“Removing Suffering and Finding Happiness as a Department Chair”

Wow! Lessons from the Buddha for department chairs: an eight-point plan for surviving and thriving in “one of the most complex jobs in higher education.” Here’s an excerpt from a post in Tomorrow’s Professor by Randel Brown and Diana Linn:

Right speech seems to carry the most weight in finding happiness as chair. it requires speech that is truthful, reliable, and worthy of confidence. Department chairs should never knowingly speak a lie or untruth either for their advantage or for the advantage of others. A simple way to practice right speech is to speak only what is true, only what is necessary, and only what is kind. To speak truth in kindness sometimes feels conflicted; however, if a student or faculty member is not measuring up, the kindest thing to do is to give them opportunities to improve by discussing the problem directly. It may be difficult for the listener, but it provides him or her with a pathway to happiness.

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How many faculty does it take to change a lightbulb?

Answer: Change?

Here’s a post from Tomorrow’s Professor written by a former provost to explain what he learned about the challenges of decision-making and taking action in university culture.

In general I believe that faculty members really don’t want to make the decisions. They want to talk about them, they want to debate, to bark. Which side they’re on isn’t as important as having at least two sides. I came to realize this in an accidental way.

Read the whole post here: Faculty Bark; The Provost Bites