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Managing People: A Guide for Department Chairs and Deans

ISBN: 978-1-882982-53-0
272 pages
November 2003, Jossey-Bass
Managing People: A Guide for Department Chairs and Deans (1882982533) cover image


One of the most challenging responsibilities of being a college department chair or dean is to effectively manage the diverse and independent intellectuals that form the typical college faculty. Many administrators not only complain about the amount of time they devote to grappling with problems between faculty and staff members—but many also feel inadequately trained for resolving the problems they with which they are confronted.

Managing People helps administrators handle the challenges they face when dealing with everyday personnel management problems. A collection of 13 essays, this book is written by experienced chairs, deans, and vice presidents who offer sensible advice based on personal experience and scholarly research. Each essay tackles a different aspect of people management, explaining the dimensions and subtleties of the issue as well as offering targeted suggestions and resources. Topics include

  • An analysis of how self-understanding is essential to any leader
  • Strategies for working with faculty and staff in a sincere and authentic manner
  • Approaches to positive leadership
  • Tips on achieving consensus among faculty
  • Advice on conducting departmental or college meetings that create cohesion
  • The different types of detractors or difficult individuals, and how best to deal with them
  • An explanation of how to eliminate negative defenses
  • Evaluations as useful for enhancing faculty performance and satisfaction
  • Ways in which to build and maintain faculty morale

This book offers readers a practical guide on how to better manage faculty and staff in order to realize shared visions and positively impact their institutions.

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Table of Contents

About the Editor.


About the Contributors.

1. Understanding Yourself (Deryl R. Leaming).

2. Understanding and Communicating With Others (Daniel W. Wheeler).

3. Establishing a Positive Leadership Approach (Lynn M. Little).

4. Creating Consensus Among Faculty (Deryl R. Leaming).

5. Using Meetings to Create Cohesion (Joan DeGuire North).

6. Winning Over Your Detractors (Thomas R. McDaniel).

7. Stripping Away Negative Defenses (Elliott A. Pood).

8. Handling Conflict With Difficult Faculty (Ben Bissell).

9. Dealing With Troubled Faculty (Howard B. Altman).

10. Improving the Odds of Hiring the Right Person (Baron Perlman and Lee I. McCann).

11. Using Evaluation to Enhance Faculty Performance and Satisfaction (Nancy Van Note Chism).

12.Building and Maintaining Morale (Deryl R. Leaming).

13. Putting All the Pieces Together to Be a Better People Manager and Leader (Deryl R. Leaming).



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Author Information

Deryl R. Leaming is former Professor of Journalism and Dean of the College of mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. He earned his Ph.D. in  Mass Communication from Syracuse University, his M.A. from the University of Nebraska, and his B.A. from Fort Hays State University. He is also a graduate of a special program at the Menninger School of Psychiatry. Dr. Leaming served for more than 20 years as a department chair and dean at several different universities. He is an active member of the Society of Professional Journalists, having also served on the society’s national board and as a regional director. He and his colleagues at Marshall University won the coveted First Amendment award from the society in 1993 for their courageous support of the university’s student newspaper and the principles embodied in the First Amendment. He is the author of Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department (Anker, 1998), the editor of the online journal, Academic Leadership, and the author of many journal articles.
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