April 15, 2014
Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology
It may not be readily apparent if you are a new chair, director or dean, but one particular piece of information is necessary to ensure effective administration and communication: the organizational chart.
Chances are you will focus on such a chart when it has to be included in a self-study or report. However, a good chart also is an effective tool in facilitating information within the unit.
The best chart will not be top-down but inclusive, showcasing several layers of governance. The Greenlee School has this breakdown:
1. Administration (director, associate director, administrative specialist and program coordinator).
2. Faculty Governance (undergraduate coordinator, graduate coordinator)
3. Shared Governance (standing committees)
4. Support Staff (clerical, information technology staff)
In our chart, we also include position descriptions for specific jobs as well as committee responsibilities from our Governance Document. This way, all new employees understand whom to contact for particular requests. The chart also reminds continuing faculty to be inclusive when posting agendas, minutes and motions. For example, if curricula is considering a new graduate class, it only makes sense to invite the graduate committee for feedback.
The Greenlee School posts meeting documents electronically as well as on a tack board on the main floor as part of our transparency efforts. A copy of the organizational chart also will be tacked there.
When you complete your organizational chart, you should remind your colleagues and employees to use it so that communication flows to the right people. Organizational communication is a sign of administrative experience and acumen. A well-constructed chart accomplishes that.