Relationships Between Department Chairs and Program Directors

A subcommittee of the CIC was charged with examining the interrelationships among program director/directors, program committees, and academic departments, especially as related to curriculum and program changes and development.  The purpose was to clarify and improve the interrelationships.

The subcommittee made the following recommendations:

  1. The members of program committees shall be responsible for keeping their respective schools and departments informed regarding programmatic changes (additions or deletions) that may have particular curriculum impacts within their schools.
  2. The program committee shall include in its membership a "professional-in-the-field" to provide input on program focus and direction. This "professional-in-the-field" generally shall be from outside the university community.
  3. Department chair or their designee shall serve on the program committee when that department provides a significant number of courses/credits for the degree program. The program director and college dean where the program is housed shall determine which departments shall be represented.
  4. When a revision is being considered for a program, the program director must talk with the department chair of a department that houses any required courses that may be added or deleted from the existing curriculum. For selectives, consultation shall take place when the impact is significant.
  5. A provision shall be made for a university-level orientation of all new department chairs and program directors to ensure that each is aware of their role in the curriculum process and to familiarize them with data availability that may help them in their new roles. All persons currently in these positions shall attend an initial meeting to ensure all persons are presently aware of the relationships and differences. The provost shall designate who shall be responsible for this function.
  6. When departments are recommending credit changes or adding prerequisites to existing courses, the department shall notify the director/directors of the degree program(s) most likely to be impacted by the change before it is sent to the curriculum committee. This would require that a check be made on which programs require the course(s) that are being proposed for changes.
  7. Prerequisites for courses required in a program shall be listed in the program inventory for the degree and also on the plan sheet.