Chairs Wisdom Collaborative

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Chairs Wisdom Collaborative
May 2, 2011 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Meeting Notes
Present: Dale Buske, Orn Bodvarsson, Chris Inkster, Charles Rose, Vicky Williams,
Tom Hergert.
Looking Back:
 “As a new chair, I found CWC very helpful.
 There’s not much guidance for this position.
 There is quite a lot of confusion and many gray areas since we are not
supervisors.
 People I trust have generally mentored me.
 How do we get more people to participate? Theoretically it may get better
because we will have fewer chairs since departments will be larger.
Looking Ahead:
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Set a definite meeting time ahead. Have people put it on their calendars.
Suggested times: 3:00 – 4:00 Thursdays and Wednesdays
Session topics: We should set them two weeks ahead because of the
changing terrain during the transition.
Need to make session topics relevant to what’s going on at the university.
Conduct a short survey of topics: What do you see on the horizon?
Workshop during Fall Convocation facilitated jointly by an FA Representative
(Mark Jaede or Susan Motin) and either a dean who has been a chair or a
faculty member who has been Dean and, perhaps, Chair.
Workshop/sessions should be partly about the mechanics of being a chair.
The second part should address the day-to-day miseries or rewards in the
job. For instance, especially during the first couple of weeks: “Sit in your
office and be constantly interrupted,” “the “have you got a minute?” problem
from students, staff, and faculty, even if the door is closed,” “the sense of
never having any control of your time.”
Brainstorm of possible topics:
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“Mandatory” procedures for departments. How will a new chair know what
needs to be done?
How to establish communication with deans – different deans are different in
how they can communicate with chairs.
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Nuances in various nooks and crannies in the Contract: how to avoid
mistakes.
Managing faculty issues: complaints, concerns, conflicts.
Challenges of being chairs. How to manage, not being a supervisor? What’s
the right thing to do?
Developing policies in departments how should chairs approach policies.
What sorts of policies? How can there be coherence in policies across
departments, programs, etc.
How do you deal with administrative “mis-behaviour”?
Guest speakers at CWC meetings: Lisa Foss? Provost? IFO President?
What rights do departments have in searching for faculty or in other
matters? Areas of the contract we have questions about: Fixed terms,
adjuncts, overload vs. adjuncts
Chairs role in a vote of no-confidence in a Dean.
Who evaluates a chair? Can a department evaluate a chair? What sort of
policy could be created for that purpose? Is there a possibility of a recall?
What’s the chair’s responsibility as advocate for faculty.
What can the chair sign off on with or without taking back to the
department?
Actions:
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Lalita will contact Sharon Cogdill and Mark Jaede to plan Fall Convocation
Workshop.
Lalita will work with Sharon and Mark on short survey to be sent out to
chairs to evaluate the above topics and brainstorm additional ones for
Convocation workshop and future sessions.
Meeting Adjourned 1:30 p.m.
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