Climate Workshops for Department Heads

Please note that beginning in Fall 2012, the Climate Workshop Series for Department Heads is now offered by the Office of Faculty Development.

Department Head Workshop Series

In 2012 NC State’s Developing Diverse Departments (D3) project will offer a four-session workshop series for department heads. The workshop series focuses on cultivating a supportive and inclusive department climate for diverse faculty. We focus on climate in the department for two reasons:

  • Overall satisfaction and desire to stay at an institution are strongly related to satisfaction in the department. This is where faculty live and the department is the environment they experience.
  • Any negative aspects of department climate affect faculty of color and women faculty, those outside the mainstream, more strongly than faculty in majority groups.

The workshop series is based on a model developed by the University of Wisconsin WISELI (Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute) program. Following the WISELI model, the D3 workshops are organized around a climate survey administered to faculty and staff in the departments of participating heads.

Year 1 Series

The first workshop session took place on November 18, 2009.  Jeff Russell, Professor and Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was invited to serve as guest facilitator. He gave evidence of substantial change in his own department as a result of participating in this workshop series over a period of 6 years and discussed the impact that department climate has on retention and recruitment of faculty. In the first session we discussed climate in general, survey findings about the demographics and climate at NC State, and the heads’ perceptions of the climate in their own departments.

The second and third workshops of the series were held in Spring of 2010.  Between the first and second sessions we administered the survey to department faculty. At the second session each participating department head received the survey results for their own department. We discussed how to interpret the results and how the results might be used and then spent time in the second and third sessions developing action plans and discussing the results of actions taken. We also discussed  how organizational structure, strategic plans, and leadership and decision-making styles can be used to affect department culture.

Year 2 and 3 Series

In year two and three, the series has been expanded to four sessions, two in the fall and two in the spring semester, to give more time to digest the survey results and communicate them to the department faculty and staff, to develop action plans, and to begin to implement the action plans.

Participating Department Heads Year 3:

  • George Kennedy, Entomology
  • Jonathan Ocko, History
  • Chris McGahan, Molecular Biomedical Sciences
  • Dan Stancil, Electrical and Computer Engineering

PAMS Department Heads:

  • John Blondin, Physics
  • Montse Fuentes, Statistics
  • Chris Gorman, Chemistry
  • Aloysius Helminck, Mathematics
  • Walter Robinson, Marine Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Participating Department Heads Year 2:

  • David Baumer, Business Management
  • Frank Buckless, Accounting
  • Nancy Cassill, Textile and Apparel Technology and Management
  • Jerrell Coggburn, Public and International Affairs
  • Jim Moyer, Plant Pathology
  • Michael Pendlebury, Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Jon Rust, Textile Engineering Chemistry and Science
  • David Threadgill, Genetics
  • Ellen Vasu, Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education

Participating Department Heads Year 1:

  • Dorothy Anderson, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
  • Margaret Daub, Plant Biology
  • Barry Goldfarb, Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • Ellen McIntyre, Elementary Education
  • Eric Miller, Microbiology
  • Malcolm Roberts, Population Health and Pathobiology
  • Richard Gould, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Resources for Workshop Participants

Pamphlets from the University of Wisconsin WISELI and other programs:

NCSU Department Head’s Climate Resource Guide

Bensimon, E. M., Ward, K, and Sanders, K. 2000. Chapter 10. Creating Mentoring Relationships and Fostering Collegiality in The Department Chair’s Role in Developing New Faculty into Teachers and Scholars, Anker Publishing Co., Bolton, MA.

Budden, A.E., Tregenza, T., Aarssen, L.W., Koricheva, J., Roosa, Leimu, & Lortie, C. 2007. Double-Blind Review Favours Increased Representation of Female Authors in TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution, 23:1, 4-6.

Dar-Nimrod, I. & Heine, S.J. 2006. Exposure to Scientific Theories Affects Women’s Math Performance in Science, 314, 435.

Hecht, I.W.D. 2006.Becoming a Department Chair: To Be or Not To Be. Effective Practices for Academic Leaders, Stylus Publishing, LLC, 1:3, 1-16.

Moss-Racusin, C.A., Dovidio, J.R., Brescoll, V.L., Graham, M.J. and Handelsman, J. 2012. Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. PNAS 109(41): 16474-16479.

Nosek, B.A. et al. 2009. National differences in gender-science stereotypes predict national sex differences in science and math achievement. PNAS. 106(26):10593-10597.

Schiebinger, L. Henderson, A.D., and Gilmartin, S.K. 2008. Dual Career Academic Couples: What Universities Need to Know. Michelle R. Clayman Inst. for Gender Research, Stanford Univ.