Responsibilities of Department Chairs in the School of Medicine

Date: November 11, 2020
Number: 1.412
Status: Final

Contact Office
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development
PO Box 800793
phone: 434-924-9030

Oversight Executive
PO Box 800793
phone: 434-982-4050

Applies to
Department chairs in the School of Medicine.

Reason for Policy
This policy clarifies the roles and responsibilities for individuals who hold the administrative appointment of department chair in the School of Medicine.

Policy Statement
(1) Overall responsibility, authority and reporting relationship. The responsibilities and authority of the department chairs are established by the Dean of the School of Medicine (“dean”) with the concurrence of the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) for the University of Virginia Medical Center. All department chairs serve at the discretion of Dean and report primarily and directly to the Dean. Chairs of clinical departments also work with the CEO of the Medical Center for their responsibilities for the clinical operations within their departments. Important collaborative relationships include (but are not limited to) the Executive Director of the University of Virginia Physicians Group(“UPG”), other department chairs, research center directors, and clinical service center leadership.

Department chairs are responsible for strategic planning for the department, taking into consideration institutional goals.

Clinical department chairs shall comply with Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Clinical Staff of the University of Virginia Medical Center and the Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment to the Clinical Staff and Delineation of Appropriate Clinical Privileges, including article 12 of the Clinical Staff Bylaws, which sets out specific duties and responsibilities of department chairs related to the delivery of clinical care and treatment within the Medical Center, and the mandatory procedures for clinical privileges applications and for the required professional practice evaluations for clinicians, as specified in the Credentials Manual.

(2) Faculty. The chair is responsible for recruitment, management, compensation and retention of faculty in consideration of the UVa Health System and School of Medicine strategic plans and of the balancing of the multiple missions of the institution. Initial approval by the Dean is required prior to the initiation of any search process for new faculty. In accordance with SOM and University policies and procedures, the chair nominates all faculty for initial appointment, additional term appointments, and promotion and tenure within the department. The chair (or the division chief) will meet at a minimum annually with each faculty member to provide evaluation, guidance, and mentoring for the faculty member. The chair is responsible for managing faculty time away to ensure there is no conflict of commitment, and for ensuring that faculty disclose consulting agreements and potential conflicts of interest so that these can be evaluated and managed appropriately.The chair is responsible for annual reporting to the Dean of his/her own days away from the institution.

The chair will oversee all faculty activities and manage all academic initiatives. The chair will provide strategic program recommendations on future directions for faculty complement to the Dean. The chair has the authority to assign administrative, teaching, research, and clinical roles to the faculty of the department. The chair is responsible and accountable for the academic performance and productivity of the faculty.

(3) Promotion of teamwork. An important responsibility of the department chair is to promote teamwork both within a department and between/among other departments in all aspects of academic and clinical functions.

(4) Educational and training programs. The chair is responsible, together with his/her faculty, for the development of the medical student and graduate student teaching programs of the department. The chair is responsible for maintaining\liaison with other clinical and/or basic science departments to foster an integrated teaching program for the School of Medicine, and work with the Senior Associate Dean for Education. In particular, the chair is responsible for promoting and implementing the strategic directions established by the Curriculum Committee of the School of Medicine.

The department chair is responsible for recruiting house staff. The chair has the authority to appoint house staff pending ratification by the Graduate Medical Education Committee. The number of house staff in each department is governed by the Graduate Medical Education Committee. The chair is responsible for the total graduate medical education program including evaluation of residents, conferences, assignment of residents to services, and affiliations with other hospitals. The chair’s responsibility includes appropriate evaluation of programs and the general administration and management of the graduate medical education experience. The chair will work with the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education on interdepartmental educational programs and on programs that are relevant to overall institutional goals.

The chair is responsible for development of continuing education programs, including distance learning through telemedicine, in collaboration with the Senior Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and External Affairs.

(5) Research programs. The department chair has the responsibility to encourage and support research creativity and productivity. The goals of departmental research must be integrated with those of the School of Medicine as a whole. The chair will provide input on research strengths and recommendations on strategic research program directions for the Dean, as well as the Senior Associate Dean for Research and the Associate Deans for Basic and Clinical Research. The chair is responsible for fostering interdepartmental collaboration and integration of basic, clinical, and translational research.

(6) Patient care programs. The clinical department chair is the clinical role model and leader of the department. The chair works with the Dean and the CEO to coordinate the clinical activities of the department. The chair is responsible for maintaining appropriate standards of care appropriate to the discipline. The chair will communicate with the CEO regarding faculty and resident practice standards necessary to ensure the success of the Health System.

The chair will make overall recommendations on the medical policies of the UVa Health System and will make specific recommendations and suggestions regarding his/her own department in order to assure the best quality of patient care. He/she will maintain a continuing review of the professional performance of all practitioners with clinical privileges in his/her department. The department chair transmits to the Credentials Committee his/her department’s recommendations concerning staff classification, reappointment and the delineation of clinical privileges for all practitioners in his/her department. The chair is responsible for enforcement of the Clinical Staff Bylaws.

(7) Facilities. The department chair is responsible for the planning and development of departmental space and for ensuring that all space is used efficiently and productively. The chair should direct all requests for new academic (research, faculty office, teaching) space or changes in space utilization to the Dean.

(8) Finances and budget. The department chair is responsible for the financial affairs and long-term fiscal stability of the department including budget preparation and reporting. Expenditures from an approved fiscal year budget are authorized only by the chair with the approval of the dean, and input from UPG. The Dean’s approval is required for contracts between the clinical departments and the Health System. The chair is responsible for and authorizes expenditures from departmental funds with the approval of the Dean, consistent with all institutional guidelines and practices.

from departmental funds with the approval of the Dean, consistent with all institutional guidelines and practices.The chair will work with the Dean and Health System Development(“HSD”)to identify prospects and to develop proposals to fund departmental initiatives.Clinical department chairs will work cooperatively with HSD on the Grateful Patient Program.

(9) Remuneration of departmental personnel. Chairs are responsible for making recommendations to the Dean for faculty compensation (base salary and incentive) in compliance with the established University of Virginia and School of Medicine guidelines. These recommendations must reflect the overall contributions of individuals to the academic and clinical activities of the Health System, and must be supportable by an articulated department remuneration policy based to a great extent on measured performance. The institution is responsible for establishing policies and guidelines for the remuneration of all faculty and non-faculty personnel.

(10) Cultural values of the institution. The department chair is expected to model the behaviors of the Health System values of accountability, stewardship, professionalism, integrity, respect, and excellence (ASPIRE).The chair is an officer of the institution who acts collaboratively and makes decisions based on sound ethics and what will bring the greatest benefit to the department, the school, and the overall institution.

Revision History:
Implemented July 15, 1998
Revised 3/15/00, 8/31/06,8/1/08, administrative
update 1/12/15; administrative update11/11/20