Creating a Strong Chair-Dean Partnership: What Chairs Can Do from Their End (Part 2)
In Part 1 of this two-part series on strengthening the relationship between chairs and deans, we discussed prioritizing student success and satisfaction, capitalizing on the institution’s greatest investment—the faculty— and developing a vision that goes beyond departmental considerations. Here we will continue with three additional points detailing what a chair…
When Good Professors Turn into Bad Deans
“Thanks for your ‘Dean’s Dialogue’ columns, Tom—you offer some good advice to deans and other administrators. But it seems like your deans are always noble and virtuous while the faculty they lead are villains and miscreants. What happens when good professors turn into bad deans?” This was the gist of…
Aphorisms for Academic Affairs
Over the years, I have realized that most of the preparation for academic leadership is focused on how to effect institutional change and make a positive difference. These certainly are the “big ticket” items. The truth is, however, that such broad topics don’t really hit on the blocking and tackling of daily management. With that in mind, here is a little collective wisdom that may prove especially useful for those who are beginning their journey in academic affairs.
The Cost of Leadership
As a recently retired academic leader—a former department chair, division head, dean, vice president, provost, and interim president—I have had time to reflect on the joys and woes of leadership at a small liberal arts college. What successes did I have? What failures? What could I have done differently that would have made my college a better institution? “Too soon old and too late smart,” an old saying goes. But there is some value in ex post facto assessments, yes?
Three Things You Need as a New Dean
Set yourself on the path to academic leadership success with three things you need to equip yourself with in your first days as the new dean.
Considerations for Successfully “Managing Up”
A great deal has been written about department chairs in higher education who deal with a myriad of issues related to the faculty for whom they have leadership responsibility. Such an emphasis is appropriate when one considers that virtually everything our institutions deliver in teaching, scholarship, and service results from the expertise and effort of the faculty. Thus, the development of leadership skills of department chairs has become a major focus; however, the literature puts significantly less focus on helping chairs “manage” the next layer up—the dean.
The ‘Quiet’ Dean: Rethinking the ‘Extrovert Ideal’ of Leadership
I am sitting quietly in my dean’s office, a serene place I first occupied in 1986, reflecting on a book by Susan Cain, one that I think you all should read, titled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I would much rather communicate to you from my peaceful digs by way of a memo than set forth my ideas in a sparkling speech at a conference. Perhaps, like you—or perhaps not—I am an introvert and quick to admit it. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert (and so many academic leaders now embody the “extrovert ideal” of our contemporary culture), you will find Cain’s book informative, thoughtful, and (even) practical.