Friday, September 23, 2005

Department chair - the first week

My first week of being department chair is over. Less than a day after being elected, I was already hip-deep in the latest scheduling crisis, and had spent more than four hours meeting with people on the topic.

Most of the tasks I've been asked to do have been relatively minor (e.g., starting to coordinate adjunct evaluations, getting faculty tenure-review committees setup, finding a time when everyone can make meetings, asking people to revise course outlines). However, budget requests for major equipment purchases are due next week, so by early next week all the deparment faculty have to submit equipment requests to me, and then I have to prioritize them for the department. Our budgetary system here is a bit odd - departments themselves don't have set budgets for equipment and supplies; instead, the entire division has a set budget that departments request money from each year. Next week it's my job to make sure my department gets its fair share of the pie.

So, I'm starting to get a lot of separate tasks thrown my way. All of these tasks have different due dates and people involved, and thus I'm wondering if I should try to find a better way to organize my to-do lists (which currently reside primarily on paper, combined with an Outlook calendar that I use to keep track of meeting times). I've been interested in But She's a Girl's Getting Things Done system, but don't know if the time spent entering everything into a program would be worth the benefits.

About the only major thing that has changed on a personal level (other than the loss of time to chair-related duties; anyone notice the posting frequency decrease?) is that when people outside the department ask, "So, what's been going on?" I actually have something to say in response.

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