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School of Design + Construction Policies + Procedures

3.3 Director

The following document briefly outlines the responsibilities for the School of Design and Construction (SDC) Director. This is intended as an “in house” supplement to the “Provost’s Guidelines on the Duties and Responsibilities of Chairs and Directors” as outlined at the following site from the Office of the Provost.  More information about responsibilities for chairs and directors can be found in the Faculty Manual.


The director of the SDC carries out the mission, vision, and values of the school and represents the school to the students, the college, the university, the community, the professions, and industry.  The director provides strategic leadership; advances the professional development and promotion of faculty and staff; oversees curriculum development and instructional assignments; and manages, assesses, and supports research programs.  The director also participates in the graduate and undergraduate programs; recruits and manages personnel; heads the school’s leadership team; monitors facilities, equipment and promotional material; is responsible for developing, overseeing, and managing budgets; and works to secure extramural support for research and educational programs through relationships with alumni, the advisory board, and other constituents.

The director actively promotes and fosters consensus building and teamwork through collaborative school activities such as faculty-staff and all-school meetings; committee arrangements; the lecture series; symposia; student competitions; and commencement.  S/he must be committed to the diversity and breadth of the students, faculty, staff, teaching agendas, and research programs in the school while facilitating the rise of the school’s prominence on the regional, state, national, and international stage.  Upholding the mission of a land-grant university is essential, particularly its dedication to openness, accessibility, applied learning, and service to people.  As the face of the school to the university, community, region, state, nation, and world, the director assumes a high-profile role and should be prepared to publicly represent the school and its interests in every capacity.

The director is selected via a process outlined in the faculty manual, and approved by the dean of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture (VCEA), in consultation with the provost and the WSU Board of Regents.  The director is expected to be non-partisan, representing the entire school and acting on its behalf in proposals, actions, and supervision.  The director serves on college and/or university-wide committees as requested by the deans, and, as directors have faculty appointments, may teach classes if a lack of available resources necessitate them.  However, the complexity of SDC operations is such that it is not recommended that directors take on additional teaching duties during their contract.

Roles and Responsibilities

The director is principally responsible for conveying and communicating the mission, vision, and values of the school to students, faculty, staff, the public, and constituents.  S/he serves as a direct supervisor of the members of the school’s leadership team, which includes the administrative manager, the academic program manager, and the school’s four program heads.  The director may choose to delegate or assign some of the various responsibilities below, within reason, to leadership team members (or other faculty and staff).  The school exercises the fundamental principles of shared governance and it is vital that, upon appointment, SDC directors and/or interim directors shed their disciplinary affiliation to the best of their ability and act in the interests of the school as a whole.  Unless financial or other situations dictate otherwise, SDC directors must treat each program with equal respect and equitability.  The dean and upper administration should consider this upon any appointment, and faculty and staff should consider directors’ efforts in this fashion in any evaluation or assessment.

The director should work in conjunction with the leadership team to manage or coordinate the following tasks or responsibilities, which are listed in general accordance with their order in the “Provost’s Guidelines on the Duties and Responsibilities of Chairs and Directors” on the Office of the Provost website:

Strategic Planning and Leadership

  • Conveying the research and teaching mission of the school.
  • Leading the creation and alteration of the school’s strategic plan.
  • Attending weekly chairs/directors meetings for VCEA.
  • Attending VCEA Leadership Board meetings (twice/year).


  • Advocating on behalf of the school with the dean(s) in an effort to move the school’s programs forward (e.g. new faculty positions); to ensure the longevity and satisfaction of its staff; and to ensure course delivery and administrative operations in the event of faculty and staff departures, retirements, or reclassifications.
  • Hosting regular faculty meetings (approximately once/month), compiling agendas, and crafting or editing minutes.
  • Hosting regular leadership team meetings (once/week), compiling agendas, and crafting or editing minutes.
  • Coordinating, hosting, and/or speaking at all school-wide events such as commencement, evening lectures, orientations, all-school meetings, advisory board meetings, recruitment events, gallery openings, and faculty-staff


  • Overseeing all state-oriented budgets, distributing monies responsibly into different areas of school needs and development, and ensuring that all of those entrusted with budgets are held accountable for allocations of monies consistent with university/school mission.
  • The complexity of the school is such that the director is encouraged to create a shadow booking system that distributes monies to each of the program heads and other faculty and/or staff to manage. The director should entrust those in charge of budgets with authority over expenditures, recognizing their specific expertise in those areas and empowering them accordingly.  At any time, the director may wish to withhold pre-allocated funds in the interests of the school, but it is not recommended that he/she does so without discussion or explanation.
  • Recommended distribution of funds is explained in the SDC General Expenditure Guide (8.1).


  • Facilitating student recruitment activities, including the weekend WSU “experience” and “preview”-type days, management of the SDC ambassadors, assisting with school tours and meetings for parents and prospective students, and helping academic coordinators with summer Alive! as needed or when available.

Faculty and Staff

  • Monitoring all searches for new faculty and staff, in accordance with initiatives in the school’s strategic plan.
  • Conducting annual reviews of all faculty, administrative manager, and academic program manager.
  • Facilitating all tenure and promotion cases, including the oversight of tenure and promotion committees for junior faculty and comprehensive and/or intensive annual reviews consistent with the faculty manual.
  • Determining merit-based increases based upon annual reviews, criteria in the faculty manual, or additional instructions from the college or provost’s office.
  • Initiating all nominations for faculty and staff awards at the college and university level.


  • Supervising or working with program heads and academic program manager to deliver the school’s curriculum and ensure logical teaching assignments that are in the best interests of the school.

Resources and collegiality

  • Selecting and authorizing office space for faculty and staff, and doing so with an eye towards the integration of the disciplines.
  • Caring for facilities and equipment under school jurisdiction.
  • Organizing school committees in an equitable manner.
  • Maintaining a collaborative and congenial environment.
  • Handling issues or complaints from students, faculty, or staff.
  • Monitoring accreditation and assessment activities in the units.

Development and outreach

  • Organizing and maintaining contact with members of the school’s advisory board.
  • Planning and hosting the annual spring advisory board meeting and the fall Central meeting.

Governing Policies for the Director

  • The director will be granted a twelve-month, four-year renewable appointment.
  • Faculty will have the opportunity to review the director on an annual basis via an online or paper survey as administered either by the dean, the provost, or both.
  • At the end of two-and-a-half years of the four-year term, the dean will initiate a formal review of the director, seeking input from the faculty and staff for reappointment. Recommendations for reappointment or replacement will be made by the dean and forwarded to the provost for consideration.
  • If the dean, in conjunction with the provost, feel that it is in the best interest of the school or college to replace the director at any time during the four-year term, a minimum three months’ notice will be provided to the director in writing. If discontinuation is implemented, the director will return to a regular nine-month academic appointment.