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Chair Leadership

Chair leadership in the context of older universities (i.e., pre-1992) is deemed to be the positional role of the academic department or school head, signifying the authority of the role derived from the notion of ‘primus inter pares’ (first amongst equals), with the implicit recognition that decisions would be made collectively by faculty members, with consensus achieved through a process ‘chaired’ by a colleague. Prior to the 21st century, in the case of older, traditional universities, the practice of appointing a chair was likened to a ‘papal’ process, using soundings from departmental academic staff to determine who would have the confidence of these staff. Individuals taking on this key role have traditionally been academics, taking on a fixed term role (normally 3–5 years).

In newer universities ...

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