Department Chair Workshops


Department Chair Leadership Program Workshop Sries.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs continues its workshop series to help department chairs more effectively lead and respond to challenges they confront in their departments and/or units.   We look forward to another year of robust and engaging conversations about departmental life at UB.

Over this academic year, our office will be sponsoring a series of monthly lunch meetings to discuss various issues related to academic leadership.  We will address issues related to effective communication, budgets and resources, mentoring and work/life balance, faculty and student diversity, recruitment and hiring, tenure and promotion to name a few.

Chairs' Workshops are:

  • held monthly as 2 hour lunch-time seminars, food and refreshments provided
  • targeted for the second half of each month during the fall and spring semester
  • intended to be interactive and responsive; your feedback and requests drive the conversation and future planning


Please note that seating is limited and you are encouraged to register early to ensure your participation.  Please contact our office at 645-3594 or email Patti Napoli ( for your reservation.

2019-20 Academic Year Workshops

Strategies for Leadership During a Crisis - Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Strategies for Leadership During a Crisis

This session is presented by Robrt Granfield, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. This final conversation of the academic year will focus on strategies for leadership during a crisis. We will discuss current planning efforts underway and explore faculty and staff concerns about our research and educational mission during this crisis.

Chair as Diversity Leader: The Role of the Chair in Hiring and Retention - Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Chairs have the power to transform the culture of diversity and inclusion in their departments. This session considers some of the barriers to diversity and strategies chairs can employ to address them. It will also review important new initiatives at the University at Buffalo that provide chairs and departments with resources to be successful diversity and inclusion leaders.

Enhancing Faculty Awards - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

This session is presented by :

Robert Granfield, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Promoting a culture that celebrates faculty excellence is essential. Nominating faculty for campus, system-wide, disciplinary, national, and international awards in research, teaching, and service helps raise the profile of the faculty and of our academic programs. In this workshop, data from UB as well as case studies collected from other universities will be presented. In addition, we will also hear from campus leaders on what is being done to position faculty to compete for prestigious awards and how to put together compelling nominations.

College Student Mental Health Trends - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

College Student Mental Health Trends

This session is presented by Sharon Mitchell, Senior Director of Student Wellness.  Sharon is also the President for the Association for University and College Center Directors (AUCCCD). Topics to be covered include:

  • Data from national research and UB Counseling Services will be used to highlight trends in college student mental health.
  • An overview of how these trends impact scope of service and service delivery will be provided.
  • Participants will gain knowledge about the resources available to assist UB students who are dealing with issues that impact their emotional well-being and ability to be successful academically.

The Role of the Chair in Building a Mentoring Culture - Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Role of the Chair in Building a Mentoring Culture

Effective mentorship is unquestionably one of the most valuable resources in building a highly functional and successful department.  UB’s Mentoring Policy states that all schools and departments shall provide faculty mentoring opportunities for all tenure-track and clinical/research/adjunct faculty and tenured associate professors for the first five years after tenure is granted. Mentoring for associate professors beyond five years and full professors is optional but highly encouraged.  Yet, building an effective mentoring culture within departments can sometimes be challenging. In this session, we will review data collected by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and explore the following topics:

·        UB’s current Mentoring Policy

·        Challenges to faculty mentoring within departments

·        Best practices associated with faculty mentoring

·        Mentoring faculty through their career


Effective Communication and Managing Conflict - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Effective Communication and Managing Conflict

Conducting difficult conversations is an inevitable feature of department leadership.  In this session, participants will be introduced to an inventory of conflict styles and explore strategies for effective communication and conflict resolution.  An interactive group exercise will be conducted to help demonstrate processes for promoting trust and managing conflict. 

Topics include: 

·     Effective communication strategies

·     Building trust and rapport

·     Evaluating conflict

·     Resolving conflict

·     Negotiating


Integrating Non-Tenure Track Faculty - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Integrating Non-tenure Track Faculty into your Department

Faculty not on the tenure track make significant contributions to departments across UB in the areas of research, teaching, and service. However, many Chairs confront challenges associated with the integration of non-tenure track faculty into the life of their department.  Also, while many non-tenure track faculty express high-levels of satisfaction, others raise concerns with their status at UB. In this session, we will examine data collected by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and explore the following topics:

·        Satisfaction among non-tenure track faculty

·        Integration of non-tenure track faculty

·        Barriers to integration of non-tenure track faculty

·        Evaluation and promotion of non-tenure track faculty

·        Mentoring non-tenure track faculty

The Role of the Chair in Tenure, Promotion, and Awards - Monday September 16, 2019

The Chair’s Role in Tenure and Promotion

We will review this data as well as the processes involved in preparing dossiers for tenure and promotion.  Case studies will be used to explore how chairs evaluate the performance of a faculty member. Topics will include:

·        Overview of the process and timing

·        Effective dossier preparation

·        Leading departmental reviews

·        Making difficult decisions

·        Concerns regarding promotion to full professor

·        Preparing the Chair’s letter