Department chairs are essential to the advancement of the education, patient care, and research missions of the medical school. Their leadership drives the overall success of each basic science and clinical department. In recognition of the demanding and central role they play, a series of programs have been created to support new and experienced department chairs. These programs exist to:
Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the department chair;
Enable chairs to lead and manage their departments successfully;
Foster networking, information and resource sharing, interpersonal support, and problem-solving through peer and group mentoring; and
Provide personal and professional development experiences
The Department Chair Leadership Series is a quarterly meeting that serves as a forum to discuss “hot” topics and policies, exchange ideas, provide peer mentoring, and explore leadership topics. Department chairs will also benefit from peer mentoring at the Annual Provost Academic Leadership Retreat with chairs from across the University. The dates for the current academic year are:
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 from 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Wednesday, April 19, 2023 from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Previous Chair Leadership Session Topics
Managing Difficult Personalities and Bad Behavior led by Dean Melina Kibbe (May 1, 2023)
StandPoint Results Sharing and Action Planning led by Dr. Susan Pollart and Dr. Troy Buer (March 15, 2023)
Departmental Leadership, Governance, and Professional Development led by Dr. Susan Pollart, Dr. Troy Buer, and Dr. Kristen Atkins (September 7, 2022)
My First Four Months: Reflections and Future Directions led by Jeremy Sibiski (May 4, 2022)
Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Role of the department chair led by Dr. Tracy Downs and Dr. Susan Pollart (February 3, 2022)
Leader Decision and Action Resources: Responding to Faculty Performance Challenges led by Dr. Susan Pollart, Dr. Karen Warburton, Dr. Peggy Plews-Ogan (September 8, 2021)
Back to B.A.S.I.C.S.: Generative cultural practices for building high performing teams led by Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts (May 5, 2021)
Improving Faculty Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness led by Dr. Lotte Dyrbe and Dr. Sue Pollart (January 13, 2021)
Faculty Recruitment: Strategies for Searches that Focus on Excellence and Diversity and Working with Difficult/Struggling Faculty led by Dr. Sue Pollart and Ellen Beverly (September 9, 2020)
Faculty Performance Conversations: Making the Most of the Annual Review led by Dr. Sue Pollart and Dr. Troy Buer (May 15, 2019)
AAMC StandPoint Faculty Engagement Survey Results and Action Plans led by Valerie Dandar and Jarod Field (January 30, 2019)
Identifying and Investing in High-Potential Team Members led by Dr. Sue Pollart and Dr. Troy Buer (September 5, 2018)
Chair Leadership & Faculty Wellbeing led by Dr. Lotte Dyrbe (April 30, 2018)
Difficult Conversations led by Dr. Catherine Morrison (January 24, 2018)
Pushed, Pulled, and Torn: Expectations, Roles, and Responsibilities of Medical School Department Chairs led by Dr. Lili Powell (October 25, 2017)
Department chairs have access to personal coaching resources as a complement to leadership development programs or to address specific needs identified in the department chair 360-degree assessment. New department chairs also have the opportunity to participate in local, regional, national and society specific programs for chair and health system leader development.
Weekly or bi-weekly meetings will be held over the course of a new department chair’s first 90 days with the SOM Dean and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Faculty Development. The meetings are essential in orienting chairs to their new role and the institution. They also provide a regular check-in with welcoming and supportive confidants who can advise on strategies for success and pitfalls to avoid, answer questions, and connect the new chair with key stakeholders.
Chairs are also connected with SOM and UVA Health leaders who oversee strategic, operational, and mission areas. These meetings have proven invaluable in orienting chairs to their new roles and fostering relationship building and networking. The new chair will help prioritize the topics and meeting participants.
Finally, new chairs are provided complimentary copies of books in the “chair leadership library” to include:
Leading Departmental Excellence by Richard Burton, MD
Learning to Lead in the Academic Medical Center by Jeffrey Houpt, MD, and colleagues
Faculty Diversity: Removing the Barriers by JoAnn Moody
The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael Watkins
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Searching for Excellence and Diversity: A Guide for Search Committees by Eve Fine and Jo Handelsman
AAMC Successful Department Chair Series
Leading: Top Skills, Attributes, and Behaviors Critical for Success by William Mallon & Kevin Grigsby (AAMC successful department chair series)
Recruiting: Proven Search and Hiring Practices for the Best Talent by William Mallon & Kevin Grigsby (AAMC successful department chair series)
Thriving: New Perspectives and Approaches for Personal and Organizational Success by William Mallon & Kevin Grigsby (AAMC successful department chair series)
Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation–and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever