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School of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Program Coordinators Job Description

Interdisciplinary program coordinators of interdisciplinary and/or cross-school programs that have the School of Arts and Sciences as their home school are vitally important in promoting and advancing the quality of teaching, scholarship, and service in the School of Arts and Sciences and in the University as a whole. The process for nominating and appointing interdisciplinary program coordinators is outlined in the A&S Shared Governance Bylaws. A listing of A&S interdisciplinary and/or cross-school programs and their advisory boards, where applicable, is maintained by the A&S dean’s office.

Interdisciplinary program coordinators’ administrative duties include but are not limited to the normal operations of the program, including scheduling of classes, assigning instructors in collaboration with department chairs (or, in the case of Leadership Studies and Law, with the respective deans), and participating in the annual mid-course reviews as well as in tenure/promotion reviews of faculty members who hold MOUs with the programs. Interdisciplinary program coordinators are expected to attend Academic Council meetings and keep faculty in their programs informed of Academic Council deliberations and administrative actions, as well as other matters of operational and administrative importance to the School of Arts & Sciences and the university as a whole.

The major responsibilities of interdisciplinary program coordinators serving interdisciplinary and/or cross-school programs based in the School of Arts and Sciences include but are not limited to:

Direction of academic program

  • Serving as the public spokesperson for the program and representative of the program to the dean;
  • Collaborating with the dean to insure an ongoing advisory board for the program, which will vary depending on the program’s administrative needs;
  • Leading the program in setting both short- and long-term goals, in establishing and executing assessment efforts, and in using assessment results to promote continuous program improvement;
  • Promoting the attainment of program, school and university goals; 

Oversight of teaching and advising

  • Building a two-year schedule in cooperation with other programs, departments and schools;
  • Scheduling program courses and assigning instructors to these courses in collaboration with department chairs (or in the case of Leadership Studies and law the respective deans) and in cooperation with the A&S dean's office;
  • Monitoring course registrations and making appropriate adjustments in course schedules and instructor assignments in cooperation with other programs, departments and schools and with the A&S dean's office;
  • Ensuring the timely development, approval, offering and review of appropriate courses;
  • Overseeing program’s involvement with off-campus programs, including study abroad and internships;
  • Facilitating the assignment of faculty to major student advising, working with the Academic Advising office to reassign majors for faculty members who will be on leave, and expediting the handling of drop/add and transfer-credit requests as well as other requests that require program approval;

Mentoring and personnel development

  • Mentoring faculty and staff associated with the program and attending in this and other ways to the recognition and development of program faculty and staff, especially in relation to their teaching, scholarship and service responsibilities;
  • Collaborating with the dean in the recommendation and renewal of MOUs with department chairs appointments to the program;
  • Participating in the annual, mid-course reviews, tenure/promotion reviews of faculty members if so specified in the MOU;
  • Collaborating in performance reviews of staff;
  • Participating in approved personnel searches in cooperation with the dean's office, other academic programs/schools, and Human Resource Services;
  • Supervising administrative coordinators, directors, lab managers and other support personnel;

Management of program resources

  • Preparing budgetary requests and overseeing the maintenance of facilities and equipment and the use of other program resources;
  • Making arrangements for and/or hosting lecturers, pre- and post-doctoral fellows, visiting professors and events, or seeing that such arrangements and hosting are handled in an appropriate manner;

Facilitation of program relations

  • Serving as central figure available to address questions and concerns from students, faculty, staff, parents and others with the expectation of resolution of issues at the program level;
  • Ensuring that program events and activities align with the academic objectives of the program, school and university;
  • Taking a leadership role in the mediation of conflicts among constituencies in the program and consulting with the dean’s office and Human Resources as necessary. 

Timetable of Responsibilities

The regular ongoing responsibilities of interdisciplinary program coordinators are fulfilled day to day throughout the entire year. However, some responsibilities are periodic rather than continuous. Specifics will vary from program to program and from year to year, but a general timeline of such periodic responsibilities is available here

Training and Development

Each interdisciplinary program coordinator in the School of Arts & Sciences will typically learn the particular responsibilities of office from former and current interdisciplinary program coordinators, will have ready access to the dean and associate deans, and will be encouraged to request from them any necessary information or desired forms of support. In addition to ongoing training and development at the University of Richmond, the dean will announce off-campus conferences and workshops that promise to be useful for individual interdisciplinary program coordinators. To the fullest extent possible, the dean will support participation by interdisciplinary program coordinators in such conferences and workshops. Interdisciplinary program coordinators may request discussion and advice at Academic Council meetings or separately on any matters pertaining to the fulfillment of their responsibilities.

Support and Recognition

In fulfilling their responsibilities as administrators of academic programs and leaders of the faculty, interdisciplinary program coordinators have the support provided by their own program budgets and the opportunity to request additional resources through the office of the dean whenever such support could make a crucial difference to student experience, program quality or faculty and staff development. Such additional support may be made available, at the discretion of the dean, either to insure the inclusive excellence of the program as a whole or to provide timely assistance to one of its members.

In order to properly accomplish their administrative duties, interdisciplinary program coordinators are granted reassigned time, stipends, and/or other forms of compensation as set forth in policies established and overseen by the dean, in consultation with the A&S faculty. The extent of reassigned time may vary annually depending on circumstances in the home department and the size and complexity of the interdisciplinary and/or cross-school program.

Also, in recognition of the time it takes to fulfill the responsibilities of the interdisciplinary program coordinator, it is recommended that the University's Committee on Committees, the Arts and Sciences Nominating Committee, and the president, provost, and dean should try not to appoint Arts and Sciences interdisciplinary program coordinators to major school and university committees, and even more, not to appoint them as chairs of special ad hoc committees.

Program colleagues will assess the interdisciplinary program coordinator’s work in the second year of every three-year term, using the form and procedure approved by the faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences. This formal evaluation as well as performance reports submitted as part of the merit review process will provide the principal means by which the dean will be able to attend to the unique contributions of each individual interdisciplinary program coordinator.

Endorsed by the Arts & Sciences Academic Council – 4/6/10
Endorsed by the School of Arts and Sciences Faculty – 4/26/10
REVISION endorsed by the Arts & Sciences Academic Council - 9/17/2019