Collegiality Incentivized

Deans and department chairs are constantly challenged by the need to engender greater civility in their professional environments. Academic disciplines thrive when diverse perspectives can be shared without differences of opinion becoming the basis for rancorous personal attacks and when colleagues work together harmoniously without succumbing to group think. Many of us have seen how a toxic, noncollegial faculty member can destroy a once-great department. Mean-spirited and uncivil people cause much damage to those they belittle, the bystanders who suffer the ripple effects, the overall department performance, and themselves. That collegiality is important is irrefutable. The question is how to incentivize collegiality so that people are motivated to behave in a collegial way.

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