Fundamental to leadership is the chair’s ability to maintain transparent and open communication about department matters with faculty, staff, and students. Severed communication between administrators and faculty members can breed distrust in an academic department, which can foster disruptive behavior and suspicion and erode morale. Some personnel matters cannot be discussed openly; however, faculty will respect reasonable confidentiality from a chair who otherwise is open to feedback and is transparent about non-confidential administrative decisions. It is also important that communication from the chair, whether written or verbal, be impeccable as a model of civil discourse, regardless of the tone and/or content of received communication. As its chief academic and administrative officer, the chair is also the official spokesperson for the department. In this position, there is little, if any, private speech when discussing matters related to the department, the college, and the university.
Last Updated: 8/3/2009