6.72 – Department Heads Responsibilities, including Teaching

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 6 | HR - Hiring, Work Rules and Assignments

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: Not Available



Revision History:

2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 5.45

The following responsibilities of the department head are to be accomplished, insofar as possible, within budget and policy/rules restraints.


A. Academic Leadership

The department head is expected to be the academic leader of the departmental faculty.  The department head is responsible for ensuring that highly qualified faculty are employed.  Also, the department head ensures that official transcripts, including highest degree earned are obtained for every new faculty member’s official personnel file (routed through the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost).  Insofar as possible, the kind of atmosphere in which the faculty can do their best work in teaching, research, and service should be maintained.


B. Faculty Development

Leadership of the faculty implies working closely with the faculty on the development and sustenance of departmental courses and the stimulation and encouragement of faculty development.  A performance evaluation of each faculty member will be carried out at least once a year and should be made in the positive vein of professional development.  Evaluation of the progress of tenure-track faculty should be made in consultation with senior department faculty and in accordance with the highest national standards of faculty performance.


C. Professional Contacts

The department head is responsible for encouraging the national and international professional contacts of the faculty within the constraints of the departmental budget.  This implies appropriate travel and bringing well-known professionals to the campus.


D. Teaching Support

The department head has no more important task than ensuring teaching excellence.  Encouragement and support of good teaching must be given to faculty, especially new faculty.  Copies of current syllabi will be maintained in the department head’s office. The department head is responsible for ensuring an effective departmental evaluation of teaching, and for advisement of student departmental majors.


E. Effective Management

The department head must ensure the effective administration of the department, including keeping the faculty fully informed of department, college, and university matters.  Routine and special reports, including grade reports and other matters, must be handled accurately and on time.  Effective supervision and development of the department budget is important.  The department head will keep the faculty informed on budgetary matters.  All research and program contracts should be carefully supervised, both for fiscal integrity and academic appropriateness.


F. Departmental Advocate/College and University Steward

The department head is expected to be an advocate of the department, yet at the same time appreciate the concerns and priorities of the college and university.  The most important department activities in the development of faculty, programs, research, and service are done in close partnership with the office of the dean of the college.


G. Liaison to Dean

The department head is responsible to the dean of the college for all the activities of the department.  The dean should be kept apprised of all department activities and problems.


H. Policy Compliance

The department head is responsible for ensuring that department, college, and university policies, rules and procedures are enforced.


I. Role in Recruitment

The department head will inform the search committee chair if an underutilization memorandum is received from the Office of the executive vice president and provost for purposes of meeting affirmative action goals.  The Search Committee Guidelines will be provided by the department head for tenure-track faculty positions.


J. Supervision of Graduate Assistants

Graduate assistants are recommended for appointment by the department head.  The appointment requires approval of the college and graduate dean.  Three letters of recommendation are required for the approval.  Specific orientation and training of graduate assistants are the responsibilities of the department head.  Graduate assistants work under the close supervision of faculty.  The policy on academic freedom does not apply to the service expected of graduate assistants.  The assignment of teaching duties to graduate assistants is the responsibility of the department head.  Such assignment requires that the department head ascertain that the graduate assistant is fully qualified and that the work performed by the graduate assistant be closely supervised by a member of the faculty responsible for monitoring the assigned tasks associated with the graduate assistant’s teaching responsibility.  Only those graduate assistants proficient in English may be assigned to teaching or teaching-related activities.


K. Department Head Teaching Requirements

Minimum teaching for FA/SP/SI/SII

Number of courses of  3 credits or equivalent*

Doctorate granting departments


Master granting departments


Bachelor granting departments




With the approval of the dean, an adjustment of one fewer course than the above number of courses may be made by any department that qualifies for three or more points as listed below.


With 100 or more majors 1
With 15 or more graduate students 1
With $300,000 in grants or more and/or $20,000 in gifts in each year 1
With 15 or more faculty 1
With 30 or more faculty