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.

  • Graham, S., & Benoit, P. (2004). Constructing the role of department chair. American Council on Education (ACE) Department Chair Online Resource Center.  
  • Gmelch, W. H. (2004) . The department chair’s balancing acts. New Directions in Higher Education, 126, 69-84.
  • 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.
  • Hickson, M. (2000). Relationships among central administrators, department chairs, and faculty: Academic change agents in theory and practice: Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 29, 273-285.  
  • King, P.E. (1997).Surviving an appointment as department chair. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 3, 211-217.  
  • Treadwell, D. F. (1997). The department chair: A symbolic perspective and some implications. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 3, 218-224.  
  • Chu, D. (2005). The department chair primer: Leading and managing academic departments. Boston, MA: Anker Publishing.
  • Czech, K. (2008). A communication perspective on leadership: Faculty perceptions of the department chair.North Charleston, SC: VDM Verlag.
  • Gillett-Karam, M. (Ed.). (1999). Preparing department chairs for their leadership roles: New directions for community colleges, No. 105. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Gmelch, W. H., & Miskin, V. (2004). Chairing an academic department. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.
  • Hecht, I. W. D. (1999). The department chair as academic leader: American Council on Education Oryx Press Series on Higher Education. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.
  • Hickson, M., L., & Stacks, D. W. (Eds.). (1992). Effective communication for academic chairs. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Higgerson, M. L. & Joyce, T. A. (2007). Effective leadership communication: A guide for department chairs and deans for managing difficult situations and people. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
  • Leaming, D. R. (2006). Academic leadership: A practical guide to chairing the department (2nd ed). San Francisco, CA; Jossey Bass.
  • Lees, N. D. (2002). Chairing academic departments: Traditional and emerging expectations. Boston, MA: Anker Publishing.
  • Lucas, A. F. (2000). Leading academic change: Essential roles for department chairs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Wheeler, D. W., Seagren, A. T., Becker, L. W., Kinley, E. R., Mlinek, D. D., & Robson, K. J. (2008). The academic chair’s handbook, 2nd edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.