The Austin Community College District will provide opportunities for faculty to provide input on the performance of Department Chairs, and will ensure a fair, democratic, and consistently applied process for the selection of those Department Chairs who are elected by the full-time faculty and designated adjunct faculty who have voting rights in the department(s).
Departments that may elect their Department Chair will be noted in the current Organizational Reference.
Department Chairs will assume their appointment at the end of the Spring Semester in which the election is conducted and will serve a three-year term, unless the department(s) has voted to have shorter terms and except as noted below.
Election will occur by written, sealed ballot by eligible voters according to the procedures outlined in this rule and related guideline/procedure.
Elections will be supervised and coordinated by an Election Coordinator (EC), who shall operate in a fair and impartial manner.
The election process shall not permit write-in votes.
Any faculty member who believes that the election process was not fair or that unprofessional election behavior occurred may notify the appropriate Dean who will investigate the claim and determine whether the election results should stand or be overturned. If this Dean served as the EC, then the appeal should be made directly to that Dean’s supervisor.
All appeals terminate at the level of the top administrator in charge of academic affairs. If the election results are overturned, the administrator who so rules shall call for a new election if time permits and appoint an EC for that election. If time does not permit for an election, this administrator shall appoint a Department Chair for a one-year term.
Eligibility to Serve as Department Chair
Eligibility to serve as Department Chair is limited to members of the full-time faculty of the appropriate department(s) who have received a satisfactory evaluation in the most recent annual faculty evaluation cycle.
Current Department Chairs are eligible for election if they have received a satisfactory supervisory evaluation by the Dean. The Dean is also to take into consideration the results of the most recent upward evaluation in determining eligibility.
Eligibility to Vote for Department Chair
Those eligible to vote are the full-time faculty of the department(s) and adjunct faculty of the department(s) who have been selected as voting members (in accordance with Administrative Rule 2.0703.03).
The Department will identify a full-time instructor, who may not be a candidate for Department Chair, to serve as Election Coordinator (EC). This can be done by appointment by the current Department Chair or by vote of the eligible faculty in the department(s), whichever the eligible faculty prefer. If no one willing to serve as EC is selected by the department(s), the Dean will serve as the EC.
The Election Coordinator will, within the timeframes noted below, complete the following tasks:
- Early March: Solicit nominations for the position of Department Chair.
The call for nominations shall be made by email, shall include a complete schedule of the dates relevant to the election process, and shall include a link to this Administrative Rule.
Nominations can be made by anyone eligible to vote within the department(s). Members of the full-time faculty may nominate themselves. A minimum of ten working days, Monday – Friday, must be honored for securing nominations.
If no eligible candidate is nominated, the Dean will appoint a Department Chair for a one-year term, subject to approval by the Executive Vice President.
- Late March: Confirm the eligibility status of all nominees with the appropriate Dean.
Provide the list of eligible nominees to the each of the eligible nominees. Then each nominee must confirm her or his agreement to serve in order to be placed on the ballot.
Compile the list of eligible voters in accordance with departmental policy and in conformity with AR 2.0703.03.
If there is only one candidate, the EC shall declare that candidate the winner. If there is more than one candidate, then the election process as described below shall be followed.
- Early April: Issue a ballot of eligible candidates to the home campus mailboxes of all eligible voters, along with information as to the method by which ballots are to be submitted, the submission deadline, and the time and place of the tallying of the votes (which must occur at an ACC campus between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.). The Election Coordinator must send the ballots out through campus mail at least 12 working days (Monday – Friday) before the submission deadline.
Completed ballots must be delivered to the home campus mailbox of the EC by the submission deadline or submitted to the EC at the beginning of the public meeting to tally the votes.
To ensure that each eligible voter casts only one vote and to ensure the anonymity each vote, the EC shall properly implement a two-envelope secret ballot system as defined in the accompanying procedure.
- Late April: Receive the ballots, tally the votes, and report the results.
At the place and time previously designated by the EC, the votes are to be tallied. Any faculty member in the department(s) who wishes to observe the tallying shall be welcome. If no faculty members come to observe, the EC will nevertheless complete the tallying at the designated time.
If one candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, that candidate shall be declared the winner of the election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, the EC shall schedule a run-off election of the top two candidates with the most votes (including ties) to occur prior to the end of the spring semester. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes in the run-off election, the Dean for that department shall appoint a department chair for a one-year term.
Once the process of selecting a Department Chair has been completed, the EC will announce the results to all faculty (voting and non-voting) within the department(s), and to the appropriate Dean and Executive Vice President.
The Executive Vice President(s) will update the Organizational Reference and notify the President’s Leadership Team of newly-elected Department Chairs so that appropriate organizational charts and budget authorizations can be updated.Back to Top