ERIC Number: ED394552
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Feb
Challenges and Opportunities in Chairing Multi-Disciplinary Departments.
Departmental chairs at community colleges must administer, coordinate, and direct all of the activities within a given department, a responsibility which becomes more difficult for chairs of multi-disciplinary departments (MDD's). To deal with these additional responsibilities, MDD administrators must have special leadership skills. They must be able to balance their loyalties between their former departments and the new areas added to their responsibilities, and they should remain visible to members of all the departments. Administrators may also be called upon to provide leadership in a discipline in which they have no training or knowledge, thereby creating potential conflicts with the faculty of that discipline. To overcome these difficulties, department chairs will have to empower faculty members, admit their limitations, delegate authority when necessary, and open the channels of communication within the MDD. By working in this way, the faculty and staff under an MDD chair will become increasingly systems-oriented, and they will learn to look for the "big picture." Chairing an MDD provides the opportunity to work with a broad variety of specialties by allowing administrators to run the department, teach, and learn simultaneously. (MAB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: The Olympics of Leadership: Overcoming Obstacles, Balancing Skills, Taking Risks. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the National Community College Chair Academy (5th, Phoenix, AZ, February 14-17, 1996); see JC 960 276.