In summer 2021, Dr. Stephanie Evans published an article titled, "Meditations from a Black Woman Chair: Social Justice Values and a New Normal for Academic Administration" in The Department Chair journal (32.1, pp. 12-14). In the article, she argues for enhanced support for department chairs, starting with providing a clear job description and open recognition of the monumental workload the position requires. She offers a map of her values and leadership philosophy to help campuses work toward a more sustainable balance for chairs.
Based on over a decade of experience at three institutions, she wrote, "in this article I offer my administrative philosophy using Toni Morrison’s framework (examine, evaluate, posit, and reinforce) to outline my values. I hope this exercise proves helpful to faculty who take on the challenging role of department chair in the future." She shows how the values of history, health and humanity guide her work.
As part of the article, Dr. Evans offers a detailed job description of tasks and skills inherent in the department chair role (accountabilities and responsibilities). This comprehensive outline clarifies the role for department chairs, students, faculty, administrators, staff, and others around the campus community. [See picture or Chair Resources PDF below for details.]
Written for academic administrators, this award-winning periodical features in-depth articles that deliver sound insight and proven strategies essential for successfully leading an academic department. A unique resource for chairs, deans, academic vice presidents, and other administrators, The Department Chair delivers practical information in every issue. Written by practitioners from their own experience, this newsletter is invaluable to anyone responsible for a department in any institution of higher education. Each issue includes original articles by experienced academic leaders on a wide range of subjects, such as:
Palimpsest journal is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes cutting edge interdisciplinary scholarship and creative work by and about women of the African Diaspora and their communities in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Worlds. A partnership between Vanderbilt University’s African American and Diaspora Studies Program and the State University of New York (SUNY) Press, the journal is published twice a year and accepts submissions on a rolling basis.
The Chair at the Table special issue of Palimpsest will be published in winter 2021 (10.2). Updates will be posted here when the collection is available.
By Audrey Williams June and Brian O’Leary
MAY 27, 2021
Click this link to search a CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION article that traces the number of Black women professors with tenure at colleges and universities nationwide.
For a history of Black women in higher education, read a national assessment BLACK WOMEN IN THE IVORY TOWER, 1850-1954: AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY (Evans, 2007).