Department Chair and Program Director Guide

 Section One – Introduction

Dear Department Chairs and Program Directors,

This publication brings together specific administrative items for which academic department chairs and interdisciplinary program directors have unique responsibilities.

You are invited to call to our attention any procedures that are not clear or that should be added. In the next edition, the information can be corrected and/or updated to help each chair and director become even more effective and efficient in meeting their responsibilities.

Thank you for the leadership you provide to your department/program and the academic program.

Brenda Kelly, Provost and Dean of the College

About This Handbook – 1:1

This Handbook is published by the Provost’s Office to provide a ready reference for department chairs and program directors. It is updated continuously, online, throughout the year. The online publication is considered to be the definitive version. Please direct comments, concerns, and questions to Shanon Nowell ( or 507-933-7541). Thanks!

Academic Department Chairs – 1:2

A listing of the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of department chairs and interdisciplinary program directors is available online at:

The Cabinet – 1:3

Responsibility for supervising and directing the operations of the College rests with the major divisional heads listed below. These chief administrative officers, together with the President, constitute the Cabinet. The description of each person’s specific responsibilities is given in the Academic Catalog, under “Administrative Organization.”

Cabinet Members
Title Name Phone Email
President Rebecca Bergman 7538
Provost and Dean of the College Brenda Kelly 7541
Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission Rich Aune 7683
Vice President for Institutional Advancement Thomas Young 7551
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Doug Thompson 7538
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Kirk Carlson 6362
Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Curt Kowaleski 7499
Vice President for Marketing and Communication Tim Kennedy 6395
Vice President for Mission, Strategy, and Innovation Kathi Tunheim 7409
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students JoNes VanHecke 7526

Office of the Provost – 1:4

The persons in the Provost’s Office to whom many questions can be addressed are given below.

Provost's Office Staff
Title Name Phone Email
Provost and Dean of the College Brenda Kelly 7541
Associate Provost and Dean of Research and Strategic Initiatives Sarah Bridges 6514
Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Programs and Accreditation Sarah Ruble 7541
Dean of Academic Analytics and Innovation Kyle Chambers 7541 
Dean of Faculty Development Pamela Conners 7541 
Executive Assistant to the Provost Shanon Nowell 7541
Administrative Assistant Jennifer Harbo 6223
Administrative Assistant Karissa Winter 7675 
Grants Administration Coordinator (reporting to Research and Sponsored Programs) Sarah Peterson 6514 

Areas of Focus for Provost’s Office Leadership Team

Please contact the appropriate Provost’s Office leader associated with your particular question or need. If you do not know who to contact, please reach out to Shanon Nowell ( for guidance.

Brenda Kelly
• 9th semester free tuition program
• Academic ceremonies and convocations (e.g., Commencement, Honors Day)
• College representative to the Upper Midwest Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)
• Endowed faculty positions
• Faculty awards
• Hiring of (non-faculty) staff
• Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)
• Retirement
• Summer Term
• Tenure and promotion review

Sarah Bridges
• Department staffing request process (how to and possible strategies) (tenure-track, visiting/adjunct, continuing faculty)
• Department budgets
• Equipment repair, acquisition, and replacement requests
• Faculty hiring (i.e., candidate interviews and job offers)
• Personnel matters (e.g., interpersonal matters, job performance)
• Research ethics, compliance, and safety
• Research, scholarship, creativity, and dialogue 
• Sabbatical applications and project ideas
• Student research travel funds

Sarah Ruble
• Accredited programs/departments
• Assessment (course-, department-, program-level)
• Changes to the major/minor and new course proposals
• College-wide curricular programs (i.e., Challenge Seminar; First Term Seminar; January Term; Three Crowns Curriculum; Writing Across the Curriculum)
• Course scheduling (process and submission review)
• Faculty hiring (i.e., candidate interviews and job offers)
• Personnel matters (i.e., FMLA, leaves of absence, replacement faculty, overloads)
• Student concerns (i.e., academic dishonesty, student academic complaints, petitions, probations, retention)

Kyle Chambers
• Academic department and program review processes
• Analytic support for program planning and improvement
• Data and technology consultations for departments and programs
• Faculty search processes (e.g., process details, training, and questions)
• Innovation requests

Pamela Conners
• Academic advising
• Admission Liaison program
• Department Chair and Program Director development
• Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives
• Faculty Evaluation processes (e.g., process details and mentoring for annual, continuing faculty, third year, and post-tenure reviews)
• Faculty mentoring (new, early-career, mid-career, and senior faculty) and retention

Faculty and Staff Administrative Reports

Members of the Provost’s Office oversee administrative direct reports, collaborate with faculty who have part time administrative appointments, and work together with other offices who interface with the academic program.

Administrative Reports Provost’s Office Representative
Academic Data Scientist 2 Brenda Kelly
Academic Support Center 3 Sarah Ruble
Arboretum Director 1 Brenda Kelly
Assessment Director 2 Brenda Kelly
Career Development 3 Pamela Conners
Chemical Hygiene and Lab Safety Officer 2 Sarah Bridges
Chief Technology Officer 1 Brenda Kelly
Entrepreneurship Director 2 Pamela Conners
Faculty Director of Student Academic Success 2 Brenda Kelly
Fellowships Advisor 2 Sarah Bridges
First Year Research Experience Program Director 2 Sarah Bridges
Hillstrom Museum Director 1 Brenda Kelly
Innovation Scholars Program Faculty Advisor 2 Sarah Bridges
International and Cultural Education 3 Sarah Ruble
IRB Chair 2 Sarah Bridges
Johnson Center Director 2 Sarah Bridges
Kendall Center Director 2 Sarah Bridges
Library Chair 2 Brenda Kelly
Lilly Fellows Faculty Representative 2 Sarah Ruble
MAYDAY! Director 2 Sarah Ruble
Nobel Conference Director 2 Brenda Kelly
Public Deliberation and Dialogue Director 2 Sarah Ruble
Registrar 1 Brenda Kelly
Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Director 2 Sarah Bridges
Writing Center Director 2 Sarah Ruble

1 Staff administrators, 2 Faculty serving in administrative roles, 3 Serving as liaison to an office outside of Academic Affairs

Committee Assignments

Members of the Provost’s Office serve on the following faculty and administrative committees. Faculty committee membership lists are available online at: 

Committee Brenda Sarah B Sarah R Kyle Pamela Shanon
Academic Affairs Coordinating Council (AACC)* X3 X3 X3     X4
Academic Operations Committee (AOC)*       X3    
Academic Petitions Board*     X1,2      
Academic Probations Board*     X1,2      
Academic Technology Committee (ATC)*       X2    
Administrative Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC)       X2    
Benefit Advisory Committee X5          
Behavioral Assessment Team (BAT)       X2    
Bias Response Team     X2      
Board of Trustees - Shared Governance Committee X2          
Board of Trustees - Strategic Committee X2          
Board of Trustees Meetings - Academic Affairs Committee X2 X4 X4 X4 X4 X4
Board of Trustees Meetings - Institutional Mission Group X2         X4
Cabinet X2          
Capital Subcommittee           X2
Chemical Hygiene and Lab Safety Advisory Council   X1        
College Accreditation Committee (HLC) X1   X2      
Compensation Subcommittee* X4          
Course Approval Subcommittee (CAPSUB)*     X2      
Curriculum Committee*     X2      
Department Chairs and Program Directors Committee (DCPDC)* X3 X3 X3      
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC)*         X3  
Faculty Development Committee (FDC)*         X3  
Faculty Emergency Planning Committee* X3          
Faculty Meetings X1,2 X4 X2 X2 X2 X4
Faculty Personnel Committee (PC)* X3         X4
Faculty Senate* X3          
Global Engagement Committee (GEC)*     X3      
Grade Appeals Board*     X1,3      
Honor Board*     X1,2      
Information Security Committee       X2    
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)   X3   X2    
Institutional Review Board (IRB)   X3   X1,2    
Internal Budget Committee X2          
President’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PCDEI)         X2,5  
President’s Council on Indigenous Relations (PCIR)     X2,5      
President’s Environmental Sustainability Council (PESC)   X2,5        
RSC Advisory Council   X2        
Space Utilization Committee   X2        
Third-Year Review Subcommittee (TYR)*         X4 X4
Travel Safety Committee   X2        

1 Presider, 2 Voting member, 3 Non-voting member, 4 Attends by invitation, 5 Attends on an as-needed basis * Standing faculty committee

Administrative Support

The work of the Provost and Deans is supported by Shanon Nowell, Executive Assistant to the Provost, two Administrative Assistants, Jennifer Harbo and Karissa Winter, and Sarah Peterson through collaborative work across the Provost’s Office and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The appropriate administrative staff to whom many questions can be addressed are given below.

Shanon Nowell
● Department and program reviews
● Faculty awards
● Faculty meetings
● Faculty reviews (e.g., tenure, promotion)
● Faculty searches
● Provost’s calendar
● Retirement
● Sabbatical leaves
● Visiting scholar’s apartment

Jennifer Harbo
● Budgets
● Faculty letters of appointment
● Faculty-L
● Moving expenses
● Provost's Conference Room reservation
● Reimbursement for search candidates and external evaluators

Karissa Winter
● Academic departmental assistants
● Academic honesty
● Commencement
● Deans’ Chambers, Conners, Ruble Calendars
● Dean’s List letters
● First Term Seminar
● Honors Day
● January Term
● Student concerns
● Three Crowns Curriculum

Sarah Peterson (reporting to Research and Sponsored Programs)
● Dean Bridges Calendar
● Faculty startup funds
● FYRE grants
● Johnson-Peterson Fellows
● Presidential Faculty-Student Collaboration grants
● Research related endowments
● RSC grants
● Student research appointments and travel

Faculty Committee Chairs – 1:5

An important part of faculty governance of academic matters at Gustavus involves specific faculty committees. Each committee area of responsibility is listed in the Faculty Handbook, Part 1. The chairs of the specific committees to whom Department Chairs may wish to direct questions and/or concerns are found in the “Green Pages” of the Faculty Book online at:

Academic Calendar – 1:6

The Gustavus Academic Calendar is available online at:

Copyright 2022-23, Gustavus Adolphus College. All Rights Reserved.
Last modified: 6 September 2022, by Shanon Nowell