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Chair and Director Appointment and Review

Within the College of Arts and Sciences, appointment and review of department chairs and directors is governed by University Policy ACAF 1.24 Selection and Appointment of Department Chairs and School Directors [pdf].

The College’s Appointment and Review of Department Chairs and Directors [pdf] policy and Chair and Director Review Schedule [pdf] guide our internal processes as outlined below.

Following approval from the Provost, the internal search process begins with a formal message from the Dean notifying the unit faculty of his intent to initiate a search for a new chair or director.  The Dean will also identify the appointed search committee chair in that message.

After the Dean's notification, the Search Committee Chair will initiate the unit election process of up to three faculty members to serve on the search committee.

1. Search Committee Nomination and Election

Faculty should agree to be nominated to serve among the three elected members of the search committee only if they are not going to run for the Chair/Director election. If a member of the committee then decides to run, he or she should withdraw from the committee, and a replacement elected.  The committee will not only be involved in counting the ballots but may also be involved in other decisions. Therefore, candidates for the position should not be on the search committee.

 In some cases, the Dean will add an additional faculty member to serve on the search committee after the department identifies the three elected members. 

2. New Chair/Director Nominations

Once the search committee has been convened, the Search Committee Chair should instruct faculty members in the unit to submit nominations for a new chair or director in writing (by letter or e-mail).

  1. The person nominated should agree to the nomination before candidates are announced. The number of nominations for each candidate are not to be revealed.
  2. The committee should ensure that spouses or partners of candidates are not involved in any stage of the search process.
  3. The Search Committee Chair will speak individually with the nominees, inviting them to meet with the committee if they desire.

3. Confidentiality

All information submitted to the committee throughout the entire process, including the final vote, must be kept confidential. 

4. Unit Faculty Meeting for Nominee Presentations

The Search Committee Chair will call a meeting of the faculty, including all members of the search committee, for the Chair/Director nominee presentations.

Each nominee should give their thoughts on the position to the faculty in a brief presentation. Each presentation should be followed by questions and answers.  The unit faculty can ask both general and specific questions of any nominee.  During each candidate’s presentation and question/answer session, the other candidate(s) should not be present.

5. Non-tenure-track Faculty

Non-tenure track faculty (consistent with university policy) should be included in the discussion and voting.  Their votes may be counted and reported separately to the Dean if the department so chooses.  

6. Ballot Format and Distribution

A sample ballot is below. Faculty should rank only the candidates they find acceptable. Ballots may be signed or unsigned. 

It is highly recommended that a brief narrative justification be included with each ballot.

Chair Vote

  Acceptable      Unacceptable  Ranking of Acceptable
Person A  ___________ ___________ ___________
Person B ___________ ___________ ___________
Person C ___________ ___________ ___________
Person D ___________ ___________ ___________
Person E ___________ ___________ ___________
  1. Ballots should be distributed in hard copy by mailbox. Ballots should not be distributed at the nominee presentation meeting.  Ballots are due within two days following the presentations.
  2. Ballots should be submitted using the double-envelope system. That is, the ballot is sealed in an unmarked envelope.  That envelope is sealed inside another envelope with the voter’s printed name and signature on the outside. The search committee counts the ballots.  Each voter’s ballot first is checked in, establishing who has voted.  Then the outer envelopes are opened and discarded.  Then the unmarked envelopes are opened, and the ballots removed. Then the ballots are counted by the Search Committee Chair and another member of the search committee. When the members of the search committee agree that the tally is accurate, the results are reported to the Dean.
  3. Faculty who are out of town may vote by email, sending their vote to the Search Committee Chair.

7. Vote Results

The Search Committee Chair will report the results to the department or program as indicated by the university policy. The practice within the College is to report the names of the candidates who have received a majority (51%) favorable vote.

8. Search Results

The Dean should receive the actual ballots and justifications as well as the vote tally from the search committee chair.  Informed by these ballots and justifications, the Dean will make a final decision.


Appointment

Department chairs and directors will be appointed in writing by the dean.  Appointment letters will specify the term of appointment, which is usually for three years. 

The performance expectations outlined below will form the basis for the annual review and evaluation of chairs and directors during their terms of appointment.

A. Chair, School Director and Academic Program Director Performance Expectations

Department chairs, school directors and program directors are expected to:

  1. Conduct himself or herself in a manner that reflects favorably on the University of South Carolina, exhibiting high ethical standards and integrity in professional behavior. 
  2. Provide professional leadership to the unit and foster among its members a sense that they are a community of scholars.
  3. Display a sound understanding of administrative responsibilities. Keep abreast of major issues and policies affecting areas of responsibility through interactions with the Office of the Dean, other units and programs within the College, and other University of South Carolina colleges, offices, and campuses.
  4. Work collegially with other administrators as well as with faculty, staff, and students.
  5. Communicate effectively with the Office of the Dean, reporting and explaining University and College policies to the unit, while representing unit perspectives and needs to the College.
  6. Exercise sound administrative judgment, efficiently and thoroughly making wise use of financial and human resources in achieving academic unit goals while staying within the unit budget.
  7. Promote an atmosphere conducive to the professional growth of others. Nurture junior faculty by providing opportunities and guidance. 
  8. Offer support and guidance for all full-time faculty, both non-tenure-track and tenure-track alike.
  9. Promote intellectual diversity among unit faculty.
  10. Foster an inclusive sense of community among faculty, staff and students at all levels.
  11. Promote diversity and equal opportunity in employment and educational decisions in the areas of responsibility under his or her supervision.
  12. Act fairly and objectively in decisions about salaries, evaluations, and promotions.
  13. Confront difficulties in a positive manner and display the ability to mediate and resolve conflict and to accept advice and suggestions from others.
  14. Encourage excellence in graduate and undergraduate program curriculum, activities, and assessment.
  15. Promote the unit and its members on the national and international stages to reflect credit on the University of South Carolina. Serve as effective liaison and contact with other institutions, the broad academic community, and the public.
  16. Maintain research and/or teaching career in the discipline.

B. Center and Institute Director Performance Expectations

Center and institute directors are expected to:

  1. Conduct himself or herself in a manner that reflects favorably on the University of South Carolina, exhibiting high ethical standards and integrity in professional behavior.
  2. Display a sound understanding of administrative responsibilities. Keep abreast of major issues and policies affecting area of responsibility through interactions with the Office of the Dean, other units and programs within the college, and other University of South Carolina colleges, offices and campuses.
  3. Provide professional leadership to the center/institute. Exercise sound administrative judgement, efficiently and thoroughly making wise use of financial and human resources in achieving center/institute goals within the center/institute budget.
  4. Communicate effectively with the Office of the Dean, reporting and explaining university and college policies to the center/institute, while representing its perspectives and needs to the college.
  5. Encourage excellence in the center or institute as reflected in the curricula, activities, and assessment of each program.
  6. Promote an atmosphere conducive to the professional growth of others. Nurture affiliated junior faculty by providing opportunities and guidance.
  7. Offer support and guidance for all faculty affiliated with the center/institute.
  8. Promote intellectual diversity among the faculty affiliated with the center/institute.
  9. Promote diversity and equal opportunity in employment and educational decisions in the areas of responsibility under her or his supervision.
  10. Act fairly and objectively in decisions about salaries, evaluations and promotions.
  11. Work collegially with other administrators as well as with faculty, staff and students.
  12. Confront difficulties in a positive manner and display the ability to mediate and resolve conflict and to accept advice and suggestions from others.
  13. Promote the affiliated with the center/institute and its affiliated members on the national and international stages to reflect credit on the University of South Carolina. Serve as effective liaison and contact with other institutions, the broad academic community and the public.
  14. Maintain research/teaching career in the discipline.

A. Individual Faculty Activity Reports

Department chairs, program directors without a tenure home and center/institute directors without a tenure home will also be reviewed annually on their teaching, research and service activities as individual faculty members by the Office of the Dean. 

Individual faculty activity reports should be submitted to the Office of the Dean on the university's first open day of the new year each spring semester. 

Program and center/institute directors with tenure homes will be reviewed by the chairs of their home units in accordance with usual procedures. 


B. Review Process Formats

Department chairs, school directors and academic program directors will usually be appointed to three-year terms. Assuming this is the case, the activities and achievements of department chairs and directors in their respective roles will be evaluated by the Office of the Dean each year using the three review formats below. 

  • First year of appointment: Standard Review Process
  • Second year of appointment: Annual Review Process
  • Third year of appointment: Comprehensive Review Process if the chair or director wishes to be considered for reappointment.  Standard Review Process if the chair or director does not intend to seek reappointment. 
  1. Department chairs and directors on an interim appointment will follow the Standard Review Process unless otherwise directed by the Office of the Dean.
  2. Center and institute directors will follow the Standard Review Process during each year of appointment unless otherwise directed by the Office of the Dean.

The Office of the Dean will publish a schedule outlining the due dates and process steps for each of the review process formats at the beginning of each academic year.

1. Department Chair or Director Activity Summary

Department chairs and program directors in the first or final appointment year or on an interim appointment, and center and institute directors each year, will submit a two-page summary of their activity and achievements as chair or director, copying the unit associate dean. 

2. Dean's Office Response

The chair/director will receive a response from the dean that notes the chair/director’s achievements and, if applicable, outlines expectations for the upcoming year.

1. Chair/Director Annual Review Committee

The Annual Review Evaluation Committee will consist of a faculty member elected by the unit and another faculty member appointed by the unit associate dean.  The elected faculty member will serve as evaluation committee chair.


2. Annual Review Process

The evaluation process will begin on the Monday after spring break each year during the spring semester. 


3. Department Chair or Director Activity Summary

The department chair or director will submit a two-page summary of their activity and achievements as chair or director to the Office of the Dean, copying both the evaluation committee chair and the appropriate associate dean.   


4. Annual Review Survey

The Office of the Dean will create an online evaluation survey and send the link to the evaluation committee chair.

The evaluation committee chair will send the survey link along with the chair’s/director’s two-page summary to unit faculty. The appropriate associate dean will be copied on this email.

  • Each unit will have an individual survey that is password protected and may only be filled out once per survey respondent.
  • An N/A or unable to judge response will be included for each question but will not be weighted in the final averages.
  • The survey will also include a text box for optional written responses. 

Unit faculty will also be notified that they can submit confidential letters directly to the appropriate associate dean in hard copy in addition to or in lieu of the online survey.


5. Unit Faculty Survey Response

The unit faculty will be given two weeks to complete the survey. Aggregate survey data will be given to the evaluation committee by the Office of the Dean.


6. Evaluation Committee Report

Within two weeks, the evaluation committee will submit the evaluation summary report to the appropriate associate dean.


7. Dean's Office Response

The chair/director will receive a copy of the evaluation summary report as well as a response from the dean that notes both the chair/director’s achievements and faculty feedback while also outlining expectations for the upcoming year.

1. Chair/Director Comprehensive Review Evaluation Committee

The Comprehensive Review Evaluation Committee will be chaired by the appropriate associate dean.  A member of the unit faculty will be appointed by the associate dean to serve as vice-chair of the committee. 


2. Comprehensive Review Evaluation Process

The evaluation process will begin on the first Monday of the spring semester.


3. Department Chair or Director Activity Summary

The department chair or program director will submit a two-page summary of their activity and achievements as chair or director to the Office of the Dean, copying the unit associate dean and the vice-chair of the evaluation committee.


4. Comprehensive Review Survey

The Office of the Dean will create an online evaluation survey and send the link to the associate dean and the evaluation vice-chair.

The evaluation vice-chair will send the survey link along with the chair's/director's two-page summary to unit faculty. The appropriate associate dean will be copied on this email.

Each unit will have an individual survey that is password protected and may only be filled out once per survey respondent.

  • An N/A or unable to judge response will be included for each question but will not be weighted in the final averages.
  • The survey will include a vote on reappointment.
  • The survey will also include a text box for optional written responses.

Unit faculty will also be notified that they can submit confidential letters directly to the associate dean in hard copy in addition to or in lieu of the online survey.


5. Unit Faculty Survey Response

The unit faculty will be given two weeks to complete the survey. Aggregate survey data will be given to the associate dean by the Office of the Dean.


6. Evaluation Committee Report

Within two weeks, the associate dean will provide the dean with an evaluation summary report co-authored with the vice-chair.


7. Dean's Office Response

The chair/director will receive a copy of the evaluation summary as well as a response from the dean that notes the chair/director's achievements and faculty feedback, provides notice of reappointment or non-reappointment and, if the former, outlines expectations for the upcoming year.


QUESTIONS? 

Please contact your associate dean or Sarah Livingston (livings@mailbox.sc.edu) with any questions about the review process types or the correct submission deadlines.


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