Managing Difficult Faculty

Last updated October 11, 2019

Managing Difficult Faculty

Last updated October 11, 2019

You CAN address performance and behavior issues of difficult faculty – even when they have tenure.


If you are in an academic leadership position, you’ve encountered challenging faculty who exhibit unprofessional, unproductive, and even destructive behavior. When faculty decline in productivity, stop attending meetings, or criticize their junior colleagues, how can you deal with these inevitable and uncomfortable situations?

In this two-part webcast series, our expert instructor will guide you through a four-stage process for dealing with difficult faculty personalities.

You will learn to:

  • Identify and address problematic behaviors early
  • Use appropriate strategies for different behavior types
  • Learn how and when to escalate your intervention
  • Create written agreements that establish conduct expectations and consequences
  • Minimize the impact of problematic behavior in your department

Who should attend?

This online training is appropriate for academic program directors, department chairs, deans, provosts, and other higher ed administrators.

If you’re interested in examples around how to manage other difficult colleagues, check out our Managing Difficult Colleagues webcast.


Session 1: Stages 1-2 for Difficult Faculty: Engagement and Management

January 28, 2020 at 1:00-1:45pm Eastern

  • Stage 1: ENGAGE
    • Identification of the problem
    • Clear expectation-setting
    • Active listening
    • Articulation of performance changes
  • Stage 2: MANAGE
    • Reestablishment of performance expectations
    • Articulation of consequences

Session 2: Stages 3-4 for Difficult Faculty: Enforcement and Marginalization

February 4, 2020 at 1:00-1:45pm Eastern

  • Stage 3: ENFORCE – Implementation of consequences for failure to enact behavioral change
  • Stage 4: MARGINALIZE – Protecting the department from toxic behavior