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Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-933371-17-7
512 pages
November 2006, Jossey-Bass
Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department, 2nd Edition (193337117X) cover image


As the responsibilities entailed in being a department chairperson are ever evolving, those who occupy the position must continually adapt and build upon their skills in order to meet new challenges and expectations. In the first edition of Academic Leadership, Deryl R. Leaming helped thousands of chairpersons navigate changes in higher education and effectively lead their departments. While maintaining its focus on practical application, this new edition has been significantly revised and expanded to address new aspects of the role of department chairs.

Now organized into six parts, the second edition contains best practices and ideas from some of today's leading scholars. It also incorporates information on emerging challenges and expectations for department chairpersons, including

  • Developing a departmental vision
  • Working with constituents
  • Retaining students
  • Conflict management
  • Mentoring faculty
  • Post-tenure review

Written to assist chairpersons in carrying out their duties, each concise chapter offers advice and practical suggestions for aspiring, new, and experienced chairpersons. Readers are provided with the expectations of the chair role as well as examples for handling specific tasks. In addition, this book encourages chairpersons to analyze their departments in order to effect improvement and develop their own approaches to solving problems.

Featuring useful checklists, tables, and sample forms, this book also provides practical tools on the key areas of chair work—departmental management; interacting with faculty, students, and upper administration; financial matters; legal issues; assessment and evaluation. This invaluable resource will help guide chairpersons through the many responsibilities of their position.

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Table of Contents

About the Author.



Part I: Leadership.

1. Advice for New Chairpersons.

2. Seven Habits of Successful Chairpersons.

3. Providing Leadership.

4. Duties and Responsibilities of Chairpersons.

5. Timesaving Tips for Effective Chairpersons.

6. Communicating.

Part II: Department.

7. Developing a Departmental Vision.

8. Improving Your Department.

9. Developing Outcome Assessment Programs.

10. Managing Change.

11. Building and Maintaining Morale.

12. Managing Conflict.

13. Working With Constituents.

14. Working With Your Dean.

15. Dealing With Curriculum Matters.

16. Conducting Effective Meetings.

17. Budget and Financial Management.

Part III: Legal Issues.

18. Avoiding Legal Problems.

19. Understanding Sexual Harassment and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Part IV: Faculty.

20. Recruiting and Hiring Faculty.

21. Retaining, Mentoring, and Terminating Faculty.

22. Strategies for Faculty Development.

23. Evaluating Faculty Performance.

24. Handling Promotion and Tenure Issues.

25. Dealing With Chronic Low Achievers.

26. Dealing With Difficult Faculty.

Part V: Students.

27. Recruiting and Retaining Students.

28. Dealing With Emotional and Disrespectful Student Behavior.

Part VI: Looking Ahead.

29. Moving Up the Administrative Ladder.

30. Where Do You Go From Here?



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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 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 editor of Managing People: A Guide for Department Chairs and Deans (Anker, 2003); the founder editor, and publisher of the online journal Academic Leadership, which he recently turned over to his undergraduate university; and the author of many journal articles, Dr. Leaming is in the process of developing two other new web sites—www.academicleadership.net and www.grammargeeks.com—both of which will be live by fall 2006.
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"Academic Leadership should prove a useful resource for most department chairpersons." (Education Review)

"If you heed the advice and suggestions presented in this book, I predict that first you will gain satisfaction from a job well done, your faculty will be pleased and become even more productive, and your students will express appreciation for the quality of your programs."
—Alan T. Seagren, Professor of Educational Administration and Director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department, 2nd Edition (US $55.00)

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