Recasting the role of department chair at San Jacinto College


How might we redesign the role of department chair to create greater accountability and leadership?


Seven-pronged effort: 

  • Redesigned role of department chair to be a permanent position with no teaching load during fall or spring semesters
  • Recast chair’s primary responsibilities to include classroom observation, teaching evaluation, professional development, participation in major initiatives, and strategic departmental planning
  • Increased compensation for role to reflect the enhanced expectations
  • Conducted leadership development for chairs
  • Gave department chairs access to multiple data points, including historical performance data and customized reports from IR, as well as an end-of-course survey
  • Developed institution-wide student learning outcomes to promote standard key performance indicators by which to evaluate faculty
  • Developed Annual Department Chair & Dean Academy in which faculty leadership reflects on previous year and plans for the coming year


The college permanently appointed department chairs, relieving them of teaching and extending their contracts to 12 month, thus enabling them to focus on faculty development and departmental leadership and strategy.

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