Tips for chairing a tenuous department as an untenured faculty member: Opinion


In a recent Ask the Chair article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Kevin Dettmar responds to an untenured professor who is considering chairing a department that is in a tenuous situation. Dettmar writes that an untenured faculty member should never be placed in a department leadership position, as they will almost certainly have to make decisions that could jeopardize tenure. The author encourages the individual to request that someone else take the position and, if this is not possible, consider updating their CV and focusing on building transferrable skills as chair. Turning to the broader notion of leading during a crisis in the life of a department, Dettmar recommends focusing on students as a priority, advocating for the value of the program, and leading with a spirit of charity and generosity.

Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.)