A. Guidelines for the Initial Appointment of a Department Chair

Generally, as with all searches for faculty positions at UNC Charlotte, the search for a department chair will be as broad as resources permit. Thus, the initial step on the occasion of a vacancy or impending vacancy will be for the dean of the college, in consultation with the department involved, to determine whether or not a position is available to permit an unrestricted search or whether the new chairperson is to be appointed from among those already holding appointments on the UNC Charlotte faculty.

In some circumstances, the Dean may recommend to the Provost and the Chancellor that an Acting or Interim Chairperson be appointed in order to provide opportunity for a thorough search. Such appointments ordinarily would be for a period of less than one year, but, in unusual cases, could be renewed.

Composition of the Search and Screen Committee

  1. Search and screen committees should be as small as possible, consistent with inclusion of the major perspectives important to the mission of the department and college. Most such committees will have in the range of 5 to 7 members.
  2. The majority of the members of the appointed committee shall be selected from the faculty of the department.
  3. At least two members of the committee shall be appointed from among UNC Charlotte faculty members not holding appointment in the department.
  4. Search and screen committees may include members who do not hold appointments as members of the UNC Charlotte faculty.

Appointment of the Search and Screen Committee

  1. The faculty of the department seeking a chair and the dean of the college will identify a pool of mutually acceptable nominees for membership on the search and screen committee from both inside and outside the department. The dean will appoint the search and screen committee from this pool of nominees.
  2. The chair of the search and screen committee will be selected in a manner acceptable to the dean and faculty of each college.

Procedures and Practices

The General Counsel has prepared a document for use by search committee members that contains valuable information and important legal considerations. It can accessed at the following link: Search Committee Fundamentals for Faculty Members.

  1. All work of the committee, including its discussions, correspondence, and consultation with the departmental faculty will be considered confidential personnel matters and all rights of privacy will be respected. The committee, prior to the initiation of the search, will establish its procedures for monitoring appropriate confidentiality.
  2. The routine operations of the search, including typing letters, assembling records and files, circulating credentials, and arranging meetings will be conducted at the direction of the chairperson of the committee by staff members of a specified office of the college.
  3. Whenever possible, the committee will submit for consideration by the dean the names of two or more nominations for departmental chair who (i) are qualified to meet the responsibilities of the position; (ii) would be willing to serve; and (iii) would be acceptable to the faculty of the department. The dean, prior to reaching any conclusions, will discuss the nominations with the committee to obtain the full extent of their advice and, as appropriate, with the faculty of the department. At that, or any later time in the search and appointment process, the dean may request additional nominations from the committee.
  4. The dean will present his or her recommendation, selected from among those nominated by the search and screen committee, to the Provost and the Chancellor. The dean’s recommendation will be accompanied by a report of the procedures followed and intermediate conclusions reached during the course of the search.
  5. The Chancellor, (on approval by the the Board of Trustees if the appointment is with Tenure), will appoint the department chair. The term of appointment will be from three to five years at the discretion of the dean, although shorter terms are possible to accommodate specific circumstances. Reappointment of a chair to successive terms may be accomplished by action of the Chancellor on the recommendation of the dean and the Provost in consultation with the relevant faculties. No search is required. A decision may be made by the Dean to not renew a chair appointment and under normal circumstances, a dean should inform a chair about the non-reappointment decision prior to seeking a replacement.

In the event that an impasse should develop during the search process, the dean may dismiss the search and screen committee and begin the process anew.

Proposals for policies and procedures different from those specified above must be discussed with the Provost before proceeding.