Human Resources in BSW Programs Session Sponsored by BPD, GADE, and NADD March 18, 2009 Dr. Todd Rofuth firstname.lastname@example.org Southern Connecticut State University
Recruiting Faculty Advertising If you live in a moderate to big city there are qualified people who don’t have to move. If you live in a small city or rural area you will have to look outside of your area. Advertise in all the right places including the CSWE teacher’s registry.
Thinning the Pool of Candidates Determine exactly what skill set you need and the types of courses that the person will teach. Do you select the best overall candidate or the person that most meets your immediate needs? Hire ABD (if you have attractive candidates or want to promote more diversity of some kind), maybe local people or your adjuncts.
Inviting the Candidates to Campus Send them a detailed schedule (make sure you build in some down time) Who will interview candidate? Put them up in a nice hotel Have a faculty member transport them Take them out to a good restaurant where you can also talk (not to loud) Invite some personnel committee members to meal Keep all of your receipts and if the U cannot pay, you can at least deduct from you income taxes
Candidates Presentation Get students to come to the faculty’s presentation Get input from students and faculty Provide information on presentation: Decide first what is the purpose of presentation? To prove the subject has good communication skills? To demonstrate knowledge of a particular subject area that person might teach? To demonstrate that they are a scholar by presenting on a research topic? Tell candidate the purpose of the presentation, the amount of time, and the audience
Wooing on Campus Selling the program and how the person would fit in for teaching, committees Load credits, 12 versus less Assignments such as field, can reduce load somewhat. If unionized faculty, discuss its pros and cons: how the union protects faculty job security and promotes annual wage increases, if non union, the pros and cons
Show off the physical environment office space teaching rooms (hopefully most are hi tech) the library faculty dinning parking on campus babysitting facility workout facility
Status of technology in classroom and in curriculum and expectations about teaching delivery methods Weekend courses Condensed courses Online courses Hybrid courses Off site courses
Negotiations The negotiation process – you probably won’t be involved but you can steer the candidate in the right direction in terms of salary, rank, years of service, etc. Sometimes can bring a person in at a higher rank Prepare them for the Dean and Provost interviews
Tell them what they need to know about the program Program design Strengths and weakness Next reaccreditation date and issues from last one Faculty (who they are, their specialties) Students (a general description based on demographics) Load (ways to reduce it such as teaching in field courses, research reassigned time, etc.)
Promote living in the area, its benefits such as: housing market school system transportation system proximity to other areas theater in town or at university art museums sporting events outdoor recreational activities
Be clear on what your program is looking for: Teaching areas Committee assignments Research expectations Community work
Make them feel welcome Make them feel welcome Have local Chamber of Commerce put together a packet Have a reception
Retaining and Promoting Faculty Supporting new faculty Provide less of a teaching load if possible (possibly one course the first semester and a reduced load the first year) Offer multiple sections of the same course Teaching field courses provide a way to integrate theory and practice and to better understand the curriculum Don’t put them in a course they have never taught before (at least without a mentor and a lot of support)
Provide a faculty mentor who can relate to the person Share with them course syllabi and teaching methodologies Send them to hi tech training Make sure they get a computer right away and all of their account information Don’t overburden with committee assignments Suggest faculty member joins one university wide committee (so that person will become known throughout the university, which will help during future promotion and tenure)
Help them start on research Suggest they publish an article on their dissertation of some piece of it Set up a meeting with the University’s Sponsored Research Office Let person know about all internal grants and opportunities, such as small summer grants, curriculum development grants, etc. Include person in a grant you are working on Offer to work on a grant with them in an area of their interest Provide contacts from local organizations that need research assistance
Make sure they are aware of any new faculty programs at the university Provide the names of local organizations seeking board members
Tenure and promotion process You must first understand your Tenure and Promotion process How does it work, what is required You should go to presentations that are sponsored by your University’s P& T Committee and tell the faculty member to also attend these sessions Share with faculty member and departmental requirements or standards Tell person what type of language and expectations you put in your letter Negotiate with the Dean on what the person will need to do to be successful Make sure everyone understands the expected outcomes each year.
Provide technical support to faculty on building a file How to begin to develop a good file What does a good file look like First year file, second year and thereafter What is the format required by the university What content should go in what area Save all the student teaching evaluations Save any letters of support Document all work such as committees work, research, publications, classes taught, conferences attended, community work, etc.
Different types of schools have different expectations for promotion and tenure: D1 School with doctoral program Combined MSW/BSW Single MSW or BSW programs
What is Conflict? Disagreement Differences between people Incompatible goals Intolerance of others views Differences of opinions Perceptions of scare resources Tragic or opportunity Difference in needs Behavioral when it escalates Lack of trust
When does conflict occur? Conflict occurs when two parties want the same thing but they have to settle for different things. When people want different things but have to settle for the same things.
How do you feel about conflict? Hate it It is part of the job Fine until it gets personal Very time consuming and can take away from productivity, it is so draining, keeps you awake at night, can create psycho somatic problems Can expand to take on a life of its own
What kind of conflict experiences have you had? Substantive and personal Differences in work ethic or work orientation Over power and resources (academics fight so much because there is so little to fight about) Gossip and rumor Conflict between generations (the university now wants more research) Elevated egos and intellectual property Windows, some offices don’t have them, how do you allocate office space (by productivity or seniority) Long standing many years grudges that no one even understands original problem (embedded conflict). Anytime a decision has to be made they emerge again. Lack of respect for a colleague’s background and training. Cannot forget the student issues, students complain about instructors, you cancelled their class that they need.
Facts about conflict…(1) Confrontation with colleagues and time are the two greatest sources of stress based on a survey of 800 chairpersons Conflict is inevitable – it is a natural outcome of human interaction. All people think differently. Can be differences in attitudes, beliefs and expectations. As a chair you will be thinking differently about things. Will be thinking different about the way things happen. Perceptions may be different and perceiving different about the way things are done. Conflict can be positive – conflict can be desirable. Only through conflict can you begin to do true problem solving. Can increase person’s involvement, their commitment. Most change that results in serious real improvement grows out of some conflict.
Facts about conflict…(2) Conflict can be managed – how you manage or respond to the conflict will impact it. If two people are feuding, if you stay out of it that will affect it or if you get into it that will also affect it also. You are never purely neutral when managing conflict. Conflict resolution is not always the goal – Job to get rid of conflict will deny diverse perspectives and you will fail. Goal – to minimize or eliminate destructive conflict. We have been teaching the same way for 30 years, should we look at it? You are using the same lecture notes over years? These are conflict statements. Chair’s objective: maximize constructive conflict and minimize destructive conflict.
Dealing with issues Ask individuals in the department for a list of key areas of conflict in the department. Come up with ways of dealing with it. Try one for the semester. No back stabbing, if you have a problem with someone, don’t go to a third party. If someone comes to you about a problem, ask them if they have talked to the person, if no, don’t get involved.
Options for dealing with difficult people…(1) Some faculty are burned out or are troublesome. Some do not feel valued. Do something that will make them feel valued. Don’t alternate valuing and punishing. Value don’t punish. The person will get back at you if you punish.
Options for dealing with difficult people…(2) Value faculty, try to be imaginative. Determine what areas you want to get involved in. Use an ombudsman for difficult faculty members. Do not be disrespectful and denigrate a faculty. Have the faculty members look at student evaluations for the whole department, anonymously. Send the grade distribution for all faculty and the total department.
Options for dealing with difficult people…(3) Crimudgins say: I am no longer active in the department, I raise objections frequently because they had once given the department members sage advice that they did not take, so therefore I will not be involved in a positive way. Most want back into the department but they don’t know how to do it. Ask them what happened, how can I help you, what do you want me to do?
Options for dealing with difficult people…(4) Use punishment only when the person is absolutely worthless and will not change, but once you go down this road you cannot go back to trying positive reinforcements. When you document acts, make sure you send a copy to the person in question. Create a polices committee that develops criteria on behavior, performance etc. Then do a gap analysis and give the person feedback on how to improve performance.
To enhance teaching effectiveness Have a session on teaching effectiveness. Have each faculty identify an effective teaching moment or technique. Then ask what did you all notice as a central theme, for teaching effectively for all of you. Or invite several members to observe my class and evaluate my teaching. Then tell the department that you got good teaching tips that worked. Bring the workshops into the department so faculty will more likely attend. Have a good book on teaching and then have several people read different chapters and then present to the faculty.
Handling meetings Use peer pressure in meetings. For an abrasive person, I had this feeling when you were talking how many other people feel the same way. When person does disruptive statements, ask him how this is related to the agenda.
Establish and maintain a healthy work environment Need to be able to air differences of opinions in a constructive manner. Want non tenured people to speak up. Need a climate of mutual trust. Climate is unit specific so don’t let people complain about the poor climate on the larger campus, it doesn’t mean that your unit cannot have a good climate, that is positive, respective, tolerant of different views. If running a department meeting, encourage all to speak. Demonstrate that you want to hear equally from everyone.
Be clear in communicating your goals and expectations for your unit Help people know what is rewarded and valued. If U states that you must be involved in service, you as chair must help them know what this means what type of service. Help them know what counts. Be consistent in how you do this. (At one university chairs have to rate people on standards each year but the U doesn’t have any good definition of the standards). Talk to P&T committee members to ascertain how they set standards; they may not be written down, e.g., how many research publications are necessary to get promoted at each level. Setting performance goals: tell them what university expects to be successful. If you are clear you defuse potential for conflict.
Establish ground rules for disagreement Establish them that keep you on the issues of conflict but keeps you away from personalities. The ground rules for airing disagreements will vary with the style of the department chair and the culture of the department. Consult list below if you wish more information on how to develop your personal list of ground rules:
Personal List of ground rules…(1) Abusive language will not be tolerated Derogatory comments that represent personal attacks will not be tolerated Differences of opinion will be discussed and everyone will be heard Individuals can express their views without interruption or fear of retaliation Unsubstantiated assertions will not influence the vote or outcome Issues and not personalities are subject to debate Tears or emotional outbursts do not derail discussion or substantive issues Faculty will discuss and decide important issues at department meetings, and not subgroups. During meetings, give everyone a white handkerchief and have them wave it when people are not following the rules.
Personal List of ground rules…(2) Intervention does not need to wait for conflict to erupt. Anytime you make a non traditional hire, there is the potential for conflict. So you can intervene early. Make sure person’s voice is heard at meetings. Anytime restructuring is about to take place. Make sure everyone understands their value. To intervene early you have to be able to see situations as others see them.
Three general communication queues: Any change in behavior, when a talkative persons becomes silent, when the central administration circles the wagons. Sometimes these changes are triggered by work conditions (switching electronic formats). Changing the core requirements for a program. Sometimes changes in a person’s personal life can affect how they work. Any change in policy, not matter who imposed it even if faculty helped write it. Any change in the department. A new faculty hire, a retirement, increase or decrease in enrollment, office renovation, office relocation, a new chair. Any change has the potential for conflict. Search committees have a lot of potential for conflict. Any change no matter how subtle is ground for conflict.
Know when and how to confront conflict Timing – timing does not need to be when voices are raised. But don’t ignore shouting matches or inappropriate behavior. Timing – timing does not need to be when voices are raised. But don’t ignore shouting matches or inappropriate behavior. Know the facts – be as objective as possible. Perception is not always reality. A student complaint about a faculty member may not be the reality. Know the facts – be as objective as possible. Perception is not always reality. A student complaint about a faculty member may not be the reality. Depersonalize the conflict – what we need from you in a behavior. Give some thought about how language you are using is interpreted by the other person. Depersonalize the conflict – what we need from you in a behavior. Give some thought about how language you are using is interpreted by the other person. Take the time to view the situation from the other person’s perspective. Take the time to view the situation from the other person’s perspective. If you are working on a performance review with a senior member of the faculty who are about to retire. Don’t say you have much potential to be a good faculty. Use the word legacy to describe them. If you are working on a performance review with a senior member of the faculty who are about to retire. Don’t say you have much potential to be a good faculty. Use the word legacy to describe them. Don’t prolong the confrontation – don’t carry a grudge and let one issue of disagreement define the relationship. Don’t prolong the confrontation – don’t carry a grudge and let one issue of disagreement define the relationship.
Know when and how to initiate conflict – two times to initiate conflict: When offender doesn’t realize his/her behavior is a problem – meet with the person; find out what their issues are. You may have to change their workload if it is a staff person. To help facilitate decision-making – with an underperforming faculty member: here is what you have to do in the next two years to get tenure. Think of your options, not all schools are like this one, maybe you would be happier somewhere else. Recognize which conflicts are not yours to resolve – only deal with issue if conflict is the business of your program.
Dr. Blank’s case study – The self-centered team member: Facts of case: He is a prolific scholar, but doesn’t get grants. He was a pioneer in his sub specialty. Now sub specialization is recognized and he edits the journal. Low enrollments in his classes. He gets 2-3 in his classes. When he teaches an undergraduate section 40% drop out. The university has a policy of a 5 student minimum. You as chair have taken some budget hits as a result of running his under enrolled classes. He chastises his students. He doesn’t like his colleagues, doesn’t attend department social gatherings, and does not approve of anyone going for tenure and promotion. There is no requirement on campus for a formal review of tenured professors. Dr. Blank is 53 years old. He sends his accomplishments to the administration regularly
Actions you could take: Start steps to implementing a post tenure review? As chair might have control over what kind of raise he gets. Try to get him to work on some projects for the department. Talk to Dean and VP about what is really going on here. Cut that connection between his support base there. Could make his life miserable. Move him around, change his phone. Find out what rules are on firing people. Fire him due to financial exigencies. Document his pattern of behavior. This is a tough case. No policy for review. Get the university to develop post tenure professional development and review.
Where would you start with him?...(1) Sit down with him. Clarify expectations. What the impact of his behavior has been. Have a conversation with the administration; make sure they will support whatever you do. Tell them they have been taking away budgets because of him (his low enrollments); therefore the administration should support the chairperson’s efforts to get the faculty to change his behavior.
Where would you start with him?...(2) Have a conversation with him but involve HR Maybe the attorney, he is setting up a hostile work environment. If you don’t have in-house consul may be about to go to outside attorney of the university. Many Universities have an harassment policy. Check guidelines for dismissal and termination of a tenured appointment. It depends on the campus culture as well as the policy.
Where would you start with him?...(3) Try to find out what motivates this person. Or how do you have the administration get this person some help. 1/5 people are affected by some kind of chemical imbalance that affects their mood, emotional state, etc. Look for employee assistance programs, the HR director to seek assistance. These type of difficult people can be threatening to others. Write up – here is what I have noticed and I am seriously worried about this behavior. What leverage points do you have with this person. Would need to approach him and say how we could protect his interests. What would happen if he lost teaching his favorite sections? How could we show him his legacy is in danger?
Where would you start with him?...(4) How would you actually have the discussion with Dr. Blank? What would you say to him first, second? Can usually predict what they will say.
Role play: Chair: I am really worried about saving your under enrolled seminars. Need to convince the person that I am the key to getting what they want. Should not reward problem behavior. Be reasonable, business like. You the person are not upset with the person, you the chairperson is upset.
Exercise: Identify conflicts and possible solutions…(1) Former chair was voted out and is now back on the faculty. He is disruptive, back stabbing, a lousy teacher, etc. etc. Most faculty want to eliminate some areas of the curriculum but some are strongly opposed. Program coordinator does not do work in a timely fashion and is too process oriented and I am an action oriented Chair.
Exercise: Identify conflicts and possible solutions…(2) Two faculty members really do not like each other and disagree on most things. One faculty member is not fulfilling her job assignments and does not realize that she has a problem in not being available to students. Some faculty do not follow the minimal job standards and I cannot do anything about unless they are going for tenure and/or promotion.