At an Academy of Management session titled “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” I participated in a breakout conversation about the paradox that while it is important to have women in departmental and college leadership roles, those positions often take women away from their research. For some, an administrative track is a permanent move. However, in disciplines in which administrative work is rotated, a stint as chair or associate dean is often temporary and may result in the leader’s research taking a hit, with an accompanying loss of prestige and other rewards that go with productivity. To ensure that she doesn’t serve the institution at her own expense, our group of senior women recommended that a professor negotiate for some or all of the following items before taking on a leadership role:

  1. Administrative support
  2. Research assistance
  3. A term limit
  4. An assistant chair or other staff to help manage the workload
  5. An agreement to re-open the negotiation and provide additional resources once the leader has been in the role for six months, and can better assess the departmental or school needs
  6. Leave time or a teaching release following the term of service
  7. Salary to remain at a percent of the leadership salary following the term of service
  8. A two-year pause on being reviewed for productivity following the term of service

The final piece of wisdom is that the person who is Dean now may not be Dean in three years, so be sure to get all agreements in writing!