Managing Change as a Department Chair: 5 Traps to Avoid



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Change is hard. Learn how to engage and empower your faculty to embrace transition.

As a department chair, you are responsible for leading your faculty through large-scale disruptions, such as department restructures, curricular reform, and policy changes. Even if you’re familiar with change management literature, managing the change can be especially tricky within academic departments. Your role as a "middle manager" can often be ambiguous because you lead both as a member of faculty and an administrator in a shared-governance environment.

Join us online to learn how to avoid common change traps - behaviors that prevent all of us from adopting, embracing, and engaging with change. We’ll discuss how change traps often play out in academic departments, and you’ll leave with a solid understanding of how you can recognize and manage the traps in your own initiatives.

Who Should Attend

If you’re a department chair leading your team through change or disruption, this webcast is for you. Deans or faculty affairs professionals who coach and support department chairs may also benefit from the session.

If you're a department chair looking to better manage your time and learn how to better delegate responsibilities, register for our Department Chairs: Maximize Your Productivity By Cultivating Your Academic Staff webcast.


Our expert will show you how to detect and overcome five common change traps that play out in academic departments:

  1. Trap #1 (Entropy) - Uncertainty, disorder, and chaos during change initiatives may cause people to disengage and become complacent.
    To manage this trap, we’ll help you learn how to maintain buy-in and momentum during change initiatives.
  2. Trap #2 (Speed) - Cultural context and an individual’s change preferences mean people process change at varying speeds.
    To manage this trap, we’ll help you learn how you can best respond to the needs of your faculty.
  3. Trap #3 (Logistics) - Focusing on the tasks required during change while losing sight of the people.
    To manage this trap, we'll help you collaborate more effectively with faculty to create a shared vision around the change.
  4. Trap #4 (Resistance) - There will always be faculty who struggle with and resist change.
    To manage this trap, you’ll learn how to respond to those who might be contentious or confrontational.
  5. Trap #5 (Isolation) - As resistance arises, the temptation to do it all yourself may follow.
    To manage this trap, you’ll learn how to rely on your network to help you.


Kelly A. Chaney, Ph.D.

An innovative, passionate educator, Dr. Kelly Chaney holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Higher Education and a M.S. Ed. in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has spent nearly two decades serving teaching intensive institutions as a member of faculty, department chair, dean, interim provost, and associate vice president of academic affairs, most recently at Marian University of Wisconsin and Blackburn College in Illinois. Dr. Chaney has been appointed as the Dean of the Sharon Walker School of Education at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, effective July 2020. Read Kelly's full bio.


Questions About the Event? Email this event's Program Manager, Lisa Lafflam.

Product Information

What’s included in your purchase?

  1. Live webcast session - a live presentation where you have the chance to ask questions and get personalized answers from our expert speakers. You must purchase the product prior to the live date in order to attend the live session.
  2. Webcast recording - a recording of our live session that you can access anywhere, anytime.

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