Resources for chairs

Miscellaneous duties

The primary charge of a chair or program director is to foster a productive, harmonious department that advances its intellectual mission as well as that of the college. The nature of every department is unique. Nevertheless, each is required to follow certain procedures and shares corresponding responsibilities. The following material should assist both new and experienced chairs as they negotiate the varied duties the position entails. It is by no means comprehensive. More information may be found online in the Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook.


  • Departmental Assessment Plan: The department chair is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the departmental assessment plan. The chair ensures that assessment activities are made clear to faculty, assessment procedures run smoothly, and assessment data are stored, reported, and used for curricular and instructional improvement accordingly.  For more information, see the Guidelines for Academic Program Assessment, Appendix D.
  • Student Learning Outcomes Assessment: The department chair or designee is responsible for submitting the department/program assessment report for each major program to the Dean’s Office. For information about Reporting Guidelines for Annual Submission of Assessment Reports See Appendix E.   
  • General Education Assessment: Every calendar year there are several general education categories assessed. Typically Director of General Education Chris LaLonde,, will notify department chairs which categories must be assessed before the start of each semester. It is the chair’s responsibility to ensure that the department submits the department/program assessment report for General Education, when applicable, to the Director of General Education and the Associate Provost.
  • Program Review: The department chair is responsible for coordinating the department program review process, including preparation of the self-study or identification of another individual or team of individuals to take responsibility for that task, as well as the scheduling of external reviewers. For additional information, please see the Guidelines for Review of Departmental Academic Majors and Programs.


  • The fiscal year budget from the Dean runs from July 1 to June 30. It is the chair’s responsibility to maintain department state allocations and any foundation accounts that may exist. The number of specific funds in a department varies across CLAS.
  • State allocations include Other Than Personnel Services (OTPS) and recharge allocations. The former includes such items as: postage, phone, state car, and S and E (supplies and expenses). Note that OTPS accounts cannot be used to purchase food in most cases.  
    • All purchases must be completed by June 1 to allow for encumbrances to clear by June 30
    • Many departments have accounts via the Alumni Foundation and SUTRA (State University Tuition Reimbursable Account) as well. It is the chair’s responsibility to monitor these funds and understand the restrictions on their use.
  • The temporary service budget should be considered when hiring part-time instructors or when adding to one instructor’s load
  • Assemble and submit department requests for Academic Equipment Replacement (AER)
  • At the beginning of the Fall semester, the Dean will send out a call for funding requests from Department Chairs and Program Coordinators. This call is for items that are crucial to the department's mission but which the department cannot support from its own budget. Requests will be reviewed, and prioritized based upon feasibility of funding, connection to mission of the department, and links to learning outcomes assessment and improvement planning.



  • Coordinate the development and submission of department schedule of course offerings. The schedule should represent a balance of courses that will deliver courses for the major, including cognates, as well as General Education offerings consistent with department/program objectives. The completed schedule should be sent by the deadline to the following offices/individuals:
  • Complete assigned time report for faculty during schedule submission
  • Review load reports from Institutional Research and Assessment after firm enrollment
  • Oversee curriculum development in the department and advance course and program proposals
  • Review requests for Change of Grades, Incompletes, Independent Studies, etc. (*Note: each of these requests should be the exception, not the rule within CLAS departments/programs)


§  Note the following language from Section 6, Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook, “Faculty Attendance at College Functions: As part of their professional obligation, faculty members are obligated to attend college functions such as commencement and departmental and division meetings. If it is necessary for a faculty member to be absent from these functions, prior approval must be received from the appropriate Dean.”


Also see SUNY Oswego Academic Calendar

Beginning of semester

  • Final transfer advisement, registration, and add/drops
  •  Fall retreat (typically scheduled during the week before classes begin)
  • Departmental committee assignments
  • DSA process (and salary adjustment recommendations)

Early September

  • Spring course schedule due
  • Assigned time due to dean
  • Academic equipment requests
  • Travel requests

Late September

  • Sabbatical reports due in dean’s office 30 days after beginning of semester
  • Spring course schedule finalized w/textbook information
  • Assigned time reports due to dean


  • Term appointment recommendations for second-year faculty due to dean
  • Advisement and registration begins
  • Freshmen and transfer open house

Mid November

  • Dean’s renewal recommendations on second-year faculty


  • Sabbatical requests due in Deans’ office Dec. 1
  • Commencement


  • Winter Session
  • Transfer advisement, registration and add/drop

End of January

  • Fall course schedule due
  • Assigned time due to dean
  • Spring retreat
  • Term appointment recommendations for first-year faculty to dean

Mid February

  • Dean’s renewal recommendations on first-year faculty
  • Fall course schedule finalized w/textbook information
  • Assigned time report due to dean

Late February

  • Sabbatical reports due in dean’s office 30 days after beginning of semester

Beginning of March

  • Promotion recommendations due to dean
  • Term appointment recommendations on 2+ year faculty due to dean
  • Continuing appointment recommendations due to dean

Early April

  • Transfer and freshmen open house
  • Committee assignments/elections (PRT committee must be in place by graduation for following year)

Mid April

  • Dean’s renewal recommendation on second-year and beyond faculty
  • Quest
  • Honors Convocation


  • Budget requests due early in the month
  • Promotions announced before graduation
  • Tenure track requests for searches for next year due
  • Commencement

Mid May

  • Annual reports and goals due
    A wise policy some departments have implemented is to create a Google document at the beginning of the academic year that will serve as a repository for relevant information. Thus every time a faculty member in a department accomplishes something noteworthy in the areas of teaching, scholarship or service, the chair will write a note/blurb in the document. This will limit, as one CLAS chair describes, “the end-of-year scramble” and likely get more cooperation from faculty.

Beginning of June

  • Complete purchases so encumbered funds clear by June 30

Late June

  • Assessment reports for each major due

Various or on-going

Annual performance evaluation of secretary/other staff

Departmental meetings


Classroom observation all full-time faculty on term appts; organizes periodic review of part-time instructors

Student issues

Review and approve faculty and staff timesheets

Miscellaneous duties

  • Schedule department meetings
  • Disseminate/update department procedures
  • Ensure for the successful completion of committee assignments/elections (*Note - Promotion, Retention and Tenure Committees must be in place by graduation for the following year)
  • Attend CLAS chairs’ meetings
  • Attend fall and winter retreats organized by the Provost
  • Submit annual report of department activities to the Dean’s office
  • Review faculty proposals for in-house and extramural funding and advance to appropriate office
  • Coordinate department activities with offices of admission and advising (open houses, transfer advising, etc.)
  • Manage student issues as they arise
  • Recruit first-year advisors
  • Department self-study (*Note – SUNY requires program reviews every five to seven years. The associate dean is responsible for  keeping department chairs apprised of the review schedule as well as scheduling a jump-off meeting a semester prior to the academic year in which the study takes place; see faculty resources page)