Handbook for Department Chairs


The ideal chairperson of a department/program:

  • ensures voices of all members of the department, regardless of rank, are heard as decisions are made: giving each opportunity to express opinions, share ideas, raise questions without fear of reprisal (sees that those with the loudest voices or longest tenure do not dominate and those with shorter tenure do speak without concern for repercussions at time of review and tenure)
  • understands the potential for misunderstandings when communication is not open, free and regular, providing as much information as possible to keep all informed, involved, working as a team
  • recognizes the pitfalls and potential of email, and the value of face-to-face conversations about critical issues.