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Leading the Academic Department: A Workshop for Chairs of Mathematical Sciences Departments

Leading the Academic Department: A Workshop for Chairs of Mathematical Sciences Departments

Arnie Ostebee, Jon Scott
Oct. 12-15, 2006
Mathematical Association of America
Washington, DC

Department chairs are constantly faced with questions that test their leadership skills. Leading the Academic Department focuses on vision and leadership; thoseelusive qualities that chairs are expected to possess but have little opportunity to develop and refine while dealing with the day-to-day demands of academic administration. It is often the quality of leadership, rather than management, that makes the difference in how successful is one’s time as chair.

Over the course of a long weekend, current and future mathematics department chairs will discuss, with their colleagues in similar positions, case studies of actual problem situations, as well as a wide range of timely issues. Further, they will have ample opportunity for continued discussion and reflection of possible approaches in their own academic setting.

While there will be two or three plenary sessions (e.g., invited keynote talk, panel of academic deans and provosts) the format is primarily discussion
sessions devoted to case studies and particular issues. Topics include the recruitment, retention, mentoring, and development of both faculty and students; review and assessment of the department and its programs; conflict resolution; workload issues; adjunct faculty and TAs; and financial concerns., as well as individual growth, time management, and balancing the demands on the chairperson. These sessions will address issues faced by new, mid-career, and longtime department chairs; some sessions will provide opportunities for chairs to meet together based upon institutional profile (e.g., two-year college, liberal arts college, comprehensive state colleges and university, research university.)