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Collegiality from a Positive Leadership Perspective

It takes only one bad apple to spoil the barrel. And if that apple is a professor and the barrel is your department, you’re in trouble.


Collegial environments don’t just happen. They have to be created and cultivated in order to thrive. Someone has to be the champion dedicated to developing and maintaining a departmental culture that is enthusiastic, collaborative, and intellectual. Yes, collegiality is ultimately everyone’s job, but it takes a leader to ensure that civility, and not incivility, reigns.

And that’s not all. Departments that invite free expression, exploration, and inquiry demand not only the right people but also the right approach. For many campus departments, that approach is positive academic leadership, a strategy that emphasizes building on strengths and opportunities rather than simply solving problems or correcting flaws.

You can learn all about positive leadership and how to apply it to your institution or department with a copy of Collegiality from a Positive Leadership Perspective.

Led by collegiality experts Dr. Robert Cipriano and Dr. Jeffrey Buller, this seminar delivers concrete, proactive strategies that academic leaders can use to foster collegiality in their programs.

Topics Covered

Campus leaders who want to promote collegiality within their departments need to adopt specific strategies. These include establishing a departmental code of conduct, using various assessment tools to establish criteria for collegial behavior and to measure it, and implementing ways to deal with noncollegial behavior.

You can learn about these tactics and more in Collegiality from a Positive Leadership Perspective. After watching this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Utilize various approaches for dealing with uncivil faculty members
  • Select faculty colleagues who have the capacity to work in a team environment and who embrace collegiality
  • Model collegial behavior, foster collegial teamwork, celebrate faculty excellence, and tap available university resources when one departmental member threatens the collegial environment
  • Develop systems that make it more attractive to be collegial than noncollegial
  • Quash common objections regarding the subjectivity of assessing collegiality
  • Rely on U.S. court rulings to clarify what collegiality is and isn’t
  • Use assessment instruments to provide an objective, reproducible measurement of an individual’s collegial behavior (or lack thereof)

What You Will Learn

This seminar will show you just how much control you can have in establishing collegiality within a program, department, campus, or institution. More specifically, after participating in this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Develop and apply a positive academic approach to issues of noncollegial behavior
  • Adopt effective strategies when dealing with an uncivil faculty member
  • Apply what the U.S. courts have ruled about collegiality to their own professional environments
  • Act, either in concert with university policies or in their absence, to facilitate a collegial, civil, and respectful campus environment
  • Create an action plan for using standardized assessment instruments to measure and improve people’s collegial behavior at their university

You will emerge from the seminar with concrete strategies for adopting a positive leadership approach to promote collegiality. You will also know how department chairs can work most effectively with other university constituencies (such as an office of human resources, academic deans, and the upper administration) to counteract the effects of uncivil and toxic faculty members on the campus community.

This seminar is now available on CD. The recording includes the complete transcript and all supplemental materials.

An optional Campus Access License is available for an additional $200. It allows the purchasing institution to upload the CD of the seminar onto the institution’s password-protected internal website for unlimited access by the entire campus community.

Intended Audience

Who doesn’t want to work among collegial and civil colleagues? Culture and environment are always key satisfaction markers to faculty, but especially to those early in their careers. Collegial departments are often as important as salary and tenure track clarity. Yet incivility is on the rise on college campuses, so clearly there is a need for proven, accessible approaches to promote collegiality.

Any academic leader in any academic institution could adopt any or all of the strategies presented in Collegiality from a Positive Leadership Perspective. The seminar is particularly beneficial for:

  • Department chairs and heads
  • Deans, assistant deans, associate deans
  • Members of promotion and tenure committees
  • Nontenured faculty members
  • Human resources personnel
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