The role and function of the department chairperson at large North Carolina community colleges

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Richard Roy Dymmel (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Dale L. Brubaker

Abstract: The position of Department chair has been called the central point of the college. It has also been called the "swivel chair" because of the many customers it must serve. The purpose of this study was to look at how the department chairs and supervisors of department chairs at four of the largest community colleges in North Carolina describe the role of the chair and perceive its training needs. Chairs and supervisors fully agreed on only 4 of the 96 tasks as to whether they were part of the job. The most surprising finding was that in the survey data, there was only a 71% percent overall congruency of task expectations between the chair and his/her immediate supervisor. The primary conclusions are: (1) There are wide variations between colleges making it impossible to say "This is what a chair does." Each college decides for itself what responsibilities the chair has. (2) Even though there were written job descriptions, there remained disagreement as to what the chair was actually to do. Only 71% of the time did a chair and his/her supervisor respond alike. Even the number of hours of teaching and release time expected to perform the duties was often incongruent. (3) Forty five percent of the chairs felt they needed training to do his/her job. (4) Administrators need to assess the training needs within their faculty. (5) Studies could be done within colleges and across colleges with varying uniform attributes to learn from each other. (6) Community colleges need to learn from four-year institutions about governance style and uniformity.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1996
Community colleges $z North Carolina $x Administration
Community college teachers $z North Carolina

Email this document to