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Chapter 3: Administrative Terms of Office

Terms of Office of Department Chairs

For colleges or schools with departments, nominations of chairs of departments are made by the Dean of the college or professional school, acting on the advice of the members of the department holding academic tenure or on the advice of an appropriately constituted search committee appointed by the Dean.

In the School of Medicine, nominations of chairs for the Basic Science Departments are made on the advice of an appropriately constituted search committee appointed by the Provost or the Provost’s designee. 1 The nominations of chairs for the Clinical Departments of the School of Medicine are made on the advice of an appropriately constituted search committee appointed by the Dean of the School of Medicine. 2

With the exception of the School of Medicine, where such appointments are made for indefinite terms, department chairs are appointed for limited, renewable terms of three, four, or five years. This does not imply a standard practice or policy of rotating chairs. Regardless of the type of terms of appointment, department chairs are subject to continual evaluation and systematic appraisal by the dean and, at the initiative of the dean, by competent, outside professional consultants.

Divisional or interdepartmental chairs are nominated by the Dean for fixed terms on the advice of special faculty committees appointed by the Dean to review such programs and candidates. The Provost nominates chairs in the case of interschool committees. The Provost may confer with the Dean of the School of Medicine when such nominations involve Clinical Departments in the School of Medicine.


1 The list of basic science departments in the School of Medicine, which may be amended from time to time, are: Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Pharmacology.

2 The list of clinical departments in the School of Medicine, which may be amended from time to time, are: Anesthesiology, Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics, Emergency Medicine, Health Policy, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Micro & Immunology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine. For committees with student members, nominations of undergraduates are submitted to the Chancellor by the Office of the Dean of Students. Nominations of graduate or professional students are solicited by the Office of the Dean of Students from the graduate and professional schools and submitted to the Chancellor.