Resources for Chairs

Charing one’s academic unit can be a highly rewarding experience. Each academic unit works out its own modes of operation but should be guided by certain general principles. The smooth and effective functioning of academic units depends upon the achievement of broadly shared perceptions of goals and upon the cooperation with one another of all unit members, non-tenured as well as tenured. Below are some resources that chairs – whether new or deeply experienced – may find useful:

Primary Resources

Supplemental Information


The Department Chair’s Primer, Don Chu:  This is a short introduction to some of the key elements involved in chairing a unit, from working with different constituencies (students, colleagues, staff, administrators) to managing logistics and budgets, to thinking about developing a longer range vision for the unit within the institution.

Working with Problem Faculty, R. Kent Crookston:  Managing personnel can be one of the most challenging aspects of being chair.  This book provides examples of realistically complex situations that can arise and describes approaches to handling them.


Council of Independent Colleges Department/Division Chair Workshops:  These 2-3 day workshops focus on types of issues that commonly arise for chairs and provide a wealth of resources for future use.

On-Line Resources

Video Tutorials on  A library of videos that describe particular situations and challenges that many chairs face, with realistic scenarios and case studies.  To access these tutorials, you need to register at while on the Williams network (using a “” address as your username).  Once registered, you can use from any location.

In House Resources

A variety of materials for manages can be found at Williams Human Resources.  The materials listed here include various types of resources (books, websites, videos), including some tailored specifically to Williams.

The Manager’s Corner at Human Resources is a good place to start exploring what’s available.

Employee Assistance Program:  includes a wide range of services available to all Williams employees and their families, as well as specific support available to managers.