Administrative Guidelines for Academic Department Chairs

Section Three – Chair Approval Items and Budgets


Introduction – 3.0

The following items need the approval/signature of the Department Chair. Please check the Faculty Handbook for information, and contact the Provost’s Office for the current forms.

Course Approval – 3.1

The forms below are available online at the Curriculum Committee’s website: www.gustavus.edu/committees/curriculum/index.php#Forms

  • Course Approval Form
  • Proposal for Area Designation
  • Proposal for Writing Designation
  • Proposal for First Term Seminar Approval
  • January Interim Experience Course Proposal Forms

Lecture Series Funding Requests – 3.2

The Lecture Series is chaired by Betsy Byers (bbyers@gustavus.edu). In order to make a request to the Series, submit proposals to her using the Application for Lyceum and Lefler Lecture Series form: www.gustavus.edu/provost/deptchairs/documents/LectureSeriesApplication.docx

Academic Assistants – 3.3

Each year a full-time student may be appointed as an academic assistant for each department. The appointment is based upon the following criteria:

  1. Academic excellence in major field and in general studies.
  2. Potential for excellence in academic discipline.
  3. Expressed interest in the appointment by the appointee.

The specific responsibilities for academic assistants will vary somewhat among the departments; however, generally the responsibilities fall into one or more of the following areas:

  1. Conducts own research project.
  2. Conducts or assists with a specific departmental research project.
  3. Assists with teaching specific course content.
  4. Serves as student resource person for departmental decisions.

Budget Information – 3.4

Department Budgets

Each winter, every department submits a budget request for the next fiscal year which begins June 1. This covers positions (including clerical assistance), supplies and expenses, major items of equipment. The department does not project actual figures under salary; its request in terms of personnel enables the administration to arrive at specific sums. The department does ask for definite allocations to cover both equipment and expendable items. The administration reviews departmental requests and informs the chair in the early summer what the approved figures are. It is the responsibility of the department to operate within these allocations; the Finance Office sends monthly statements of total charges.

The Finance Office processes all purchase orders for instructional materials. It also arranges for maintenance and repair of office equipment, the cost of which is charged to the department. Not so charged, however, is business stationery, available at Print Services in the Jackson Campus Center.

The Book Mark handles all orders for class texts, while requests for desk copies are made directly to the publisher by the instructor or department. Most clerical supplies, from class record books to paper clips are available at the Book Mark. The individual staff member may take care of his or her own needs in this area, but in the interest of efficiency, departments should order and have on hand the supplies that instructors are sure to need.

Library Budgets

The major responsibility for ordering books to build up and maintain adequate resources for their departments, within limits of available funds, rests with the respective departments. Chairs are informed of the amount allocated for each fiscal year and are sent subsequent statements of balance unspent. April 1 is the deadline for making departmental orders for each fiscal year.

Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Grants

Applications are typically due each February. See the Kendall Center Website for more information: www.gustavus.edu/kendallcenter/grant-opportunities/

Department Chair Fund Policy

This line item in departmental budgets is intended to be a professional expense account for Department Chairs. Professional travel, purchases of books, other materials, or equipment useful to the individual or the Department are examples of legitimate uses for these funds. Making these funds available to Department Chairs is an acknowledgment of the extra work and responsibility undertaken by these persons on behalf of their Department and the College.

The rules concerning taxation of the account are consistent with other disbursements of the College. Payments to employees will be treated as taxable compensation, unless the disbursement is for the reimbursement of a College-related expense. With respect to capital purchases (e.g., equipment, books), the property must be owned by the College in order for the transaction to be treated as non-taxable. If there is a question regarding the taxability of a transaction, contact Barb Lundgren (blundgre@gustavus.edu or x7505), Payroll Director.

Any chair choosing to use any part of the fund as supplementary income must inform Barb Lundgren of this intent by May 15 so that the funds can be paid out before the end of the fiscal year.


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Last modified: 12 July 2013 by Shanon Nowell