Reflections on “Becoming” a Department Chair

Credit: Photo by Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash
Michelle Obama’s best-selling book, Becoming, offers a glimpse into her life becoming not only the first lady of the United States but also, and more importantly, a strong African American woman. The former first lady offered a heroine’s account of leadership, divided into three sections: becoming me, becoming us, and becoming more (Obama, 2018). Much like Michelle Obama, a department chair evolves in stages from individualism to collectivism as they transition from being faculty to pseudo-administration. It would be nice if someone had shared with me a book on “becoming” a department chair. Whether becoming a first-time chair or a slightly seasoned department leader, you are armed with only peripheral leadership experience to address a variety of constituents and audiences, who believe you are the panacea.

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