• Please check out the leadership resources below, which were compiled by Towards Hiring, Resources, Inclusion, Value and Excellence (THRIVE) at East Carolina University. In 2020, East Carolina University was awarded a nearly $1M grant (HRD- 2017210) from the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program, and from this award, the THRIVE initiative was developed:
  • Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit: Leadership Development
  • The department chair’s role is challenging. Time is short. The task list is long. And people aren’t always nice. But by investing in yourself – both your professional development and self-care – you will be better able to serve others. Here are resources to help you and your faculty thrive.
  • Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit: Mentoring and Networks
  • The research is clear. Mentorship is an integral part of faculty success, particularly for minoritized faculty and faculty otherwise marginalized within institutional networks due to discipline (small or emergent fields), introversion, and other characteristics. UNC Charlotte is a member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD), which provides excellent resources to help faculty thrive. Also, check out the ADVANCE FADO Mentoring programs. The office will pair New Faculty and Mid-Career faculty with faculty mentors when requested. We strongly encourage new faculty to fill out the mentor request form as soon as they arrive on campus, so they can be paired with a faculty mentor outside of their own department.
  • Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit: Faculty Recruitment and Hiring
  • Having a diverse and inclusive faculty is associated with the following evidence-based benefits: increased student success overall, improved graduation rates, increased sense of belonging among minoritized students, and increased scientific impact. Recruiting diverse faculty requires intentionality cultivating diverse professional networks including minority caucuses within professional organizations, building pipelines with top graduate degree producers by race/ethnicity and gender, producing search ads that are attractive to a diverse candidate pool, and executing a search in a way that minimizes search bias.
  • Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit: Interrupting Bias
  • Everyone has biases. It is a matter of human nature. The issue is whether we act on them. This requires developing habits of mind to interrogate one’s own biases and acting to promote fair consideration and equity. As a leader it is important for you to also demonstrate your own process as well as emulate how to interrupt unchecked biases, particularly those that disadvantage minoritized populations as they can foster chilly to hostile work and learning environments.
  • Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit: Improving Communication and Climate
  • As asserted by Buller and Cipriano (2015), good communication skills are among the most important for a chair. This is not just because chairs are intermediaries of the deans and other more senior academic leaders, they also have a role in listening to and trying to understand the perspectives of faculty, students, and staff. Poor communication habits facilitate suspicion. But healthy communication practices engender trust and are foundational for achieving a welcoming and inclusive work environment.
  • Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit: Intersectionality
  • Intersectionality regards structural challenges one faces due to multiple marginalizations and/ or presumptions of privilege. Chairs should be aware of the ways in which race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, ability, age and other identities influence faculty work.
  • Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit: Workload Equity
  • With the pandemic and national climate on race, many mid-career faculty were involved in creating plans to maximize campus safety while many minoritized faculty have taken on additional emotional labor supporting students and colleagues. Thus, disproportionality in workloads may have expanded. Here are tools to assist a department in rightfully allocating service obligations.


  • The Center for Creative Leadership is recognized as a top-ranked, global, nonprofit provider of leadership development and a pioneer in the field of global leadership research.
  • The Kardia group understands that working in academia is a “meta-profession” requiring skills and expertise across a wide array of roles – with very little training along the way. Coaching helps navigate these multiple demands, customized to individuals, situations, and institutions. We make smart people smarter in all the roles associated with the intellectual endeavor. Learn more about coaching services, our coaching FAQ, or short coaching.


Book Suggestions for Chairs

  • Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department by Deryl R. Learning
  • The Academic Chair’s Handbook by Daniel W. Wheeler, et al.
  • The Department Chair Primer by Don Chu
  • The Essential Department Chair: A Comprehensive Desk Reference by Jeffrey L. Buller
  • Reframing Academic Leadership by Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos
  • A Toolkit for Department Chairs by Jeffrey L. Buller and Robert E. Cipriano


* The Academic Chairpersons Conference is an annual forum where academic chairpersons, administrators and faculty from all areas of higher education share the most successful, innovative ideas and strategies to assist each other in becoming more effective in their positions.

* The ACE Leadership Academy for Department Chairs is a 2-day workshop that prepares department chairs for their roles as institutional leaders who can advance their programs and contribute to the larger mission of their colleges or universities.