Department Chairs Community of Practice

The Department Chairs Community of Practice is an opportunity for department chairs and academic center directors to connect with each other around academic leadership topics.

In-person gatherings during the noon hour include lunch and start with 15 minutes of networking before facilitators and presenters lead the group in meaningful conversation. For virtual meetings, we encourage cameras to be turned on. Seeing each other helps us to build community, share ideas, conduct discussions, and learn together in a welcoming environment.

2023-2024 Program

September 8, 2023, 3 p.m. at Memorial Union Terrace

“Welcome Back Gathering”

  • Join us to connect with other department chairs as we begin another year of engaged leadership together. To meet up with our group, find a staff member near a large sunburst chair holding an umbrella. We will wear our name tags. We will move indoors to Der Rathskeller in case of inclement weather. Snacks will be provided. Bring a beverage or purchase one from the Union.
  • No registration required

September 19, 2023, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at Union South

“Developing a Shared Vision”

  • Successful visions are co-created and shared. In this gathering we will discuss how to work with departmental colleagues to develop a vision and goals for the department while also supporting school/college and institutional goals.
  • Register by September 13, 2023
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

October 23, 2023, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at Union South

“Flourishing”

  • Chancellor Mnookin has named “flourishing” as a priority for faculty, staff, and students. In this gathering we will discuss a definition of flourishing, how flourishing can be fostered, and the chair’s responsibility for helping people to flourish.
  • Register by October 8, 2023
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

November 28, 2023, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at the Discovery Building

“Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging”

  • Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. In this gathering, we will discuss contemporary issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging and how they relate to the role of the chair.
  • To prepare for this discussion, please consider attending an in-person or online session of the Diversity Forum, the university’s premier all-campus and community conference to discuss, share, and learn about contemporary issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Register by November 13, 2023
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

December 5, 2023, 2:00–3:00 p.m. via Zoom

“Faculty Appointments”

  • This discussion will focus on the key things chairs need to know in FPP Chapter 7. This chapter covers faculty appointments, including acting on probationary appointments, granting tenure, promotion from associate professor to professor, and so much more. There will be ample time for questions.
  • No registration required. Zoom link: https://uwmadison.zoom.us/j/97159543652?pwd=V2pwL2tNaGoxdUtrZXNTTXR6OExZUT09
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

December 14, 2023, 8:30–9:45 a.m. at the Discovery Building

“Coffee & Conversation”

  • As the semester winds down, let’s use this time to connect with each other on the issues of the day. Bring a beverage or purchase one from Aldo’s Cafe and meet in the open court (large open space by Johnson St.) for informal discussion.
  • No registration required.

January 12, 2024, 2:00–3:00 p.m. via Zoom

“The Tenure Process”

  • The workshop will provide an overview of the tenure process at UW–Madison, procedures to follow when making decisions on probationary faculty appointments, as well as ways that bias may show up during the tenure process. There will be ample time for questions.
  • Register by January 12, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

January 17, 2024, 2:00–3:00 p.m. at Union South

“The Tenure Process”

  • The workshop will provide an overview of the tenure process at UW–Madison, procedures to follow when making decisions on probationary faculty appointments, as well as ways that bias may show up during the tenure process. There will be ample time for questions.
  • Register by January 17, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

January 26, 2024, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. via Zoom

“Coaching Circles”

  • UW–Madison recently launched coaching circles as a place for employees to go to for connection and support in working through challenges. Coaching circles are not intended for advice giving; instead, they are places for deep listening and understanding. In this gathering, you will experience the power of a coaching circle, and learn about how to incorporate coaching into your approach to mentoring, managing, and leading. You will also learn how your department’s faculty and staff can participate in a UW–Madison coaching circle.
  • Register by January 23, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

February 16, 2024, 1:00–2:00 p.m. via Zoom

“Using Data to Make Informed Decisions”

  • Staff from the Data, Academic Planning and Institutional Research office (DAPIR), will discuss data resources available to help chairs make decisions about issues affecting their department. They will also collect ideas about resources that would be useful for chairs. There will be ample time for questions.
  • Register by February 16, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

February 19, 2024, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at Union South

“Resolving Conflict”

  • Department chairs are often asked to resolve conflict between employees. In this gathering, you will learn how to facilitate conversations with those in conflict, including how to structure conversations, and pre- and post-conversation strategies to ensure the conflict is resolved satisfactorily to all those involved. You will also learn when to facilitate a conversation yourself and when to involve university experts. You will then work through a real case study to practice your learning.
  • Registration appreciated by February 4, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

March 7, 2024, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at Union South

“Employee Performance Management”

  • Sometimes employees behave badly. In this gathering we’ll talk about what’s the first thing chairs need to do when employees exhibit bad behavior, how to document it, pre-disciplinary communication, and how and when to use letters of expectation.
  • Registration appreciated by February 21, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

April 17, 2024, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at Union South

“Conversation with the Chancellor and Provost”

  • This is an informal opportunity to interact with the chancellor and provost and discuss issues facing your departments and the university. Chancellor Mnookin will make some brief remarks, and then she and Provost Isbell will be available for questions and discussion.
  • Register by April 2, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event

May 2, 2024, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at Union South

“Reflecting on the Year”

  • Reflection is a process that helps you make meaning out of your experiences. At this gathering, we’ll reflect on the academic year: our successes or failures, moments of joy or stress, who we were at the start of the year and who we are becoming, and what we need to hold on to or let go of in the next academic year. There will be time for both individual reflection and group discussion.
  • Registration appreciated by April 17, 2024
  • Any related materials or handouts will be added to the Department Chair Community of Practice Box folder after the event