Academic Leadership Toolkit

Office of Faculty Development and Advancement

Staff Supervision



Supervising staff members poses challenges for department chairs, many of whom do not have extensive experience in management prior to assuming the role. Fortunately, FSU provides information and support to assist academic leaders of all kinds in managing this aspect of their unit.


  • To make the most of a valuable university asset – its staff members – by providing appropriate support, guidance, performance feedback, and discipline, when necessary.
  • To provide appropriate training, support, and guidance to staff members to maximize their contribution in support of the university’s mission.
  • To comply fully with the relevant staff Collective Bargaining Agreement in interactions with staff.
  • When discipline is necessary, it should be enacted in the spirit of progressive feedback with actions calibrated carefully to the severity of the infractions that occur.

Authority and Responsibility:

  • Department chairs are responsible for supervision of staff.
  • The Office of Human Resources (HR) provides training, consultation and support to help department chairs and other managers supervise staff.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Not using the evaluation process to provide concrete feedback and encourage performance improvement.
  • Believing (and acting in accordance with) the myth that staff members are impossible to remove from their positions when necessary.