It is low-level frustrating to be a new department chair. You are stepping into a bunch of different situations that are already in process and trying to take over control...usually only to learn that what you thought was going on is either way behind or far ahead of where things actually are. That is actually okay -- frustrating, but not deadly.
The problem I am wading through now, however, falls into the category of "the important stuff" -- the stuff I don't want to fuck up, the stuff this job is really about. This problem falls under the heading of "faculty retention" and it is not going well. The faculty member has been lovely to deal with, both open and patient. The administration...well, let's just say xx xxx xxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxx x xxxx (edited for job security purposes), everyone is working their own agendas while still trying to look like they care, and the only one who has come up with any actual ideas has been me. Me? Yes. The brand new chair who has almost no experience upon which to draw. And everyone seems just a little too happy to tell me why my ideas can't work and not at all willing to actually suggest any of their own or figure out the right labels to apply or boxes to check to make the intent of what I suggested happen.
So yes, today, I'm having fantasies of telling them all to just go stuff it. But I'm not going to, because I'm not going to screw this faculty member. I'll get the deal to happen, even though it is fairly apparent that I have very little actual power because I don't control the right resources. And then I will no doubt trudge on to the next crisis, but there will be some trailing bitterness that will trudge on with me. It didn't have to be this way and, frankly, it was a shitty way to treat a new chair... (another edit here, recommended by a loyal Yesterday supporter).
Size Matters - The Tweaking Continues
5 months ago