwarded to the College Dean for teaching and research awards
  • Identify, recommend, and mentor qualified adjunct instructors
  • Advise students and ensure department level availability throughout the year
  • Respond to student concerns and attempt to resolve those concerns before submission to the College Dean
  • Represent administration to faculty and faculty to administration
  • Consider faculty input for departmental decisions to ensure all departmental units are represented
  • Update department programs as needed
  • Engage in, encourage, and assist department faculty with scholarly activities and the development of quality curriculum and instruction
  • Maintain currency in department-specific program trends at the regional and national level
  • Lead and assist with accreditation and program reviews
  • Review leave forms for approval
  • Assist, as needed, with budgeting
  • Provide recommendations for tenure, promotion, and termination
  • Perform other duties as required by the College Dean, Provost/VPAA and/or President


A Department Chair reports to and is responsible to his/her College Dean, the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs and the University President in ascending order.