Academic Departments

The department is the basic academic administrative unit in KSAS. Each department is administered by a department chair, who is the official link between the department and the office of the dean. Department chairs lead the department in planning, recommend allocation of space to the dean, and are responsible for budget preparation and surveillance, evaluations of faculty for promotion and tenure, assignment of academic and nonacademic staff, and assignment of teaching loads and student advising. KSAS includes 22 departments in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Departmental Leadership

There are several key figures in a department who facilitate discussions and implement procedures.  These include:

  • Department Chair. Department chairs play a central role in the life of a department and in the leadership of KSAS. Department chairs work with departmental colleagues and administrators in the dean’s office to plan the department’s curriculum, approve faculty leave, manage department budgets and resources, devise hiring strategies, develop mentoring plans for assistant and associate professors, conduct faculty tenure and promotion reviews, prepare a self-study for periodic program reviews, and report or direct complaints of discrimination, harassment and /or retaliation to the appropriate offices. Contact information for current department chairs. 
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). The DUS assists the chair in overseeing the department’s undergraduate program and is responsible for ensuring the adequacy of course offerings, the effectiveness of the faculty advising system, student access to research opportunities, reviewing requirements for the major, and developing programs that enhance the sense of community among majors and facilitate interaction with departmental faculty. The DUS reports directly to the chair and to the vice dean for undergraduate education. Contact information for all directors of undergraduate studies is available on the Krieger School Academic Advising website.
  • Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The DGS assists the chair in overseeing the department’s graduate program and is responsible for the yearly admissions process, advising graduate students prior to their qualifying exams, graduate funding, and assigning graduate teaching. The DGS reports directly to the chair and to the vice dean for graduate education. Contact information for all directors of graduate studies is available on the Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs website.
  • Diversity Champions. The primary role of the diversity champion is to help facilitate culture transformation around issues of equity and inclusion and serve as a key partner to the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As critical thought leaders, diversity champions work with their chair to advance departmental diversity and inclusion goals in the areas of faculty hiring, mentoring and retention, graduate student recruitment and retention, and departmental climate. Contact information for current diversity champions is available on the KSAS Diversity & Inclusion page.
  • Department Administrators. Administrators serve as many students’ first and most regular contact with the department. As such, they have a wealth of institutional knowledge. They provide day-to-day management of the department and their duties normally include course and room scheduling, reimbursements for approved purchases, travel from Faculty Research Budgets (FRBs), and departmental visitors, oversight of graduate funding, and budget reconciliation. Administrators are also in charge of managing the other staff in the department (academic coordinators, budget specialists, research grants specialists, etc.).

Department Bylaws

Departments are encouraged to develop bylaws that outline key departmental procedures such as those related to faculty hiring and voting rights in meetings. Model bylaws have been created to help departments to navigate this process.  Once created, bylaws should be shared with the dean’s office for review.