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Chair Selection Policies

Policy for Westminster College

2.9.1 Chair of a Program

A chair or director, elected by the faculty of each program and/or appointed by the dean, reports to the dean. In programs with few full-time faculty, when an election is impractical, the dean consults with the program faculty and appoints a chair. Each school shall maintain a written policy, approved by the school’s faculty, that specifies the term length served by chairs and establishes regular process for review of sitting chairs prior to their reappointment or reelection.

Policy for Arts and Sciences

In the School of Arts and Sciences, program and/or division faculty recommend chairs to the dean, who appoints them to a term of no more than three years. There are no term limits to these positions, but on a rotating schedule, every chair comes up for review and selection at least every three years. A chair, for a variety of reasons, may not complete a three-year term, at which time a new selection process takes place. Normally, the selection process consists of an election by ballot. 

In the first year of their term, chairs have either an orientation or meeting in which the expectations and responsibilities of the chairs are explained and discussed. The dean will provide feedback to new chairs at the beginning of the second year.

At the end of a chair’s three-year term, the dean (or designee) schedules a meeting with the chair to review his or her term as chair. The dean will accept solicited and unsolicited feedback from faculty and discuss this feedback, along with any observations of the dean.

In general, the School of Arts and Sciences does not encourage faculty to serve as chair during their first two years at Westminster and does encourage the rotation of the chair position over time to allow for the development of experience and leadership among the faculty.

This policy does not override contractual arrangements between individual faculty members and the college that specifically address the chair position (e.g., endowed chairs).