A Department Chair in the College of Education (COE) is the chief academic and administrative officer for the department and is accountable directly to the Dean of the COE for all aspects of the department’s operation. The Department Chair provides leadership and direction in the planning, development, and delivery of academic programs and in the promotion of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service activities of the department. The Department Chair is expected to articulate the department’s actions in pursuit of these aims, cultivate a collegial environment, and operationalize the strategic planning framework of the College of Education. The Department Chair holds faculty rank and tenure in the academic department.

The Department 

The department of Curriculum and Instruction enrolls approximately 375 undergraduate students in degree programs in Elementary Education and Middle Level Teaching and Learning. The department also enrolls approximately 275 graduate students in master’s degree programs in Curriculum and Instruction and Literacy Education (focus in ESL/Bilingual or Reading); the MAT in Elementary Education; and the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (specializations in curriculum leadership; literacy education; or science, social studies, and environmental education integration). The department also houses the Academic Literacy and Learning Program and the Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic and offers multiple endorsements and certificates of graduate study. The department is currently composed of 15 tenure-track/tenured faculty, two clinical faculty, a core group of full-time instructors, two full-time academic advisors, and four staff members.

Scope of Responsibilities 

The Department Chair provides leadership and oversight of all programs, personnel, and fiduciary aspects of the department. The department chair is responsible, in consultation with appropriate departmental faculty committees, for developing and administering operating policies and practices for the department which are effective and consistent with program, department, college and university policies; for making budget, curricular, and personnel recommendations (in accordance with the university constitution and bylaws); for managing all the resources assigned to the department; for defining the department’s scope, mission, and objectives within institutional guidelines, and within the resources available; and for assuring and, whenever possible, improving the department’s capacity to carry out its mission and accomplish its objectives with distinction. This assignment is 100% administrative. The Department Chair is expected to teach occasionally, to mentor faculty, to mentor students, as needed, and to continue in their scholarly pursuits.

A Department Chair in the College of Education is expected to fulfill the following responsibilities, as well as others as determined by need and by variations in the individual program areas:

Department Leadership

The Department Chair provides overall leadership for the department in the following ways:

  • Collaborate with faculty and staff and provide leadership to operationalize the COE Strategic Action Planning Framework.
  • Advocate for the department’s interests effectively.
  • Cultivate a collegial environment for faculty, staff, and student success.
  • Establish an effective governance structure including creation and use of policies, procedures, and committees.
  • Provide leadership in encouraging and developing innovative and market responsive academic programming, curriculum, and delivery models.
  • Promote effective teaching, scholarly activity, and service among faculty.
  • Respond to student concerns effectively in consultation with faculty and staff.
  • Develop and maintain relations with alumni and donors.
  • Develop and maintain relations with community, state, professional associations, and other agencies.

Department Administration 

Academic Program Administration

  • Supervise faculty and staff to manage course scheduling and projections.
  • Facilitate and manage continuous program improvement (assessment, accreditation, program review).
  • Create and implement, in collaboration with College offices, enrollment management plans that address recruitment, marketing, and retention initiatives.
  • Supervise faculty and staff to maintain student record files and support professional communication and behavior.

Personnel Administration

  • Recruit and retain faculty and staff.
  • Assign and manage faculty workloads.
  • Be a model for expected faculty behaviors in teaching, scholarship, service, and collegiality.
  • Facilitate mentorship and professional development of faculty and staff.
  • Oversee personnel processes: make recommendations regarding hiring, tenure, promotion, merit, sabbaticals.
  • Maintain personnel files.
  • Supervise and direct faculty, instructors, graduate students, staff, and student employees.

Fiscal Administration

  • Allocate resources to meet departmental goals and responsibilities as well as the college’s strategic priorities.
  • Seek new resources as needed from internal and external sources.
  • Serve as department budget authority; monitor and approve expenditures from all sources allocated to the department.
  • Oversee and maintain all financial reporting and documentation systems.

Facilities/Property Administration

  • Oversee authorized use of university property.
  • Coordinate and oversee the assignment of departmental space and facilities to authorize activities in accordance with university policy and campus regulations.

Required Qualifications

  • An earned doctorate in an area aligned to the department and eligible to meet department criteria for tenure at the associate or full professor level;
  • Leadership experience in higher education including mentoring tenure-track faculty;
  • A strong record in teaching, scholarship, and service;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Leadership experience with educator licensure programs, including accreditation;
  • A strong commitment to advancing diversity;
  • Experience cultivating a collegial environment for faculty, staff, and student success;

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to lead the faculty in grants acquisition, scholarship, and innovative program development in accordance with university, college, department and program policies;
  • Experience with and support for school, community and university collaboration and outreach programs;
  • Demonstrated experience in evaluating faculty and staff;
  • Knowledge of budgeting and fiscal management of departmental resources;
  • Capacity to operationalize the College’s strategic action planning framework;
  • Experience with developing and maintaining relations with external partners, alumni and donors.

APPLICATION INFORMATION: Submit a letter of application which speaks to the scope of responsibilities curriculum vita; the names and contact information of five professional references; and transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable for initial review of application; official copies required to confirm appointment) through the NIU Human Resource Services’ online job application system (see https://employment.niu.edu/). For additional information, see http://www.cedu.niu.edu/index.shtml and http://cedu.niu.edu/c-and-i/ or contact Administrative Assistant Patricia Wielert ( pwielert@niu.edu; 815-753-9057). Appointment is subject to a satisfactory criminal background check. AA/EEO Institution.