Roles and Responsibilities of Faculty Academic Chairs: An Academic Senate Perspective

Professional Standards
Educational Policies Committee

This position paper of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges begins by examining the philosophy behind different structures in an academic institution. This discussion leads to a discussion of the roles and responsibilities of "chairs" within that structure and how they might be fulfilled by department chairs, division chairs or deans. The paper concludes that institutional success can only come from widespread discussion and agreement on such philosophy and structure prior to implementation or change. The paper also describes the many advantages to the institution and its successful leadership that result from the use of faculty members in such chair positions. The paper ends with recommendations to local academic senates regarding the impact of such structural discussions on academic and professional matters and on faculty leadership and participation in governance.