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Date Reviewed: June 21, 2021
Thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded, this classic resource covers a broad spectrum of timely topics and is now truly more than a guide—it\'s a much-needed desk reference that tells you "everything you need to know to be a department chair." The Essential Department Chair contains information on topics such as essentials of creating a strategic plan, developing and overseeing a budget, key elements of fundraising, preparing for the role of chair, meeting the challenges of mentoring to increase productivity, and creating a more collegial atmosphere. The book also explores the chair\'s role in the search process, shows how to conduct a successful interview and what to do when it\'s time to let someone go. And the author includes suggestions for the best practices to adopt when doing an evaluation or assessment.
The Essential Department Chair, Second Edition, contains a wealth of new, realistic case studies to equip leaders in this pivotal position to excel in departmental and institutional life. (From the Publisher)
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2021
In this second edition of his classic resource, Don Chu outlines the proven ideas and strategies new department chairs need in order to do their jobs well. Thoroughly ...
In this second edition of his classic resource, Don Chu outlines the proven ideas and strategies new department chairs need in order to do their jobs well. Thoroughly revised and updated, The Department Chair Primer contains information that addresses the current pressures and challenges in higher education and offers practical suggestions for responding to them.
Filled with illustrative examples, the book gets straight to the heart of challenges and issues. Each chapter details a particular problem, includes a brief introduction to the topic, and provides tips on how to deal with the situation. Covering a wealth of topics, The Department Chair Primer
-Explores the chair\'s role as department leader
-Offers suggestions for handling stress and conflict
-Includes information on budgeting, resource management, and development
-Contains strategies for professional development, people management, and working with challenging personnel
-Presents ideas for handling department communications, student development, and strategic positioning
Written in a concise and accessible manner, The Department Chair Primer is an ideal resource for the busy new department chair. (From the Publisher)
The Department Chair as Transformative Diversity Leader: Building Inclusive Learning Environments in Higher Education
Date Reviewed: November 30, -0001
Edna Chun and Alvin Evans’ work on the department chair and diversity fills a gap in the literature on academic leadership. They argue that the academic chair is the pivot for diversity in higher education, particularly as increasing numbers of minoritized students enter the academy. Student diversity contrasts with the overwhelming white maleness of academic administrators, including 90 percent of chairs. Nevertheless, chairs are poised to enhance both the student experience of diversity and diverse faculty diversity development.
The authors used an online survey and interviewed chairs across the nation to assess the current level of progress in diversity, to address barriers to diversity, to understand environmental factors that can promote or impede diversity, and to articulate strategies for developing diversity. They were particularly interested in talking with minoritized chairs and in the impact of diversity on student learning. By diversity, they mean race and ethnicity as well as gender and sexual orientation. Chun and Evans recognize that department chairs face many limitations in doing diversity work. Changing upper administrations, maintaining harmony in departments, and other issues take up much chair attention.
The work begins with an overview of inequality in America, arguing that the role of higher education is to address this social landscape. They examine the challenges in higher education itself, from the impact of MOOCs to globalization and how department and institutional politics can block chairs’ diversity efforts. Serving students is key: Since minoritized students are at-risk for non-completion, campus climate, including diverse faculty and curriculum, can make a difference in those students’ lives. They also argue, in chapter 6, that interactional diversity is an essential dimension among high-impact college experiences for all student growth.
Chairs, who occupy a double role as administrator and faculty, span boundaries and are potential bridge-builders. As both buffers and connections between faculty and administration, skilled chairs have the capacity to reflect on and transform these boundaries to mobilize the various stakeholders towards action. Chairs report to deans (analyzed in chapter 4), and trust in that that relationship is crucial for developing diversity, though the “revolving door” of administration in some institutions poses problems.
The discussion of issues that minoritized chairs face and the voices of these persons is an important contribution of this book. These chairs are always proving their competence and may be taken less seriously than their white counterparts. A minority chair may be the only departmental voice for diversity. In terms of sexual orientation, some chairs are limited by institutions’ unwillingness to appoint or policies against appointment of LGBTQI chairs. Like minority faculty, minority chairs face lower student evaluations (see chapter 5), may be isolated and vulnerable, and are under great stress.
Another key contribution is strategies, offered by chairs and the authors. Each chapter ends with strategies a chair may implement to address diversity. The final chapters offer suggestions for developing diversity plans, including helpful examples, and additional strategies for overcoming limitations. The description of higher education today, the voices of the chairs, and the multiple strategies offered create a rich study, insightful and practical, for aiding chairs to become leaders for a diverse academy in a global context.