The Academic Chair's Handbook, 2nd Edition
April 2008, Jossey-Bass
The extensive interviews resulted in four thematic patterns that covered the overarching issues department chairs face: quality, change, culture, and leadership. Each chapter is packed with practical advice and concludes with questions and resources to help chairs develop constructive responses to the myriad issues facing them.
Part I • Fifteen Strategies in the Building Process.
1. Difficulties in the Building Process.
The Context for Leadership.
Chairing the Department.
The Nature of the Department.
The Nature of Faculty Work.
2. Consider Your Own Development.
Learn About Your Role and Responsibilities in the Department and the Institution.
Create a Balance Between Your Professional and Personal Lives.
Prepare for Your Professional Future.
3. Reflect on Your Role as an Academic Leader.
Establish a Collective Departmental Vision or Focus.
Develop Faculty Ownership of the Vision.
Initiate Changes Carefully.
Allocate Resources of Time, Information, and Assignments to Implement the Vision and Departmental Goals.
Monitor Progress Toward Achieving the Vision and Goals.
4. Create a Positive Interpersonal Work Environment.
Establish an Open Atmosphere to Build Trust.
Listen to Faculty Needs and Interests.
Motivate Faculty and Collaboratively Set Goals.
Develop Leadership Skills that Empower Faculty and Provide Effective Feedback.
Represent Faculty to Colleagues and Senior Administrators.
Serve as a Role Model and Mentor.
Encourage and Support Faculty.
Part II • Applying the Strategies.
5. Help New Faculty Become Oriented.
Communicate Expectations for Performance.
Provide Feedback on Progress.
Enhance Collegial Review Processes.
Create Flexible Time Lines for Tenure.
Encourage Mentoring and Integration by Senior Faculty.
Extend Mentoring and Feedback to Graduate Students Who Aspire to be Faculty Members.
Recognize the Department Chair as a Career Sponsor.
Support Teaching, Particularly at the Undergraduate Level.
Support Scholarly Development.
Foster a Balance Between Professional and Personal Life.
6. Improve Faculty Teaching.
Promote Excellence in Teaching.
Support Teaching Improvement.
Address Teaching Problems.
Employ Case Studies to Guide Your Response to Teaching Problems.
7. Improve the Scholarship of Faculty.
Foster a Strong Research Climate.
Detect a Problem Situation as Early as Possible.
Clarify the Reasons for Lack of Performance.
Identify a Plan for Improvement.
Follow Up on the Plan.
8. Refocus Faculty Efforts.
Detect the Signs of Lack of Focus.
Explore Options with the Individual.
Mutually Design a Plan for Intervention.
Arrange for Activities, Resources, and Feedback.
9. Address Personal Issues of Faculty.
Differentiate Between Short- and Long-Term Issues.
Adopt Strategies for Temporary Problems.
Adopt Strategies for Intervening in Chronic Cases.
10. Employ Technology Wisely.
Be Aware of Technological Developments.
Encourage Faculty and Staff Technology Literacy.
Support Technology Training.
Use Technology Efficiently.
Use Technology to Facilitate Outcomes, Assessment, and Accountability.
Develop a Plan for Resource Allocation.
Adopt Emerging Technologies Prudently.
Consider the Impact on Student Services.
11. Adapt to Funding and Resources Challenges.
Clarify Responsibility for Budget Development and Allocation.
Recognize the Implications of Budget Pressures.
Diversify Funding Through Revenue Generation Strategies.
Capitalize on Changes in Staffing.
Maintain High Morale During Trying Times.
12. Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement.
Make Continuous Improvement a Priority.
Devise Strategies and Resources to Support Quality Improvement Efforts.
Student Learning Assessment.
Teaching Effectiveness Assessment.
Program Effectiveness Assessment.
Encourage Support of Continuous Improvement Efforts.
Adopt Reliable Assessment Measures to Track Progress Over Time, Make Comparisons, and Demonstrate Results.
An Illustration of the Process.
13. Build an Agenda.
Four Dimensions of the Building Process.
Implementing the Agenda.
Appendix A: The National Study and the Follow-Up Study.
Appendix B: Topical Index to Strategies.
Daniel W. Wheeler is professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication at the University of NebraskaLincoln. Alan T. Seagren is professor emeritus and director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of NebraskaLincoln. Linda Wysong Becker is vice president for student services at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. Edward R. Kinley is associate vice president for academic affairs and chief information officer at Indiana State University. Dara D. Mlinek is a former research assistant and instructor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of NebraskaLincoln and participated in the research efforts focused on chairs. Kenneth J. Robson has served as a department chair, dean, and vice president. He is currently engaged in a higher education consulting practice with his partner J. Judith Eifert.
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