Leadership Resources for Chairs

Department chairs and heads face a number of unique challenges. Some say that being chair is the most difficult role in the academy, as one must serve as a conduit between the administration and the faculty. Listed below are selected resources that may help chairs meet the demands of this challenging role.

  • Gaubatz, J., & Ensminger, D. (2017) Department chairs as change agents: leading change in resistant environments. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. 42(1), 141-163.
  • Gmelch, W. (2015) The call for leadership: Why chairs serve, what they do, and how long they should serve. AKA Monographs: Leading and Managing the Kinesiology Department, 1(1), 1-12.
  • Gmelch, W. H., & Burns, J. S. (1993). The cost of academic leadership: Department chair stress. Innovative Higher Education, 17, 259-270.
  • Gmelch. W.H., & Carroll, J.B. (1991). The three R’s of conflict management for department chairs and faculty. Innovative Higher Education, 16, 107-123.
  • Graham, S., & Benoit, P. (2004). Constructing the role of department chair. American Council on Education (ACE) Department Chair Online Resource Center.  
  • Miller, M., & Murry, J. (2015) Faculty Response to Department Leadership: Strategies for Creating More Supportive Academic Work Environments. College Quarterly
  • Jossey Bass publishes a quarterly journal, The Department Chair, which contains a number of tips and other information that is useful for leading the department.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education typically has articles related to chairing the academic department. One article is Michael Munger’s 10 Suggestions for a New Department Chair.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education typically has articles related to chairing the academic department. David D. Perlmutter has published a series of articles entitled Administration 101.
  • Stanford University’s Tomorrow’s Professor also posts a number of articles that are of interest for department chairs.