Quick Start Guide for Department Heads & Chairs

Quick Start Guide for Department Heads & Chairs

A practical overview of the information you'll need in your first year and beyond

Congratulations for stepping into this strategic leadership position at UMass Amherst. As department Head/Chair, you will have many fiscal, operational, student-centered, and faculty-focused departmental responsibilities. You will address many challenges and celebrate even more achievements. You hold an incredibly important position but it should not be overwhelming or untenable. 

This 'quick start' guide for Heads/Chairs should be used in conjunction with guidance from your department, college/school, and the Office of Academic Affairs. The purpose of this site is to provide resources that are immediately helpful to you and that point you to more comprehensive information as you begin your important role as department leader. Please email ofd@umass.edu with feedback, questions, edits or additions.

Where do I even begin?

When should I anticipate the major budgetary, mentoring, awards, and personnel actions? 

What do I need to know to effectively manage our department budget?

What elements of academic planning will I be involved with? 

What's important for me to keep in mind now about internal and external departmental communications?

What are some of the reports that I will have to write and produce?

What are my first priorities regarding students? 

What is important for me to know now about working with and supervising staff?

What are the most important things I should know now about hiring and supporting our nTT and TT faculty?