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WORKSHOP FOR DEPARTMENT HEADS 2012. You who choose to lead must follow, But if you fall, you fall alone. If you should stand, then who’s to guide you? Robert Hunter. Session 1: Administrative Rudiments. Role of the department head Budget fundamentals and CPM Hiring

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workshop for department heads 2012


You who choose to lead must follow,

But if you fall, you fall alone.

If you should stand, then who’s to guide you?

Robert Hunter


Session 1: Administrative Rudiments

  • Role of the department head
  • Budget fundamentals and CPM
  • Hiring
  • Supervising academic personnel
  • Personnel problems
  • Vision

We know the job has headaches. How can it be empowering?

Academic Affairs website:

role of the department head
Role of the department head

Nature of the position

“Officers of the university;” serve at will.

Retain tenure and rank as faculty members (“retreat rights”) if tenured. (Trustees’ Regulation I).

Variety of titles: department head, department chair, division head, dean (Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing).

Report directly to the dean of the college.


Reporting line

Department head

Usually bad practice to circumvent the college dean.

College dean and associates

  • Provost and Associates
  • Ballenger: personnel & budgets
  • Hansen: undergrad & grad studies
  • Murdock: Outreach School




Main duties

  • Hiring
  • Assignment of duties
  • Performance evaluations and raises
  • Recommendations on reappointment, tenure, promotion
  • Managing the department’s academic program
  • Administering department budgets
  • “Promotion of academic excellence”
  • All in consultation with the department faculty and subject to the college dean’s approval.

Your own academic career

Typical job description: 50% administration, remainder in teaching & research. (Not universal.)

  • Psychic risks:
  • Rank-and-file faculty member or administrator?
  • Your colleagues’ attitudes about administrators
  • Changes in how your success is measured

More psychic risks:

  • Personal career aspirations: temporary service to the department or long-range interest in administration?
  • The REST of your life:
    • Family and friends
    • Physical wellbeing
    • Other interests
    • Sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, happiness
  • In any case, the job will change you.
budget fundamentals
Budget fundamentals
  • Breakdown of UW’s budget:
  • Section I: state-funded (includes most tuition revenue)
  • Replenishes each FY (1 July – 30 June)
  • Authorized each biennium; use it or lose it.
  • Special case: summer school revenues “roll over”.
  • Section II: revenues (includes grants)
  • Can “roll over” from one FY to the next.

Where does UW’s money come from?

General fund (legislature) $186.9M/yr

Tuition 56.2 M/yr

Other (land-grant funds, royalties, etc.)17.7 M/yr

Section I total $260.8 M/yr

3/4 goes to salary and benefits

Non-grant section II funds $140.6 M/yr

Grants & contracts (est., w/o fin. aid) 74.4 M/yr

Section II total (est.) $215.0 M/yr

Estimated total $475.8 M/yr

(FY 2013, ends 30 June 2014


Funded by legislature*:

72% of section 1

41% of total budget

(High for state universities)

*not including Hathaway scholarships or Endowment for Excellence


Components of the department’s budget

  • Permanent faculty and staff salaries. Section I. Not much day-to-day flexibility here, but you have the pivotal voice in hiring, reappointment, and tenure decisions.
  • Part-time salaries. Usually negotiated with the college dean. Barely enough.
  • Section I support budget. Use for equipment, supplies, travel, speakers. Usually not enough, despite FY 2011 increases.
  • Summer-school revenues. Section I, but they “roll over.” Opportunity for departmental creativity.

Indirect cost reversions (ICR). Section II. Department’s share (15%) of the indirect costs budgeted for external awards. (IC = 43%  DC.) Lots of flexibility, if your faculty get grants.

  • Released time. [changes are under way]. Money freed when department members are paid from grants and released from regular section 1 duties, usually teaching. Can be used for any salary purposes. The department head , not the released faculty member, manages these funds.
  • Endowment income. Expendable income generated by investment of gifts. Can be the most flexible type of money available, except for constraints on scholarships. Requires long-term fiscal planning.

Central position management

  • Basic mechanics:
  • Vacancies in permanent faculty and AP lines* are captured in Academic Affairs as they occur.
  • Colleges keep the dollars for the rest of the FY.
  • Academic Affairs reallocates the dollars each June, based on deans’ ranked requests and institutional priorities.
  • Overall, amount allocated = amount captured. Reallocation across department and college boundaries can occur. (Actual intercollege transfers tend to be small.)

*48 positions, $3.6 million in 2012.



Off-cycle (“exigency”) allocations are possible when there’s a strong supporting case by the college dean.

Automatic returns:

Department automatically retains all resources associated with denials of reappointment, tenure, or extended term initiated by the department faculty or department head. There have been no exceptions since CPM started in 2000.


How to craft a good CPM request

  • Align with institutional areas of distinction or other AP emphases. Don’t treat these areas as “extras”.
  • Manage the resources you have effectively.

Make sure your dean is well informed about instructional need.


AY and FY appointments

  • AY app’ts (most faculty)
  • Earn salary during 9-month academic year.
  • Receive ¾ of it in paychecks during the AY, remaining ¼ (“balance of contract”) the next summer.
  • Don’t accrue vacation.
  • Have the capacity to earn up to 1/3 of AY salary in summer or through Outreach instruction.

FY appt’s (some administrators, some Ag faculty)

  • Earn salary year-round, receive it as they earn it.
  • Accrue 22 days/year of vacation.
  • Have no capacity for supplemental salary.
  • FY-to-AY conversions
  • AY salary = (5/6) × (FY salary). No exceptions.
  • Must use all accrued vacation before converting.
  • Conversions at times other than the start of Fall Semester cause unexpected BOC payouts (and angst) in the following summer.

Food for thought: You’ve finally had it with your dean, and you storm out of her office, sending her a note saying that you’re stepping down as department head and returning to the faculty immediately. It’s February, and you’re on a fiscal year appointment for the duration of your administrative term.

What problems do you foresee?

Discuss, take a break, get back together in 15 minutes


Hiring standards for faculty, APs, and staff

Faculty: Open, national or international search; terminal degree in the field; best qualified candidate; promise of excellence in teaching and national or internationally recognized scholarship.

APs: Open regional search, at least; best qualified candidate; promise of excellence in job duties.

Staff: Local (or broader) search; done through Human Resources with detailed procedures and guidelines.


3 remarks:

  • Pre-selection is unethical. Search!
  • Don’t hire in desperation; extend the search another year if necessary.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of candidates who have long-range leadership potential.

Affirmative action plan

  • Affirmative-action principles:
  • Advertise broadly and fairly.
  • Include UW’s EEO-AA statement.
  • Appoint a diverse search committee.
  • Guard against adverse stereotyping.
  • Hire the most qualified person.

Exceptions to advertising policy

  • Can hire into a position not advertised only under the following circumstances:
  • Target of opportunity (highly qualified person from underrepresented group).
  • Business necessity (rarely applicable to academic positions).
  • Domestic partner accommodation.
  • Require recommendation from dean and VPAA and approval from EPO. There is no special funding for this type of hiring.

Common problems

Domestic partner hiring

No universal solution, but UW has a pretty good record of solving these problems. Bring the issue to the dean’s attention ASAP.

Illegal questions

Don’t ask about marital status, family configuration, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, veteran status, disabilities, sexual orientation. Candidates are free to volunteer the information.

Chilly interviews

Give a pep-talk to faculty before the interviews. The interview is not a test or a hazing ritual. You’re evaluating the candidate and selling the department.


The written offer

  • Essential ingredients:
  • Starting date
  • Rank
  • Salary (specify AY or FY)
  • Brief description of job duties
  • Tenure or extended-term deadline*
  • Startup package and moving expenses, if any
  • Deadline for reply. (Two weeks is reasonable.)

*Credit toward tenure requires prior approval from Academic Affairs

4 supervising academic personnel
4.Supervising academic personnel

Setting the tone

You have a powerful influence on the department’s morale. A positive outlook and a sense of control over the department’s destiny are the faculty’s most precious assets. Cultivate them.

If departmental ambitions are high, they will bump up against resource constraints. Some frustration is inevitable. Don’t let it dampen the will to excel.


External peer review


Department faculty review

Department head’s recommendation

College-level faculty review


College dean’s recommendation

University-level faculty review


Review by Academic Affairs

Review by President (on appeal)

Trustees’ action

Tenure, promotion, reappointment, extended terms: the decision chain


Food for thought

Your department has a fourth-year faculty member who’s toxicin department meetings and who has a habit of showing up to class unprepared. She seems perennially at odds with her students, who tend to do poorly in follow-on courses. Whenever anyone discusses these issues with her, she mentions her attorney.

The majority of the department faculty members vote against her reappointment case. One of their comments dwells on the fact that she’s a woman in a field where men have traditionally been more successful. After reading their remarks, she tells you she’ll sue you for discrimination if you recommend against reappointment.

What should you do?


Personnel problems

Collegiality: The willingness to work with colleagues in a civil, productive fashion that advances the mission of the department and university.

Collegiality is tricky: big egos and rebellious spirits are part of the academic landscape.

However, failure to contribute to the university’s mission – and interference with it – are grounds for poor performance appraisals, including reappointment denials.


Faculty grievances, discrimination, harassment,

student complaints

  • Best defenses:
  • Get sexual harassment training. (It’s mandatory.)
  • When a problem arises, consult the dean or EPO.
  • Treat people honestly, fairly, and respectfully. When you make decisions they don’t like, explain your reasons.
  • Base decisions on your academic judgment, not on legalistic grounds. UW has an indemnity clause that protects your good-faith academic judgments.
  • When in doubt, do what’s right.

Personal problems

People (including department heads) are fragile and fallible. Family difficulties, messy relationships, substance abuse, medical problems, and ethical lapses are as common in academia as elsewhere.

Be sensitive; maintain confidentiality; protect the legitimate interests of others (including the institution); try to approach problem constructively instead of punitively. Remind us to do the same.

Get advice and help. You can’t handle everything yourself.


6. Vision

  • UW’s setting and mission:
  • The only 4-year institution in the state
  • A public land-grant institution
  • One of the smallest Carnegie research-doctoral extensive institutions in the U.S.
  • Commitment to access
  • Balance between general and professional education
  • Judicious mix of theory and application in research
  • Need to focus expertise and work synergistically.


Defining a scholarly culture

  • Stress the attributes of successful careers, not minimal expectations.
  • Make external peer review a guiding principle.
  • Cultivate a small number of areas of distinction consistent with UW’s strategic plan. Stick with them.
  • Integrate scholarship with teaching.


  • A vehicle for expanding research communities at UW
  • A strong current motif in many disciplines
  • A key competitive advantage for a small university
  • A natural mode of inquiry at land-grant institutions
  • A way to influence hiring outside the department.

The research-teaching cascade.

A university is a center for learning.

When you learn something nobody knew before, we call it research and creative activity. When peer-reviewed, it’s the most demanding form of scholarship.

When you expand your own understanding with what others know, it’s still a form of scholarship – and part of your job.

The raison d’être of the research university is to inform teaching with scholarship and hence to allow our curriculum and modes of teaching to evolve.