May 21, 2018 | Academic Affairs

By Emily Tai and Kay Conwayname badge, "Hello I am...your mentor"

Congratulations!  You’ve just been elected chair of your department!

For some faculty, becoming a department chair is a smooth transition, facilitated by mentoring from their predecessor, and cooperation from the disciplinary colleagues whose interests they serve.

For others, however, becoming a department chair can be a little bit like plunging into the deep end of a swimming pool—dressed in a suit, rather than a swimsuit.

At Brooklyn College, former Philosophy Department Chair and Associate Provost for Faculty and Administration Matthew Moore has developed training for faculty chairs, featuring “rules of the road” for everything from negotiating the occasionally labyrinthine maze of CUNY policy; to managing the colleague who didn’t, ahem, vote for you.

Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz has indicated that she plans to discuss Brooklyn’s Chair-training program as an example of “best practices” that could be disseminated to other campuses with the help of the office of Annemarie Nicols-Grinenko, University Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs.

The chairperson orientation materials presented by Matthew Moore are linked to this post and the Brooklyn College faculty training webpage may be of additional interest. Write and tell us—would such training have been helpful to you as a chair?  Do you wish your chair had participated in such a program?  Share your viewpoints with the UFSBlog by writing to

Emily S. Tai is an associate Professor of History at Queensborough Community College and a representative to the University Faculty Senate.  Kay Conway is a Professor of Business at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and chair emerita of the University Faculty Senate.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.  Please send submissions to Stasia Pasela.