THRIVING in Leadership: Equity and Inclusion Toolkit

Resources for Chairs to Meet the Changing Demands of their Jobs

Whether you are a new department chair or an experienced chair, we hope that this Equity and Inclusion Leadership Toolkit will provide resources, evidence-based practices, and actionable steps to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in your department. Most department chairs feel woefully underprepared for the demands of the job – which can leave you feeling stressed, scared, and second-guessing yourself. All these emotions and thoughts can take a toll on your mental well-being. Institutions pride themselves on preparing their students for the workforce; but, in general, ignore preparing their own faculty for leadership positions. And yet the responsibility of the department chair is formidable – you are responsible for nurturing both faculty and students, lobbying for resources, and leading the strategic vision of the department. In a constantly evolving world, it is important for department chairs to adapt and respond to the changing needs of their faculty such that all faculty can thrive. Department chairs influence careers through the ways they shape departmental culture and climate in addition to individual level decisions. Thus, the department chair is responsible for setting a tone within the department that is welcoming and inclusive of faculty across demographic and intellectual diversities as well as advancing intradepartmental processes that are equitable to all. 

We recognize this toolkit does not cover all the skills needed for the position. However, we do hope it provides department chairs with resources, evidence-based practices, and actionable steps to meet the challenges of academic leadership as it relates to equity and inclusion.  

For consultations regarding specific concerns or a request for department professional development, including diversity, equity, and inclusion, contact us to schedule an appointment with the THRIVE team.