Departmental assistants are employed to provide secretarial and administrative assistance to faculty members in their specific academic departments. This includes, but is not limited to, providing a liaison between department members and administrative support staff, assistance in preparation of professional correspondence, classroom and laboratory materials, professional manuscripts, memos and minutes relating to faculty committee business, and grant proposals, ordering office supplies, paying invoices, and coordinating departmental faculty recruiting efforts and departmental events such as guest lectures. The standard secretarial duty of being the receptionist for the department, including receiving calls to the department, receiving visitors, arranging appointments, is expected of those persons whose offices and faculty permit this level of assistance to be available. Departmental assistants are not expected to handle personal business for members of their departments.
Because of the changing technology that supports secretarial services - word processors, electronic mail, spreadsheets, and administrative software - departmental assistants must keep themselves up-to-date with the technology in place at the College that enables the institution and its staff to work efficiently. Both the immediate supervisor of the departmental assistant and the assistant must work to ensure that the skills and competencies necessary to provide the services needed are developed.
Work-study students are trained and supervised by the departmental assistants to assist them in carrying out their work. Work-study students may be assigned other departmental responsibilities under the supervision of the department assistants, e.g., maintenance of departmental libraries and files, preparations for departmental events (food and beverages, etc.), updating departmental bulletin boards.
Each assistant will accept work and indicate an expected finish-time. To the extent possible, work requiring immediate attention will be done as soon as possible, but it cannot be expected that assistants can respond to all last minute requests. Work on syllabi, course outlines, quizzes, examinations, etc., should be given to the assistants sufficiently in advance of the date needed so that they can conveniently manage their total work load and fulfill faculty members’ requests. Generally, a lead-time of two days is customary, with the exception of manuscripts that may require several weeks for completion.
When major projects require the work of more than one assistant, the department assistant assigned will call the administrative assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs. Every effort will be made to coordinate all the assistants to complete the project.
The immediate supervisor for a departmental assistant is the chair of the department. This is the person who completes the annual assessment.