Appointment of Department Chairs

     No. 1-19     Rev. 2-7-17       Date 4-20-77



PPM 1-18, Department/Program Chairs
PPM 3-62, Evaluation of University Personnel
PPM 8-11, Annual Evaluation of Faculty Members


The position of department chair is that of a faculty member with an administrative assignment.  In this capacity, the chair is an advocate for the department, faculty, students and, in addition, for college and University goals.  The department chair is responsible to the dean in the conduct of the administrative assignment.  The department chair needs both the confidence of the faculty and the support of the dean.  Important considerations in the selection of a department chair should be strong support from the departmental faculty and the ability to work effectively with the dean.  Policies should provide for the change of department chairs when it is deemed advisable.


Department chairs are appointed by the president with confirmation by the Board of Trustees and shall be made in accordance with the appropriate policies outlined in the Weber State University Policy and Procedures Manual (see REFERENCES above), and as further defined in this document.

A. Term of Appointment

The term of appointment is normally for three years, although one-year or two-year appointments may be made when the members of the department (hereafter referred to as faculty), the dean and/or the provost consider it appropriate.  Appointments made to the position of chair after June 1 shall be for a one-year period only.  Temporary appointments for a period of less than one year will not be counted as a term of appointment.  Current chairs shall be eligible for reappointment subject to the procedures outlined in Section IV below.

B. Evaluation of Chairs

Chairs are to be formally evaluated during the terminal year of appointment.  The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to:  (1) a formal survey of faculty, including individual interviews, regarding the effectiveness of the chair and (2) an interview between the dean and the chair which shall, in part, examine the results of the faculty survey.

C. Replacement of Chairs

In the event the chair is unable to discharge the duties and/or is functioning in a manner that may damage the department, college or University, the dean and the provost, in consultation with the faculty, shall consider the possibility of replacing the chair with a new chair.  If the dean and the provost determine that replacement of the chair is in order, they shall implement the procedure for selection of a chair as outlined in Section IV below.


When circumstances dictate that a chair be selected (expiration of a term, retirement, termination, illness, etc.) procedures shall be followed:

Prior to February 1

The dean shall survey the faculty to determine which members of the faculty would be willing to serve as chair. The dean shall also advise the faculty as to whether the option of bringing in a chair from outside exists. 

If the possibility exists for bringing in someone from the outside to serve as chair, the dean shall, in consultation with the faculty, determine the desirability of bringing in a chair from the outside.

Prior to March 1

When the position of the chair is to be filled by a member of the department faculty, the dean shall conduct a written survey of the faculty on the slate of candidates.  This survey should ask for either "yea" or "nay" on the acceptability of each candidate and should not be a vote between candidates.  In the event that there is only one nominee for chair, the "yea" or "nay" survey is still required.  The dean shall report the names of any candidates receiving two-thirds majority support.  The slate of those candidates receiving two-thirds majority support will then become the recommendation of the faculty to the dean for the position of chair.  In the event no individual receives two-thirds majority support of all the faculty, the recommendation of the faculty to the dean shall be the candidate or candidates having at least simple majority support of the faculty.  If there are no candidates with simple majority support, the dean will so advise the faculty and conduct another written survey of the faculty.  The top two candidates from the previous survey will make up the slate for the second survey.  The candidate receiving the most faculty support on the second survey will be the faculty recommendation to the dean.

If the position of the chair is to be filled by a person not presently a member of the faculty, a search shall be conducted in accordance with appropriate institutional hiring practices.  When a majority of all faculty agree on a candidate from the outside to be chair, the faculty shall recommend that candidate to the dean for consideration.

If the choice for department chair is from the current department members, the dean shall prepare the case recommending the candidate and submit it to the provost in accordance with PPM 1-18.

If someone is to be brought in from outside, the department shall prepare the case recommending the candidate including a comparison with other applicants and submit it to the dean who shall submit it with his comments to the provost in accordance with PPM 1-18.