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Department Heads Programming

The Office of the Provost provides programming to support our university department heads and academic school directors. The following are opportunities for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Department Heads Forum

The Department Heads Forum is a meeting of all department heads, school directors, and representatives from colleges without departments. The DH Forums support ongoing fellowship and discussion of big-picture issues that our campus faces where department head leadership is essential. In most cases, these meetings consist of lunch (11:30-12:00) followed by the forum (12:00-1:00).  Department heads will receive an email to confirm attendance closer to the date of each event.

Fall Forums

  • September 14, 11:30-1:00: Conversation with the Provost (Register by September 8.)
  • October 12, 11:30-1:30: STRIDE for Department Heads
    • This program will last until 1:30.  Brown bag lunches will be served and the program will start immediately.
  • November 3, 11:30-1:30: Conflict of Interest and Commitment, and Compensated Outside Disclosure

Strengths for Department Heads Opportunity: December 14th, 11:00-12:30

To sign up for these events, visit .

Spring Forums

  • February 1, 2:30-4:00: Topic TBD
  • March 2, 11:30-1:00: Topic TBD
  • April 12, 11:30-1:00: Topic TBD


DH Reads

Join department heads from across campus in a reading group focused on organizational leadership. The Provost’s Office will purchase books for anyone who wants to participate, and the group will select a date to meet to discuss the book.

To sign up for this program, visit by September 15, 2021.

DH Listserv

This is a private listserv that allows department heads to discuss issues of interest to the group and connect with others for fellowship and support. Listserv membership is limited to department heads. All department heads are automatically added to this listserv.

Get aHead Thursdays

This is a new series aimed at department heads, especially those in their first few years of service, who are interested in professional development and support. All times 8:00-9:00 a.m. All sessions take place via Zoom.

To register for these sessions, visit 

September 23: Review, Promotion, and Tenure

This session will cover the procedures and practices that govern tenure-track faculty annual reviews, promotion, and tenure; review the systems used to engage in these processes; and present different models for how such processes are conducted in different units. Best practices will also be discussed, along with issues related to equity and fairness.

October 21: Giving Feedback as Routine Practice

In this session, Dr. Nancy Scott, Director of Leadership Development Programs in the Haslam College of Business, will provide tips and strategies for establishing feedback as routine part of your leadership practice.

November 18:  Faculty Search and Hiring

This session will cover hiring practices related to both tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty, including procedures for conducting searches and requesting appointments. This session will also present best practices for attracting, recruiting, and hiring more diverse faculty.

February 10: Developing and Evaluating Your Team

This session will be hosted by Darrell Easley and Mary Lucal from UTK HR and will present approaches to supporting staff and helping them thrive and grow in their roles.  This session will also cover best practices with respect to task delegation and conducting staff performance reviews.

March 10:  NTTF Promotion and Review

This session will review the procedures and practices that govern non-tenure track faculty annual review and promotion and present different models for how such processes are conducted in different units. Best practices will also be discussed, along with issues related to equity and fairness.  The session will also consider ways to support NTTF career growth and development.

April 21:  Reflecting, Regrouping, and Reemerging

This wrap-up session will provide a space to reflect on our leadership experiences this past year, share what we’ve learned, discuss what worked well and what didn’t, and discuss leadership goals for the next academic year.  We will also strategize about good ways to spend the summer (hint: rest!).