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Department Chairs' Responsibilities

The role of the departmental chair is evolving at Rice. As the environment facing the institution has become more complex, the duties of the department chair have grown, especially in areas of faculty and student recruitment, research, and peer leadership. The official policy that deals with departmental chairs is Rice Organizational Policy 103-95. In part it reads:

The duties and responsibilities of department chairs include but are not limited to:

  1. Departmental adherence to applicable governing regulatory policies including those from federal, state, foundations, and university sources.
  2. Supervision of property assigned to the department whether owned or in loan to the University.
  3. Oversight and control of expenditures of all departmental funds regardless of source in accordance with the budget and departmental needs.
  4. Preparation, after appropriate consultation with members of the department, and presentation of budget recommendations and of recommendations for appointments, promotion in rank and changes in salary within the department.
  5. Necessary arrangements and planning of the teaching schedule. This involves an equitable adjustment of teaching loads and proper assignment of available assistants.
  6. Supervision of the departmental program for graduate studies where appropriate.
  7. Continual consideration of departmental faculty and staff needs. The chair should bring the need for new appointments to the attention of the appropriate officials and should help initiate the search for suitable candidates.
  8. Leadership in developing departmental morale, together with such other activities as will serve to coordinate the activities of the various members of the department among themselves and with other departments of the University.