In my last two posts (here and here) on moving into administration I have discussed the question of why – what motivates people to move into administration, and what costs or consequences they face in doing so. I hope these pieces help folks think about whether a move towards administration might be for them, whether now or in the future.
Now I want to turn to a more practical question: how? Assuming you’ve decided that you would like to move into a position in academic administration, how do you get there from here? I’m assuming for the sake of this discussion that “here” is a standard, garden-variety faculty position – tenured or tenure-track, with whatever load of teaching, research & service is typical for your institution.
I use this as my starting point because, well, that’s where I started. It’s not absolutely necessary – I know some excellent academic administrators who have taken other paths. But the vast majority of department chairs, program directors, assistant/associate/etc. deans and the like started life as tenure-track faculty. I think there’s merit to that system, on the whole. Continue reading