Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2751

Chairs' Corner

What is the Chairs' Corner?

Winter 2018 Chairs Forums   Chairs Forums provide department chairs and program directors opportunities to discuss topics specific to their academic leadership roles. Register for these forums, which will be held 12:00-1:30 p.m in 200A Elliott Hall and facilitated by CETL Chair Fellow Jennifer Heisler. Lunch provided.

Curriculog Training for Chairs

Facilitated by Mary Purcell

Want to make your job as a Chair easier?

Learn how to use Curriculog, the new software to make course and program modifications for making and tracking curricular changes. As Chair, you will be required to submit and approve all Departmental curricular changes through the Curriculog system starting in Fall 2018. Please note the EForms and paper trail are going away as of April.

The Office of Undergraduate Education will provide Curriculog training session at CETL, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, room 200A, Elliott Hall on the following dates.

In order for all Chairs to receive this training, we are offering two different dates.

Friday, April 6th, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. - Register (Replaces the original Chair Forum)

Monday, April 16th, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. - Register

Lunch will be provided at both sessions

For further questions, please contact Mary Purcell at

2017 Chairs Retreat - Held Tuesday, August 29 at Meadow Brook Hall. Access presentation slides, chart and worksheet handouts, and articles.

Chair Fellow
2017-2018 CHAIR FELLOW
Jen HeislerI am thrilled to be joining CETL in the Chair Fellow role this year. I care deeply about supporting fellow Chairs/Directors because the role often requires difficult decisions and uncertainties. As Chair/Director, you become a partner in your faculties' lives and academic journeys. You are invested in student success as cheerleader, mentor, and critic. Chairs/Directors are representatives for their departments within the community and in the university. They stand up, stand in, and stand for the best their discipline, colleagues, students have to offer. The Chair/Director role is a chance for growth--but growing can stretch one's limits without adequate support. That’s why I am so excited about working alongside CETL in their support of existing and future Chairpersons/Directors. My desire is to listen, encourage and join others in their journey as department leaders. I look forward to connecting with this important part of OU's academic community.

Contact Jenn at View Jennifer Heisler's bio.


Jay Meehan

Jay Meehan

Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Jay Meehan is a Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and has been at Oakland University since 1987. From 2006-2016, he was chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice. In his 29 years at Oakland, he has served in various leadership roles on University-wide and CAS committees, including Senate Steering Committee, the Faculty Reappointment and Promotion Committee, the CAS Assembly Executive Committee, and the CAS Committee on Appointment and Promotion (CAP).

He was a co-founder of SurPriSe, a CETL-sponsored faculty learning community which fostered interdisciplinary approaches to understanding Surveillance, Privacy and Security through curricular development and research. He is currently teaching courses on the Police and Society, The Surveillance Society, and a seminar on Police-Citizen Interaction. His current research focuses on police-citizen interaction in traffic stops using camera-car data from police department video archives.

Contact Jay at



Articles shared:


Mid-Career Professions Need Love, Too, professors' thoughts and experiences on notions that post-tenure professors suffer from “malaise.” (Web link of PDF version)

Fostering Trans Inclusion in the Classroom, a student perspective from Inside Higher Ed

Articles shared in Jenn Heisler's Chair Updates


Guidelines to Chair Selections - This document shows the current policies OU departments use to select a department chair or program director.

Mentoring Resources Available  View the resources here: workshop mentoring guide, promotion and review guide and mentoring program info from Sociology et al. Department, and study results on chair training (IHE, 12/1/2016).

CETL Library for Chairs - Nine books on chair topics free to check out. View the book list.

Manager's Toolkit - University Human Resources developed this resource for anyone at the university who manages staff. Visit their page.


Your To-Do List as a Chair: Five Core Responsibilities, from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Department Chair Journal - Each issue includes

  • Original articles by experienced academic leaders on a wide range of subjects: evaluation and assessment, fundraising, legal issues, collegiality, work-life balance, reappointment policies, time management, and more
  • Useful strategies, practical ideas, and questions for reflection
  • Essential data on such topics as salaries, college costs, and technology
  • Book reviews of the latest academic leadership titles
  • Recent court decisions relevant to the chair role.

Access the journal directly through Kresge Library.



Faculty Promotions in the 21st Century (downloads as a PowerPoint presentation, University of Washington)


Guidelines for the Department Chair (about mentoring) (University of Rhode Island)


Department Climate/Work-Life




Difficult Situations


Useful Resources Websites
Resources for Department Heads (Virginia Tech)
Sample Topics:
  • AdvanceVT: 
    • Departmental Climate Compendium (successful strategies, policies and procedures) 
    • Climate Consultation
    • Work/life Balance Policies
  • Human Resources: 
    • University Organizational and Professional Development (Consulting services) 
    • Experts in Action (volunteer program for retirees and business professionals) 
    • Employee Relations
    • Work/life Resources
    • Equity Initiatives
    • Harassment and Discrimination Policies
    • Conflict Resolution
  • Office for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Office of the Provost
  • Other Resources

& Services

2017-2018 Professional Development Opportunities - Download the full list.

& Documents

Guide to Selecting Chairs and Program Directors  Departments have shared what their protocols are for reviewing and selecting candidates for chairs or program directors at Oakland University. View the guide.

Chairs' Resource Guide Update  The Chairs' and Program Directors' Resource Guide now available. Thoughts on what else should be included or revisions needed? Provide feedback here.

2017-2018 Faculty Handbook

Chairs' and Program Directors' Retreat Resources

Presentation Slides



Share with

Faculty Feedback Replaces Mid-Semester Evaluations - Faculty Feedback is a system located in SAIL for communicating with students who show early signs of struggle in their courses. It replaces mid-semester evaluations as it allows faculty to give students feedback earlier than the half-way mark. View the video introduction, and visit for further discussion on this university-wide initiative.

Faculty Handbook  This is the official OU guide for everything faculty need: registrar information, student support services, faculty support services, and all of the procedures that keep our campus moving. Download the 2017-18 faculty handbook.