Chairs and Directors Development Program
The CC Chairs and Directors Development Program is designed to create a community of support to promote the initial growth and ongoing development of chairs and directors. The roles and responsibilities of a department chair and program director are complex and multifaceted. Responsibilities include; mentoring colleagues, managing budgets, overseeing personnel matters, managing curriculum, interpreting policy, advocating for the department or program, and representing the department or program to external stakeholders. The skills needed to manage the role include excellent communication skills, conflict management skills, creativity, organization, and vision. Given the huge undertaking that is being chair or director, and the fact that most faculty have not engaged in formal training for the role, it is imperative that CC chairs and directors have ongoing support for their work.
This program is offered to all chairs and directors each academic year. It is designed to meet the needs of chairs participating in the program in any given year based on their responses to a survey about the strengths and challenges of their department or program and topics they would like covered in the program. A program is then developed based on the survey results, a discussion of the survey results, and additional needs expressed during the first session. One session per block is scheduled; each session is 1 hour and co-facilitated by Associate Deans of Faculty. When the Associate Deans of Faculty put together the annual program schedule, they include reading resources for each topic.
For each session, chairs and directors are encouraged to engage in a discussion about the topic of focus, to ask each other questions about approaches and strategies, and to support one another in leadership development. For some sessions, the group of chairs and directors attending are put into smaller groups based on development needs. Other sessions include guest facilitators who have knowledge and expertise about a particular topic. Topics will vary from year to year depending on developmental needs, but can include the following:
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Department/Program Climate
- Mentoring Colleagues
- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and Antiracism
- Managing Conflict
- Effective Meetings
- Managing difficult faculty
- Chairs/Directors letters
- Establishing a vision and goals