Williams is a small institution. The longer you’ve been at the College, the more likely it is that you’ll be asked to shoulder responsibilities beyond your teaching and scholarship. Some of these will feel like obvious extensions of work you’re already familiar with, but other tasks – chairing a department, program, center, or a major committee for instance – may stretch you beyond your specific areas of expertise.
Your first step is to decide whether to take on the administrative role or task that is offered to you. On the one hand, this work can take time away from your scholarship and teaching. On the other hand, becoming engaged in the larger enterprise of the institution is a chance to influence how things work and to interact with people across campus in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s also an opportunity for professional growth.
The “you” addressed in these pages is primarily conceived of as a new department or program chair, but many of the remarks will likely be relevant (in outlook, if not in all details) to new chairs of major committees or centers as well.