Quick Links:

LVAIC Chair Development Primes Faculty for New Academic Year

August 21, 2017, @ 8:00 AM

On Thursday, August 10, 2017 LVAIC hosted 50 faculty members from across the LVAIC community at Lafayette College. This was the first major program of the 2017-2018 academic year. These faculty members ranged from new academic department chairs to those tenured in their role for over five years as chair. Each faculty member brought a unique perspective of issues that arise in this position.

Kathleen Rinehart, J.D., General Counsel and Secretary to the Corporation of Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL and Principal at Conflict Consultants Network, facilitated this full-day workshop..  Rinehart is a frequent presenter at the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities.  More information can be found at the following link Kathleen Rinehart J.D. The day was divided into two sessions: hiring and evaluation in the morning and conflict management in the afternoon. Hiring and evaluation are two of the highest risk activities in which academic leaders engage. This portion of the day focused on supervisory best practices, legal compliance and effective tools for hiring and evaluation. The second portion of the workshop focused on managing and resolving departmental conflict and dysfunction. Participants were engaged in identifying and implementing creative, practical and accessible communication and conflict management tools. Rinehart’s extensive background in dispute resolution offered practical guidance for those new to and experienced in the role of academic department chair.


Faculty spent the opening portion of the event networking until the session began. After Rinehart explained guidelines on the pressing topics of the role of academic department chair, she fielded questions from the group and facilitated small group working sessions where participants worked through a number of challenging scenarios based on her best practice recommendations. As each group shared their responses, the group as a whole offered feedback and further recommendations. These breakout groups fostered an engaging environment for faculty to deepen their understanding of these areas and also practice implementing and role playing through difficult conversations.

These development workshops serve as not only an opportunity for members of the LVAIC community to learn new skills and hone knowledge, but also offer collaborative opportunities for members to connect with their peers on other campuses. One major output of this event was a mailing list of all academic department chairs for faculty to remain connected throughout the academic year and contact each other with questions, seeking advice, or simply to share information with each other.

» «