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Chairing an Academic Dept

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Chairing an Academic Department
department chair leadership skills

by Walter Gmelch & Val Miskin

Walter H. Gmelch is Dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco in August 2004. He is currently Dean of the College of Education at Iowa State University and formerly served in the roles of Dean, Associate Dean, Department Chair and Professor at Washington State University. Gmelch also directs the National Center for Academic Leadership at Iowa State University. He earned a Ph.D. in the Educational Executive Program from the University of California (Santa Barbara), a masters in Business Administration from the University of California (Berkeley), and a bachelors degree from Stanford University. As educator, management consultant, university administrator, and former business executive, Gmelch has conducted research and written extensively on the topics of leadership, team development, conflict, and stress and time management. He has published over 100 articles, 20 books, and 200 scholarly papers in national and international journals. Gmelch has authored books on department leadership with Val Miskin and others (Chairing an Academic Department, Leadership Skills for Department Chairs, The Department Chair as Academic Leader, and Productivity Teams: Beyond Quality Circles), college leadership (The Changing Nature of the Academic Dean, Deansí Balancing Acts, and College Deans: Leading from Within), and stress management (Coping with Faculty Stress and Beyond Stress to Effective Management). Today Gmelch is one of the leading researchers in the study of academic leaders in higher education, serving as editor of two journals and on the editorial board of a half dozen other journals including The Department Chair, Innovative Higher Education, Academic Leadership, and the Center for Academic Leadership Newsletter. During the 1990s he directed two national studies of 1,600 university department chairs in the United States, one study of 1,580 Australian department heads, another investigation of 151 1,000 community college chairs, and recently has completed an international study of 2,000 academic deans in Australia and America. Gmelch has received numerous honors including a Kellogg National Fellowship, the University Council for Educational Administration Distinguished Professor Award, the Faculty Excellence Award for Research, and the Education Press Award of America. In addition, he served on the Danforth Leadership Program and as an Australian Research Fellow.

Val D. Miskin is Director of Graduate Programs in the College of Business at Washington State University. He received his Ph.D. in administration from Washington State University, an M.B.A. from Utah State University, and a bachelorís degree in psychology from Brigham Young University. A one time business owner, he has more than 15 years of corporate managerial experience in management training and leadership development. He has presented papers at the national meetings of the Academy of Management, the National Conference of Entrepreneurial Studies, and the National Chairpersons Conference. His work has appeared in the American Society for Training and Development Journal, Personnel, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, the Journal of Staff, Program, and Organization Development, and the Journal of Small Business Strategy. He is coauthor of Productivity Teams: Beyond Quality Circles, Productivity and Team Building: How Groups Become Teams, and Leadership Skills for Department Chairs. He currently teaches in the areas of strategic leadership and human resource management. He has conducted hundreds of leadership seminars and strategic management workshops over the years, and he regularly provides consulting services to both business and nonprofit organizations.