‘Going to the Dark Side’ in Trying Times

Shortly after Kristi Menear became chair of the department of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, department chairs gained budgetary control of their programs, and three departments in the school were consolidated into two. Then the School of Education (which includes her department) was removed from the College of Arts & Sciences. She sought input from the faculty, working hard to get up to speed on the new programs that had not previously been in the department and were beyond the scope of her prior work as a faculty member. As she reached out and asked questions to work to move the department forward, the faculty got defensive.

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