Skip to main content


This section provides information on the department personnel (selection, responsibilities, evaluation) and a flow chart of responsibilities.



The chair of the department oversees the curriculum, faculty hiring, etc. of the department. S/he reports to the dean.

Faculty Handbook §2.7 states that the chair of the department is appointed for a specified term by the President of the University, with the advice of the faculty members of the department, the dean, and the Provost. In March 2017, new University Guidelines for Obtaining Faculty Advice in the Chair Selection Process were implemented after drafting by the Faculty Affairs Committee, review by the Faculty Senate Council, and approval by the Provost.
The Dean has also developed a list of qualities they would recommend for department chairs.
College policy discourages the selection of untenured faculty for appointment as department chair or summer chair. For large departments such as ours, selection of the chair is usually made from the pool of full professors, although there is no firm policy on this.
Faculty Handbook §2.7 indicates that the chair is responsible for the orderly administration of the department, the quality of its educational program, and high standards in teaching and scholarship on the part of its faculty.” Chief responsibilities are articulated in the College Protocols & Procedures Chapter 5 and include:
  • coordinating the recruitment of new faculty members
  • evaluating faculty members at regular intervals
  • making recommendations on applications for promotion and tenure
  • planning and coordinating the instructional program
    • hiring and evaluating department staff 
    • conducting the general business of the department.
  • preparing and administering the department budget
  • compiling the annual Academic Year Plan (a.k.a. "November Plan")
  • assigning courses and teaching schedules
The chair receives course releases and a stipend to compensate for administrative duties. The dean’s office has established a protocol for determining how many administrative course releases a chair is due, based on the number of full-time faculty and staff (6 or more = 3 course releases), the number of student credit units taught in the prior year (an additional course release if the department exceeds 12,000 units), the number of majors (an additional course release if the number hits or exceeds 150 majors), and if program review is occurring (1 course release during the self-study and external review process). The chair may distribute these course releases to other faculty who assume administrative duties. The stipend is currently $1500 per quarter, with additional allocations for summer service depending on the number of units taught.
Our department developed an internal protocol in 2006 for evaluating the chair.  The College Protocols & Procedures Chapter 5 documents their more recent protocols for chair selection and evaluation.


Director, Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries

The director of the GPPM is a full-time member of the staff who oversees the curriculum, faculty hiring, etc. of the department. S/he reports to the department chair. The last selection of a director was a national search; the search committee consisted of three department and program faculty, one staff member from the Dean's office, and one staff member responsible for enrollment management in the Graduate Engineering Program.


Associate Director, Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries

The associate director of the GPPM is normally a tenured faculty member of the Religious Studies Department who assists the director with tasks related to the successful functioning of the program, and in particular with faculty hiring, curriculum oversight, and liaising with the department faculty. If the associate director is a department faculty member, s/he serves as the chair of the GPPM Committee. The associate director is selected by the department faculty and appointed by the dean. A job description was developed in consultation with the Dean's Office in Summer 2018.


Senior Administrative Assistants

The Senior Administrative Assistant for the RS Department assists the chair with the running of the department and manages the student assistants. Given that these roles are her full-time position and more than fill her time, it’s important for the rest of us to remember that s/he is not a secretary for the faculty. S/he is not responsible for duplicating your materials, ordering books for you, or doing the tasks that are outlined under “planning your courses” and “running your courses” above. Nor is s/he allowed to meet classes for absent professors.

The Senior Administrative Assistant for the GPPM assists the director with the running of the program and manages student assistants. This is a half-time job.


Student Assistants

The Administrative Assistant hires and manages student assistants in the department. These students serve the department, though they may be available to assist with your projects. If you need student help with copying, research, or other tasks, discuss it with Vicky so that she can determine who should assist you and when they will be available for your project.


Categories of faculty are stipulated in Chapter 3 of the Faculty Handbook. Of the categories, faculty who serve in our department are currently classified as:
    Full-time Part-time
  Tenure-stream Assistant Professor
Associate Professor
  Continuing Senior Lecturer
Lecturer (RTL)
Annual-Year Lecturer
(1-, 2-, or 3-year period)
Quarterly Part-time Lecturers
(1-4 courses per year)
Contractual Terms
Faculty Handbook §3 spells out further the contractual terms governing faculty at the University.


Flow Chart