Returning to Research: Preparing Your Transition from Chair to Faculty

Last updated July 13, 2020

Course Length


Last Updated

July 13, 2020

Returning to Research: Preparing Your Transition from Chair to Faculty

Last updated July 13, 2020

Craft a plan to successfully return to your research after having served your department as chair.


Your transition from faculty to department chair was likely challenging. Equally, your transition from chair to faculty will also present its own difficulties. In addition to losing valuable perks like the elevated title and administrative support, you will need to catch up with the most recent names, topics, and concepts in your field. You need a plan to relaunch your research and that plan needs to begin well before your exit interview with the dean.

Join us online and learn how to execute a plan to return to research before you transition to a full-time faculty role. To help you in this process, our expert instructor will guide you through the following considerations:

  • Planning your return to research early
  • Becoming a student again in your field
  • Saying “no” to colleagues to protect your time for research
  • Setting goals and evaluating your progress

You will leave this webcast feeling better prepared to plan out your transition back to the ranks of faculty and the world of research.

Who should attend?

Department chairs or program directors who are currently serving or who are soon to finish 3-year, 5-year, or longer-term chair rotations/appointments will benefit from this webcast.

Academic deans, regardless of experience, will also gain ideas for how to prepare and mentor their chairs through the last stages of their appointments.


After reviewing key considerations for chairs in different contexts, we will cover four key steps you need to think through as you get ready to return to research after serving as chair:

Step #1: Plan Early

Whether it’s about negotiating your course load, professional development dollars, or your research agenda, what are the most important pieces to plan before you return to research?

Step #2: Become a Student Again in Your Field

Despite your best efforts, you have probably fallen behind in your field. How can you effectively catch up on research in your field and become a student again?

Step #3: Start Saying No

A good chair thinks about the professional development of others, but after your transition, you will need time set aside for yourself. How do you carve out the time that you need by effective prioritization?

Step #4: Evaluate Your Progress

Success looks different to everyone. What are your goals, and how do you know if you’re being successful?