L&S Chairs and Directors: Selection, Elections, and Terms

This document discusses preferential balloting when selecting new department or program chairs or directors of L&S professional schools.

Faculty Policies and Procedures require that the all faculty members of each department be given the opportunity to express their preference for departmental chair each year by secret ballot.  (See FPP 5.30 ).  In accordance with FP&P, the term of the department chair is one year, but there is no limit to the number of terms that may be served.  Most L&S departments have followed the practice of limiting the expected number of successive appointments as chair with three years being the most prevalent expectation.

Departments should conduct the balloting for department chair during Semester II of each academic year and voting should be completed by mid-March. Balloting may be conducted on paper, via email or through a Qualtrics survey. Because this is a preferential ballot, individual faculty members need not sign their ballots.  If a department so wishes, it may designate someone to count the ballots before they are transmitted to the Dean.  All ballots must be transmitted by the department administrator to the Dean.  L&S non-tenure granting units, such as programs, institutes, or centers, which have department-like administrative structures and function as departments for budgetary or personnel matters, should adhere to the procedures described above for selection of chair or director.

An administrative appointment as chair or director may involve a temporary base adjustment or course release and requires approval of the academic associate dean and dean.  The specific course assignment from which the individual faculty member is to be released is determined by the department in consultation with the executive committee.    

If you have questions, please contact Lori DeMeuse at lori.demeuse@wisc.edu or (608) 265-6351.