Center for Faculty Development
Programs and Events

Chairs' Community of Practice

  • Chair Community of Practice

     Image: Alberto Mari/Flickr

    This informal forum for department chairs from across the university is an opportunity to share ideas, expertise, practices, and perhaps even challenges. Over a collegial glass of wine, you'll have a rare chance to talk with your peer group with the aim of making chairing a more enjoyable experience. We've scheduled the first or second Fridays, depending on the holiday schedule, of select months for these gatherings.

    2015-16 Academic Year

    All meetings are tentatively scheduled in Hunthausen 110, unless otherwise noted.

    • Friday, October 9 | 3:30–5:00
    • Friday, December 4 | 3:30–5:00
    • Friday, January 8 | 3:30–5:00  
    • Friday, March 4 | 3:30–5:00
    • Friday, April 1 | 3:30–5:00
    • Friday, May 6 | 3:30–5:00


    How does this work?

    For these gatherings, we use the "Communities of Practice" model (Wenger 1998), which means you're in charge of what's discussed. You decide which topics are most important for you as chairs right now and each member of the group decides how much or how little to contribute. (For example, the model includes "legitimate peripheral participation" to acknowledge that not everyone wants to join in a discussion even when they chose to attend.)

    The Center for Faculty Development's role is simply to facilitate the process for you and to provide the refreshments and appetizers. As with other events run by the Center, this forum is voluntary, formative, and confidential.

    What's in it for you?

    Department chairs are dispersed across the university and we know it can be difficult to share challenges and solutions with one another without a structure. This community of practice for department chairs provides a loose structure for sharing practice, working out approaches to new challenges and—if the group wishes—to make recommendations on procedures that will improve people's work situations. These communities of practice can forge new links, particularly between schools and colleges to positive effect.


    If you'd like to attend these gatherings, please complete the registration form so that we know to order sufficient refreshments.