Department Chair elections are guided by the CBA (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2023). Department chair duties are outlined in Article 6. The department chair serves as the faculty leader for the department and as a liaison between the department and the administration.
Regular elections occur University-wide every three years in accordance with the CBA, regardless of the number of years the incumbent has been chair. Departments with a chair elected in a mid-term special election will hold also hold elections on this schedule. The last university-wide elections were held in 2020, and upcoming elections will be held in 2023, 2026, 2029, and every three years thereafter.
All regular full-time faculty are eligible to run in the election.
Procedures for a university-wide chair election
Step 1: Since the University-wide elections occur on a regular schedule for all departments, the Office of the Provost will initiate the process by sending an invitation with instructions to all regular full-time faculty inviting them to self-nominate. Interested faculty will submit the form to the Office of the Provost, the department election committee (see Step 2), and the dean/associate provost/manager for the department’s college. Usually the invitation is sent in early December with a due date in February.
Step 2: The department will select an election committee and identify an election supervisor. The election supervisor will be a faculty member from another department and will monitor the election and communicate the results to the Office of the Provost and the APSCUF Office.
Step 3: The department election committee and the Provost (as the President’s designee) determine acceptable candidates. The department election committee sends its determination to the Provost, and the provost will notify the department when it can proceed with the election. If agreement is not reached, the two entities will reconsider the matter within a week. If an impasse still exists, the President may invoke CBA Article 6.B.1.b.
Step 4: Once authorized to proceed, the department shall conduct the election by April 1 (see Step 1). Only regular faculty members may vote. There is no preferred method for voting as long as the method supports a secret ballot. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes from the regular faculty members, the department may choose to cast additional ballots either immediately or at a time convenient to the department members. After the election, the election supervisor reports the outcome to the Office of the Provost and to the APSCUF Office. The report of results will include the voting method, verification of secret ballot, and the vote outcome with counts for, against, and abstentions for each candidate.
Step 5: The Office of the Provost will notify Human Resources of the new chairs.
Note: If no candidate has received a majority of the votes of the regular Faculty Members by the election due date, the President may invoke Article 6.B.1.b. of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Procedures for a special or off-cycle chair election
Departments sometimes need to have special or off-cycle chair elections, perhaps to fill the chair role because of a sabbatical, other leave, or retirement. Although the general process is the same for University-wide elections, the department is tasked with indicating to the Office of the Provost and other necessary groups that an election is necessary.
When the department and dean determine that a special or off-cycle election needs to take place, the Office of the Provost will help the department create a set of appropriate deadlines for the election steps. APSCUF will approve the election model. The Office of the Provost will then send the nomination invitation to the regular full-time faculty. Requirements for an election supervisor are the same.
Questions? Contact the Office of the Provost, firstname.lastname@example.org, 724-738-2001.