Section 8: Chaired Faculty


While it is expected that all members of the faculty will demonstrate a standard of excellence in the performance of their various tasks at the College, the prestige and perquisites traditionally associated with endowed chairs make a performance of distinction especially incumbent upon chaired faculty. Traditionally, holders of endowed chairs represent the best that higher education has to offer both to the academic community and the society at large. Chaired faculty should thus aspire to serve as models of excellence not only for students and colleagues but also for the many others associated with and affected by higher education.

I. Chair Description

Before the recruitment process begins, a document containing a clear description of the nature and purpose of the chair and the chair occupant's work responsibilities will be developed jointly by the Provost and affected department(s) in consultation with the Faculty Personnel Council and Academic Policy Council.

II. Recruitment of New Faculty

The recruitment of new faculty as endowed chair holders will proceed according to the guidelines for all faculty positions with the following additional requirements.

  1. Two holders of endowed chairs, appointed by the President in consultation with the department and the Faculty Personnel Council, will be added to the search committee from outside the department in which the appointment will be made.

  2. The Provost will be an ex-officio member of the search committee.

  3. All finalists for an endowed chair position will be provided with a College-approved description of the responsibilities of the endowed chair holder and informed that endowed chair holders are subject to periodic reviews. The Faculty Personnel Council will ascertain that chair candidates have been informed that continuation as a chair holder is separate from tenure as a member of the faculty.

III. Recruitment of Current Faculty

The following guidelines will be used in those cases in which only internal recruitment is pursued.

A. The Provost, after consultation with the Personnel Committee, will communicate to all eligible faculty the availability and nature of the endowed chair appointment, including the information provided under II. C.

B. Applications will be submitted to the Provost for review by the Personnel Committee.

IV. Application Materials

Applicants will submit the following materials to the Provost for review by the search committee and Personnel Committee.

A. A current curriculum vitae.

B. Representative samples of recent publications, scholarship, and creative works.

C. A statement of professional plans consistent with the purpose and nature of the endowed chair.

D. Three letters of recommendation assessing the candidate's qualifications for the position. These letters should include an evaluation of the candidate's teaching and scholarship.

E. Copies of recent student evaluations.

After review of the materials, the Personnel Committee will interview the most qualified applicants and in the case of internal recruitment the heads of their departments. After the conclusion of the interview process, the Personnel Committee will forward its recommendation to the Provost who will convey it to the President.

V. Reviews

A. Purpose:

The Faculty Personnel Council will conduct periodic reviews of the professional activities of endowed chair holders. These reviews are to assess how well chair holders are: 1) performing in accordance with the purpose of the chair, the college (Section 2 of the Faculty Handbook), the duties of faculty (Section 7) and expectations for chair holders (in the preamble of this section); and 2) using their research funds for the performance of their responsibilities. These reviews will proceed as follows:

B. Procedures:

Chair holders will submit annual reports as required of all faculty members (detailed in Section 7), with the addition of two sections, one describing how endowed chair funds have been spent, and another describing any concerns related specifically to the chair, such as duties, expectations, and institutional support. Chair holders will also submit a summary statement of their professional accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, professional participation, and service to college and community for the six-year period during which they held their endowed chair. (5/2009)

Department chairs (or deans) will provide the Faculty Personnel Council with a brief evaluation of all chair holders in his/her department (or school) who are to be evaluated. In the case of one-person departments or departments without a tenured faculty member, the Provost, in consultation with the member of the department who is a candidate for evaluation, will select a tenured faculty member from a related discipline to perform the functions of the chair. If the chair holder chooses, s/he may solicit letters from tenured colleagues at large.

The chairperson, in addition to one of the two members of the Faculty Personnel Council who represent the faculty member’s division, will visit the classroom of the faculty member under evaluation. The Committee encourages unannounced visits. In addition to visiting the classroom, the chairperson may review other relevant materials such as annual reports, teaching evaluations, publications, and the vita, as well as have a conversation with the chair holder about his/her own hopes and plans for further professional development. The chairperson will then submit to the Provost's Office a letter describing the faculty member's development, possibly including suggestions the Provost and/or Faculty Personnel Council might make to the chair holder for further development.

C. Schedule:

These evaluations will be conducted during the spring term of the sixth year of full-time service since the last evaluation. (12/2007) The performance of non-tenured chair holders will be reviewed concurrently with their consideration for tenure. The Provost will notify tenured chair holders due to be evaluated by April 1 of the academic year preceding their evaluation. Department chairs (or deans) should submit their evaluation letters concerning the tenured faculty members by February 1.

D. Committee Action:

The Faculty Personnel Council will evaluate the chair holder based on the annual reports of the previous six years, the vita, teaching evaluations, the chairperson’s letter, the classroom visits by a selected member of the FPC, and any other letters solicited by the chair holder. The Committee will determine if the candidate’s performance of the past six years is either “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory”. The Committee will recommend to the Provost that all chair holders whose overall performance is evaluated as “satisfactory” receive a uniform merit pay raise. (05/2012) Based on the Committee's recommendations, the Provost will send a letter to the chair holder summarizing the Committee's evaluation of the faculty member and making suggestions for further development.

If the Committee finds a chair holder's performance “unsatisfactory,” it will recommend to the Provost reappointment for a three-year extension, and the Provost will bring the Committee’s concerns to the attention of the chair holder in a letter. The chair holder will be required to submit to the Provost by the start of the next academic year a plan of action addressing the Committee's concerns, which the Provost will forward to the FPC. By October 1, the Provost will send a letter back to the chair holder communicating the FPC's response to the submitted plan of action. The subsequent three-year review will use the same procedures and kinds of materials as the previous review, as well as an account written by the chair holder on the degree to which s/he was able to execute the action plan. After reviewing the materials, the Faculty Personnel Council will recommend either reappointment for another six-year period or non-reappointment of the incumbent.

E. Reporting Procedures for Reviews:

The Faculty Personnel Council's recommendation at the conclusion of a three-year review following an unsatisfactory six-year review will be communicated to the Provost, who will then convey it to the President. The incumbent and the FPC will then be notified in writing of the President's decision on the appointment. In the case of a decision not to reappoint, the incumbent will vacate the chair on May 31 of the current academic year.

F. Reporting Procedures for Reviews

The Faculty Personnel Council's recommendation at the conclusion of a review will be communicated to the Provost, who will then convey it to the President. The incumbent and the Faculty Personnel Council will then be notified in writing of the President's decision on the appointment.

In the case of a decision not to reappoint, the incumbent will vacate the chair on May 31 of the current academic year.

G. Procedural Rules:

If endowed chair holders are serving on the Faculty Personnel Council in the academic year in which they would normally be reviewed, the reviews will be rescheduled for the year immediately after the completion of their service on the committee.

Approved by the faculty, December 1992 (Revised, November 1998, July, 1999, October, 2007)

Last updated May 21, 2012.