Revised October 10, 2018
Table of Contents
- Coordinating Annual Events And Ongoing Tasks
- Hiring And Mentoring Personnel
- Curriculum Management And Faculty Course Assignments
- Assessment And Reviews
- Budget Management
- Related Links and Resources
To request a printable copy of the Department and Program Chair Handbook, please email Sarah Gillig at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Coordinating Annual Events And Ongoing Tasks
Responsibilities Of Department/Program Chairs
While each department/program chair is ultimately responsible for making sure that the department/program attends to and completes tasks listed and described in this handbook, members of many departments and programs effectively share this responsibility by distributing the work of accomplishing the tasks equitably among themselves. Department/Program chairs are responsible for:
- coordinating annual events
- hiring and mentoring personnel
- reviewing the curriculum and organizing faculty course assignments
- assessing the educational quality of the department/program and preparing annual assessment reports; and
- managing and overseeing the department/program budget.
Departmental Events And Tasks
The Chair is responsible for coordinating various events throughout the year. We strongly encourage outgoing chairs to share department e‐files with incoming chairs; these might include: templates for search letters, templates for congratulatory letters, rubrics for comprehensive exams, Visit the Zoo handouts, etc. In many departments, the Chair compiles a list of tasks and events and various department members assign themselves to particular tasks. Such tasks/events include (but certainly are not limited to):
- Department’s orientation event. (Orientation, before beginning of Fall)
- Endowed and other lecture/speaker coordination.
- Admissions Events. See the Visiting Kalamazoo College page on the Admission website for events requiring departmental participation
- Declaration of Major Day (Week 5 Winter)
- Honors, Awards, and Fellowships in the department (usually Spring, some in the Fall for Honors Day convocation; you will be prompted via campus mail)
- SIP Symposium – if the department has a symposium (usually, but not always, in Spring)
- Departmental Senior Events (end of Spring)
- Be sure to check the College calendar to avoid conflicts when scheduling a symposium and/or senior events. And, be sure to get your department events on the calendar.
- Website changes/updates in conjunction with the department’s administrative assistant
If your department has not composed a list of annual events and tasks, please consider doing so for the person who will follow in your footsteps.
Calendar Of Personnel Review Dates
Faculty personnel committee review schedule:
RETENTION REVIEW — For First Year Faculty
|Early Spring||Provost informs candidates of review process|
|Late Spring||FPC hosts informational meeting with candidates|
|Friday, 0th week||Candidate’s submits review materials to Provost Office|
|Friday, 1st week||Department letter due at Provost’s Office|
|Mid-September||FPC review begins|
|Nov/Dec||Conversation: Provost and Candidate|
RETENTION REVIEW — Third Year and Non‐tenure Track Reviews
|Early Winter, 2nd Week, Winter||Candidates informed of process|
|Mid Winter||FPC hosts informational meeting with candidates|
|Friday, first week Spring||Candidate’s materials due (CV, self‐statement, etc.)|
|Friday, 2nd week, Spring||Department letter and all other materials due|
|Early Spring||FPC review begins|
|May/June||Provost conveys review feedback and decision to candidate|
TENURE REVIEW (commences in Spring term, completed by Winter term)
|Mid Spring||Provost informs candidates of review process|
|Late Spring||FPC hosts informational meeting with candidates|
|Early‐July||Candidate submits list of potential external reviewers to Provost|
|Early‐August||Candidate submits external review materials to Provost office|
|Early‐August||List of recent alums sent to Provost’s Office|
|Friday 2nd week of Fall||Candidate’s submits internal review materials to Provost Office|
|Friday 2nd week of Fall||External Review letter due to Provost Office|
|Friday, 3rd week of Fall||Department letter and all other letters due to Provost office|
|Friday 4th week of Fall||Advocate’s review statement to Provost’s Office|
|Early October||FPC begins review of files|
|March||Notification of candidates (following Winter meeting of Board of|
PROMOTION REVIEW (commences in late Fall term, completed in Spring term)
|Mid-Spring||Provost informs candidates of review process|
|Late Spring||FPC hosts informational meeting with candidates|
|August 1||Candidate informs Provost of desire to be reviewed for promotion|
|Friday, 1st week, Fall||Candidate submits Short file to Provost’s Office|
|Early Fall||Personnel Subcommittee on Promotions reviews short files|
|Mid Fall||Provost conveys feedback on short file to candidate|
|Friday, 9th week, Fall||List of potential external reviewers submitted to Provost Office|
|December 1||Candidate submits External review materials to Provost’s Office|
|Monday, 1st week, Winter||Candidate submits Internal review materials to Provost’s Office|
|Monday, 1st week, Winter||External Review letters due|
|Friday, 2nd week, Winter||Department letter and all other materials to Provost’s Office|
|Friday,3rd week, Winter||Advocate letter due to Provost’s Office|
|Mid Winter-Early Spring||FPC begins review of completed files|
|June||Provost notifies candidate of review decision (following spring Board of Trustees meeting)|
Hiring And Mentoring Personnel
The Department Chair guides the personnel decisions of the department, with regard to both the faculty and staff, as well as the effective mentoring of department personnel. When making decisions about hiring, contract renewal, tenure, and promotion, the Department Chair, in consultation with the department and the Provost (full time hires) or the Associate Provost (part time hires), should design the process, including how input will be sought, how the letter will be constructed, signed, etc., and ensure its completion. Please see the Advice to Departments with Pre‐Tenure Faculty and consult other helpful FPC documents on the Faculty Personnel website. Mentoring department personnel, particularly adjunct/visiting and tenure‐track faculty, is of paramount importance and the responsibility of the entire department. In consultation with the department, Provost, and Associate Provost, the Department Chair oversees and participates in effective mentoring of colleagues.
Hiring Tenure‐Track Faculty
Please see Faculty Search Procedures and Guidelines.
Hiring Adjunct/Visiting Faculty
Before searching for an adjunct, make a request for funds to do so with the Associate Provost. The Provost’s budget covers replacements for sabbaticals, pre‐tenure leaves, and administrative releases. All other adjunct faculty appointments are allotted according to departmental and college‐wide needs and are subject to the adjunct budget, administered by the Associate Provost.
While it is not always easy to predict, departments should begin considering their part‐time and adjunct needs as early as possible. For example, unless an adjunct is teaching a course already on the books, an adjunct teaching a new winter course will need to have the syllabus to EPC by week 3 of Fall to ensure it is approved and placed on the course schedule before advising days during weeks 6 and 7. Fall courses would ideally be approved and on the books by week 6 of Spring, and Spring courses by week 6 of Winter. While searches for adjuncts are usually less involved than tenure track searches, the
“Faculty Search Procedures and Guidelines” may also be helpful for short‐term hires.
Part‐time hires are facilitated by the Associate Provost. If you bring a candidate to campus (travel funding per approval of the Provost), please schedule a meeting with the Associate Provost. Once your department has identified a candidate that you would like to hire, please contact the Associate Provost; they will call the candidate to offer the position, provide salary information, and send the appointment letter.
Year‐long hires are usually facilitated by the Provost and include an interview with them prior to approving and making the hire.
Staff employment procedures are detailed at the Employee Relations page of the Human Resources website. When your unit has a staff employment opening, Human Resources will partner with you in the recruiting and selecting process. Your first step is to complete a Staff Personnel Requisition and update the position description.
Procedures for supervisors of student employees are detailed on the Student Supervisor Resources page on the Human Resources website.
Orientation And Mentoring Of Adjunct/visiting Faculty
Many of the suggestions below are applicable to Pre‐Tenure members, but for more detailed and specific information on mentoring tenure‐track faculty, please also see FPC’s Advice and Guidance for Departments with Pre‐Tenure Member.
If the new faculty member will be here for an entire year, he/she will participate in the Teaching and Learning Workshop before the start of Fall term; if the new faculty member will be here for 2 quarters or less, he/she will have a one‐hour meeting with the Associate Provost. In all cases, we ask Department Chairs to orient and mentor new members of their department in the following ways:
Getting Courses ‘on the books’:
- As soon as the new member of your department is hired, please communicate with them about what courses he/she will be teaching and when the courses will be taught. Also please have her/him send sample syllabi of the courses (or the closest example) he/she will be teaching.
- If this is a regularly offered course or a special topics course, NO APPROVAL from the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) is required before the course is taught. The Department Chair approves the syllabus and communicates the special topic title to the Registrar and Associate Provost directly. If this is a one‐time offering, the course will need to go to EPC, but will not need to be voted on by the faculty. Submitting the course to EPC by week 3 (at the latest) of the preceding term allows time for making any requested revisions before the course is listed in the course schedule for advising days (weeks 6 and 7).
- If these courses were on the yearly class time schedule, the Registrar and Associate Provost do not need to re‐approve the already determined time slot. However, if a course is not already on the yearly schedule, please submit the preferred time for the course to the Registrar and the Associate Provost so they can look for college‐wide scheduling needs and conflicts.
- The Associate Provost will give the new faculty an information packet (which has academic calendar, helpful syllabus guidelines—although not department specific ones, etc.) to your new colleague. Information for new faculty is also available at the Provost’s website in Section 10 of the Faculty Handbook.
- Please tell your new colleague that you would like to review syllabi for courses by a particular date in order for you to suggest possible revisions.
Office Arrangements and Paperwork:
- The office coordinator works with the Provost’s Office on office space location and set-up..
- Also ask your office coordinator to submit a request to Facilities Management to update name‐plates at the office door and elsewhere in the building, if necessary.
- After completing paperwork with HR, new faculty will be directed to visit Campus Security (in Hicks Center) for an ID card. Once a new faculty member has an ID card from Security, they can take the card to the Help Desk where they will be given a password to access their network account. .
- Email the Registrar’s Office and ask to have the faculty members name be shown on the Class Schedule as the instructor for the course being taught; if the instructor has never taught at K before, they will need to be ‘put in the system’—this happens once the hiring process is complete. If you ask for them to be listed as instructor and they’re not in the system, the Registrar will contact HR and the Provost’s Office to make this happen. Once they are in the system, they will have network access.
- To make sure that we support our adjunct faculty as they transition to teaching our students, please arrange to visit their classroom in the first two weeks of class. The Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment has developed useful strategies and templates for help in this process. These materials include tips on how to prepare for the class visit with the instructor, how to observe, and how to follow‐up to provide useful feedback. Please contact the Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment for further strategies and materials.
- Part‐time faculty who are at K for less than a year do not have an official mentor; please make arrangements with your full‐time department members to appoint a mentor to check in with them occasionally.
- If the instructor will or may be teaching for your department again, please read the instructor’s course evaluations at the end of the quarter. The Associate Provost and the Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment also read these evaluations, but it’s easier for a chair to have a conversation (at least the first) with the instructor about course evaluations and how to interpret and respond to the evaluations. If appropriate, you may ask for the Associate Provost or Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment to follow‐up with you and the instructor.
- Please ask for help if you need it, and please send suggestions for improving how we orient and mentor our new faculty to the Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment and/or Associate Provost.
Additional advice from Department Chairs regarding advising and mentoring new faculty:
- Alert new faculty that they will have to submit their syllabi at the beginning of each quarter to be kept on file with the Provost’s Office.
- Think about ways to mentor your new faculty not only in terms of teaching, but also regarding research. Talk to them about research, publication, grants, etc.
- Because we’re a small school and there may be no one on campus in his/her field, working with a new colleague on their research might include helping them connect with faculty on other campuses. A chair could set up a lunch with WMU faculty in the same field, for example. This person could develop into an off‐campus mentor.
- In the sciences, almost all work is collaborative. Work with new colleagues on collaboration opportunities and the funding for it (FDC? Start‐up money?). Encourage new science faculty to write a grant proposal during their first year and to work with the Grants and Contracts Office (Jessica Fowle) on the task.
- Help new faculty figure out “how things work” here. For example, showing new faculty a department budget and explaining how it works.
- Visit new faculty’s classes—and not just once a year. Using Microteaching feedback guide could be helpful. Also ask the new faculty member what they would like you to look for.
- Read and discuss course evaluations with new faculty; help them understand and interpret the data. Talk with them about changes they might make to address any concerns. Some chairs share their own course evaluations. Some departments share the whole department’s evaluations.
- Circulate new syllabi for any course among department members.
- Help teach new faculty about responding to requests for service obligations. This may include how, when and why to say “no”, or a strategic “yes,” to these requests.
- When your department is switching chairs, coordinate the hand‐off of mentoring between chairs.
- Tell the new faculty member that they will be asked to do a professional update every two summers, and that the best way to be ready for it is to keep a running list of what they’re doing and collect supporting materials along the way—often a file on their computer where they can just drop info.
Reading Evaluations Of The Faculty In Your Department
While it has not always been common practice, the Provost’s office asks that chairs read the evaluations of each member of their department. This is of course most important for untenured faculty or faculty having an issue with a particular course. Please read the evaluations at the end of the quarter. As a department chair, you will have access to course evaluations from each member of your department in the SmartEvals platform (https://kalamazoo.smartevals.com). You will receive an email with pdf summaries, and the full evaluations are available by logging in at SmartEvals. Typically you will be able to see evaluations the day after grades are due each term — one day before the instructors gain access. You can address questions to email@example.com. The Associate Provost and the Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment also read
these evaluations, but it’s easier for a chair to have a conversation (at least the first) with faculty about evaluations. If appropriate, you may ask for the Associate Provost or Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment to follow‐up with you and the instructor.
The Course Evaluation page has the full process on Teaching Evaluation distribution, collection, and reports.
We strongly advise that you or other members of the department visit the classes of untenured members of your department on a quarterly basis for the first year and yearly after that. Not only will it help you to have material for 1st year, pre‐tenure, and tenure reviews, you will be able to offer encouragement, praise and critiques before the official reviews, potentially heading off problematic teaching issues before the official reviews. The Assistant Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment has developed
some strategies and materials to help transform these class visits from perfunctory gestures to opportunities for meaningful, deep reflection. Please contact the Coordinator of Educational Effectiveness for links to these materials.
Planning Sabbatical And Other Leaves
It is prudent for the Department Chair to review the sabbatical and leave schedule for everyone in the department on an annual or biannual basis, especially when there has been a retirement or resignation, a new hire, or someone in the department is considering delaying or deferring a leave. It is important, when possible, to avoid multiple members of the same department being on leave in the same academic year. The Provost will rarely approve multiple leaves (especially year‐long leaves) in the same year.
When a faculty member applies for a leave, the Department Chair (or another senior departmental member if the leave request is coming from the Department Chair) is asked to write a letter of support by week 3 of the fall term.The department should also work with the faculty member requesting a leave to articulate how their teaching and other obligations may be effectively covered in their absence. Not every leave can be fully replaced with a full time adjunct, and not every course must be replaced.
Additional information on leaves can be found on the Faculty Development Committee’s website.
Curriculum Management and Faculty Course Assignments
Skip ahead – Curriculum Management and Faculty Course Assignments Sub-sections
Constructing the Yearly Course Schedule
SCHEDULE DUE: MONDAY OF WEEK 4 IN WINTER
Communicate with all members of the department/program regarding potential leaves and ways that department/program members can ‘absorb’ the needs generated by leaves. Also be sure to discuss adjunct possibilities with the Provost (FT) and the Associate Provost (PT).
Work with the department to ensure that you are offering the courses needed by the major/minor. Decide which courses are in/out of rotation for the next year.
Are there courses in your department that are required by majors/minors in other departments? If so, coordinate times with extra‐departmental colleagues as well.
Consult the three‐year enrollment trends to see if the number of 100, 200, 300, and 400 level courses have been meeting the needs of the department and are well‐enrolled. This data is available on the Date Request form on the Registrar’s site. Questions to consider: Does the department, for example, need to offer more 200 levels and fewer 400? Can specific courses be on a 2-year rotation schedule?
Consider ways that your department can contribute to the breadth of the curriculum with non‐majors courses.
Consider how your department can contribute to the Shared Passages Seminar Program.
Consider the needs of other programs/concentrations in which the faculty teach as well as the department.
Offer courses in all time slots.
In November you will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office regarding the one‐year course schedule. The email you receive from the Registrar’s Office will include copies of the department’s schedules for the past two years and will include the following requests:
- Electronic submission.
- Submissions are to be as clean and clear as possible (this includes course names and numbers, starting and ending times, and faculty if possible)
- Submissions which are as complete as possible be submitted by the due date. Changes and additions can be made after that date if necessary.
- New courses and one‐time offerings can be submitted but will not appear on the schedule until approved by EPC.
- Use of the entire weekly schedule for departmental course offerings each quarter.
Revising Catalog Copy for your Department
COPY DUE: MARCH
In Winter Term you will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office regarding the Catalog Copy for your department. Coordinate with your department to make any necessary updates and consider the following: Are there courses your department no longer offers due to staffing changes? Is the correct person listed as chair? Are course descriptions up to date? Does your department information reflect changes in the curriculum?, etc.
The email you receive from the Registrar’s Office will include the following requests:
- Submissions are to be made electronically.
- Review faculty members listed at the beginning of your section and update accordingly.
- Review major, minor, or concentration requirements to ensure these items are correct: course requirements, how AP/IB/Transfer units count, whether SIP units can count toward the major, and whether there is a required comprehensive exam.
- Review any new course offering information to ensure all courses are accurately reflected. Also, please alert the Registrar’s Office if there are old courses that are no longer being taught and therefore can be removed from the catalog.
- Review prerequisite information.
Preparing New Course Proposals
The Department Chair should discuss any new course idea with the faculty member proposing the course and with the department. The course’s content and its role in the department’s and college’s curriculum should be clarified before proceeding. The faculty member proposing the course initiates the process with the Educational Policies Committee by using the committee’s online form for course proposals. Then the form is sent electronically to the department or program chair for additional info and signature. New course proposals should be submitted to the Educational Policies Committee by week 3 of the preceding academic term to allow time for EPC review before submission to faculty for a vote.
One‐time offerings also need EPC approval; they do not require a faculty vote.
See Frequently Asked Questions for EPC for useful information about what needs to be put before the committee for either approval or informational purposes.
Reviewing Requests for Credit Transfers from Other Institutions
If a student is only seeking to receive general college credit from a course at another institution, the Registrar’s Office decides whether credit will be granted. Department Chairs will be asked to evaluate courses taken at other institutions to determine if the course is equivalent to coursework taken at Kalamazoo College. This is a question of whether the course, for a non‐major, would be a course similar enough to a course offered at Kalamazoo College such that a student should not take both. We do not want a student getting credit for essentially the same class twice.
If a student wishes the credit to count toward the major/minor/concentration, he/she will need to request a substitution and will need departmental approval. To evaluate such a course, consult the catalog regarding your department’s guidelines about how many courses from outside the college can count toward your major/minor/concentration. If this course could count, ask the student to provide what you need to evaluate the courses– based on content, rigor, fit as an appropriate liberal arts course, in your major/minor, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the material you need, for example: syllabus, bibliography, assignments, rubrics, etc
Communications with the Registrar’s Office
Any official communication (re: departmental permissions, changes, etc.) with the Registrar’s Office requires the signature of the current Department Chair. This is standard procedure expected by auditors. If, during your tenure as chair, you will be unavailable to sign documents, please assign a proxy and email your permission for that person to act as chair during your absence. If your department assigns duties for schedule review and submission or catalog review and submission to someone other than the chair, please email this information to the Registrar’s Office.
Assessment and Reviews
Skip ahead – Assessment and Reviews Sub-sections
Biennial Department/Program Assessment Process
Regular assessment of how well students achieve learning goals of academic departments or programs is central to attaining optimal alignment between learning experiences and learning goals while helping departments and programs provide assurance of their educational effectiveness. And, when considered in the aggregate and coupled with informed planning and action, such assessment strengthens the College’s ability to assure effectiveness of its programs.
Every department and program with a major develops and periodically updates an assessment plan. Plans are archived on the former Assessment Committee’s website so that departments/programs can learn from each other about assessment of student learning. Visit the Assessment Plans page for more information. Each department/program should regularly review and revise its assessment plan as part of on‐going assessment activity; the Assistant Provost will suggest revisions to plans as they review assessment reports.
Every year, each department and program with a major submits a report on their assessment activities and outcomes to the Coordinator of Educational Effectiveness and the Assessment Committee for review. Guidelines and templates for these reports are posted on the EQA website. Reports must address the points requested in the template and guidelines. Reports will be due by October 15 of each year.
The Provost’s Office collaborates on reviewing reports and writing responses to them. Responses to reports are sent to department/program chairs as soon as possible so as to facilitate further assessment, planning, and action. Reviews of assessment reports focus on thoroughness and depth of assessment activities, congruence between a report and the plan guiding the assessment activities, and year‐to‐year continuity in assessment and use of assessment outcomes to guide academic program improvement. Responses to reports typically highlight salient features of assessment activities and outcomes, include suggestions for improving how assessment is done, and/or make recommendations for future assessment topics and reports.
Assuring educational quality is a collaborative effort at Kalamazoo College. When appropriate, a dedicated department chair’s meeting will be held to share lessons learned from assessment reports, discuss how we can improve on our work in department/program assessment, and share selected good practices as well as useful assessment tools and rubrics. And, after obtaining permission from a department/program, noteworthy outcomes from assessment, planning, and action will be published on the Institutional Assessment website, or college website as appropriate.
Self‐Study and External Reviews of Departments/Programs
Regular external reviews of departments and programs provides extramural feedback on effectiveness of educating students and contributing to the College’s mission while encouraging self‐study and evidence‐based planning. Ideally, these reviews would grow out of, and periodically punctuate a regular and ongoing process of assessment, planning and action in which departments and programs engage. Thus departments and programs should be reviewed by colleagues from peer institutions approximately every ten years, or sooner as needed. See the Departmental External Review Guidelines and Department of External Review Schedule for more information.
Suggested documents to be sent to reviewers before the campus visit:
A. Departmental Self-Study and Assessment
- Narrative statement of what the department hopes to accomplish through the external review
- Description of the department, including faculty, students, major curriculum, departmental contributions to general education, and departmental budget and other resources
- Department assessment plan
- Annual reports from carrying out assessment plan and annual Assessment Committee responses to those reports
- Report from previous external review
- Internal documents that address the history or activities of the department since the previous external review (e.g., letters to alumni, faculty presentations, etc.)
- Description of successes of program, opportunities for improving the program, and problems facing the program, as well as an indication of priorities for addressing opportunities and problems if additional resources were available
- Copy of professional standards for the major (i.e., from the relevant professional organization) or a description of national patterns in the discipline, along with a description of how the department’s major program relates to these external standards
B. Supplementary Documents
- Faculty CVs
- Course syllabi (also, identify courses in other departments that are cognates or prerequisites for courses in the home department)
- Departmental Web site – provide link(s) within the narrative about the department
- Suggested program outline for majors
- Brochures describing the program to other constituencies
- Data for the past five years on enrollment, class size, and numbers of majors and minors (provided by the Office of Institutional Research)
- Sample SIPs and description of the SIP symposium if the department has one
- List of sample internships/externships in which majors participate
- Information on immediate placements of graduating seniors for the past five years as well as information on the post‐graduate experiences of department alumni over the past decade
C. Institutional Data
- Description of sabbatical leave and other faculty development programs (Faculty Development Web site on the Intranet)
- Names and titles of relevant administrative officers
- Academic Catalog
Guidelines for planning and conducting an external review
- The Department Chair usually coordinates the review
- The department should meet with the Provost and the Associate Provosts to discuss self‐study
- There are generally two external reviewers, but departments may have need for a third reviewer (with permission from the Provost) depending on the complexity of the department (e.g., the Department of Math and Computer Science comprises two separate disciplines)
- Visits last two days (no more than one and a half days of campus activities unless the complexity of the department necessitates)
- Funds to support the external review are provided by the Provost’s Office, and the department should discuss plans for the visit with the Provost
During the visit, the reviewers should meet with:
- The Provost, at the beginning and at the end of the visit
- Department faculty individually
- The department as a whole two to three times during the visit, including one last time before the reviewers meet with the Provost and the report is finalized
- A group of majors
- Faculty from other departments whose courses connect to those offered by the department being reviewed (e.g., if courses in other departments are prerequisites or cognates)
- Other individuals or groups identified by the Provost, chair or reviewers
Follow‐up to the team report
- The Provost and the department receive copies of the report
- The department and the Provost meet to discuss recommendations in the report and how, whether, and/or when they will be implemented
- The department incorporates, where possible, recommendations made by the reviewers into the department assessment plan and responds to the recommendations in annual assessment reports in future years where appropriate
The Chair should review the department’s accounts regularly to ensure that funds are spent appropriately and budgeted funds are not overspent. Although the Chair works in close consultation with their office coordinator, this responsibility cannot be delegated. Each department is allocated a Departmental budget (10‐1‐xxxxx), and many departments also control restricted and/or unrestricted “income” or reserve accounts (with fund account numbers beginning with 20, 21 or 23). Your Office Coordinator will have a list of those account numbers, and you may request access to all those accounts by contacting the Business Office (BusinessOffice@kzoo.edu).
Budgets are accessible through Hornet HQ. The Business Office website has helpful information regarding check requests, purchasing policies, use of college credit cards, etc. You may also make an appointment with the Director of Finance, Jodi Breithart or call 269.337.5779 in the Business Office, to get a personalized budget orientation. Department chairs will meet with a Business Office representative each year to review the budget needs for the next fiscal year.
The Chair oversees the budget decisions and allocations of the department/program. Monitoring and managing the budget for the current year is part of the Chair’s responsibility; preparing requests to change the budget for the following year is another responsibility of the Chair. Changes to budgets for ongoing departmental expenses, for student wages, for equipment and alterations, and for departmental computing needs should be proposed to the Provost by the Chair no later than the beginning of spring term for the following fiscal year. Restricted account spending must also be approved by the Provost.
Reallocation of Budget Lines
Compensation budget lines for salary and benefits (object codes 10‐1‐xxxxx‐50005 through 50099) may not be used for any other purpose. These amounts are set by the Provost in conjunction with the Business Office. You may spend funds in program budget lines (object codes 10‐1‐xxxxx‐51000 through 59000) from one budget line to another during the year to meet needs, but you may not spend funds in excess of your total department/program operating budget. There is no contingency fund, so be careful not to reallocate too much too early in the year that might be needed later. Even though December is the middle of the fiscal year, it only represents spending for the Fall term. You will need to have approximately two‐thirds of your program budget left at the start of January to cover Winter and Spring terms.
Student Employment Budget
At the start of the fiscal year, the only Student Employment line that has a budget is the Federal Work Study line (10‐1‐xxxxx‐50135). During the academic year, preference should be given to hiring students with work study allocations. When you hire students who do not have work study, their charges will show up on the student institutional employment line (10‐1‐xxxxx‐50100). This is also the line where all charges for hourly summer student employees will be shown. In order to monitor your student employment budget, you will need to combine the charges for both of those object codes and subtract them from the budgeted amount on the 50135 line. Make sure you are not spending the Student Employment budget lines at an inappropriate rate, since there is little leeway in that fund. Therefore, it is particularly important to periodically check on the rate at which this budget is spent. Remember that any summer employment will decrease the amount you have available for the academic terms. In addition, the college has to pay FICA for student employees during the summer at the rate of 7.65% of their wages. If you would like to require additional information regarding student employment, please visit the HR Student Supervisor Resources webpage.