III.1. Department Office

The department’s main office is, for many, among the first points of contact for visitors to campus as well as prospective students and their parents. Friendly and respectful interactions in the main office can also have a substantial impact on the overall department climate for faculty, graduate assistants, students, and other staff. Reasonable access to the office staff and the chair, in person or by phone or email, is essential for the smooth functioning of department business. The appearance of the main office also represents the department’s disciplinary identity to the public, its majors, and its staff and faculty; purposeful organization, décor, and displays can make the main office an effective center for departmental contact and activity. Care should be taken, however, to avoid turning the main office into a lounge where social interactions trump getting work done.