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School of Design + Construction Policies + Procedures

3.4 Program Heads

The following document broadly outlines the responsibilities for program heads in the School of Design and Construction (SDC). The responsibilities are distributed over curriculum, recruitment, personnel, accreditation, assessment, development, budgets, and other.


The program heads are part of the school’s leadership team. They serve two principal roles: 1) they serve in the best interest of the school and 2) they serve in the best interest of their program.  These two roles are not mutually exclusive; program heads should understand those roles as linked.  However, they must always place their priority on the overall well-being of the school.

The program heads are vital to school operations and are regularly engaged in crucial decisions concerning the school and its programs. The program heads serve on SDC, college, and/or university committees, and may attend meetings on behalf of the director as requested. Program heads engage with the director, faculty across disciplines, and with academic and administrative staff (as applicable) towards the following ends:


  1. Developing and implementing semester course schedules and teaching assignments.
  2. Evaluating and submitting major/minor curriculum changes and catalog updates to individual majors and the school’s core curriculum.
  3. Ensuring the quality and integrity of existing degree programs by monitoring curriculum and activities related to academic programs.
  4. Developing new degree programs and minors, including articulation agreements and other transfer student pathways.
  5. Arranging end-of-semester studio course review and/or project presentation schedules and disseminating information to faculty and students as applicable.
  6. Working with graduate program coordinator(s) (as applicable) to ensure cohesion and/or continuity between undergraduate and graduate curriculum.


  1. Participation in school, college, and university recruitment events as necessary
  2. Creating and maintaining program materials (e.g. brochures, website content)
  3. Meeting with prospective and/or new students and parents.
  4. Participating in high school and community college recruitment activities.


  1. Aiding in the preparation of tenure and promotion materials for tenure-track faculty in the respective degree programs.
  2. Advising the director on personnel problems and program issues.
  3. Advising the director regarding the hiring of temporary and permanent faculty.
  4. Working to resolve student concerns and issues within the program.
  5. Working with the director in advancing scholarship within each degree program.
  6. Organizing and leading regular faculty meetings within respective degree programs.

Accreditation and Assessment

  1. Preparing self-assessment reports and annual reports.
  2. Preparing for accreditation visits.
  3. Ensuring that curriculum meets accreditation standards.
  4. Publishing program data and accreditation follow-up as required by accreditation bodies.
  5. Responding to requests for program data from the university, college, director, and others.
  6. Involving program faculty in regular program and curricular assessment activities (e.g. retreats, curriculum mapping, survey development and administration).


  1. Fundraising and meeting with potential donors.
  2. Participating in and organizing professional advisory board meetings.
  3. Developing materials for alumni newsletters and/or alumni features in electronic media.
  4. Disseminating material about the program to other institutions and organizations.
  5. Building relationships with industry partners.


  1. Working with degree program faculty to prioritize usage of allocated program funds (e.g. course fees, discretionary development funds)
  2. Maintaining contact with administrative manager to ensure up-to-date budget tracking.


  1. Attending, hosting, coordinating, and/or speaking at school or program-wide events, as their schedules permit, such as commencement, evening lectures, orientations, all-school meetings, gallery openings, and faculty meetings
  2. Supervising and/or coordinating the clean-up of instructional facilities before the conclusion of the semester.
  3. Supervising and/or coordinating the organization, arrangement, and needs of instructional facilities prior to the start of the semester.
  4. Participating in regular leadership team meetings during appointment

Governing Policies for Program heads

  1. Program heads will be granted a ten-month, three-year renewable appointment and provided a negotiable course reduction per academic year, depending upon 1) teaching load expectations relative to program, and 2) extent of larger school administrative support.
  2. Program heads are required to be available for discussion during the summer, as needed, to address administrative and planning issues.
  3. The director will engage in a formal review in conjunction with the annual review during the appointment term. The director will seek—and consider—input from the faculty and staff. Strong performance and positive feedback should logically lead to appointment renewal. Performance deemed to be below expectations and/or with negative feedback may lead to a faculty and staff-wide nomination process for new program head(s). The director is under no obligation to undertake a nomination process, but may wish to do so in the interests of equitability and buy-in. The nomination process is outlined in SDCPPM 3.5.
  4. If the director feels that it is in the best interest of the school or program to replace the program head at any time during the three-year term, a minimum three months’ notice will be provided in writing. If discontinuation is implemented, former program heads will return to a regular nine-month academic appointment.