Socrates in the Boardroom: Why Research Universities Should Be Led by Top Scholars

By Amanda H. Goodall | Go to book overview

7. Don't hide behind e-mail. Walk down the corridor and knock on a door rather than send an e-mail twenty meters. If you have a hard message to deliver, give it bluntly, face to face. Don't let email rush you or panic you. If an e-mail gets under your skin, wait 24 hours; preferably, don't reply; if you must, reply in person. If you gave offense by e-mail, apologize in person.

8. Tell the students what you are going to do, before you do it; then, do it. This is the first of two minimum requirements of civilized behavior that you must enforce on your colleagues—and maintain yourself—at all costs.

9. The other is: Do not make the support staff cry. For that, no one is too important to be made to apologize. Remember that chairs come and go. Your support staff will still be running your department long after you are gone.

10. Spend as much as you can. A financial surplus never made a great department. However, financial losses can ruin a department, so you must have enough income to spend it.

11. Spend as much as you can on food. The larger your department, the more it needs to be fed. Food brings people together and keeps them cheerful. They will enjoy each other's company, and rediscover what they share.

12. Give something back to the underprivileged. Occasionally, spend time with your family and former friends.

Finally, it is your department. Own it with pride.

-168-

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