Among the many journeys of academic life, some academics are entrusted with the opportunity of leading an academic department. With no perfect method on how best to prepare academic leaders for the job at the helm of the department, the result is a perpetual journey of surprises, discovery and work-in-progress. In essence, department chairs are “front line” workers that are required to assume a multiplicity of roles, responsibilities and functions, many of which compete, collide and can be contradictory. How can one really train and survive the job? Alternatively, how can one learn to do the job? This chapter offers some advice which should prove useful in helping chairs to be effective leaders.
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