The SAIL Department Chair Resource Center

Learn to Lead Academic Departments, Research Institutes, and Scholarly Centers
The SAIL Institute’s Department Chair Academy offers opportunities and resources to build the leadership capacity of current and future department chairs, program coordinators, and directors of research centers and institutes. The overall philosophy of SAIL begins with recognition and appreciation of the leadership skills that all participants bring to our workshops and coaching programs.  Our approach is to build confidence and knowledge through teaching leadership concepts and offering practice of those concepts through case studies, reflection, discussion, and developing “take home” goals and objectives.
We understand the critical role of the department and program chair in the academic success of any institution. As Walzer (1975, p. 6) noted in his seminal study of the department chair, “the academic department is where the action is” and warned that “the job of the academic …[chair] must not be underestimated by the [college] administration, the faculty members, or those who hold or seek the job.”  In fact, at some institutions, department chairs can collectively make up to 80% of the administrative decisions given their front-line role in hiring, advising, course scheduling, faculty development, and so forth. Yet, few institutions of higher learning have thought through or invested in the professional development of those faculty who the institution trusts to fill such important roles. Being an effective department chair or research director requires an individual to articulate and execute a vision for the future, understand their strengths and weakness as a leader, have a firm understanding of practical management skills, and serve as an effective boundary spanner between the faculty and the college administration.  Below are descriptions of the type of opportunities the SAIL Institute offer to advance the leadership capacity of front-line academic leaders, including multi-campus retreats, customizable campus workshops, and resources available to campuses and indviduals.

SUNY Department Chair Summit

The SAIL Institute offers a systemwide summit open to department chairs at SUNY and non-SUNY colleges and universities.  This three-day event provides an enriching and engaging experience designed to prepare department chairs to be effective leaders, creative managers, champions of student success, and supporters of faculty development.

Campus Workshops for Department Chairs

The SAIL Institute works with campuses to develop and deliver customized workshops and trainings for their front line academic staff, including department chairs, program coordinators, and directors of research centers and institutes.  Workshops are guided by SAIL’s 6 Domains of Knowledge for Academic Leaders.

Research Center and Institute Director Leadership Summit

The SAIL Institute is proud to offer the Research Center and Institute (RCI) Leadership Summit designed to support new and aspiring directors/associate directors of organized research centers and institutes. This unique opportunity taking place June, 2018 in NYC, will bring together current and aspiring research managers and leaders to strengthen their leadership skills; gain a better an understanding of their personal leadership style; and advance their abilities to build, cultivate, and sustain these unique research enterprises.

 

 

360 Evaluations for Department Chairs

The SUNY360 is specifically designed to assess skills that are important to those working at colleges, universities, and other organizations in the higher education sector.  The Skills Inventory focuses on leadership skills in four major areas:

  • Leading with effective decisions.
  • Leading by developing others
  • Leading by advocating and developing the organization.
  • Leading by building effective relationships.

6 Domains of Leadership for the Department Chair

  1. Know Yourself
  2. Know Your Students
  3. Know Your Institution
  4. Know Your Faculty
  5. Know Your Context
  6. Know Your Skills

Resources

The SAIL Institute is committed to building the human capacity of academic leaders within SUNY from department chair to chief academic officer.  SAIL’s Department Chair Academy provides online resources for campuses looking to develop their own department chair trainings as well as resources to aid chairs and directors in their own leadership development.