We need to recognize when our department’s culture is dysfunctional, writes IHE contributor

October 12, 2016

“Why so often is departmental culture so unsuccessful?” asks Robert Weisbuch for Inside Higher Ed. The author reflects on personal experiences of failed departmental cultures before arguing that on a broader level, the topic is largely understudied. To this end, Weisbuch asks readers to “look at 20 tomes on the crises facing higher education, and you probably will not find one that discusses the life of individual departments as a key factor.” The author argues that the one common factor in all dysfunctional departments is that “everyone loses,” and offers tips on how to improve a department’s culture. These include finding a strong department chair, providing this chair with effective incentives, and giving the chair discretion to make executive decisions when necessary. Inside Higher Ed