Serving as Department or Division Chair: Beyond the Job Description

March 23, 2023

(Separate sections for newer chairs and experienced chairs/deans)

Few chairs planned to serve as administrators, managers, or chairs when they were in graduate school or starting their academic careers. Most job descriptions for department chairs are simply lists of activities for which the chair is responsible, suggesting that chairs are task- oriented managers who schedule courses, handle students’ complaints, order equipment, prepare reports and evaluations, and take care of other departmental business. Chairs also must assume responsibility for departmental leadership, representing the department to the campus and community, serving as departmental advocate, and mentoring junior—and sometimes senior—faculty members. How do chairs manage these responsibilities along with their teaching and scholarly duties? What are models for the chair role? What tasks and projects might be successfully delegated to colleagues? What does the dean or CAO expect from chairs? Participants will discuss their institutional roles using interactive exercises and in small group discussions. Each workshop will offer separate sections for new and experienced chairs and deans.