How to think like a Department Chair

When do you get a rare visit from the Department Chair?

a) He owes your money
b) He wants to collect the item the aforementioned money was paid for
c) He wants to pitch an idea to you
d) All of the above

Today our Department Chair paid a visit to the VP of the Graduate Association of Students in Psychology and I (the President) to collect the psych tshirt he ordered. He then took this opportunity to pitch us an idea that he’s had for awhile that no GASP exec has actually taken up.

I actually like the idea a lot and would love to get it started. The Chair proposed that we should have an intra-departmental poster session for graduate students. These posters can just be the ones students have already presented at conferences around the world. In this way, students and faculty members from different divisions can see what amazing research we’re all doing.

Another thing the Chair proposed was to start a booklet that contains all the poster/presentation abstracts from all the conferences students have presented throughout the year. Doing so will allow the psych department to have permanent records of these presentations, and we can build a library of this collection.

Now, this is the part that made the aforementioned ideas go from “just a thought from some old, famous psych prof” to “a thought from the forward thinking Department Chair;” he proposed that we should forward these booklet/evidence of research awesomeness to the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies; Dean of Arts; and other Senior Administrators, etc.* because, I paraphrase, “Some departments are better than others.”

My respect for our Department Chair just went up 10-fold.

*Whoever can figure out the political structure of universities, please fill me in.

This picture isn't that relevant, but you get the idea. Also, I think it's funny, and I want one.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “How to think like a Department Chair

  1. Justin

    He’s awesome, eh?

    He’s had that abstract-booklet idea for a while, and I started putting something together for the social division. Part of the rationale he gave me was that some other departments have more research activity (e.g., conferences) concentrated locally, whereas the psych department tends to present more at the regional/national/international level. This is more prestigious but less visible to administration, so we need to work at making sure they know what we’re doing.

  2. Sweet! We have our GASP meeting on Thursday and after that perhaps I can talk to you about what you’ve done for Social. So forward thinking you Social people (did you know that both Developmental and I/O have copied you guys’ b-day cake idea?)

    • Justin

      The PAS lounge is going to need some extra tables…!

      It was pretty simple. I went through the book of abstracts for the last three conferences I’ve attended (SPSP 2009, SPSP 2010, and ISJR) and photocopied anything from us, then put it in a binder. Mark has the binder right now.

  3. Hi Pylin!
    I came across your blog today so I had a quick read. I’m very enthusiastic about your persuit to be a superstar consultant! Your aspirations are very much aligned with my own. Keep up the fantasic job! Your energy and enthusiasm are very encouraging to those around you!

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