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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay was written by three psychology faculty members with extensive experience as chairs of departments of psychology of different types. It focuses on information critical to deciding whether to be a chair and how to be an effective chair. Topics include different types of chairs (chair vs. head), the roles and responsibilities of the position, the unique factors relevant to chairing a psychology department, variations in the job as a function of the type of institution in which the department is embedded (a liberal arts college, a comprehensive university, or a research university), tips for being an effective academic unit leader, and when and how to transition out of the chair role. In addition, the authors provide lists of resources that may be useful to chairs, including organizations, conferences, publications, periodicals and book series, and other resources.

Keywords: department chair, department head, leadership, higher education administration, conflict management, change management, mentoring, fundraising, time management, strategic planning

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