What does a Department Chair do?
Professors instruct students in various academic and vocational subjects above the high school level. They conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books from it and work in public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, junior or community colleges, and within career and vocational schools. They teach a wide variety of subjects, from science to math.
Professors develop a curriculum that meets both college and department standards, and they plan lessons and assignments. They assess students' progress through grading papers and tests and advise students about which classes to take to achieve their goals. They conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in the field where they are employed and supervise graduate students working for a doctorate degree. They serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, and advise on hiring and promotion within their department. Professors need a minimum master's degree; a doctoral degree is typically required for work as a full-time, tenure-track university professor.
- Support classroom and online efforts to promote student success.
- Facilitate a safe and productive learning environment for students.
- Make expectations and objectives of the clinical assignments clear.
- Distribute and submit syllabi for all assigned sections in accordance with department and college policies.
- Serve on and lead college or system committees, as assigned.
- Serve as consultant on the development of curricular materials as needed.
- Serve as a resource person and facilitator in the learning process.
- Keep accurate and appropriate records in accordance with departmental policies.
- Provide service including student mentoring, ongoing course development, and assessment.
- Demonstrated leadership experience and skills.
- Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills.
- Skilled in critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration.
- Research, writing, and presentation skills.
How much does a Department Chair make?
Department Chair Career Path
Learn how to become a Department Chair, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
Department Chair Insights
“I don’t find much difficulty working in this Institute as everyone there is very calm and helpful.”
“Some creative thinkers and problem solvers who are great to work with have worked here.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing and fun team of people.”
“Best place to work and if we are looking to improve career then it is the good place to work in”
“Academic freedom is higher which encourages faculty to explore new things and teach students in a better way”
“I couldn't find any cons here but the salary according to the word load/pressure is quite low.”
“It's good place to work for year or two but beyond that career progression is slow.”
“Salaries are lower than national average but Utah is not an expensive state compared to many of its neighbors.”
Department Chair Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of professors
Professors work for universities as lecturers and researchers. A typical day for a professor includes teaching classes to graduate and undergraduate students. They're expected to publish academic papers in peer-reviewed journals. Professors hold office hours to assist students who have difficulties with their courses. Occasionally, they give lectures at conferences.
Being a professor is a good career once you have tenure. One of the advantages when you become a professor is enjoying extensive university privileges and eventual tenure. Most importantly, tenure represents permanent job stability. Teaching can also be a very rewarding experience. Professors are in the unique position of influencing the next generation. Also, they often participate in groundbreaking research.
Working as a professor isn't just about academic prowess. A difficult aspect of being a professor is handling the campus political environment, which can be volatile, so learn to navigate it while staying true to your ethics and values. It can also be challenging to balance your off-campus activities, research, and course instruction.