Faculty Handbook 2017-2018

I.8. General Department Issues

Monitoring Office Hours and Syllabi

The department chair is expected to make certain all departmental faculty have posted office hours and are distributing appropriately detailed syllabi for all courses.  As noted in F.4.b. Class Scheduling Guidelines, Faculty should plan to be on campus for some scheduled activities for at least four days a week. The chair should also be familiar with the accommodations policies for disabled students and the academic integrity policies.  These policies should be referenced on course syllabi.  Syllabi should also contain course learning goals.  Chairs report on the presence of learning goals when completing the annual assessment form for the department.

Student Departmental Awards and Honors

Each department and program is responsible for determining distinction for graduating students in the department or program.  Note that distinction is not given in a discipline but in a department or program.  Details concerning criteria can be found in the Catalog.

Departments and programs may also have named awards and honors that are given each year.  New awards and honors should be proposed to the Committee on Faculty for approval.

Department and program chairs submit names for distinction, awards and honors to Academic Affairs.  Full legal names and student IDs are needed for any student receiving any of these awards.  The information is due two weeks before Honors Day.  Any tangible awards are due to be delivered to Academic Affairs one week before Honors Day.  The department or program prints all the award letters and starts the process for any checks.  Academic Affairs prints the distinction letters.

Master Calendar Issues

The Events Scheduling section under Academic Policies and Procedures in the Faculty Handbook describes our complex event scheduling policy.  Please ask for help if you don’t understand it.  Plan any events well in advance and ensure appropriate reservations are made via the Master Calendar.   

Monitoring Department Advising

The Advising Office works with department chairs to assist students with finding major advisors.  The Advising Office also works with department chairs to reassign students who have advisors who go on sabbatical or personal leave.  

Department and program chairs have access to some student information for majors in departments or programs they chair through CampusWeb.  The reports can be found by logging into CampusWeb and selecting the item "Faculty Chair Reports" under the "Faculty" tab.  The reports include the following:

  • All department majors
  • All program majors
  • Departmental advisee load report
  • Majors academic history – unofficial transcripts

At this time, information about department and program minors is not available through CampusWeb.  If you need this information, please contact the Registrar's Office. 

Registrar’s Office

Chairs are the liaison with the Registrar’s Office for the purpose of approving transfer courses, substitutions for major requirements, and credits received by testing.

Department and program chairs—as well as chairs of interdisciplinary studies majors—should submit senior capstone experience grades to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline for senior’s course grades.  The process for this is different from the process for submitting regular course grades.  Capstone grades should be sent by email directly to the Registrar’s Office.  Even if your department or program has a senior seminar course for which the grade in the course is the grade for the capstone, the capstone grades still need to be sent by email to the Registrar’s Office.  Also note that capstone grades cannot be since they are not course grades, grades simply do not appear for the capstone until it is completed.  Any seminars or courses associated with the capstone might have had I or NR grades assigned will need to be updated separately as students complete those requirements. 

Admissions Office

Chairs work with the Office of Admissions to assist in recruiting students and selecting students for special scholarships.

Majors Fair

The Majors Fair is an annual event that encourages students in exploring potential majors.  All departments and programs are invited to participate.  Department and program chairs should make certain that a faculty member and Academic Affairs staff are on hand to assist students with major declaration.  The Fair is scheduled just before course preregistration to facilitate course selection for new majors.

Maintaining Records

Department and program chairs are the official record keepers for the department or program.  These records include course offerings, enrollments and current majors and minors as well as the placements of students graduating from the department or program.    

Most of the needed records are kept in the Campus Web system, but chairs should keep printouts of some of this information as it eventually rotates out of the Campus Web files.  Reports on current majors and minors can be obtained from the area or building administrative assistants.  In general, the chairs are responsible for collecting records—both those appearing in Campus Web and those which do not—and seeing that the records are kept by the appropriate Area and Building Assistant.

At the end of each semester, chairs should submit to the Coordinator of Undergraduate Research a list of undergraduate research projects (both independent and collaborative, whether or not the project achieved Odyssey UR credit) carried out by the students in the department or program since the previous submission.

Graduate school and job placement records for graduates are more difficult to manage.  Work with your department to keep up with recent graduates as best you can.  A campus Outcomes Committee is working on ways to better organize the collection of this information from the departments, the Alumni Affairs office, and Career Services.


Departments and programs are responsible for maintaining appropriate web pages.  Chairs need to do this or assign a faculty member or student worker to this task.  If you do not currently have a web page, then the Communications Office will design a basic one for you to which you can add pages as desired.  Training sessions for using Ektron to manage web pages on the Hendrix servers are also available from the Communications Office. 

Bailey Library

Although there is currently no formal role between and the library, some department chairs field book requests from the faculty members in the department and send the selected titles to the library to order (as funds are available.)   In some departments these requests come directly to the library from individual faculty members.  It would be helpful if the chair provided oversight and communication to the library in this area.  If possible, chairs should meet, as a focus group, once a year with the library director to provide qualitative input about collections and services.