Ah, that's part of the exercise. I've found many definitions, which leads me to believe there is splay in the discipline. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not seem to have a definition for this work, referring the reader to Instructional Coordinators, which is really a curriculum specialist: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos269.htm
I would define an instructional designer as one who has expertise in curriculum, learning theories, learner engagement, teaching with technology, and assessment of learning.
Hmmm...we call our department chairs "Instructional Leaders" which is not quite the same as a Curriculum Specialist...but I would add innovative (looking for new ideas, methods, etc. and ways to connect them to the curriculum), advocate (supportive of teachers' ideas and finds ways...resources, etc...to help implement them) and connected (or maybe networked is a better adjective).
I think they must be able to "teach who they are" and "who they aren't" - they also need to be able to have a deep understanding of a wide range of pedagogical skills and how to transfer them cross across disciplines.
Thanks to all of you for making comments, asking questions, and providing links--the Wisconsin Standards are quite inspiring.
A core component of my work is administering distance learning and instructional technologies. Our faculty are required to complete a comprehensive training program in online and hybrid course development. There is great debate about the actual definition of "instructional design." I am seeking examples in the professional literature that I can transcribe into faculty learning objectives for the course. As it is currently set, the course is extremely practical, but not as deeply pedagogical as it could be.
Keep this thread alive! I need all the info I can get!