ERIC Number: ED342456
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Department Chairperson: The Confessions of a Researcher Turned Practitioner.
Murray, John P.
A study was conducted to identify the expectations that faculty have of chairpersons. Previously, a study using a modified Delphi technique had revealed that the 50 participants believed that the chair should be responsible for a multitude of duties. However, the participants had a marked preference for shared or participatory leadership. Subsequent to the Delphi process, qualitative open-ended interviews were conducted with 10 faculty members to identify the influences and motivations for their responses to the Delphi items. The theme that the primary duty of a department chairperson is to facilitate the work of faculty was emphasized by all but one of the respondents. They frequently alluded to the lack of a precise role definition and the resultant organizational and morale problems and the tendency to overburden the chairperson. This ambiguity over the proper role may result from the difficulty of managing equally qualified professionals. The qualities sought in a department chair were unanimously agreed to be primarily interpersonal in nature. The dichotomous position of the chairperson as both faculty and administration means that neither group wholly trusts the incumbent. The study report includes the experiences of one departmental chair which confirm the study findings. (JSP)
Descriptors: Administrator Effectiveness, Administrator Responsibility, College Administration, College Faculty, Community Colleges, Department Heads, Leadership Qualities, Noninstructional Responsibility, Participative Decision Making, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Attitudes, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Successful College Teaching and Administration (Orlando, FL, March 1-4, 1992).