Today I had the initial meeting with the person who will be the interim associate dean for 2013-2014. I wanted to make the meeting short, since he is technically not on contract until next Monday, but we ended up talking for two hours! I hope this doesn’t come back to bite me, as after the second meeting of department heads last month one person gave me a gentle reminder that they were not on contract until the end August, so I should not be holding so many meetings. I think I’ll be fine, as the new associate dean was formerly a department head, but he was not the one who made the comment. I did make a promise to the heads that I would try to not schedule any all-group meetings in August, and it looks like I’ll be able to keep it!
We’ll go into a heavy meeting rotation in September, however, as each department head (some are chairs, other are directors) will usually attend three meetings: a meeting of chairs, directors, and the dean group (CDDG); a council of heads (CoH) meeting that does not include the dean, associate dean, and dean’s assistant; and an individual meeting of the department head with the dean. What happens in each structure? In the CoH the heads will discuss the dean’s requests, create initiatives to present to the dean group, and share best practices; they’ll have a space where they can brainstorm without having to worry about the dean’s reaction before solid proposals can be created. In CDDG meetings the department heads, dean, associate dean, and dean’s assistant will discuss dean group ideas, discuss CoH suggestions, discuss central administration initiatives, and engage other business. In the head-dean meetings departmental concerns and ideas will be addressed, and two-way mentoring will happen. In sum, I want to have lots of spaces for consultation, which includes ideas brought to me in addition to ideas that I have to share. Hopefully the open atmosphere of the two initial CDDG meetings will carry over to all of the other meetings. Bring on September!