2.2 Academic Organization & the Roles of Academic Officers

The respective powers and duties of the faculty as a whole and of those faculty who are officers of the University are set forth in the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees. These Bylaws delegate to the faculty as a whole the authority to provide for the establishment of curricula and courses and for the establishment of a program of extra-course education for students. In exercise of these powers the faculty has adopted a Senate and a set of committees with various functions. (See Section 1 "Organization of the Faculty.") Various designated administrative members of the faculty are assigned the authority and responsibility for the administration of the regular and extra-course educational programs for students.

The President of the University is the chief administrative officer of the University and has the responsibility for the appointment of the Provost and Vice Presidents, and with the Provost for the appointment of Vice Provosts, Deans, and Department Chairpersons. The President represents the University and is its executive agent empowered with general supervision of the affairs of the University.

The Provost is the chief executive officer next in authority to the President. The Provost's responsibilities include the supervision of the academic programs of the entire University and the development and administration of the University academic budget. In addition to the Deans of the various colleges, he or she is assisted by the Deputy Provost, Vice Provost for Research, Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, Vice Provost for the Library, Associate Provost for Administration and Enrollment Services, and Assistant Provost for Student Diversity and Success. (Rev. 3/2013)

The Deputy Provost oversees university-wide undergraduate programs and student support services and coordinates university-wide functions and academic approval and assessment processes. He/she is assisted by the Associate Provost for International Programs, the Associate Provost for Institutional Research and Effectiveness, and the faculty directors of the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning, the Center for Premedical and Health Professions Studies, the Honors Program, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, and University Studies. (Rev. 2/2013)

The Vice Provost for Research is the chief research advocate serving to advance high-quality research and scholarship at UD by promoting an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, community, and commitment to the highest ethical values. He/she coordinates the identification, application and support for research activities by faculty and staff from government and non-government sponsors. He/she is assisted by the Associate Provost for Research and Regulatory Affairs, the Senior Associate Provost for Research Development and the Assistant Provost for Research Administration. (Rev. 2/2013)

The Associate Provost for Administration and Enrollment Services oversees the financial management of the Provost Office including short-term and long-term budgetary planning. The Associate Provost also oversees the Admissions and Registrar's Offices (Enrollment Services). (Rev. 2/2013)

The Executive Director of the President's Diversity Initiative is administratively responsible for developing and administering the Office of the President's Diversity Initiative and works with faculty, staff and administration to help the University achieve its goals to promote and enhance diversity as articulated in its strategic plan, Path to Prominence. (Rev. 2/2013)

The Deans of the Colleges have responsibilities for supervising and correlating the research, instructional, and educational activities of the colleges. The Deans have primary responsibility for the curricula of the college, for faculty recruitment within the college, for the assignment of duties for all personnel within the college and for the quality of service rendered by those individuals, and they recommend to the Provost on all salary increases, promotions, and on all appointments, non-reappointments and terminations within the college. In addition, the Deans have primary responsibility for allocations of funds within the college, subject to review by the Provost. College Deans are assisted by Associate and Assistant Deans, Department Chairpersons, Academic Program Directors, and Research and Public Service Center/Institute Directors.

Associate and Assistant Deans provide support to the Deans in various capacities including academic, personnel, budgetary and student issues.

Department Chairpersons (and School Directors) serve both as the chief representative of the department (School) within the institution and as a departmental administrator, responsible for communicating and administering policies and procedures of the University and for developing and organizing courses of study. Together with the dean and provost, the chairperson is charged with the recruiting and professional development of staff. Chairpersons make recommendations to the dean for faculty appointments, promotions, leaves of absence, tenure, salary increases and terminations of service. The chairperson will be expected to consult in a formalized way with the appropriate departmental body on matters of faculty status. The chairperson should also establish appropriate vehicles for obtaining student opinion on curricular matters. 

Department chairpersons (and School Directors) are appointed by the President and Provost for five-year terms upon the recommendation of the college dean. These appointments are renewable for like periods. The advice of a majority of the faculty, by a formal vote of the faculty, within the department or school is required for the appointment or reappointment of the chairperson or school director. After the conclusion of the formal vote of the faculty, the numerical result(s) of the vote of the faculty must be communicated to all the faculty eligible to vote and then to the dean of the college and by the dean to the Provost upon the occasion of any recommendation for appointment or reappointment. Chairpersons are renewed annually by the college dean and serve at the pleasure of the President, the Provost and the Dean. Therefore, the President and Provost have the authority to replace a department chairperson at any time after consultation with the appropriate dean, if such action is in the best interests of the department or the University. Tenure as a faculty member is a separate right. (Rev. 3/2022, Revised 5/08 Provost, AAUP, and Faculty Senate)

The chairperson is reviewed shortly before the expiration of his or her term, or sooner under special circumstances. A copy of the policy on chairperson review is available from the dean of each college.

In addition, there are academic units including centers and institutes that are headed by academic Directors.