Your role as a Department Leader involves many new responsibilities and building new relationships across the College. This position comes with challenges and opportunities to grow and will certainly never be boring.
The IAs are here to help you navigate the transition, and assist with some key areas of your job: mentorship/connecting with other department leaders, developing a department online/blended learning strategy, annual program reviews, program renewal, hiring and orienting new faculty, developing faculty teaching skills, and curriculum development and revision.
John Bennet (cited in Hecht, et. al.) lists 3 major transitions for new department leaders:
- From specialist to generalist – needing to understand the full department outside your area of expertise;
- From working individually to running a collective – balancing responsibility for carrying out department objectives with respect for faculty autonomy, managing staff;
- From loyalty to the discipline to loyalty to the institution - understanding, representing, and responding to institutional perspectives/needs.
Irene W. D. Hecht, Mary Lou Higgerson, Walter H . Gmelch, Allan Tucker. “Roles and Responsibilities of Department Chairs.” The Department Chair as Academic Leader (Phoenix, AZ: ACE Oryx Press, 1999). Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://college.emory.edu/faculty/documents/articles/power-of-department-chair.pdf.