The administrative role of the university departmental chair is becoming more demanding and complex. The birth of the academic department chair began in 1825at the University of Virginia; however it was not until the advent of the land-grant university at Cornell in 1868 that the concept of the department as an organizational unit came into its own.

The chair performs three major roles. These are academic, leadership, and administrative. There is a conclusive body of evidence that the majority of chairs come to their posts with little training or experience in administrative duties. This often translates into job dissatisfaction.

The purpose of this paper is to identify the administrative responsibilities of the department chair, to examine the qualifications for those responsibilities, and to outline recommendations for better preparing the chair to pursue those responsibilities.



department chair, role of department chair, administrative responsibilites

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