ERIC Number: ED202400
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Appointments and Disappointments: Six Years of Department Building. A Case Study Written by a Former Chair.
Selby, Stuart A.
The role of a department chairperson is considered, based on personal experience in six years of department building at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. The leadership position was assumed when the department was small, consisting of five faculty members. In six years, it grew to 12 faculty and to an honors and then a master of arts program. The importance of the department head in determining the coherence of the program is noted, and the major task of the department head is shown to be the establishment of a democratically functioning department. A major area of concern is the appointment of new faculty. The department head's role is to function as a chairperson in constant consultation with the appointments committee. This task involves assessment of staffing needs by the committee, involvement of the committee in composition or approval of recruitment notices, interviewing, and recommendations regarding selection. The integrity of the department head is an essential and valuable asset from the time of faculty hiring to the time of dismissal. As with the appointment process itself, decisions concerning termination of faculty members should be based on public and private consultation with staff rather than attempting to lobby faculty toward a particular point of view. The transformation of the department into a coherent academic program also requires an active and committed curriculum committee. The department head needs to take an active role in filling gaps between the individual course and the program as a whole. The operation of multi-section courses at the first and second year levels is considered. (SW)
Descriptors: Administrator Characteristics, Administrator Role, Case Studies, College Faculty, Conflict Resolution, Curriculum Development, Decision Making, Department Heads, Departments, Faculty Evaluation, Faculty Recruitment, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Interpersonal Competence, Interprofessional Relationship, Middle Management, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Dismissal, Teacher Selection
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Windsor (Canada)