Duties and Responsibilities of Department Head, District Director or Unit Coordinator

The academic department head and unit coordinators are directly responsible to the dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, while the district director is directly responsible to the associate dean for extension. The dean and director may choose to delegate considerable authority for various programs and activities to appropriate associate deans. The department heads will work closely with respective associate deans for programmatic issues impacting on his/her department. The department head will hold office at the pleasure of the president of the University of Georgia and recommendation of the Dean and Director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In the event a department head is ineligible to perform a duty, an appropriate faculty member will be appointed to serve in that role.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Department Head

The department head powers and duties are consistent with those outlined in the Statutes of the University of Georgia. In addition, the duties of the academic department head further include:

  1. The department head shall have general direction of the work of the department. The head shall formulate and recommend proposed policies for the department and present them to faculty of the department for consideration. The department head shall administer the rules and regulations enacted by the faculty of the department. The department head is charged with the responsibility for the execution of departmental, University, and Regents’ policies insofar as they affect the work of the department.
  2. The department head shall be the representative of the department in all official communications.
  3. The department head shall be responsible for the quality of the instruction, research, and extension programs conducted in the department.
  4. The department head shall make teaching assignments within the department and maintain insofar as possible an equitable and mutually agreeable distribution of courses and sections.
  5. The department head shall, after consultation with the appropriate members of the department, recommend appointments, reappointments and promotions, nominations for graduate faculty status, and/or non renewals of the contracts of the faculty of the department. The department head’s written recommendations concerning these actions shall be forwarded with the collective recommendation of the appropriate faculty of the department with regard to the same proposals.
  6. The department head shall, after consultation with faculty members of the department, prepare the annual budget of the department and be responsible for all fiscal matters.
  7. The department head shall be responsible for the expenditure of departmental funds and the care and use of departmental property.
  8. The department head shall report annually to the dean and director on the teaching, research and extension programs of the department. These reports shall include assessments of the performance of faculty members in the department, giving special attention to qualities of teaching excellence exhibited by faculty members.
  9. The department head shall be evaluated by the faculty of the department at least every three years.

Duties and Responsibilities of the District Director

The District Extension Director is a member of the Extension Administrative staff of the College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, The University of Georgia is responsible for administering the Extension program in the assigned district. Major responsibilities include: personnel action; implementing administrative policy, developing and maintaining budgets and facilities; developing and maintaining effective personnel and programs; public relations; and compliance with Civil Rights/EEO/Affirmative Action/ADA policies.

Function I

Develops and maintains a comprehensive understanding of the role of the University of Georgia Extension Service as an educational agency and as a part of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.


  1. Seeks to understand and help county staff members acquire a more adequate understanding of the philosophy and objectives of The University of Georgia Extension Service and CAES, and the implications of programming.
  2. Seeks to understand and help county staff members acquire a more adequate understanding of the CAES organizational structure and resources.
  3. Seeks to understand the role as a District Extension Director and helps others acquire a more adequate understanding of the role and its relationship to others in The University of Georgia Extension and CAES.
  4. Seeks to understand and help county staff members acquire a more adequate understanding of the relationships of Cooperative Extension to related educational organizations and other units within the CAES.

Function II

Assists in the interpretation and implementation of legislation and policies affecting The University of Georgia
Extension and CAES.


  1. Keeps abreast of legislation and internal and external policies affecting the organization and its operation.
  2. Keeps the Associate Dean for Extension informed about the need to formulate new and/or to revise existing policies essential for effective county programs.
  3. Involves county personnel in interpreting and implementing policies.

Function III

Develops and maintains adequate budgets and facilities for each county in the assigned Extension District.


  1. Develops detailed county budget recommendations and establishes priorities with the county Extension coordinator, based on needs and resources available.
  2. Counsels with each County Extension Coordinator on possible procedures that might be followed in obtaining County Commission and Board of Education support of the recommended budget.
  3. Sets salaries based on an analysis of program needs, job performance levels, and salary schedules.
  4. Counsels with and seeks approval of the Associate Dean for Extension on budget recommendations.
  5. Conducts periodic reviews to determine if budgeted funds are expended in accordance with federal and state laws and the policies of The University of Georgia Extension and CAES.
  6. Keeps apprised of the needs of each county and initiates action where appropriate with officials of county government and other organizations to ensure adequate housing, equipment, and facilities.

Function IV

Provides administrative leadership for county personnel.


  1. Accepts and carries out administrative assignments delegated by the Associate Dean for Extension.
  2. Delegates administrative assignments to county staff as appropriate.
  3. Consults with County Extension Coordinators in assigning job responsibilities to county staff and in the interpretation of job and position descriptions.
  4. Engenders in the county staff the need for and maintenance of a high degree of professionalism and competence.
  5. Consults with County Extension Coordinators in selecting new personnel for county positions.
  6. Presents, in cooperation with each County Extension Coordinator, prospective county staff members to the governing board(s) for their approval.
  7. Prepares and processes the necessary forms for the employment of and/or the termination of employment of county staff members.
  8. Reviews the allocation and reallocation of staff resources with each County Extension Coordinator.
  9. Appraises performance levels of county staff members in consultation with County Extension Coordinator and with input from area/cluster co-workers.
  10. Establishes promotion and salary adjustments of county staff members.
  11. Approves and issues such authorizations as may be appropriate for county staff travel.
  12. Delegates the responsibility to maintain an efficient and orderly county Extension office to the County Extension Coordinator.

Function V

Develops and maintains effective county programs.


  1. Coordinates efforts to develop and maintain effective county programs with county Extension coordinators, Associate Dean for Extension, Assistant Dean for Extension, State Program Leader for Family and Consumer Sciences and State Program Leader for 4-H.
  2. Keeps abreast of major social and economic trends as they affect county programs.
  3. Approves and communicates agent needs for training and resource support to appropriate specialists and unit leaders.
  4. Coordinates agent orientation and training to include an understanding of organization policies, program responsibilities, subject matter needs, and professional development.
  5. Evaluates county programs, plans of work, reports, and impact and ensures quality county Extension programming.
  6. Educates county Extension agents in the program planning process which includes:
    1. Program development (people involvement, needs assessment, development of program emphasis and support groups).
    2. Program implementation including delivery, teaching, and marketing techniques.
    3. Program impact measurement, accountability, visibility, and reporting.
  7. Keeps the Associate Dean for Extension informed on the status of county programs.
  8. Provides opportunities for county staff members to maintain a high level of competence in areas of assigned program responsibility.

Function VI

Develops and maintains effective public relations with relevant publics.


  1. Serves as the official representative of The University of Georgia Extension and CAES in the assigned district.
  2. Encourages county staff members to keep relevant publics informed of the accomplishments and status of their programs.

Function VII

Continuously strives to maintain a high level of professional competence.


  1. Establishes and acquires an understanding of personal and professional goals.
  2. Counsels with county staff members on their professional goals and aspirations in relation to graduate and in-service education, professional improvement opportunities and Public Service Rank and Promotion
  3. Develops and pursues a program of professional improvement in meeting the changing requirements of the assigned job responsibilities.

The District Extension Director is responsible to the Associate Dean for Extension for all administrative and program matters in the assigned district.

The District Extension Director maintains effective relationships with the county staffs, State Program Leadership, and support units for the purpose of developing effective Extension programs. The District Extension Director also establishes and maintains effective working relationships with CAES Dean and Director, and Department Heads; state and national elected officials; University System Regents; representatives of area and state agencies, organizations and groups.

The District Extension Director represents The University of Georgia to local governing boards on matters pertaining to Extension. The District Extension Head also assists the county staffs to keep public officials informed of Extension program developments.

The District Extension Director is available for counsel with any county Extension staff member in the district on either professional or personal matters.

Education and Experience

The minimum requirement for the position of District Extension Director is a Master’s degree. An earned doctorate is desired. Substantial experience and ability in administrative related responsibilities including personnel, budget, program management, and Civil Rights/EEO/AA/ADA are mandatory. Substantial knowledge of the organization, operation, philosophy, and objectives of the Extension program and procedures is necessary. Demonstrated ability to effectively plan with, organize, motivate and relate to people is required.

Personal Attributes

Successful performance of the duties encompassed in the District Extension Director’s job requires that the individual possess habits of industry, a sense of responsibility, and genuine appreciation for the worth of the individual. The District Extension Director should possess high moral character (dependability, loyalty, and integrity). The individual should desire and have the ability to work harmoniously and effectively with people.

The individual must be able to plan and communicate effectively and share administrative and supervisory leadership with others.


Operations of Department Head, District Director, or Unit Coordinator

The department head, district director, or unit coordinator shall have great flexibility in determining how his/her unit is managed and operated. The dean and director does not provide specific guidance for department, district, or unit operations. However, there are several guiding principles that are expected to be used in all department, district, and unit operations. These include:

  1. A systematic process for receiving input from faculty and staff.
  2. Some type of executive council or committee that provides representation by at least one person other than the department head. The department head, district director, or unit coordinator may appoint individuals to assist him/her in operating the department/unit. It must be made abundantly clear that such a system is considered an extra duty and not an administrative assignment.
  3. The department head, district director, or unit coordinator must provide some means on a reasonable interval for each member of the faculty/staff to share thoughts, ideas, or opinions to express concerns.
  4. All actions impacting on the department must be conducted in the highest moral and ethical standards.
  5. Appropriate faculty governance procedures should be the norm in unit activities.