Office for Faculty Development

Length of Term and Transition to a New Chair

  • Chairs receive a stipend from the Provost and are awarded one or more course releases by their deans. See the Chair Compensation Model.  
  • Department chairs are appointed by the deans, upon recommendation by the departments.
  • Departmental recommendations are put forward to the deans based on elections conducted on terms specified in departmental constitutions.
  • The usual length of term for a chair is 3 years, though some department constitutions specify otherwise. Chairs can be reelected for additional terms, subject to departmental by-laws.

Before ending your term as chair, you should:

  • Advise anyone considering the position to review this Handbook;
  • Think about ways to help transition the new chair, especially if the person has not chaired the department before;
  • Invite the prospective chair to observe or participate in one or more key tasks: for example, planning out the course schedule for the next year (an especially important topic with which the incoming chair should be relatively familiar);
  • Discuss things that are on the horizon that will need to be dealt with during the new person’s tenure as chair;
  • Discuss issues especially relevant to your department;
  • Ensure your files are in order, so it's easy for the next chair to find things.