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Enhancing Department Climate: Resources for Chairs

Tools for Effective Leaders

The Campus Climate Networking Group identified leadership as one of four areas to address at its November 5, 2002 meeting. Jeffrey Hamm and Gary Mitchell, members of the group, developed a list of actions and strategies leaders could implement to improve climate. This list continues to be useful for leaders striving to improve climate.

Engaging Everyone in the Life of the Department

The former Office of Quality Improvement (now the Office for Strategic Consulting) developed this chart that department chairs can use or customize when assigning departmental members to committees and roles in order to ensure that opportunities are well-distributed.

Campus Resources

The UW-Madison campus offers an abundance of excellent programs and a host of talented and helpful people who can assist you in your efforts to help make our campus a "positive, supportive place to work, learn, and live." The menu below provides information about and links to the many programs and people you can rely on for assistance and advice. Please click on each item in this menu to view the resources.

External Resources for Department Chairs

The Department Chair - Newsletter (published four times per year; UW-Madison NetID required)

American Council on Education (ACE) Leadership Academy for Department Chairs

Association of American Colleges and University (AACU) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence

Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA): Academic Leadership Programs: ALP and DEO UW-Madsion BTAA contacts: Mo Noonan Bischof, Associate Vice Provost, 265-4413 Michael Bernard-Donals, Vice Provost, 262-5246

Suggested Readings

Bensimon, Estela Mara., Kelly Ward, and Karla Sanders. The Department Chair's Role in Developing New Faculty into Teachers and Scholars (Boston: Anker Publishing, 2000).

Buller, Jeffrey L. The Essential Department Chair: A Comprehensive Desk Reference (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2012).

Cipriano, Robert E. Facilitating a Collegial Department in Higher Education: Strategies for Success (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011).

Hecht, Irene W.D., Mary Lou Higgerson, Walter H. Gmelch, and Allan Tucker. The Department Chair as Academic Leader (Phoenix, AZ: American Council on Education and Oryx Press, 1999).

Leaming, Deryl R. Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2007).

Lucas, Ann E. Strengthening Departmental Leadership: A Team-Building Guide (San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1994).

Ryan, Kathleen D. and Daniel K. Oestreich. Driving Fear out of the Workplace (San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1988).

Wheeler, Daniel W., et al. The Academic Chair's Handbook (San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass, 2008).


WISELI would like to thank the following UW-Madison faculty and staff members who served on the team that helped design this guide: Molly Carnes, Susan Coppersmith, Maury Cotter, Bernice Durand, Patrick Farrell, Eve Fine, Rosa Garner, Linda Greene, Jo Handelsman, Linda Heideman, Kathleen Holt, Christine Pribbenow, Eden Inoway-Ronnie, Donald Schutt, Jennifer Sheridan, and Lillian Tong. Thanks also to WISELI staff members, Deveny Benting and Sarah Marxhausen, for all their help.

Preparation of this resource guide was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF #0123666). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Copyright 2004 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Revision Copyright 2018.