top of page

Role of the Department Chair

Three Major Transitions of New Department Chairs

Specialist to Generalist

Moving from being a specialist to functioning as a generalist. When an individual becomes a department chair, he or she must have a thorough understanding of the full spectrum of department offerings.

Individual to Collective

Shifting from functioning as an individual to the task of running a collective. Department chairs must orchestrate the work done by a group of faculty who work independently. Worse yet, some chair duties cause the new chair to interfere with the independence of individual faculty members.

Department to Institution

Shifting from loyalty to one’s discipline to loyalty to the institution. Chairs must represent the institution’s perspective. These tough decisions are likely to make chairs unpopular with faculty who recognize only the discipline perspective... Individuals who remain loyal to the discipline and fail to learn the institution’s perspective and respond to campus needs become liabilities to the institution and undermine the standing of the department on the campus.

Crucial Shift Consulting specializes in transition

and change management. We can help!




bottom of page