Office for Faculty Development

Handling the Day-to-Day Tasks

Strategies for Survival

  1. Delegate. While departmental cultures vary on how much is done by the chair and how much is delegated to others, department chairs should make a conscious effort to divide up tasks.
  2. Seek Counsel. When faced with a difficult issue, don't hesitate to seek advice. Resources include:
  • a previous chair in your department
  • other departmental chairs
  • your Dean and the Dean’s staff
  •  the Office for Faculty Development (OFD)
  1. Refer to the AQUAD Recommendations. If your department has undergone an AQUAD (Academic Quality Assessment and Development) review either immediately before or a few years before you assume the position of chair, consult its assessment and recommendations to help you set priorities for what you should address. An AQUAD review helps the department identify its strengths as well as challenges it may be facing (in the curriculum, staffing, facilities, alumni/ae success, etc.), and can help set an agenda for change. If your department is scheduled to undergo an AQUAD during your time as chair, welcome the process as a significant opportunity for assessing the core academic functions of the department. Guidelines, planning and self-study templates can be found on the AQUAD page.