Advice to Chairs

  • Every department has a mentoring plan. Consult yours annually and follow its recommendations in support for ladder faculty.
  • Organize an annual discussion of potential faculty searches in which increasing the inclusive excellence of the department is a focal subject. 
  • The FAS supports recruitments of targets of special opportunity, targets of eminence, and cluster hires in order to increase the excellence of the unit. (Such recruitments can also be the result of collaboration between program units and between schools.) During the annual discussion of potential faculty searches include these forms of recruiting in the array of options. Any potential idea for such recruitments should be discussed with your divisional dean and the FAS Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development.
  • Organize an annual meeting between yourself, the DGS, and the DUS to evaluate whether doctoral admissions, teaching responsibilities, and the pedagogical environment are as inclusive as possible.
  • Reflect on whether your faculty meetings are inclusive of every possible faculty member. Several practices can ensure that no one voice dominates and that everyone can be heard. First, think about how to hear from every member in discussions. As a practice, some departments go around the room and ask everyone to speak when considering a significant decision. Other units let the chair serve as a seminar leader, calling upon individuals and structuring an inclusive discussion. Second, consider having a timekeeper whose job is to alert a speaker when they have spoken for more than two minutes. Third, circulate an agenda in advance of a faculty meeting to allow everyone to reflect in advance on the issues to be discussed. Good meetings are not easy. Chairs should consult with the FAS Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development if they would like help to improve the culture of their faculty meetings.
  • Every faculty member needs faculty development. Meet annually with every faculty member (instructional, ladder, and tenured) and ask each faculty member how the university can improve their capacity to be excellent.
  • Ask yourself for mentoring and assistance from your divisional dean and the FAS Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development. They are here to help you thrive in the hard work of program leadership.