Workshop Topics

Dealing with Difficult Colleagues
Department and division chairs can prevent many issues from mushrooming into major problems through early intervention. Sometimes chairs delay interaction with difficult colleagues because they lack expertise to encourage change or to deliver bad news tactfully. How can the department/division chair understand better why a faculty member is less effective than expected? What strategies can motivate and support faculty members to become more productive? What skills and strategies might chairs develop to facilitate difficult conversations? Participants will explore how to have a frank conversation with a colleague and have an opportunity to practice proven techniques.

Becoming a Leader on Campus
Department and division chairs occupy a pivotal role in the administrative structure of a college or university. The job has often been described as “leading from the middle.” Leading a department or division enables chairs to influence their faculty colleagues within and beyond the department or division. Even though a department or division chair may not aspire to become a dean, chairs can develop a wider vision and understanding of campus-wide initiatives in which they might assume a leadership role. What campus resources do chairs tap to develop a broader understanding? How can campus governance be a vehicle for this development? How can a chair find a mentor? What opportunities might be available when the chair is no longer the department or division leader? Participants will learn how to identify opportunities for leadership at the chair level.

The Wisdom of Chairs and “Open Mike” for Participants
What are the strategies that experienced chairs employ to advance the work of the department or division? What lessons have they learned about working with their colleagues, managing their time, and delegating departmental responsibilities? Participants will learn from veteran chairs, contribute their own tips for the benefit of other participants, and have an opportunity to raise issues with one another.

Hiring and Supporting Adjunct Faculty Members
Most institutions hire adjunct faculty members to teach in the core curriculum, in specialized professional programs, and as temporary replacements for faculty members on leave. Compared with larger universities, CIC colleges and universities rely less on adjunct faculty members, but they are nevertheless an important component of the faculty. What are the responsibilities of the department or division chair in the hiring process? How does the hiring process differ and how is it similar to the process for permanent appointments? What are the responsibilities of the individual department or division in the placement of advertisements and in making the offer? Although adjunct faculty members are hired to teach specific courses in specific programs, can department and division chairs develop support for these colleagues as members of the campus community? For example, do adjunct faculty members have a voice in departmental affairs; do they have access to professional development opportunities? Participants will learn about best practices and strategies for working with adjunct faculty members.

Preventive Law I: Adhering to Process and Institutional Policies—Hiring Practices
An attorney with experience in relevant cases will discuss hiring practices from the viewpoint of the department/division chair’s role. Discussion will focus on the importance of following process and institutional policies in drafting the position description, appointing the search committee, managing candidate files, checking references, and interviewing candidates on the phone and in person.

Preventive Law II: Adhering to Process and Institutional Policies—Faculty Evaluation
An attorney will lead a discussion of the chair’s role in faculty evaluation for reappointment, tenure, and promotion. The importance of adhering to process and institutional policies when documenting professional performance, using student evaluations of instruction as well as peer review of teaching, and the evaluation of scholarly activities will be presented in case studies.

Strategies for Collecting and Sharing Data
Good data can inform decisions about revisions to existing academic programs, help determine new curricular directions for existing programs, and suggest strategies for attracting students to the major. How can departmental/divisional level data, including assessment of “learning outcomes,” program review data, information from national surveys such as NSSE, campus satisfaction survey responses, and enrollment trend statistics be utilized to strengthen departments and divisions? Chairs will learn how to use data for revisions to the curriculum, to conduct program reviews, and to attract students to their programs.

Understanding the Bigger Budget Picture: Where Department/Division Budgets Fit
The department/division operating budget is often viewed as a set of line item allocations that exists in a vacuum. Chairs will learn how their unit budgets fit into the larger institutional picture, how to make an effective case for additional funding for their units, how to support colleague chairs in the budget process, and how to prepare requests for additional funding in cases where more than one department/division is involved.