Administration and Organization of the College

Administrative Officers

The President of the College has executive responsibility for all College operations and for the implementation of the policies and mandates of the Board of Trustees, which is vested with ultimate authority and responsibility for the College.

In addition to the President, there are ten administrative officers of the College. A brief description of their duties follows:

Provost: As senior academic officer of the College, the Provost has administrative responsibility for planning, coordinating, and evaluating the educational programs of the College; for the oversight and integration of all educational support offices and outreach services; and in collaboration with the Dean of Faculty, for the recruitment, hiring, and professional development of the faculty. The Provost reports to the President, serves as a key member of the senior administrative team and as an integral part of the institution's decision-making process. In the absence of the President, the Provost acts as the senior administrative officer of the College.

Dean of Faculty: Has administrative responsibility for the College's teaching faculty and provides leadership for academic divisions and departments. Also has responsibility for faculty workload; performance review of the teaching faculty; and for all matters pertaining to the effectiveness and well-being of the faculty. The Dean reports to the President and works in conjunction with the Provost. The Dean is a member of the Administrative Committee and, as an Officer of the College, enjoys the equivalent rank of Vice President.

Vice President for Operations and Sustainability: The Vice President for Operations and Sustainability is responsible for the planning, budgeting, and oversight for the College’s businesses, auxiliaries, and administrative functions and for developing and executing the College’s sustainability strategies and programs (not including academic programs).

Vice President for Finance: As chief financial officer, is responsible for maintaining all financial records of the College and has authority to establish the methods by which such records shall be kept. Is responsible for the current collection and disbursement of all monies and shall act as custodian for all funds, stocks, and securities, and all other evidences of intangible property of the College.

Vice President for Student Life: Has charge of student affairs. Oversees Public Safety; plans and administers extracurricular programs and services for students; and oversees student residences and programs located in the halls, as well as Counseling Services and student health services outsourced to White House Clinic.

Vice President for Alumni, Communications and Philanthropy: Has charge of securing adequate funds for the operation of the College, of disseminating information about the College; and of expanding the circle of friends who are concerned with the welfare and development of the College.

Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Has charge of collaborating in hiring processes to achieve greater diversity within our work force. Also charged with collaborating on other initiatives to support diversity, inclusivity, and the full realizations of the 5th and 6th Great Commitments of Berea College. Has oversight of the Title VII/IX Office and Coordinator and Disability and Accessibility Services Office and Director.

Vice President for Strategic Initiatives: Serves as the administrator for the College's relationship with the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. Has oversight of strategic partnerships that leverage the College's outreach work to the Appalachian region, including: Partners for Education, Grow Appalachia, and the Brushy Fork Institute.

Chief Information Officer (CIO): Oversees Information Systems and Services (IS&S) and works collaboratively with the Administrative Committee to provide Information Technology services for all divisions with special attention to the needs for Educational Technology support within the academic program.  

Dean of Labor: Provides leadership and oversight of the Student Labor Program and Student Payments and works collaboratively with all divisions to ensure Labor Program policies and procedures are aligned with the College's commitments, learning goals, workplace expectations, and federal regulations.

Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee is responsible to the Board of Trustees and the President of the College for matters of finance, physical properties, and internal management of the College.  The Committee consists of the President and the ten administrative officers of the College.  All instructional and operating departments of the institution are organized under a member of this committee.


Administrative Organization Chart

The Administrative Organization chart follows.

Berea College Administrative Organization Chart  



Divisional Organization and Faculty Leadership

Academic divisions exist as communities of faculty committed to cultures of collegiality, consultation, and collaboration that put student learning at the center and foster innovation and flexibility in programs, pedagogy, curricula, and other structures supportive of student learning and faculty scholarship. Faculty leadership in academic divisions seeks to support healthy, responsible faculty cultures through sound practices, such as delegation and distribution of responsibilities, reliance on teams and teamwork, consultation and consensus in making decisions, leadership development and mentoring of colleagues. Cultivating and sustaining such a culture for faculty work and student learning is the responsibility of all, not only of Division Chairs.

The faculty is organized into six academic divisions. The divisions are organized to enhance opportunities for collaboration in curricular, co-curricular, and assessment areas. Each academic division houses multiple academic departments and is primarily concerned with the education of students.

The professional library staff constitute a College department, and its functions, responsibilities, and leadership arrangements differ from the academic departments and divisions. The Library staff is headed by the Director of Library Services.

Division Chair

Each of the six divisions is headed by a Division Chair, who is broadly responsible for the effective functioning of the academic division. As circumstances dictate, the Division Chair may function as organizer, initiator, catalyst, facilitator, friendly critic, consensus-builder, and interpreter. Division Chairs are appointed for a specified term, which is five years except in unusual circumstances, and will have a reduced teaching load. Such work counts as service to the College.

Division Chairs are designated through a process reflecting principles of shared governance at the College. Each five years, the division uses the opportunity of the selection of a new Division Chair for planning for the division. In the fourth year of a current Division Chair’s term, the Chair solicits from all members of the division written statements addressing 1) strategic opportunities within and beyond the division, and 2) written nominations for the position of Division Chair addressing both leadership strengths as well as weaknesses of the nominee. Guided by the written nominations received from the division, the Dean of Faculty solicits feedback from every member of the division in order to devise a list of two to four candidates. The division then conducts an election to identify which of the candidates will be appointed to serve as Division Chair for the next term. The current Chair and Chair-designee then work together during the year of overlap in order to effect a smooth transition to new leadership of the division. In order to promote faculty leadership within each division, Division Chairs should ordinarily not immediately succeed themselves.

The Division Chair is specifically responsible for the following, though this list is not exhaustive:

  1. Providing service to the institution and to the Dean of Faculty as a member of the Division Council.
  2. Working regularly with Department Chairs and convening divisional meetings as necessary to ensure effective communication between Division Council and division faculty.
  3. Maintaining high academic standards within the division, including ensuring regular assessment in all academic departments within the division, reviewing curriculum proposals, approving course substitutions and Special Topics courses, and assisting departments in long-range planning and curriculum development.
  4. Evaluating regularly all faculty in the division, including those on term contracts, in collaboration with appropriate Department Chairs. This includes annual review of Faculty Activity Reports (FARs) and review of Instructor Evaluation Questionnaires (IEQs) each term. Review of faculty on term contracts may be delegated to Department Chairs.
  5. Coordinating probationary and tenure reviews, and initiating recommendations for promotion and contract extension or conversion, based on consultation with the relevant Department Chair(s) and the Dean of Faculty. Policies governing reviews of full and part-time faculty are found in the section titled Personnel Policies for Faculty. This includes writing letters; visiting classes or other instructional settings; interviewing students, advisees, and colleagues; and convening meetings with faculty, mentoring teams, tenure team, and other colleagues.
  6. Providing orientation and guidance to new faculty, including the creation of Peer-Review Teams (as applicable) and encouraging professional growth of all members of the division.
  7. Recruiting faculty, in collaboration with the primary Department Chair; the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the Provost; and the Dean of Faculty (See Procedures for Recruiting Faculty).
  8. Coordinating the position request process with appropriate Department Chair(s) for faculty positions involving the division.
  9. Fostering an equitable distribution of total workload for faculty within the division.
  10. Coordinating and reviewing teaching schedules provided by Department Chairs as appropriate in consultation with the Associate Provost for General Studies contributions.
  11. Serving as needed as a liaison between the academic departments and other areas of the institution.
  12. Overseeing compliance for all Purchasing Cards within the Division. This may include delegating review of some cards to Department Chairs.
  13. Consulting with the Dean of Faculty in the assignment of faculty offices.
  14. Supporting occasional grant proposals, in conjunction with Partners for Education for federal grants and College Relations for all other grants. Partners for Education ensures compliance for all federal grants.
  15. Fostering good relations within the division (faculty, staff, and students) and working, when necessary, to manage conflict.

A Division Chair is encouraged to delegate some specific tasks to faculty within the division as appropriate, but remains responsible for general oversight of all academic affairs within the division. In all these matters, the Division Chair works closely with the Dean of Faculty, to whom Division Chairs report.

Department Chair

Each major and minor program of the College is under the oversight of a Department Chair, who reports to the appropriate Division Chair. The Department Chair is specifically responsible for assuring the effective functioning of one or more major and/or minors.

Department Chairs have expertise in the academic program area and are preferably tenured or in contracts with long-term continuing service to the College. Those teaching in a department will recommend a Department Chair according to the needs and requirements of a department, and the Dean of Faculty will make the appointment. The term of office should, in general, be at least three years, with a six-year maximum. Rotation is highly desirable, but the appointment may be renewed, following a review of performance and departmental needs. Course releases for administrative work in areas that have heavy administrative load will be determined by the Dean of Faculty. In addition, titles for these positions may vary, as appropriate, to reflect special administrative work or other responsibilities.

Department Chairs are specifically responsible for the following, though this list is not exhaustive: 

  1. Collaborating with the Division Chair to ensure the quality of the academic program(s), to develop position proposals, to recruit, mentor, and evaluate departmental faculty, and to foster good relations within the department, including service on search committees.
  2. Assisting the Division Chair with recommendations for continuation, tenure, and promotion. Department Chair/s should consult with appropriate members of the department bringing recommendations to the Division Chair.
  3. Overseeing the quality and coherence of the major(s) and/or minor(s) as well as curriculum development and review, in collaboration with other departmental faculty, divisional colleagues, and the Division Chair. This includes regularly reviewing the department’s Student Learning Outcomes, coordinating annual assessment reports of student learning, and convening department meetings, when necessary. 
  4. Developing teaching schedules for departmental faculty, in consultation with other Department Chairs, the Associate Provost for GSTR contributions, and the Division Chair, as appropriate. Includes reviewing faculty proposals for Special Topics courses before forwarding them to Division Chairs for submission to the Registrar.
  5. Reviewing with due diligence Instructor Evaluation Questionnaires (IEQs) each term for all faculty teaching in the department.
  6. Administering departmental budget and funds, and reviewing capital requests, in consultation and collaboration with the Division Chair, as appropriate.
  7. Serving as the departmental point of contact for (1) students—e.g., independent studies, team-initiated studies, directed studies, internships, and other curricular matters; (2) administrative offices—e.g., annual review of the major and minor description in the Berea College Catalog; course substitutions; transfer credit; declaration of major, minor, and exploratory areas; campus visits by prospective students; Summer Connections; Carter G. Woodson Diversity Weekend; student awards; etc., and (3) off-campus inquiries.
  8. Providing oversight for the coordination of student labor and advising assignments in the department.
  9. Providing oversight of the department’s website, ensuring that the information is up-to-date.
  10. Ensuring that the department meets state and national accreditation standards and state board and licensure approvals, if applicable.
  11. Providing oversight of staff and building (work orders, equipment ordering and maintenance, etc.), if applicable.

A Department Chair should delegate some tasks to faculty within the department, as appropriate, but the chair has primary oversight for the responsibilities listed above.

Divisional Organization

The academic departments are organized into six divisions. Listed below are the departments by division.

Division I


Chemistry (including Geology)




Division II

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Computer Science

Economics and Business

Engineering Technologies and Applied Design

Sustainability and Environmental Studies

Division III

Child and Family Studies

Health and Human Performance



Division IV



Foreign Languages



Division V

Art and Art History

Asian Studies



Political Science 

Division VI

African and African American Studies

Appalachian Studies

Education Studies

Peace and Social Justice Studies

Religions and Spirituality Studies

Women’s and Gender Studies

Departments that want to Change Divisions

Academic departments that believe switching divisions will benefit faculty, staff, and students may propose divisional realignment by following the steps below:

  1. The chair of the department wishing to change divisions will convene a meeting of the full department plus the chairs of the current and proposed divisions to discuss informally the reasons the department is requesting the change.
  2. The chairs of the current and proposed divisions will lead a preliminary discussion of the proposed change at a meeting of the Division Council.  The Division Council will formulate a list of questions and issues that should be addressed by the department in a formal proposal.
  3. Following the preliminary discussion of the request in step #2, the Division Council will invite the department to submit a formal written proposal that (1) articulates a rationale for the change, including the anticipated benefits of realignment for students, departmental faculty, and the new division, and (2) addresses the questions and issues raised by the Division Council. 
  4. The formal proposal should be forwarded to the Division Council by the Department Chair.
  5. After discussing the formal proposal, the Division Council will forward it as submitted, or with modifications, to the Academic Program Council for consideration of any consequences of the change for the academic program.
  6. After APC feedback has been received and discussed by the Division Council, the proposal will be (1) declined, or (2) returned to the department for modification, or (3) sent to the Executive Council with the recommendation that the proposal be placed before the College Faculty Assembly for a vote.