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Faculty Titles Dictionary – Appendix B: Academic Department Head

For all Faculty and Staff in the AAUP Bargaining Unit


The AAUP collective bargaining agreement, Article 15.1-3, specifies the following procedures on the selection and review of department heads:

“In a selection of a Department Head for a continuing appointment there shall be a search committee appointed by the Dean and including either a majority or at least three members elected by the department. No candidate will be appointed Department Head who is not recommended by the search committee.

A review of the appointment of each Department Head shall be held at intervals not to exceed five (5) years, or at other times as decided by the Dean. When conducting a review, the Dean shall attempt to obtain input from all the faculty. The Dean shall also initiate a review upon the request of a majority of the voting members of the department. Any review requested by a majority of the voting members of the department may not take place more than once in five (5) years.

Department Heads shall be appointed for ten (10) months. Upon relinquishing Department Head responsibilities, the Head’s appointment shall return to nine (9) months and his/her salary shall be reduced to its equivalent nine (9) month level.”


University policy and procedures require the change in department head salary whether the duties are relinquished temporarily (as when someone goes on sabbatic) or permanently. Acting appointments to headship are also eligible for the one ninth increase in base salary.

When a new or acting department head is appointed, two payroll authorizations must be submitted: 1) reducing the salary of the former head by 1/10, noting in remarks “to return to non-departmental head status) and 2) increasing the new or acting department head’s salary by 1/9, noting in remarks “to increase salary by one ninth for new [or acting] department head”.

Last reviewed January 2008