Annelle Zerbe Weymuth
Northwest Missouri State University
Almost everyone in academia has heard of federal mandates like Title IX, Title VII, EEOC, 504, ADA, and FERPA and can recall that they are associated with nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, persons with disabilities, and student privacy issues. Vague recollections, however, will not protect a department chair or the faculty members. As a chair or director of an administrative unit, one must have a clear understanding of these federal mandates. It is important to recognize the significant impact they can have on you, your department, and your institution, especially when litigation today can have a major public relations as well as financial impact. The federal laws considered in this chapter were chosen because of their direct relevance to the duties of the chairperson or administrator of a department. It is the chairperson who sets the tone for nondiscrimination and confidentiality between and among the faculty and students. This means that you are responsible for establishing the acceptable standards of behavior within your department or unit. Lack of knowledge about these widely publicized federal mandates will not hold up as a defense in a court of law for any academic administrator.
To be successful as a faculty chair one must understand the federal mandates addressing nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, disability,