What resources exist for department chairs and program/center directors?
This document provides a brief intro to resources that department chairs and program directors may find useful. Please use the "contact" link to suggest other resources that may be missing.
The L&S Administrative Gateway is intended to help department chairs and program/center directors locate the information they need to effectively lead their units. Many documents are (or will be) available in this database - but if users cannot find answers they seek, they should feel free to suggest documents, or send questions to the site's lead editor (Associate Dean Elaine Klein, elaine.klein(at)wisc.edu).
Prior to the beginning of each academic year (usually on the morning of the Tuesday preceding the first week of classes), the Dean of the College of Letters and Science holds a plenary meeting for all department and program chairs, directors, and administrators. This meeting serves several purposes, some of which have to do with addressing practical matters essential to college operations. These include, but are not limited to:
- introduction of new chairs and key personnel in L&S Administration;
- sharing news of campus- and college-wide developments and activities;
- presentation of new or revised policies and procedures; and
- announcement of hiring authorization and budgetary developments.
The Dean also presents the "State of the College" address, which, in addition to celebrating the individual and collective successes of the L&S community, outlines challenges and priorities for the coming year.
The Office of the Provost sponsors an annual meeting (as well as a variety of other activities) to help new department chairs and program directors "learn the ropes" as they prepare to assume their new administrative duties. This all-day event is generally held the week before classes begin (usually on Thursday). Session topics vary, but are focused on leadership strategies, developing connections to the many offices and units that support the activities in which departments are engaged - as well as the range of problems chairs may be called upon to help resolve. Since this information is needed throughout the year, the Office of the Provost has created an online "Chairs' Toolkit", where chairs and directors can find a list of key campus administrative contacts, links to documents, policies and reports, recommended readings on the subject of being department chair, etc.
The Chair's Toolkit also contains a useful list of campus resources, with links to a wide range of topics from formal reports and new initiatives, to campus-level data on student success, leadership development, strategic planning, and more.