A Chairperson is a full-time faculty member who has been assigned both academic and administrative responsibilities. A Chairperson is appointed by the President of the University and serves in an administrative capacity at the pleasure of the President. No provisions in this policy are intended to amend or abridge the authority of the President to terminate the appointment of a Chairperson at any time the President deems such action to be in the best interest of the University. The decision of the President is final and not subject to appeal. The continued employment of the Chairperson as a faculty member at the University is governed by the tenure policies of the University and the Tennessee Board of Regents.
As an administrator, a Chairperson is responsible for the efficient and effective management of the academic unit's affairs, for the maximal management of resources available to the unit, and for an objective evaluation of both individual and unit achievements. As a faculty member, a Chairperson is expected to provide an example of the type of professional performance he or she expects from the faculty. A Chairperson should possess those personal qualities necessary to provide a quality of leadership which will earn and hold the respect of those he or she is appointed to serve.
In order to promote the effective evaluation and retention of highly-qualified Chairpersons at Tennessee Technological University, the following policy was established effective July 1, 1978, amended January 8, 1986, January 30, 1991, and November 6, 1996, by the Administrative Council, and is applicable to all individuals serving as Chairpersons or the equivalent on and after that date. The policy applies to Departmental Chairpersons, the Director of the Learning Support Program, Directors of Schools in the College of Agriculture and Human Ecology, Directors of the Centers of Excellence, and the Director of the Appalachian Center for Craft. The individual that these academic administrators report to is designated as the Dean/Academic Supervisor.
Faculty Evaluation of Chairpersons
- Every Chairperson shall be evaluated by the members of his or her academic faculty during the Spring semester of each academic year. The evaluation process shall be established by the University Assembly, subject to the approval of the President, and shall be University-wide.
- All regular faculty (including those on one-year appointments, but not adjunct faculty or graduate assistants) whose names appear in the same budgetary unit (department/ program/school) as the Chairperson to be evaluated are eligible to participate in this evaluation.
- The evaluation forms shall be distributed electronically to the eligible faculty, and faculty shall submit their responses electronically. The Office of Institutional Research shall manage the process by which the evaluation forms are distributed, received, and processed.
- A Chairperson's Evaluation Report, consisting of a statistical summary and a verbatim transcript of narrative comments shall be prepared in the office of Institutional Research. Copies of the summary shall be forwarded to the Chairperson, his or her Dean/Academic Supervisor, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President. Access to the summary and narrative comments by others is governed by the Tennessee Open Records Act.
- Any individual serving as an interim Chairperson during the annual evaluation period shall be evaluated in the same manner as a regularly-appointed Chairperson.
Appointment and Reappointment of Chairpersons
- In general, a Chairperson shall be appointed for a four-year term, subject to satisfactory performance. Appointments for less than a four-year term may be made at the discretion of the President. Terms of appointment shall normally terminate at the end of the Spring semester of a given academic year.
- A Chairperson shall be eligible for reappointment an unlimited number of times.
- In the event a Chairperson does not wish to be considered for reappointment, he or she should inform the Dean/Academic Supervisor of that fact in writing prior to the annual evaluation in the final year of the Chairperson's term of appointment.
- If a Chairperson is being considered for reappointment, only tenured faculty or tenure-track faculty, as a part of the annual evaluation, shall be asked to make a recommendation concerning the reappointment of the Chairperson. These recommendations shall be included in the statistical summary of the evaluations.
- Taking into consideration the recommendations of the unit's faculty, the Dean/Academic Supervisor shall prepare a written recommendation concerning the reappointment of the Chairperson to be sent along with the most recent statistical evaluations submitted by the faculty to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition, if there are other faculty who hold rank and/or tenure in the unit but whose principal faculty lines are in another unit's budget or faculty on leave-of-absence, the Dean/Academic Supervisor should solicit input from these faculty relative to the reappointment of the unit's Chairperson. One example of faculty in this category are faculty paid from Centers of Excellence appropriations.
- After receiving the recommendation concerning the Chairperson's reappointment from the Dean/Academic Supervisor, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall prepare a written recommendation concerning the reappointment and forward it along with the Dean/Academic Supervisor's recommendation to the President for his or her action.
- On or before April 1 of the final year of a Chairperson's four-year term of appointment, the President shall notify the Chairperson in writing as to whether his or her appointment will terminate at the end of the academic year or be renewed for another term.
- If a Chairperson does not complete the term of appointment, his or her successor shall be appointed by the Dean/Academic Supervisor to complete the term.
Procedures for Faculty Evaluation of Chairpersons
- The evaluation forms shall be distributed electronically to the eligible faculty, and faculty responses shall be submitted electronically. All regular faculty members whose names appear in the same budgetary unit as the Chairperson shall be eligible to participate in the evaluation.
- The evaluation instrument (a single-page form) and additional information and/or directions will be sent to eligible evaluators. A deadline for returning the forms will be included.
- Each evaluator will be requested to complete the Chairperson Evaluation Form and submit it electronically, along with any narrative statements. Narrative comments are encouraged.
- Completed forms will be returned to the Office of Institutional Research for analysis.
- After the evaluation instruments have been processed and returned to the office of Institutional Research, a statistical summary of the results will be computed. Copies of the summary and the verbatim transcript of narrative comments will then be forwarded to the Chairperson, the Dean/Academic Supervisor, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President.
[Approved by the Administrative Council November 6, 1996. Editorial Revisions November 17, 2008. Editorial Revisions June, 2014]