TITLE:   Leader or Manager: The Minority Department Chair of the

Majority Department

Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies January 1996 vol. 3 no. 1: 79-94

Earl Smith

Pacific Lutheran University


This essay takes up the discussion and corresponding debate about leaders and managers. It does so by looking at the long neglected topic of minority department chairpersons within the organizational setting of the American university. And, while this issue does not appear in the empirical literature it is propelled by the ongoing debate of equity in institutions of higher education. Herein it is being argued that minority chairs, are for reason of their position, leaders of their units as well as managers of resources and department personnel. The essay ends with several policy proposals for making the position of department chair more efficient and how to incorporate minority faculty with leadership potential and talent into this all important position.


Smith, Earl. (2004). “The End of the Reign: Department Chair No More.” In Walter Gmelch and John Schuh (ed.), The Life Cycle of a Department  

Chair. (pp. 85-92). New Directions for Higher Education, NO. 126. Jossey-Bass Publishers.