Departments should meet regularly. Most departments find it useful to set aside a specific time for their meeting to minimize schedule conflicts and ensure maximal participation. Regular department meetings should not be held during common time, and should not conflict with campus-wide faculty meetings. Important items to discuss at department meetings include:

  • allocating department responsibilities,
  • staffing plans,
  • budget/facility plans,
  • assessment,
  • curricular development or change,
  • upcoming events,
  • teaching issues.

Some departments have found it helpful to use a number of department meetings each year to discuss faculty scholarship, to give faculty an opportunity to present their scholarship, or to talk about new developments in the discipline.

It is not expected that all departmental administrative responsibilities fall completely in the lap of the chair. Indeed, it is important for chairs to see themselves often as delegators. Early in the fall term the chair should compile, as best as possible, a full annual agenda that includes a list of departmental duties, events, and likely issues. Responsibility to deal with these should then be distributed in an equitable way across all faculty. Experience has shown that if these are parceled out in a disjointed way, female faculty end up doing more than their fair share.