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John B. Bartholomew and Sherri L. Sanders

The academic ideal of shared governance requires significant participation of faculty in the decision-making and service aspects of a university. This is especially true at the department level, where a relatively small number of faculty must work together and contribute to the mission. As a result, one of the more challenging roles for department chairs is dealing with disruptive faculty. This article is designed to provide some insight on this challenge within the frame of managing difficult conversations. The authors begin with a presentation of motives and biases from the perspective of both the chair and the faculty. Efforts to build diversity and inclusion are then used to illustrate the process of managing faculty and building consensus. Finally, aspects of negotiation that might be applied to these relationships are discussed.

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Edward Hebert

Faculty morale plays an important role in academic life. Morale influences faculty behavior, productivity, and quality of teaching; ultimately affects student learning and program quality; and is predictive of faculty turnover. It is an often overlooked but worthy challenge for academic leaders. This article examines faculty morale, its meaning, and factors that influence it and explores strategies for promoting it in a university department. Faculty morale is a cognitive, emotional, and motivational approach toward the work of the department and may be reflected by a sense of common purpose, group cohesion, and a sense of personal value in the organization. Research shows that faculty morale is affected by various aspects of work life including workload, supportive resources, and recognition. However, evidence also suggests that 2 of the strongest variables influencing morale are relationships with colleagues and perceptions of the abilities and actions of the department leader. Strategies are suggested for promoting faculty morale that are derived from the research, a survey of department chairs, and experience.

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Sarah Stokowski, Bo Li, Benjamin D. Goss, Shelby Hutchens and Megan Turk

.M. ( 2013 ). Sources of instructional feedback, job satisfaction, and basic psychological needs . Innovative Higher Education, 38 ( 2 ), 159 – 170 . doi:10.1007/s10755-012-9229-9 10.1007/s10755-012-9229-9 Wood , O.R. ( 1973 ). An analysis of faculty motivation to work in the North Carolina community