The Department Chair

The Department Chair

A Practical Guide to Effective Leadership

Christopher J. Jochum


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While serving as a department chair can be one of the most rewarding leadership positions in higher education, it is also one for which most people are not adequately prepared. Given the significance of this position and its impact on students, faculty and staff, this book provides a practical approach to leadership based upon the notion that the best way to improve organizations and the lives of those within them is by improving their leaders. As a result, readers will first be challenged to identify their true intentions for leading as a department chair which means acknowledging that what makes one a successful faculty member does not, by itself, equate to being an effective leader. In addition, readers will learn how to establish a healthy culture, the importance of hiring, how to courageously address conflict, the value of mentoring and developing others along with the significance of effectively leading students. In addition, readers will learn about crisis leadership and how to effectively assess if and when it’s time to move on from the chair position.


Christopher J. Jochum:

Christopher J. Jochum currently serves as the Chair of the Teacher Education Department at Fort Hays State University (Hays, KS) where he leads a large teacher preparation program with over 1,000 students. As a former public-school teacher with 15 years of experience working in higher education, Dr. Jochum has worked with his colleagues to create new programs and policies designed to increase student engagement, retention and success.