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How to Chair a Department

Kevin Dettmar

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A practical, accessible handbook for chairing a department.

Over the course of a typical academic career, most faculty will serve at least one term as chair of a department. It's a leadership and service role that's at the very heart of faculty satisfaction and student success, yet few receive any training on how to do the job. How to Chair a Department is a practical, accessible handbook for new and prospective chairs, providing both principles and practices for effective departmental leadership. Based on his dozen years of chairing departments, Kevin Dettmar provides invaluable advice on:

•…

A practical, accessible handbook for chairing a department.

Over the course of a typical academic career, most faculty will serve at least one term as chair of a department. It's a leadership and service role that's at the very heart of faculty satisfaction and student success, yet few receive any training on how to do the job. How to Chair a Department is a practical, accessible handbook for new and prospective chairs, providing both principles and practices for effective departmental leadership. Based on his dozen years of chairing departments, Kevin Dettmar provides invaluable advice on:

• hiring tenure-track and visiting faculty
• mentoring faculty colleagues at every stage of their careers
• working with staff and other departmental administrators
• managing department resources and budgets
• meeting the needs of students
• dealing with stress and conflict
• connecting the department to the larger university or college as a whole
• overseeing the department's curricula
• maintaining a scholarly or creative profile
• preparing for career moves after chairing a department

How to Chair a Department demystifies this important faculty position and argues that the role of chair, though sometimes seen as a burden, can prove to be a genuine opportunity for personal and professional growth.

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How to Chair a Department

Kevin Dettmar

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Reviews

Reviews

Thoughtful, practical, and helpful. I wish this book had been around when I started chairing; it would have made the transition smoother. Dettmar does an excellent job of describing the kinds of things that a new chair, who likely has never been in a supervisory position, should think about.

I love this book and wish it had been around before I wrote The Chair. No one is more informed on the subject of chairing than Dr. Dettmar, and this entertaining guide is an essential read for anyone navigating a career in the academy. 

Kevin Dettmar has written a generous book offering practical advice and strategic big-picture and local thinking indispensable to all aspiring and current department chairs. And more: he has written a must-read for anyone interested in the ideals and the principles of ethical leadership on our campuses. Dettmar writes about leadership uniquely, in the most humane and human terms, with wisdom, gentle humor, and modesty that belie his decades of experience.

Kevin Dettmar's How to Chair a Department is invaluable: it is cold-eyed and full of practical wisdom while also being learned and humane, and always grounded on the principle that leading a department is fundamentally about serving our students and colleagues. I wish I'd had this book before I started chairing.

The chair's is the job with all the responsibility and, often, none of the power, but Kevin Dettmar shows how a good chair can make a great impact. Dettmar is clear-sighted yet not at all cynical, and he's a great coach for those who want to learn to be not just academic administrators but academic leaders.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5
x
8
Pages
200
ISBN
9781421445236
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Hiring Faculty
Chapter 2. Mentoring Faculty
Chapter 3. Representing the Department to Students
Chapter 4. Working with Staff and Other Departmental Administrators
Cha

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Hiring Faculty
Chapter 2. Mentoring Faculty
Chapter 3. Representing the Department to Students
Chapter 4. Working with Staff and Other Departmental Administrators
Chapter 5. Managing Resources
Chapter 6. Stewarding the Department's Curricula
Chapter 7. Highlighting the Big Picture in Planning
Chapter 8. Dealing with Stress and Conflict
Chapter 9. Connecting the Department to the School, College, and/or University
Chapter 10. Maintaining a Scholarly or Creative Profile
Chapter 11. Reinventing Yourself for Life after Chairing
Epilogue: Department Chairing and the Gift of Service
Index

Author Bio
Kevin Dettmar
Featured Contributor

Kevin Dettmar

Kevin Dettmar (Claremont, CA) is the W. M. Keck Professor of English and director of The Humanities Studio at Pomona College. He is the author of The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism: Reading Against the Grain and Gang of Four's "Entertainment!" in Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series and is a contributor to the New Yorker and the Atlantic.