Role of the DEO


Vision, Leadership, and Administration
Managing Resources Creatively
Guiding Faculty Development
Directing Faculty Reviews
Supervising the Delivery of Departmental Courses
Developing the Departmental Curriculum
Administering Personnel Policies and Supervising Staff
DEO Meetings

Vision, Leadership, and Administration

The DEO provides vision and leadership for the department, working both with the faculty and with the Dean’s Office to promote our teaching and research mission. The successful DEO maintains faculty and staff morale, establishes an atmosphere of fairness and optimism, and ensures that the department focuses its energies and resources on progress toward shared goals and priorities. The DEO must be accountable both to faculty colleagues and to the College in attending to the deadlines of everyday administrative tasks, dealing with individuals who have complaints, and ensuring that faculty and staff cooperate in completing the work of the department.

Managing Resources Creatively

An important aspect of leadership is using available resources well and acquiring new resources to further the department's mission. Ensuring that faculty and staff effort is being used effectively to achieve the departmental mission is a crucial first step, since personnel represents about 90% of the College's budget.

DEOs should work with the College to enhance their departments' general expense budgets through curricular development:

  • By participating in the partnership between the College and the Division of Continuing Education under which tenured faculty offer late-afternoon courses that serve both traditional and non-traditional students. This partnership supports additional TA lines and brings funds into departments’ general expense accounts for expenses related to instruction.
  • By participating in the Winterim and summer sessions. The College and the Summer Session Office return funds to departments proportionate to their enrollments in these sessions.
  • By participating in the First-year Seminar Program.

The College also allocates some resources competitively through the following programs:

  • The Associate Dean's Curricular Development Fund, which offers seed money for innovation and enrichment in undergraduate courses, with the call for proposals going out in the DEO mailing late in August.
  • Alumni Fellow Awards, to bring distinguished alumni to campus for co-curricular presentations, with the call for nominations in the DEO mailing typically in October.
  • CLAS Student Computing Fee Proposals, funded from fee revenues, with the call for proposals in the DEO mailing in late January.
  • CLAS Excellence & Innovation Awards and the CLAS Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction, which foster and support the visibility and leadership of faculty and departments in research and creative work. A call for nominations is in the DEO Mailing in January & September.

Guiding Faculty Development

The DEO has principal responsibility for guiding the development of new faculty members and ensuring they receive mentoring from the department. The DEO also promotes and supports the teaching, scholarly or creative work, and service activities of tenured faculty members.

The DEO shares with the Dean and the CLAS Director of Strategic Communication good news about faculty accomplishments and honors, for recognition within the College and in our public relations. The DEO also plans each year to nominate his/her faculty for Collegiate and University honors, which are announced through the DEO mailing.

The College expects that every faculty member seek internal and/or external support through extra-departmental, competitive, award processes. The DEO keeps faculty informed of the developmental programs, awards, and grants offered by the College and University as announced through the on-line DEO Mailing and the Faculty Funding page of the College’s Research website.)

Directing Faculty Reviews

The DEO ensures that all faculty reviews result in substantive assessment and recommendations, as well as ensuring that departmental and collegiate procedures are observed. See Faculty Appointments & Review on the College's website.

The Faculty Review Application can be accessed via Self Service and guidance for using the system can be found here.  For deadlines for each type of faculty review, with links to review procedures, click here.

In the Fall semester, the DEO has the opportunity to meet with the Dean by appointment to discuss salary recommendations for faculty for the next calendar year.

Supervising the Delivery of Departmental Courses

The DEO is responsible for seeing that all instructors in all departmental courses--including those offered through the Division of Continuing Education--comply with University and College policy and instructional standards. See Professional Policies & Faculty Responsibilities and Teaching Policies & Resources, with links to information on all aspects of teaching, from the required elements of the syllabus to grading and keeping student records

The DEO ensures that important course policies are observed, including the following:

  • Syllabi for all courses offered in the current semester are on file in the department office. Syllabi must follow the guidelines on this website.
  • Office hours of all faculty and TAs are posted in the department office. Every member of the instructional staff is expected to hold at least three published office hours per week and to be available for appointments.
  • Every teaching assistant is supervised by a faculty member. The course supervisor ensures that departmental and collegiate teaching standards are met and that departmental and collegiate policies are adhered to; the course supervisor's name must appear on the course syllabus.
  • TAs are appointed to teach courses below 3000. This policy applies to all departmental courses, including those taught in summer session, winter session, as well as extension courses.
  • The Department's TA Proficiency Standards are followed. Every department has adopted standards for selecting teaching assistants, preparing them for teaching, supervising them, and evaluating their teaching performance. See the Operations Manual, III-14).
  • Course fees are collected through the University billing system, and not by faculty or staff. All course fees must be approved in advance by the College and by the University's Miscellaneous Fees Committee. A call for proposals goes out early in the fall semester. The University Operations Manual (VI.19) prohibits sale of educational materials to students by faculty, staff, or students.
  • All instructional staff notify the DEO of any out-of-town travel during the academic term. If an instructor cannot meet a class as scheduled, she or he must make other arrangements for instruction and notify students and the department of the arrangements well in advance.
  • When a DEO travels out of town, they must notify the Dean's Office regarding the dates they will be out of town. If a DEO must be unavailable for a specific time period, they may designate someone else in the department as acting DEO. If, however, the DEO will be available by cell phone, email, and/or Zoom, and is in frequent contact with their administrator, designating an acting DEO is not necessary. 
  • Final exams are given in every course, and at the time specified in the Final Exam Schedule, unless a change has been approved in advance by the DEO and by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum. If a final exam is not appropriate in a specific course, the instructor may substitute another means of final assessment. No exams of any kind may be given during the last week of classes.
  • Student evaluations of teaching are obtained from students in every departmental course. These evaluations must be kept on file as evidence of teaching effectiveness in all reviews of teaching assistants and of faculty at all ranks, including visiting faculty.
  • Effective departmental advising is available for students in the major and minor, and to those inquiring about the department's programs.
  • The departmental office is open to serve students and faculty during business hours (8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.).

Developing the Departmental Curriculum

The DEO has important leadership responsibility for development and review of individual departmental courses, the curriculum as a whole, and requirements for the departmental major. It is crucial that the curriculum and course content reflect developments within the discipline, the range of knowledge and skills appropriate to the degree program, and developments in instructional technology.

In addition, the DEO has the following curricular responsibilities:

  • Monitoring low-enrollment courses. The College’s Executive Associate Dean administers the College's policy on low-enrolled courses. Currently, the College considers an undergraduate course enrolling fewer than 16 students or a graduate course enrolling fewer than 8 students as having low enrollment. Each unit creates its own plans for monitoring low enrollment courses and justifying requests for waivers from the low enrollment policy. Some departments cancel courses and reassign instructional resources at the end of the early-registration period. Others add instructional responsibilities to instructors with low-enrolled courses.
  • Ensuring an appropriate level of faculty-taught enrollments in departmental courses. While the appropriate level depends in part on the discipline and level of the course, the College recommends a minimum of 120 faculty-taught enrollments per tenure-track faculty member per year and a minimum of 300 SCH per tenure-track faculty member.
  • Modifying the curriculum. Approval forms for all course additions and modifications must be submitted through the course approval workflow system on MAUI. For more information and deadlines, see these For Faculty pages. Smaller changes to the requirements of a major, minor, or certificate may be made through updates to the General Catalog, sent to all units for revision by February 15. These changes may be implemented by the department the following Fall semester, coinciding with the catalog publication. Significant changes to majors, minors, or certificates need the approval of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. See these For Faculty pages for more information. Departments wishing to propose or to drop majors, minors, or certificates should visit the above pages and then should discuss the feasibility of the request with the Associate Dean.
  • Discontinuing seldom-taught courses. In January, the Office of the Provost sends a list of currently approved courses that the department has not offered during the past four years. The DEO must supply a rationale for any of these courses the Department wishes to retain. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum and the Office of the Provost must approve retention of any course that has not been offered for four years.

Administering Personnel Policies and Supervising Staff

For statements of the principal personnel policies that the DEO implements, the DEO should consult Professional Policies & Faculty Responsibilities, which contains links to important policies, including those on

The DEO is responsible for supervising staff who report directly to him/her, including the departmental administrator, and completes annual performance reviews on these staff. The DEO also provides functional supervision for all departmental staff and ensures that their direct supervisors complete annual performance reviews on these staff. The DEO may delegate to appropriate departmental staff the authority to sign some workflow forms in his/her name.


The For DEOs page of the College's website makes the following tools readily available:

  • The weekly DEO mailing, with memoranda from the Deans and central administrative offices; these mailings are also archived on the website for reference.
  • Within the DEO mailing, a calendar of current events and deadlines that are important to the DEO for administrative planning. (The University's academic calendar is on the Registrar's website.)
  • Links to policies and processes for which DEOs are responsible, including faculty and graduate student recruitment, departmental reviews, and promotion and tenure review.
  • Collegiate forms, including the Academic Professional Record, forms for various types of faculty review, and forms for faculty, staff, and graduate assistant searches and appointments.
  • Links to other information within the College and University websites.

The For Faculty pages of the College's website has links to policy and procedural information on classroom teaching, the curriculum, funding opportunities, faculty review, faculty recruitment, faculty awards, and faculty governance.

DEO Meetings

DEOs must reserve Mondays, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., for group meetings with the Deans. During the academic year, all DEOs convene once or twice each month to discuss with the Deans questions affecting the College and its departments generally. In addition, DEOs meet irregularly on other Mondays at this time period for meetings on special topics.

Each DEO also meets with the Dean or the appropriate Associate Dean when specific questions concerning the department arise.