DU Chair Handbook

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This goal of this handbook is to help DU faculty at the start of their new roles as Department Chairs. It will offer practical advice and guidance, and it will offer ideas on how to make this role one’s own. The handbook is written and compiled by colleagues at DU, some of whom are Directors or Chairs while others are members of the faculty. In addition to providing a better understanding of new responsibilities, this handbook will help one learn how a Department Chair can make a difference in an academic program flourishing at the University of Denver.

Jump to a section below to get started!

Part 1: Why Are You a Department Chair?


Taking on a new role, both in your department and at the university.

Go to Introduction

Part 2: Pragmatics

Operations & Management

  • Advising assignments
  • Budgeting and fundraising
  • Course scheduling
  • Scheduling and facilitating department meetings
  • Supervision of staff
  • Oversight and distribution of departmental service responsibilities
  • Communication

Go to section

Academic Program

  • Student admissions & Interview
  • Academic milestone oversight
  • Academic integrity and student support

Go to section


  • Hiring Processes for faculty and staff
  • Evaluation and Assessment: Annual evaluations of faculty and staff
  • Staff and faculty retention
  • Student issues (academic integrity, Title IX, etc.)
  • Faculty issues & conflict
  • Crisis management: Resources at DU and links

Go to section

Managing Up and Out: Working With the Dean and Other University Administrators

Building & Sustaining Community

  • Departmental decision-making
  • Communication within program
  • Student orientation
  • Department events
  • Beyond the department

Go to section

Chair Well-Being

Part 3: Being a Chair at DU

Annual Calendar

DU Offices and Programs

Upper Administration Organizational Chart

DU Systems Used in Routine Departmental Operations