Chairs FLC: FLC Application Form

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All applicants must be currently serving as Chairs or Associate Chairs in order to join this faculty learning community (FLC). For more information email Catherine Haras, CETL Director, at

The rationale for this FLC.
Faculty who serve as chairs for their departments or programs are in some senses experiencing a second career, one for which they are relatively unprepared. Chairing a department is a parallel but separate activity from original faculty roles. Chairs have moved from relatively autonomous positions as researchers and teachers to managers who must now deal with organizational and group challenges. The existing literature on college chairs indicate that they struggle with both inertia and burgeoning administrative service requirements (e.g. schedule planning, workload factors, succession planning, assessment), and are typically under-prepared to assume their roles. Moreover, chairs are challenged to administer to their former colleagues, often without authority.

Leadership for chairs is problematic, as the notion of leadership does not fit the more traditional notions of university chairs. Yet, chairs are de facto academic leaders, even if many do not know how to manage. In spite of a lack of formal authority and reluctance to direct their academic peers, the chair must still execute some type of management or leadership in order to ensure collegiality, if not high quality course outcomes. According to Gibbs (2006), good department chairs actually facilitate good teaching within a collegial departmental environment— and their departmental faculty are more likely to use a student-focused approach, resulting in superior student learning (Ramsden, Prosser, Trigwell & Martin, 2007). It makes sense, therefore, that chairs and would-be chairs receive special opportunities to develop their leadership capabilities and empower their respective faculty.

What we will try and accomplish: Semester conversion presents a leadership opportunity for chairs that is best supported by regular conversation and expert resources. FLC members will read Jon Wergin's Departments that Work. CETL will serve coffee and host regular conversation on issues and challenges facing you as chairs.  If you have not participated in an FLC before, we especially encourage you to apply.  

A modest additional employment appointment will be paid to each participant.


4. Please rate how much you would like any of the following topics or areas addressed in this FLC experience: *This question is required.
4. Please rate how much you would like any of the following topics or areas addressed in this FLC experience: *This question is required.Not at all interestedSomewhat interestedVery interested
Semester conversion *This question is required
Managing transitions from faculty member to leader *This question is required
Developing leadership during critical times *This question is required
Balancing unstated demands of Chairing *This question is required
Scheduling *This question is required
Managing discussions *This question is required
Taking a leadership role in committees *This question is required
Dealing with difficult personnel and student issues *This question is required
6. This FLC is limited to 12 Chairs or Associate Chairs. Chairs will commit to a monthly curriculum (6 meetings) to be held six Fridays from 10 am to Noon on the following dates: November 22, 2013, December 13, 2013, February 7, 2014, March 14, 2014, April 18, 2014, and May 16, 2014. I agree to the following terms: *This question is required.