Department Chairs Learning Community for Enhancing Leadership and Productive Change

Eligibility: This community offers department chairs and regional campus area coordinators a year-long opportunity to enhance their interests and skills in leadership through seminars, development projects, and peer support from a learning community of administrators in other disciplines. Department chair or regional campus area coordinators for 2018-19 are eligible.

Amount: Each participant will receive $500 in professional development funds

Election: The facilitator will select up to twelve participants

Submission: Online Application

Due Date: Friday, July 13, 2018

Purpose and Description

This learning community will provide an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities encountered by chairs and program directors. Participants will determine the topics for seminars and workshops for the Faculty Learning Community (FLC). Program goals include facilitating information exchange and documenting the collective wisdom and "best practices" of participants; providing a support system for academic leaders; and introducing participants to the myriad possibilities for leading colleagues in the enhancement of teaching, scholarship, and service. Possible issues that the participants in this community might choose to study in depth include (but are not limited to): enhancing personal productivity (juggling the roles of administrator, faculty member, scholar, teacher, counselor, advocate, entrepreneur, mentor, politician, and friend); aligning administrative and faculty views of change; securing upper administration and faculty commitment to ideas; leading change; leadership styles; the difference between leadership and administrative roles; developing trust; turning groups into high-performance teams; personal empowerment; improving academic and administrative processes; defining academic quality; principles of continuous improvement; positive political skills; faculty assessment; mentoring junior faculty; and avoiding professional "burnout." Elisabeth Widom, Chair and Janet & Elliot Baines Professor, Geology and Environmental Earth Science, will facilitate this learning community.

Selection Criteria

The facilitator will select up to twelve participants. Criteria for selection include a commitment to excellent leadership, a level of interest in the program, need, openness to new ideas, the potential for contributions to the program, and plans for use of the award year. Participants will be chosen to create a diverse group representing a variety of disciplines, experiences, and needs.



  • Byran Ashenbaum, Management
  • Susan Brehm, Speech Pathology & Audiology
  • Graham Cairns, Architecture & Interior Design
  • John Forren, Justice & Community Studies
  • Herbert Jaeger, Physics
  • Michael McCarthy, Marketing
  • Marianne Murphy, Computer & Information Technology
  • Robert Robbins, Art
  • Susan Spellman, Humanities & Creative Arts
  • Elisabeth Widom, Geology and Environmental Earth Science; Facilitator


  • Helaine Alessio, Kinesiology and Health
  • Timothy Cameron, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Richard Campbell, Media, Journalism and Film
  • Michael Crowder, Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Facilitator
  • Julia Guichard, Theatre
  • Cameron Hay-Rollins, Anthropology
  • Joseph Johnson, Psychology
  • James Kiper, Computer Science and Software Engineering
  • Susan Marine, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
  • Bryan Marshall, Political Science
  • Carol Olausen, Arts and Science
  • Mary Rogero, Architecture and Interior Design
  • Elisabeth Widom, Geology and Environmental Earth Science
  • Roscoe Wilson, Humanities and Creative Arts
  • Whitney Womack Smith, Languages, Literatures and Writing


  • A. John Bailer, Chair, Statistics; Facilitator
  • Tim Cameron, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Michael Crowder, Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • Wietse de Boer, History
  • Kathleen Knight-Abowitz, Educational Leadership
  • Stephen Lippmann, Sociology and Gerontology
  • Elise Radina, Family Studies and Social Work