2020-2021 Policy Library 
    Mar 04, 2024  
2020-2021 Policy Library [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Guidebook for Department Chairs

Claremont McKenna College Guidebook for Department Chairs


  1. Curricular Issues

    1. Staff and schedule courses each semester

    2. New course proposals

    3. Waivers for GE requirements and approval of transfer credits for major requirements

    4. Degree audits

    5. Student advising

  2. College Administration

    1. Curriculum Committee

    2. Committee of Academic Chairs

    3. Departmental representatives on college committees

  3. Departmental Administration

    1. Coordination with department’s administrative staff

    2. Budgets and finance

    3. Calling and Chairing department meetings

    4. Coordinating student awards

    5. Annual assessment of student learning outcomes

    6. Point of contact for complaints

    7. Compliance responsibilities

    8. Annual performance reviews of faculty members

    9. Monitoring teaching performance of departmental members

    10. Post-tenure review

    11. Grade disputes

    12. CMC Catalog

    13. Departmental planning reports

    14. Research funding opportunities

  4. Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure

    1. Tenure-track and tenured hiring and appointments

    2. Mentoring

    3. Annual junior faculty progress meetings

    4. Third-year reviews

    5. Tenure and promotion

    6. Visiting faculty

  5. Leaves and Sabbaticals

    1. Monitoring the department’s leaves and sabbaticals

    2. Encouraging external funding for enhanced sabbaticals

    3. Reviewing sabbatical applications

  6. The Chair’s Role in the Summer

    1. Transition of new faculty

    2. Emergency short-term hiring

    3. Advising

  7. Conditions of Office

    1. Term

    2. Compensation

  8. Sample Academic Year Timeline

  9. Resources

  10. Appendices

    1. Academic Advising FAQ

    2. Policy on Reimbursement of Business Expenses

    3. Grade Dispute Policy

    4. Mentoring Policy for Junior Faculty

    5. Requests for Appointment and Reappointment of Non-Tenure Track Faculty


Departmental Chairs are selected by the faculty of their academic departments to represent the department in the College, to assure the ongoing organization of the department, to serve as the Chair of department faculty meetings, and to undertake a number of administrative tasks on behalf of the department.  

This guidebook provides a general overview of the customary activities of Department Chairs. Since many departments have their own written bylaws or unwritten customs, Chairs will often find it helpful to consult with former departmental Chairs regarding appropriate practices; administrative staff personnel assigned to specific departments can also be a valuable source of information and institutional memory. Chairs are always welcome to make enquiries about procedures to the Dean of the Faculty’s office. 

Although this guidebook sets forth information that is current as of the date of issue, it is always possible that certain policies and procedures will be revised from time to time. 

 I. Curricular Issues

1. Staffing and course schedules

A Department Chair:

  • ensures that sufficient sections are offered each semester of core courses, lower-division courses, and upper-division courses, as well as Freshman Humanities Seminars if the department has committed to teaching such;
  • checks whether faculty members are teaching their required course load;
  • monitors course enrollment figures. Courses without at least six CMC students are subject to cancellation and courses should not exceed assigned enrollment limits (except in consultation with the Dean of the Faculty’s office and Registrar).
  • coordinates the department’s teaching schedule so as to minimize scheduling conflicts, especially for necessary courses;
  • maximizes student opportunities to take necessary courses and to utilize facilities efficiently;
  • considers offering required courses before 2:45pm so student athletes may attend both required classes and afternoon athletic practices and games;
  • encourages a distribution of courses over all five days of the week;
  • coordinates the department’s schedule of sabbaticals and leaves for the next three to five years (see Section V-1).

In roughly the third week of the semester, faculty will receive a call from the Registrar’s office for course offerings and textbook orders for the following semester. Faculty will be asked to submit their course offerings to their department chair within approximately 2 weeks. Normal procedure is for the Chair to collect faculty teaching preferences, negotiate whatever adjustments are necessary, and submit the department’s schedule to the Registrar’s office by roughly the fifth week of the semester. Consultation with the Dean of the Faculty may also be necessary to assure coverage of critical College priorities. 

Primary contact: Registrar 

Secondary contact: Dean of the Faculty

2. New course proposals

Proposals for new courses or substantial revisions of old courses made by faculty members in the department are usually forwarded to the Curriculum Committee by the Department Chair. Some departments have their own internal curriculum review process prior to advancing the proposal to the Curriculum Committee and some departments rely on the Chair to perform such reviews. The Curriculum Committee’s recommendation will then be brought to the full faculty, and the Department Chair may be asked to explain or clarify the proposal. The New Course Proposal form can be found on the Dean of the Faculty website.

Primary contact: Curriculum Committee via Dean of the Faculty

3. Waivers for GE requirements and approval of transfer credits for major requirements

Department Chairs review and decide on student requests for a waiver or substitution of GE requirements taught by the department and for transfer credit counting toward major requirements. This includes credits taken during study abroad, summer school, or other institutions prior to the student’s arrival at CMC. By College rules, transfer courses must be three semester hours or four quarter hours to count as a major or GE course. Typically, each department has developed standards for evaluating such requests.

Primary contact: Registrar

4. Degree audits

The Registrar’s Office performs degree audits for every student three times prior to graduation: two semesters in advance of graduation, one semester in advance of graduation, and immediately prior to graduation. The Registrar’s Office will refer students to Department Chairs for curricular waivers or substitutions that are not otherwise on record in advance of each audit. Chairs should email individual approvals to the Registrar’s Office after considering each student’s request.

Primary contact: Registrar

5. Student advising

Department Chairs should familiarize themselves with the College’s General Education requirements and with their own department’s major requirements (see the Academic Advising FAQ in Appendix 1). Chairs or their designees typically coordinate their department’s student advising, and usually need to do the following: 

  • Make themselves available to sign forms during pre-registration each semester for their own advisees and for advisees of other members of the department who may not be available (pre-registration takes place about 2-3 weeks before the end of each semester);
  • Send 1-2 faculty members from their department to lead the academic information sessions during orientation before the fall semester and during pre-registration in the fall and spring semesters.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

II. College Administration

1. Curriculum Committee

Each Department Chair has a vote on the faculty Curriculum Committee (see Faculty Handbook ), which considers proposals for new courses, substantial course revisions, and new majors, sequences, or other curricular programs. The Committee is staffed by the Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Curriculum and typically meets once or twice per month, always on Thursdays from 11:00-12:30 or 1:00, so Department Chairs should plan their teaching schedules accordingly. If they can’t be present, they should select a proxy from among their tenured faculty to represent their department and to convey the Curriculum Committee’s decisions and any action items to the department.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

2. Committee of Academic Chairs

The Committee of Academic Chairs is an ad hoc advisory body for the Dean of the Faculty and the President. It is convened by the Dean at the Dean’s discretion to solicit input regarding both issues of specialized concern for the Chairs and issues of broader concern to the College, although Chairs may request a meeting to raise and discuss issues of interest to the academic departments.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

3. Departmental representatives on college committees

Department Chairs coordinate the assignment of departmental representatives on the following college committees: Admission and Financial Aid (AFAC), Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure (APT), Student Recruitment, and others as needed. This work should be done by spring break, after which faculty preferences for committee assignments are solicited by the Dean’s office.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

III. Departmental Administration

1. Coordination with department’s administrative staff

Each department is assigned an administrative staff assistant from the Faculty Support Center. The Department Chair, or some designated departmental substitute, should coordinate appropriate departmental activities with this assistant. Such activities may include departmental meetings; departmental hiring actions; and departmental tenure, promotion, third-year review, or post-tenure review paperwork. Please remember that the department’s support staff is not private support staff for help with personal work or personal issues.

Primary contact: Department’s administrative support staff 

Secondary contact: Faculty Support Center supervisor

2. Budgets and finance

Department Chairs, often working with their administrative support staff, formulate and monitor the departmental budget for operating expenses, including telephones, office supplies, photocopying, and support for faculty members not eligible for Individual Faculty Accounts. Some departments also maintain departmental gift accounts consisting of discretionary funds that are also budgeted by the Chair. November 1 marks the beginning of the budget process for the next academic year. Budgets are on a fiscal year basis that begins July 1. To access the department budget in the Workday Financials system, go to the Workday Financial Systems Project website.

Requests for reimbursements should be processed through the department’s faculty support staff. Departmental Chairs should become familiar with the College’s policies regarding reimbursement for expenses. Please be aware that expenses for unauthorized purposes will not be reimbursed. (Appendix 2).

Primary contact: Department’s administrative support staff

Secondary contact: Director of Academic Administration (Dean of the Faculty’s office) 

3. Calling and Chairing department meetings

Department Chairs may call meetings of the department’s faculty as needed. Departments with written bylaws may also provide an alternative means for departmental members to call a meeting. If departments do not have written bylaws, then department meetings are governed by the bylaws and rules of order set forth in the Faculty Handbook, Appendix 2.2  and Appendix 2.3 . Meetings are normally Chaired by the Chair of the department. It is recommended that accurate notes of department meetings, and especially the results of department votes, be taken. When appropriate, Department Chairs may coordinate with support staff for this purpose.

4. Coordinating student awards

Near the end of each spring semester, departments supply the College with a list of student award winners, including best senior thesis and best overall achievement in the major. Department Chairs coordinate the department’s award selection process and communicate the results to the Dean of Students office by around May 1. The Senior Awards Celebration is typically held on the evening of the last day of classes in the spring. All academic awards are presented by the Dean of the Faculty. One representative from each academic department, either the Chair or their proxy, should attend in order to hand their winning students the awards and have a photo taken during the ceremony.

Primary contact: Dean of Students office

5. Annual assessment of student learning outcomes

As a requirement of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, CMC must conduct annual assessment of student learning outcomes at both the institutional and major levels. Each department has derived a set of learning outcomes and has established an assessment plan. It is the Department Chair’s responsibility to ensure that the assessment plan is executed annually and that the results are reported to CMC’s Accreditation Liaison Officer.

Primary contacts: Dean of the Faculty; Asst. V.P. for Academic Affairs; Chair of the CMC Assessment Committee

6. Point of contact for complaints

The Department Chair may become a point of contact for complaints involving a faculty member or members in that department (such as faculty member versus faculty member, student versus faculty member, administrative support staff versus faculty member, or faculty member versus Dean). There are a variety of possible sources for such complaints, including reports of harassment, conflict of interest or financial wrongdoing; grade disputes; and teaching or secretarial incompetence. When confronted with a complaint, the Chair should:

7. Compliance responsibilities

Department Chairs have significant roles in helping ensure the College remains compliant with the many federal and state laws governing higher education. Awareness of the following key compliance areas and tools for reporting various types of behavior will help Chairs fulfill their responsibilities and convey them to their department.

If, as part of your current job description, you have the authority to respond to sexual misconduct, CMC has given you the duty to report such misconduct, or a student believes that you have this authority or duty, then you are a Responsible Employee under Title IX and so you must report allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by filling out the Sexual Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form or notifying the Title IX Coordinator immediately. You cannot withhold the names of the alleged victim or reporting party. If you have questions, please contact the Title IX coordinator.

If, as part of your current job description, you have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, then you are a Campus Security Authority under the Clery Act and so you must report good-faith allegations of specific crimes by filling out the Campus Security Authority Incident Report Form immediately. You can withhold the names of the alleged victim/reporting party, unless you are also a Responsible Employee reporting a Title IX matter. In that case, you cannot withhold the names. If you have questions, please contact the Assistant Vice President of Investigations.

If, as part of your current job description, your duties bring you into contact with minors (those under 18) on a regular basis, then you are a Mandatory Reporter under the California Penal Code and so you must report known or suspected abuse or neglect of minors by, first, notifying local law enforcement or social services and, second, notifying your supervisor. Call an agency immediately and submit a Suspected Child Abuse Report within 36 hours; an internal report must be submitted within two business days. You cannot withhold the names of the alleged victim/reporting party, but on the internal report, you can withhold your name. If you have questions, please contact the Vice President of Business and Chief Operating Officer.

Title IX/Civil Rights

All faculty members are designated as Responsible Employees for Title IX purposes. Any report received regarding stalking, sexual assault, sexual harassment, bias, and/ or intimate partner violence must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator immediately after receiving such disclosure. Department Chairs are precluded from resolving the matter internally or informally in any manner (see the Sexual Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form).

Primary Contact: Title IX Coordinator

Mandatory Reporting

Faculty members (and their supervisors) whose duties bring them regularly into contact with minors on a daily basis have duties to immediately report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to local law enforcement/child welfare agencies and to the college. The college’s policy and reporting forms can be found on the Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect 

Primary Contact: Vice President of Business and Chief Operating Officer

The Clery Act

Certain faculty members are “Campus Security Authorities” (CSA’s) with duties to immediately report specific crimes. CSA’s are those employees who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities.  For example, faculty who travel with students, supervise student workers, advise student clubs or organizations, or are Institute/Center Directors are CSA’s. To report applicable crimes, please use the Campus Security Authority Incident Report Form. Chairs will be asked to update the list of designated CSA’s once a semester, and CSA’s will receive training.

Primary Contact: Assistant Vice President for Investigations

Student/visitor injuries

In order to properly document and respond to injuries that occur on campus, all faculty should be familiar with and use the Student/Visitor Injury Report Form.

Primary Contact: Vice President of Business and Chief Operating Officer

CMC Listens

This is an anonymous reporting platform for any member of the community to pose a question or report an issue that concerns them. This is only an alternative to reporting a concern directly and should not be used to report an emergency situation.  Information about this platform can be found on the CMCListens webpage.

Primary Contact: General Counsel

CMC Cares

CMC is committed to a proactive, collaborative, and thoughtful approach to the health and safety of our community. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to identify struggling community members so a designated team of professionals can connect them with services, and when necessary, develop support plans to mitigate the possibility of unsafe or violent behavior. Faculty are encouraged to report any behaviors of concern so that the appropriate level of help can be offered to the struggling community member. The College’s reporting form can be found at the CMC Cares Reporting Form webpage. Faculty are also welcome to call or email the Dean of Student’s Office directly for matters related to students. All emergency situations should be reported immediately to Campus Safety (909) 607-2000.

Primary Contact: Associate Dean of Students

8. Annual performance reviews of faculty members

The Department Chair receives the annual performance reports from each department’s faculty members (who also send a copy to the Dean of the Faculty). The due date for these reports is usually around early January. During the spring semester, the Chair consults with the Dean and discusses each member of the department on the basis of the reports, teaching evaluations, and any other sources of information that might be appropriate.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

9. Monitoring teaching performance of department members

Department Chairs review teaching evaluations as part of the annual performance review and serve as a contact person for students who wish to convey their views about their professors. If the Chair notes problematic or poor teaching performance, the Chair should discuss these concerns with the faculty member and work with the faculty member to devise a strategy for improvement, possibly with input from the Dean of the Faculty and/or other members of the department. While not a typical practice, the Department Chair or designee/s may ask or be asked by the faculty member to observe the faculty member in the classroom. Early and consistent feedback to the faculty member is important. Monitoring of the teaching of junior tenure-track faculty is discussed more thoroughly in the Faculty Handbook in sections dealing with mentoring and annual performance reviews.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

10. Post tenure review

The College has a post-tenure review policy requiring reviews of associate professors in their fourth and tenth years in rank.  Associate professors past ten years in rank and full professors are reviewed on an 8-year cycle. The Chair of the department serves as one of two members of the review committee for associate professors who are in their fourth or tenth year in rank (in addition to the DOF or designee), unless the Chair is also an associate professor. If the Chair is an associate professor, the Dean will appoint a full professor from the department to serve as the chair’s designee. After associate professors complete their second post-tenure review, all subsequent reviews follow the review process for full professors and do not involve the Chair. The Dean of the Faculty’s office will initiate these processes. (See Faculty Handbook Section 3.2.6 ).

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

11. Grade disputes

In the event of a grade dispute, if the faculty member and student cannot reach a mutually agreeable conclusion, the Chair of the department is called upon to work with the Dean of the Faculty to review the dispute and related documents. If the Dean finds sufficient grounds to proceed with the grade challenge, the Dean will refer the matter to the Academic Standards Committee (ASC), which may call upon additional faculty members, including the Department Chair, as needed. The ASC’s decision is final and binding on all parties. (Appendix 3).

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

12. CMC Catalog

Department Chairs should submit all changes to the department’s section of the CMC Catalog by June for the following academic year catalog.

Primary contact: Registrar

13. Departmental planning reports

Department Chairs may be asked to coordinate departmental self-study or planning reports for external reviews, the College’s Strategic Plan, WASC accreditation, or other purposes.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

14. Research funding opportunities

Department Chairs are often relied upon by the department’s faculty members as a source of information regarding College policies or resources. Questions about College policies can be answered by consulting the Faculty Handbook or contacting the Dean of the Faculty’s office. If asked about research funding opportunities, Chairs can direct faculty members to the Dean of the Faculty’s office, which distributes research funds through the Faculty Research Committee; the College’s research institutes, several of which offer research funds to CMC faculty; and the Office of Institutional Philanthropy, which helps faculty members seek government grants as well as foundation awards for research. Some departments also have departmental research funds disbursed at the discretion of the Chair.

IV. Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure (see Faculty Handbook, Chapter 3)

1. Tenure-Track and Tenured Hiring and Appointments

a. Requests for hiring authority

The formal process of approving searches begins early in the spring semester when Department Chairs present their department’s requests to the Dean of the Faculty. Subsequently, the Chair is notified by the Dean in writing whether the department’s request was approved.

b. Job advertisement

Once a search is approved, the Chair works with members of the department, the Dean of the Faculty, and Human Resources to devise wording for the job advertisement, including required boilerplate language. The Chair also works with administrative support staff to place the advertisement in the appropriate venue/s in a timely manner.

c. Constituting a search committee

In accordance with the customs or written procedures of each department, the Chair appoints a search committee to review applications. Depending on the nature of the position and the department, the Chair may also ask faculty members in affiliated areas of study outside of the department or from the other Claremont Colleges to serve on a search committee. In instances of a search for an endowed Chair, the Dean of the Faculty establishes the search committee. These issues will normally be decided over the summer.

d. Managing the search

The Chair of the department monitors the progress of the search and may be called on by the Dean to provide occasional progress reports. The Chair calls the departmental meeting to consider the search committee’s recommendations when it is ready to present them, and may call other meetings related to the search as necessary.

e. Hiring report

The Chair of the department notifies the Dean of the Faculty of the department’s recommendation once an appointment is decided upon. The Dean makes the formal offer to the candidate and negotiates the terms of the contract. Within 30 days of acceptance of an offer, the Department will forward to the Dean of the Faculty a Hiring Report. In the words of the Faculty Handbook,

The Hiring Report will normally include a brief description of the search process (such as the composition of the search committee, the advertising method, the number of applicants, the names of those interviewed on campus, and the departmental decision-making process), a summary of the qualities of the successful candidate, an explanation for why the Department selected the candidate, a copy of the candidate’s curriculum vitae, and the candidate’s original letters of reference. 

The APT-EC reviews the Hiring Report and approves entry-level tenure-track appointments. Non-entry level tenure-track appointments and lateral tenure appointments are approved by the full APT. For a thorough discussion of the appointment process, see Faculty Handbook Chapter 3 , sections 3.2.2 , 3.2.3 , and 3.3 .

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

2. Mentoring

Department Chairs ensure that all departmental obligations under the College’s mentoring policy for junior faculty are fulfilled. At the request of a junior faculty member, a Chair may assign a senior faculty member as a mentor. (See Appendix 4.)

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

3. Annual junior faculty progress meetings

Department Chairs coordinate, as needed, an annual set of meetings aimed at assessing the progress toward tenure of junior faculty members. These include a) an annual meeting of the department’s senior faculty to discuss the department’s junior faculty, b) a recommended subsequent meeting of the Department Chair with each junior faculty member to provide feedback from the senior faculty, and c) an annual individual meeting of the Dean, Department Chair, and each junior faculty member.

4. Third year reviews

Working with the Dean of the Faculty’s office, Department Chairs initiate and help to complete third year reviews for tenure-track faculty who are seeking a contract renewal. Department reports are due to the Dean of the Faculty by October 15. The Chair appoints a review committee from among the faculty of the department, monitors their progress, and answers questions about the case at the APT meeting.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

5. Tenure and promotion

a. Departmental tenure standards

The Chair maintains and distributes the department’s standards for tenure and promotion. The Chair should see that junior tenure-track faculty are given a copy of the standards and that subsequent discussions keep those standards in view. From time to time, the Chair may also ask the department as a whole to consider its standards with an eye to revision. Such changes will then be reviewed and discussed by the APT Committee.

b. Departmental tenure and promotion reports

The Chair appoints a committee (including a committee chair) to research and write the report, ensures that outside evaluators are successfully solicited, and monitors the committee’s work for timeliness and thoroughness. Department reports are due to the Dean of the Faculty by October 15. Guidelines and a checklist for the preparation of candidate materials and departmental reports are sent to the chair by the Dean of the Faculty’s office and may be requested at any time.

c. Departmental action

Once the report is completed, the Chair calls a meeting of the eligible voting members of the department to consider the report and make a recommendation. The Chair then conveys the recommendation in the department report.

d. Representing the department to the FIS and APT Committees

The Chair of the department is interviewed by the candidate’s FIS and answers questions about the candidate’s case posed by the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee.

For a thorough discussion of the tenure and promotion process, see Faculty Handbook Chapter 3, sections 3.2.4  and  to 

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

6. Visiting faculty

The Department Chair should identify temporary staffing needs and request authority from the Dean to hire visiting faculty. Visiting faculty are hired in accordance with the procedures laid out in the Faculty Handbook (section 3.3 ). Department chairs complete a form to submit a request to APT-EC for non-tenure track appointments/reappointments. (See Appendix 5 for the request for appointment/reappointment of non-tenure track faculty.)

  1. Requests for one-year or two-year non-tenure-track appointments/reappointments will typically include completion of the online form, a CV, and either tables of CMC evaluations and grades requested from the Office of Institutional Research (for those with prior CMC teaching experience) or teaching evaluations and grades from prior institutions (if available).
  2. Requests for non-tenure-track appointments/reappointments for three years or longer (both part-time and full-time), and others for which APT-EC has requested a more extensive review, will include completion of the form, a teaching statement by the candidate, a CV, and a department report akin to the teaching section of the 3rd year review of tenure-track faculty, including student interviews and tables of CMC evaluations and grades requested from the Office of Institutional Research.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

V. Leaves and Sabbaticals (see Faculty Handbook, Chapter 7)

1. Monitoring the department’s leaves and sabbaticals

As part of the process of course staffing, the Chair monitors sabbaticals and non-sabbatical leaves by the department’s faculty members. Chairs are advised to maintain a long-term plan for future leaves and replacements. The Chair is expected to promote a sabbatical schedule that is mutually beneficial for the faculty members and the College. Chairs should ensure that junior faculty are informed of when they are eligible for and should apply for junior research leaves. Chairs should also discuss post-tenure sabbatical plans with junior faculty up for tenure and associate professors to facilitate their progress toward promotion to full professor.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

2. Encouraging external funding for enhanced sabbaticals

Chairs should encourage faculty applying for enhanced sabbaticals to contact the Office of Institutional Philanthropy to discuss possible external funding sources.

Primary contact: Office of Institutional Philanthropy

3. Reviewing sabbatical applications

Upon receipt of sabbatical applications, the Dean of the Faculty’s Office will send copies to Department Chairs and ask them if there are any concerns about staffing needs during the sabbaticals (e.g. needs to replace courses or needs to hire sabbatical replacements).To facilitate both departmental planning and mentoring of junior faculty and associate professors, Department Chairs are asked to review all sabbatical and junior leave applications when requested by their faculty before submission to the Dean of Faculty’s office. Chairs should encourage faculty to address any serious shortcomings in those applications.

VI. The Chair’s Role in the Summer

1. Transition of new faculty

It is customary in most departments for Department Chairs to greet new faculty shortly after they arrive, let other faculty know their new colleagues have arrived, and assist new faculty with their transition, if only as a resource of information.

2. Emergency short-term hiring

Occasionally, last-minute enrollment pressures will require that course offerings be expanded over the summer before freshman registration, or, in the worst case, during the period of freshmen registration. In those cases, the Registrar will notify the Dean of the Faculty and the Department Chair. At that point, the Chair may arrange for the hiring of additional visiting faculty or for overload courses by existing faculty, whether visitors or tenure track faculty, in collaboration with the office of the Dean. Usually this will involve adding some number of sections of introductory courses.

Primary contact: Dean of the Faculty

3. Advising

Chairs usually assist with or designate members of their department to lead academic information sessions during orientation before the fall semester and during pre-registration in the fall and spring semesters.

VII. Conditions of Office

1. Term

Department Chairs typically serve a fixed term that varies depending on the customary practices or written rules of each department. Eligibility for consecutive terms also varies from department to department.

2. Compensation

Compensation for Department Chairs is $15,000 per year. Associate professors are given the option of a one-course release in lieu of the $15,000 stipend each year they serve as Department Chair.

VIII. Sample Academic Year Timeline

July 1 Beginning of academic year, fiscal year, and term of new Department Chairs
Tenure and promotion materials given to DOF by candidate 
July 15 Department mails tenure and promotion materials to outside evaluators 
July/August Chairs may be notified that short-term emergency hiring is necessary
September 1 Tenure and promotion external evaluator letters due
Reappointment materials given to DOF by candidate
September 1 Applications for fall research funding due to the Faculty Research Committee
October 1 Departmental spring course schedule due to Registrar’s office  
October 15 Departmental reappointment, tenure and promotion reports due
Sabbatical applications due to Faculty Research Committee
November 1 Departmental budget process for the following academic year begins

Annual faculty reports (with post-tenure review statements, if relevant) and updated CVs due 
Senior members of department meet for annual review of junior faculty and associate professors up for PTR
Applications for spring research funding due to Faculty Research Committee

February Post-tenure review committees meet with reviewed faculty members
February 15 Departmental fall and anticipated spring course schedule due to Registrar’s Office
March Post-tenure review reports are due
Chairs’ meeting with Dean to discuss next AY searches 
Chairs’ meetings with junior faculty to provide feedback from senior faculty should be completed; chairs’ meetings with each junior faculty member and Dean to discuss annual progress should be completed; chairs’ meetings with Dean to discuss faculty performance reviews should be completed
Applications for summer research funding due to Faculty Research Committee
May 1 Notify DOS of student award winners (best thesis and best overall achievement)
June 1 Final CMC Catalog changes due to Registrar 

IX. Resources

C. K. Gunsalus. (2006). The College Administrator’s Survival Guide. Harvard University Press.

Deryl R. Leaming. (2007). Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department, 2nd Edition. Anker Publishing Company, Inc. 

Jeffrey L. Buller. (2012). The Essential Department Chair: A Comprehensive Desk Reference, 2nd Edition. Jossey-Bass.  


Appendix 1: Academic Advising FAQ

Resources for Academic Advisors

This resource sheet is a quick guide to some of our students’ more common questions; it isn’t comprehensive. If your question isn’t answered here, please consult the course catalog or contact the Registrar’s Office (registrar@cmc.edu; x18101). 

My advisee still doesn’t understand the GE requirements. Can you help me with a quick overview?

All students take these courses:

  • Freshman Writing Seminar and Freshman Humanities Seminar in the first year
  • By the end of the second year, one laboratory science class, either in Keck Science or elsewhere in the Consortium (lab science courses have an L in the course number, e.g. BIO 43L).

At any time, but the earlier the better:

  • Foreign language: third college semester of a language other than English
  • Any CMC mathematics or computer science class

Students take two additional humanities courses outside their major:

  • Foreign literature (4th semester of a European or classical language, 5th semester of Arabic or Korean, or the 6th semester of Japanese or Chinese)
  • Any CMC literature course numbered 50 or above
  • Any CMC philosophy course numbered below 60
  • Any CMC religious studies course numbered 180 or below

Students take three additional social sciences courses outside their major:

  • ECON 50
  • GOV 20
  • Any CMC history course numbered under 170
  • Any CMC psychology course numbered under 100
Do students really have to take three semesters of a foreign language here?

No. The requirement is for proficiency, not coursework, so students can satisfy it in many ways. They can present AP exam scores of 4 or 5; they can present IB scores of 6 or 7; or they can take a placement test during Orientation and earn a score that places them out of the third semester course. International students who graduated from secondary school in which English was NOT the language of instruction may request a waiver of the foreign language requirement.

Please note that in order to be eligible for election to Phi Beta Kappa, students must demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and foreign language by completing a math course numbered 30 or above and the fourth college semester of a language other than English or its equivalent. Students can demonstrate foreign language proficiency that satisfies the Phi Beta Kappa requirement by placing into the fifth semester or higher via placement exam, or by receiving a native proficiency waiver for the GE in foreign language.

How does AP/IB credit work?

In three ways: CMC may grant placement, an elective credit, and/or a waiver of a requirement.  Here are some policies; check the CMC course catalog for more details. 


Calculus AB, score of 4 or 5: placement in Math 31. No elective credit. 

Calculus BC, score of 4 or 5 or IB (HL) Mathematics exam with score of 6 or 7: placement in Math 32. No elective credit. 

Computer Science 

Computer Science AP exam with score of 4 or 5 or IB (HL) Computer Science exam with score of 6 or 7: placement in CS 62. No elective credit. 


Any AP Literature exam with a score of 5 or IB (HL) English exam with a score of 7: students may request permission to satisfy the FWS requirement with a CMC Lit course numbered 60 or above. No elective credit.


AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics exams with a combined score of 9 or Economics IB (HL) exam with score of 6 or 7: no elective credit. Students may be placed directly into Econ 101 or Econ 102.


Any AP language or literature course in French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Latin or Spanish AP exams with a score of 4 or 5 OR IB (HL) exam bearing A or B designation with score of 6 or 7: one credit for the equivalent of the third semester course in the designated language, and fulfillment of the foreign language requirement


AP Psychology exam with a score of 5 or IB (HL) Psychology exam with a score of 7: students are placed into a course above PSYC 30; no elective credit


AP Chemistry exam with a score of 4 or 5 or IB (HL) Chemistry exam with a score of 6 or 7: one unit of elective credit

AP Physics exam with a score of 4 or 5 or IB (HL) Physics exam with a score of 6 or 7: one unit of elective credit

No credit is awarded for the AP Biology exam. 

AP exams in Chemistry, Physics or Biology do not satisfy the GE requirement for a lab science course.

My advisee wants to satisfy one of the GEs by taking a course elsewhere over the summer. Is this okay?

It depends on the GE and the course your advisee selects. Your advisee needs to consult with the department that administers the GE and with the Registrar.

My advisee wants to take an online course and transfer the credit to CMC. Can students do that?

Normally, no. CMC does not give credit for online courses. However, CMC will make a temporary exception and permit courses offered online elsewhere during the summer and fall of 2020 to be eligible for transfer credit. Current students must have all courses pre-approved to qualify for this exception. Your advisee should request transfer credit approval by filling out the transfer credit approval request form after conferring with the appropriate department or program chair regarding course equivalency at CMC.

My advisees have questions about another CMC major or sequence. Where do I send them?

American Studies: Tamara Venit-Shelton (History) 
Asian Studies: Minju Kim (Modern Languages and Literatures) 
Biochemistry: Mary Hatcher-Skeers (Keck Science-Chemistry) 
Biophysics: Scot Gould (Keck Science-Physics) 
Biology: Patrick Ferree (Keck Science-Biology) 
Chemistry: Katie Purvis-Roberts (Keck Science-Chemistry) 
Classical Studies: Shane Bjornlie (History)
Data Science: Mark Huber (Mathematical Sciences)
Economics: Fan Yu (RDS)  
Economics-Accounting: Marc Massoud (RDS) 
Economics and Engineering: Scot Gould (Keck Science-Physics) 
Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP): Mary Evans (RDS) 
Environmental Analysis Program (EAP): Don McFarlane (Keck Science- Environmental Studies)
Film Studies (dual major only): Jim Morrison (Literature) 
French: Marie-Denise Shelton (Modern Languages)  
Government: Minxin Pei (Government) 
History: Daniel Livesay (History) 
International Relations: Bill Ascher (IR/Government)  
Literature: Leland de la Durantaye (Literature) 
Management-Engineering: Scot Gould (Keck Science-Physics)  
Mathematical and Computational Sciences: Sam Nelson (Mathematical Sciences)
Middle East Studies: Bassam Frangieh (Modern Languages)  
Neuroscience: John Milton (Keck Science-Biology) 
Philosophy: Adrienne Martin (Philosophy)  
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE): Paul Hurley (Philosophy)
Philosophy and Public Affairs: Drew Schroeder (Philosophy)  
Physics: Adam Landsberg (Fall 2020)/Scot Gould (Spring 2021) (Keck Science-Physics) 
Psychology: Daniel Krauss (Psychological Science)
Public Policy: Shanna Rose (Government)
Religious Studies: Gastón Espinosa (Religious Studies) 
Science and Management: Anna Wenzel (Keck Science-Chemistry)
Spanish: Salvador Velazco (Modern Languages) 

What about sequences?

Asian American Studies: Wei-Chin Hwang (Psychological Science) 
Computer Science: Mark Huber (Mathematical Sciences)
Data Science: Mark Huber (Mathematical Sciences)
Ethics: Joe Bessette (Government)    
Financial Economics: Lisa Meulbroek and Eric Hughson (RDS) 
Gender and Sexuality Studies: Ellen Rentz (Literature) and Sarah Sarzynski (History)
Human Rights, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies: Wendy Lower (History)
Jewish Studies: Gary Gilbert (Religious Studies) 
Leadership Studies: Ron Riggio (Psychological Science)  
Legal Studies: Ralph Rossum (Government) 
Scientific Modeling: Jim Higdon (Keck Science-Physics) 

What about RDS and the BA/MA program?

Eric Hughson, Director of Graduate Programs

My advisee wants to do an off-campus major.  Anything special I should know about that?

Your advisee should make an appointment with the chair of the department housing the off-campus to get the most up-to-date information. The Registrar’s Office has a form they will eventually fill out with that person in order to declare the major

My advisee wants to declare a major I know nothing about. Should I stop being the advisor of record?

If both of you are happy with the advising relationship, there’s no need to sever it, but your advisee should make sure to consult regularly with the faculty member assigned to advise majors in the relevant department.  If your advisee does want to switch advisors there is a Change of Advisor form at the Registrar’s Office.  The major advisor can also be listed as the secondary advisor. 

My advisee has questions about an intercollegiate major. What are those, anyway?

There are two intercollegiate departments, Africana Studies and Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies, which offer majors. There are also two intercollegiate majors, one in Media Studies and one under the auspices of the Pomona College Theater Program.   

Africana Studies: Derik Smith (Literature, djsmith@cmc.edu
Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies: Rita Alcalá (Scripps, Chicanx/Latinx Studies, ralcala@scrippscollege.edu)
Media Studies: Jim Morrison (Literature, jmorrison@cmc.edu
Theater: James P. Taylor (Pomona, Theater, jptaylor@pomona.edu)

My advisee wants to study abroad. Where is the best place to start exploring those options?

Send your advisee to Off-Campus Study at the Center for Global Education to get started on the study abroad process.  For questions about transferring credit back from study abroad to satisfy specific CMC GEs and/or major requirements, your advisee should talk to the contact person listed above for the department/major. 

My advisee has a question about academics that I don’t see covered here.

The Registrar’s Office always has the answer (registrar@cmc.edu or x18101).

My advisee’s parent emailed me with a question about my advisee’s academic progress. The parent says their child signed a FERPA waiver.  How should I respond?

When a student signs a FERPA waiver, the advisor gets copied on the email the Registrar sends.  You can always contact the Registrar to ask if your advisee has signed a FERPA waiver. Of course, if the student hasn’t agreed to waive their FERPA rights to privacy, you can’t communicate with the parent about the student’s academic progress.  If the student did sign a waiver allowing the parent access to their academic information, you may communicate with the parent, but you aren’t required to. You might want to check to see what the advisee prefers you do in this situation.

My advisee seems to be struggling academically. What resources do we have?

In general: the Dean of Students Office provides academic success resources to support the efforts of the faculty with supplemental academic coaching, peer tutoring, professionalized disability services including accommodations testing, and workshops and clinics to develop students’ executive functioning skills. The office also helps to manage the withdrawal and readmission processes, and provides early intervention when students are in academic peril. The Dean of Students Office welcomes calls and emails from faculty identifying any academic or health and wellness concerns they have about students. These might include attendance patterns, despondence, disruptive behavior, declining grades, etc. Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at CMC are close partners and are here to support faculty advisors. Please reach out to Susan Layden (slayden@cmc.edu), Senior Associate Dean for Student Success, or Dianna Graves (dgraves@cmc.edu), Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at any time.

If your student has a disability, refer them to Kari Rood, Assistant Dean of Students for Disability Services and Academic Success (disabilityservices@cmc.edu).

For issues with writing: the Center for Writing and Public Discourse, which has trained student consultants who meet with writers at any stage of the writing process. The CWPD also offers support to international students, who should contact Mellissa Martinez (mmartinez@cmc.edu). Finally, the CWPD runs an academic mentoring program for first-year students. Christine Crockett Sharp is the director (ccrockett@cmc.edu).

The Claremont Colleges Library offers a vast array of workshops. Topics include identifying and managing appropriate sources and citing them correctly, conducting research on different topics using different databases, using different presentation software, time management, and many more. Send your student to consult the “Research Support” section of the Library website.

The Murty Sunak Quantitative and Computing Lab offers tutoring  and project consulting for students in quantitative studies across the curriculum and in computing, and also sponsors workshops on different topics.

The Modern Language Resource Center (HUM 122, Scripps) is a joint resource for CMC, Scripps and Pitzer students studying foreign languages. They offer drop-in tutoring and other resources.

My advisee has some personal issues. How should I handle this? 

You don’t have to be your advisee’s personal confidant, but you can point out some resources. When personal issues come up, it is always appropriate to refer your advisee to the Dean of Students Office (x18114), on the first floor of Heggblade. As appropriate, you can also direct your student to one or more of these places. Many offer mentoring programs for first-year students.

The CARE Center (Civility, Access, Resources, and Expression), Heggblade second floor; Associate Dean of Students for Diversity, Inclusion and Residential Life, Vince Greer, is the director (vince.greer@cmc.edu).

Hillel at the Claremont Colleges: Rabbi Danny Shapiro (dshapiro@claremont.edu); x18824.

The Chaplains’ Office (McAlister Center for Religious Activities) has Protestant, Catholic, Muslim and Jewish chaplains who hold religious services and provide pastoral counseling; chaplains@cuc.claremont.edu; x18685.

The Queer Resource Center is a 7Cs resource center housed at Pomona, in Walton Commons; QRCClaremont@gmail.com; x78187.

The Asian American Resource Center is housed in the Smith Campus Center at Pomona; aarc@pomona.edu; x18639.

The Office of Black Student Affairs holds activities and offers tutoring and academic support for students of African descent. They are housed in the OBSA House at 139 E. 7th St.; obsa@cuc.claremont.edu; x73669.

Chicano/Latino Student Affairs provides personal, cultural and academic support to Chicanx and Latinx students. They are on the second floor of Tranquada Student Services. clsa@claremont.edu; x18044.

International Place (I-Place) is housed at CMC behind McKenna Auditorium; iplace@cmc.edu; x74571. 

The Student Disability Resource Center is a 7Cs resource center in Tranquada Student Services, first floor; sdrc@cuc.claremont.edu; x77419. 

Speaking of that, my advisee wants to know how to let professors know about a documented learning disability.

The student needs to contact CMC Disability Services, if they haven’t already, to request accommodations (disabilityservices@cmc.edu). That office will send the student an email saying that the student is eligible for accommodations and describing what the appropriate accommodations are.  The student needs to follow up personally, and sooner rather than later, with each professor to make arrangements for any accommodations requested.  Kari Rood, Assistant Dean for Disability Services and Academic Success can be contacted directly for more information (krood@cmc.edu).

My advisee’s learning disability hasn’t been documented yet.

The student should contact Disability Services (disabilityservices@cmc.edu) for information about how to do so. Since the process can be lengthy, your advisee should start it as soon as possible.

My advisee seems really down and isn’t making a good adjustment to CMC.

Referral to the Dean of Students Office (x18114) is best here. You can also call or email DoS and give them a heads-up that they should check on your advisee and reach out to them. You may want to make a point of checking in with your advisee more often, to help them feel more connected to our community. 

Appendix 2: Policy on Reimbursement of Business Expenses

See CMC’s Reimbursement Policy  

Appendix 3: Grade Disputes

See Grade Challenges

Appendix 4: Mentoring Policy for Junior Faculty

See Appendix 3.4 of the Faculty Handbook, Mentoring Policy for Junior Faculty  

Appendix 5



Use this form for one-year or two-year non-tenure-track appointments/reappointments for which APT-EC has NOT requested a more extensive review. For all other non-tenure-track appointments/reappointments, solicit a teaching statement and CV from the candidate, and submit them along with a department report akin to the teaching section of the 3rd year review of tenure-track faculty (see guidelines), including student interviews and the following information.

Chair’s name and department:

Candidate’s name:

Candidate’s employment history at CMC (if any):

Position (and length of contract) requested:

Brief rationale for the request:

Brief description of the search procedure:

Summary of the candidate’s prior teaching evaluations and grading practices, and any other relevant information explaining the reasons for selecting the candidate: 

For first-time appointments at CMC, please attach non-CMC teaching evaluations and grades (if available). 

For reappointments, please submit a request for tables of CMC teaching evaluations and grades to John Haller, Office of Institutional Research at least two weeks prior to the deadline.  He can generate tables of the online CMC evaluations from Spring 2012 or later.  If the candidate has CMC teaching evaluations prior to Spring 2012, please attach the summary evaluations themselves. 

Please attach the candidate’s CV and check as appropriate:

____ Candidate’s CV attached

____ Tables of CMC evaluations/grades since 2012 attached

____ CMC teaching evaluations prior to Spring 2012 attached

____ Non-CMC teaching evaluations and/or grades attached

Additional comments (optional):