Department Chair Responsbilities

Department Chairs responsibilities span three broad categories:  Questrom leadership, department leadership and administrative tasks. Some responsibilities are positioned in the overlaps between these three categories.

I. Questrom Leadership

These responsibilities are focused on Questrom-wide policies, programs and initiatives.

  • Prepare for and attend all department chair meetings and work in subcommittees on tasks assigned at these meetings or by the Dean or Senior Associate Dean.
  • Plan strategies and set priorities.
  • Provide input on cross-cutting initiatives such as sectors, entrepreneurship and global perspectives.
  • Review academic and other programs with a focus on performance and innovation.
  • Develop and review Questrom-wide policies related to:
    • Programs.
    • Faculty recruiting and evaluation.
  • Evaluate and enhance collaboration across departments and with other BU Schools and Colleges.

II. Questrom/Department Leadership

These responsibilities span Questrom and department strategic matters.

  • Develop and operationalize department strategy.
  • Plan for faculty lines and recruiting.
  • Recruit tenure-track faculty and clinical faculty.
    • Propose new or replacement line to Senior Associate Dean/Dean in memo outlining department research, teach, and leadership needs; fit with department strategy; fit with Questrom strategy.
    • Complete required University forms (Search Proposal Form, Advertisement).
    • Establish a recruiting committee. Work with committee members to determine how to advertise via professional societies and informal network, to review candidate profiles, and to plan onsite visits.
    • Hold department vote on candidates.
    • For tenure-track faculty, work with Senior Associate Dean to determine compensation, workload, responsibilities.
    • For faculty to be hired with tenure, interface with Questrom APT to:
      • Identify external reviewers.
      • Write Chair report.
      • Complete required University forms (initial appointment).
      • Begin onboarding process with new faculty member.
    • Recruit lecturer faculty.
      • Identify lecturers who have taught successfully as adjuncts and who are interested in full-time employment.
      • Work with Senior Associate Dean to determine compensation and secondary appointments.
      • Meet with candidate to outline:
        • Workload requirements and need for flexibility regard daytime/evening and day of week teaching.
        • Rule against teaching outside BU.
        • Compensation.
        • Service expectations.
      • Complete required University forms (initial appointment).
      • Begin onboarding process with new faculty member.
    • Review Questrom curriculum and programs to assess the impact on department courses and potential overlaps or complements.
    • Establish committees and assign tasks within the department to tackle departmental responsibilities
    • Design and implement faculty development plans.
    • Mentor and engage other senior faculty in mentoring junior faculty.
    • Monitor and evaluate faculty performance (merit review); write merit review paragraphs.
    • Oversee fourth year tenure-track reviews.
    • Plan for and oversee non-tenure-track promotions.
    • Oversee processes for tenure, promotion.
      • Produce formal Chair reports.
      • Interface with Questrom APT to identify external reviewers.
    • Determine faculty service roles and secondary appointments.
    • Plan for departmental and Questrom leadership succession.

III. Department Leadership

These activities focus primarily on matters within the department.

  • Foster department research and teaching culture and community.
  • Schedule and conduct department meetings.
  • Plan department teaching assignments over time.
  • Advocate for and, when necessary, discipline department faculty.
  • Establish committees and assign tasks within the department to address issues such as:
    • Mentoring and navigating new faculty.
    • Conducting research brown bags and seminars.
    • Monitoring and evaluating department doctoral program.
    • Faculty recruiting.
  • Plan and oversee procedures for curriculum/course development.
  • Monitor and review courses.
    • Identify courses that are underperforming and develop, with department faculty, plans for remediation.
    • Identify courses that should be canceled.
    • Identify gaps in the department’s curriculum.
    • Collaborate with faculty on department curriculum improvements.
    • Review the Department’s concentration and appoint a Concentration Coordinator, review outside courses for concentration approval.
  • Recruit PhD students.
  • Nominate faculty for awards and honors.

IV. Department Leadership and Administration

These responsibilities encompass activities that span department strategies and administrative tasks.

  • Plan with faculty for leaves and sabbaticals.
  • With department faculty, develop proposals for new courses and concentration requirements.
    • Inform Academic Development Centers of intention to propose new course and obtain course number.
    • Write departmental justification for new courses and concentration requirements.
  • Recruit and evaluate part-time (adjunct) faculty.
    • Solicit names from department faculty. Work with Dean’s office to place advertisement if necessary.
    • Interview candidates.
    • Obtain three letters of recommendation.
    • Complete required University forms.
    • Interface with Senior Associate Dean to determine appropriateness of candidate and compensation.
    • Act as or assign department liaison/coach who will work with new adjunct to develop or modify syllabus, order materials; attend at least one class session to review classroom performance; monitor course evaluations.
  • Manage the department budget.

V. Administrative Tasks and Activities

These responsibilities relate to department administration. While in themselves they are not strategic, timely completion of these tasks is critical to the performance of the School and department.

  • Supervise department Senior Program Coordinator.
  • Staff courses each semester and assign courses in Course Planning.
  • Oversee faculty workload accounting and collaborate with Dean’s Office to address discrepancies.
  • Complete required paperwork for faculty reappointments.
  • Complete paperwork for faculty overbase payments.
  • Oversee faculty website presence (CVs, photos).
  • Manage updates to and accuracy of Department Fact Sheets.
  • Coordinate faculty information for MarComm brand build efforts.
  • Approve expenses in Concur.
  • Approve directed study proposals.
  • Work with faculty within department to determine how to use TAs and who is eligible to serve as a TA.

VI.  Questrom Leadership/Administrative Tasks

These responsibilities are administrative but reach beyond department boundaries.

  • Address student appeals and escalate to Academic Development Centers or Dean’s Office as appropriate.
  • Meet with external people (alums, industry partners, etc.) to support strategic and programmatic goals and objectives.