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?

Call for 2019-2020 Chair Fellow

Support current department chairs through CETL events and consultations. Applications due March 26, 2019. View the full description.


2019 Winter Chairs Forums

12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Elliott Hall 200A, lunch provided.

Diversity Advocate Training III: Connecting with the OU Diversity Advocate CommunityFri, January 25Cynthia Miree-Coppin
Difficult Situations: Using a Peer Problem Solving ApproachMon, February 11Team of Chairs
TBAMon, March 29TBA

Chairs Resource Guide and Quick Guide/FAQ Available. Updated August 2018 in a navigable form.


2018 Retreat Resources:
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


Chair Fellow

Call for 2019-2020 Chair Fellow

Support current department chairs through CETL events and consultations. Applications due March 26, 2019. View the full description.

In the past, the Chair Fellow has led professional development opportunities and resource management for OU department chairs and program directors. In 2018-2019, the functions of the Chair Fellow were coordinated through Michelle Piskulich and Joi Cunningham in Academic Affairs. 

Jen Heisler

Jennifer Heisler

Associate Professor in Communication

Jennifer M. Heisler is an Associate Professor in the department of Communication and Journalism in the College of Arts and Sciences. She joined the faculty in 2001 after receiving her Ph.D. in Family and Interpersonal Communication from Michigan State University. Jennifer served as Chairperson of COM & JRN from 2009-2015 during which time the department experienced significant growth including multiple new faculty members, a graduate program, and several undergraduate minors. Her research interests explore how families discuss (or don’t) difficult topics such as dating, relationships, gender roles, religion, and finances. Jennifer’s most recent work examines work-family balance for faculty members in higher education, including how the role of department Chairperson influences departmental culture for faculty with children.

Contact Jenn at

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


& Documents

Chairs and Program Directors Resource Guide and Quick Guide/FAQ Available. Updated August 2018 in a navigable form.

2018-2019 Faculty Handbook

Chairs' and Program Directors' Retreat Resources

Presentation Slides




Every month, Judy Ableser, Director of CETL, sends a Chairs Update via email to keep chairs apprised of programs, services, and other announcements pertaining to their responsibilities. 

December 2018 Chairs' Update

November 2018 Chairs' Update

October 2018 Chairs' Update

September 2018 Chairs' Update

August 2018 Chairs' Update

July 2018 Chairs' Update

April 2018 Chairs' Update

March 2018 Chairs' Update

February 2018 Chairs' Update

January 2018 Chairs' Update

December 2017 Chairs' Update

November 2017 Chairs' Update

October 2017 Chairs' Update

September 2017 Chairs' Update

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Faculty Feedback: OU's Early Alert System - 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. Visit the Faculty Feedback webpage for a video introduction and 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.