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The Role of the Department Chair James L Rosenberger Professor of Statistics Penn State University Salt Lake City, Utah 27 July 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of the Department Chair James L Rosenberger Professor of Statistics Penn State University Salt Lake City, Utah 27 July 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of the Department Chair James L Rosenberger Professor of Statistics Penn State University Salt Lake City, Utah 27 July 2007

2 Department of Statistics Outline Creating and Implementing a Vision Qualities of a good chair Transparent Decision Making

3 Department of Statistics Vision Creating a vision statement for the department helps faculty staff and graduate students understand the mission of the department. Understand the priorities that drive the department Build a set of Goals which reflect the Ends you wish to achieve.

4 Department of Statistics What is a Vision Statement A statement to encapsulate the motivating forces behind the department: Should meet: The SMART and GLUE tests S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound) G.L.U.E. (Guide, Legitimize, Unify, Energize) What does the department want to achieve and become?

5 Department of Statistics Example from Penn State Vision Statement The Eberly College of Science is the home of the basic biological, physical, and mathematical sciences at Penn State. We are proud to be a vibrant scientific community that has emerged as a premier center of education and research. We are proud of our students, our alumni, our staff, and our faculty. We are the Penn State Eberly College of Science and we are making a difference in the world.

6 Department of Statistics Mission Statement The Eberly College of Science is the home of the basic sciences at Penn State, one of the nations leading research universities. The colleges fundamental mission is to generate and disseminate knowledge in the basic sciences to further the physical, economic, and intellectual well-being of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world. …

7 Department of Statistics Mission Statement (cont) This mission includes advancing the frontiers of knowledge in the physical, biological, and mathematical sciences; providing access to a rich educational experience that will motivate and enable all of our students to seek the highest levels of intellectual achievement and personal growth; and sharing our knowledge, discoveries, and inventions with the people of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

8 Department of Statistics Example from Penn State Goals (Eberly College of Science) Enhance academic excellence Improve the quality of the student experience Promote world-class science Enhance outreach Build a more considerate and civil community Release resources to support growth and improvements, and find new sources of funds

9 Department of Statistics Goal 1 from Penn State (cont) Develop strategies to achieve the goals E.g. Enhance academic excellence Strategies –Make ECOS the college of choice for outstanding faculty –Make ECOS the college of choice for outstanding students –Make ECOS the college of choice for outstanding staff –Build a broad sense of intellectual community –Maximize reputation through publicity about success »Awards for faculty and students »Invitations of eminent speakers and guests –Continue program of external reviews –Improve the quality of the department facilities »Computing, offices, lounges, appearance

10 Department of Statistics Goal 2 from Penn State (cont) Develop strategies to achieve the goals E.g. Improve the quality of student experiences Strategies (used by the department of statistics) –Increase the number of quality tenure track faculty –Add or revise courses and programs to remain current »Undergraduate major and minor »Professional Master of Applied Statistics program –Improve student advising (graduate and undergraduate) –Improve teaching and learning by sharing instructional innovations and resources »Hire an instructional designer to assist with course materials (online and resident instruction) »Develop online courses for certificate program, which improve in class course material and resources –Work to increase diversity of students (e.g. more US grad students) –Improve the climate for minority and underrepresented students

11 Department of Statistics Qualities of a good chair Consistency Know the basis for decisions Salary, course buyouts, teaching assignments Transparency Faculty and staff should understand the basis for decisions Decisions should withstand scrutiny by all

12 Department of Statistics Qualities (cont.) Integrity If you say it, mean it. Walk the talk Be trustworthy Because of your role, every word is noted and remembered. I saved my email so I could remember what I promised.

13 Department of Statistics A Healthy Department Know your mission Research Teaching Outreach/collaboration/consulting Service Build on Strength Hiring Recruiting Assigning committee duties and teaching

14 Department of Statistics Healthy (cont) Celebrate Recognize and celebrate achievements Faculty, –Promotions, Grants, Honors, Publications Staff, –Promotions, new skills and achievements Students –Awards for teaching, etc Nominate (or charge a committee) for awards Local and national awards

15 Department of Statistics Healthy (cont) Examples of building on strength Re-energize faculty members in transition Increased teaching load Travel fund between grants Faculty who all love their work Make your department the department of choice for outstanding faculty –Appropriate salary –Realistic teaching loads for adequate time for research –Support (computer, staff, etc.) –Recognition for contributions

16 Department of Statistics The Engaged Department Goal: The engaged department All members pulling toward the same goal Faculty who want to do their part Staff who understand the mission and priorities

17 Department of Statistics Faculty Meetings Held Monthly (my style), should be fun. Has a social aspect – people see each other. Analogy with Boards of Directors (faculty) Reports, Roberts Rules, Celebrate events Include student reps, and staff member Strategic Planning sessions Evenings, meals, group discussions. Include staff, student reps,

18 Department of Statistics Accessibility How to be accessible without becoming mired Email efficient for much communication Respond within a reasonable time (24 hours?) –If final answer not known, respond with what you know, and promised by when you will find out. –If on vacation, use auto-response with a substitute named. Have predictable times your door is open Or have your secretary schedule appointments Walk around on occasion to signal availability

19 Department of Statistics Difficult decisions and people How to handle difficult decisions and complex issues Discuss it in person Walk down the hall and inquire first Be sure to make clear your limitations (financial, etc.) After a discussion, immediately confirm in writing by email, ending with: Please let me know if this is not your understanding, or Please confirm my understanding of how we agreed to resolve this. It is hard for someone to get angry at your for something they agreed to.

20 Department of Statistics Development – fund raising How to raise funds - What can a Dept Chair do? Develop the case for support - set priorities. Know your development officer. Communicate with your graduates Spend gifts - in ways that reflect well on you. Be a talent scout …

21 Department of Statistics Development (cont) What can a Dept Chair do? Meet with donors and prospective donors Provide and demonstrate good stewardship Establish an advisory board Be a donor yourself Continue to what you do best Foster learning and discovery… Alumni remember…

22 Department of Statistics Conclusions Chairing a department provides opportunities for leadership and shaping the culture and success for the future. Create a climate for success and excellence Respect for all members of the department Fairness and trustworthiness in all decisions Success follows from building a winning team

23 Department of Statistics References Higgerson, M.L. (1996) Communication Skills for Department Chairs. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Co. Inc. Tucker, Allan (1984) Chairing the Academic Department: Leadership among Peers. 2 nd edit. New York: American Council on Education, Macmillan Publishing Co. Ferren, A.S. and Stanton W.W. (2004) Leadership through Collaboration. American Council on Education, Praeger.

24 Department of Statistics References (cont) John Stahl-Wert and Ken Jennings (2007) Ten Thousand Horses How Leaders Harness Raw Potential for Extraordinary Results. Berrett- Koehler Publishers, Inc. William P. Chait, William P. Ryan, and Barbara E Taylor. (2005) Governance as Leadership. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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