Difficult Colleagues

Disciplinary Deadlock

The disciplinary deadlock you describe makes any kind of meaningful debate within the department impossible, and you want these colleagues to help you break through it. In my experience, expecting people to rise to the occasion usually works, especially since you’ve hand-picked this group of people as less invested in these divides and focused more on problem-solving.

A Punitive Attendance Policy

As the semester ends, I’m bracing for another round of complaints about the attendance policy of one of our tenured faculty members. The policy is, especially from the perspective of…

Is anger the answer?

I have always counted my even temper as a strength, especially in my role as chair.  Am I failing to be an effective advocate for resources for my department if I always respond moderately? Are there times when anger would be the better response?

What Makes a Good Dissertation Adviser

Recommendation letter season is upon us, and I’ve been asked to write for a graduate student whom I’ve occasionally worked with but do not supervise. In getting an update on…

Who’s the Boss?

You’ve answered several questions about faculty, but what about working with staff? In my case, I have a departmental secretary/program administrator who has been with us for over a decade….