Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2751

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2751

A room full of adults seated at large round tables with notebooks and documents.

Chairs' Corner

What is the Chairs' Corner?

2020-21 Chair List

2020-21 Chair Fellow

CETL is pleased to welcome our new Chair Fellow, Dr. Kris Thompson.


Summer 2020 Chairs' Forums

Chairs' Forums are virtual via Zoom from 12-1:30 p.m.. Click the title below to register for the session. See past chair events.

2019 Chairs' Retreat - Leadership: Managing from the Middle

September 6, 2019 - View 2019 Chairs' Retreat Resources


Chairs Resource Guide and Quick Guide/FAQ Available. Updated June 2020 in a navigable form.

From the Chairs' Forums
Shared by 2020-21 CETL Chair Fellow Kris Thompson

Diversity Advocate Program

The Diversity Advocate Program eSpace provides faculty members serving as Diversity Advocates with a place to seek or provide resources that might be helpful to those participating in the academic search process this year. There are a number of discussion forums through the e-space that can be used to ask questions, seek advice and share your expertise/wisdom or other resources.

OU Resources

Guidelines to Chair Selections - This document shows the current policies OU departments use to select a department chair or program director.

Mentoring Resources Available View the resources here: workshop mentoring guide, promotion and review guide and mentoring program info from Sociology et al. Department, and study results on chair training (IHE, 12/1/2016).

CETL Library for Chairs - Nine books on chair topics free to check out. View the book list.

Manager's Toolkit - University Human Resources developed this resource for anyone at the university who manages staff.

External Resources

Browse articles and past chair event materials in the Resources for Department Chairs.

Your To-Do List as a Chair: Five Core Responsibilities, from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Department Chair Journal - Each issue includes

  • Original articles by experienced academic leaders on a wide range of subjects: evaluation and assessment, fundraising, legal issues, collegiality, work-life balance, reappointment policies, time management, and more
  • Useful strategies, practical ideas, and questions for reflection
  • Essential data on such topics as salaries, college costs, and technology
  • Book reviews of the latest academic leadership titles
  • Recent court decisions relevant to the chair role.

Access the journal directly through Kresge Library.

Chair Fellow
Head shot of Kris Thompson 2020-2021 Chair Fellow

Kris Thompson
Associate Professor, Department of Human Movement Science

Kris Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Program, Department of Human Movement Sciences in the School of Health Sciences. Kris has been at Oakland University for 30 years.  She served as physical therapy program director for 13 years, followed by 3 years as the first chair of the Department of Human Movement Science. While at Oakland Kris has served on school committees including the SHS Executive Committee, the Faculty Personnel Action Committee and the Committee on Appointment and Promotion. Kris has served as a university senator, on Senate Steering and on the Senate Planning and Review Committee. She is currently a member of Graduate Council and the coordinator for the Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy degree program.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) in the healthcare field is an area of research and professional interest. Kris is a member of the Oakland University IPE Taskforce and works with faculty from the College and the Schools of Health Sciences, Medicine and Nursing. The taskforce is working on developing faculty to facilitate IPE, curricular content and several research projects and grants. Kris recently led a learning community on developing quality IPE.

Contact Kris at
Previous Chair Fellows
headshot of Lisa Hawley


Lisa Hawley

Professor, Department of Counseling

I am excited to serve as the Chair Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year. I will be entering my 20th year at Oakland University as a faculty member in the Department of Counseling. I have served multiple department roles including doctoral coordinator, accreditation officer and 9 years as Department Chair. This summer I will be completing a research fellowship to continue my work on the impact of objective and subjective SES measures on counselor and client outcomes. As both a faculty member and chair, I have engaged in curriculum development and have experience teaching both clinical and non-clinical courses. I have served on multiple committees on campus including Senate, Graduate Council, IRB, FRPC and Strategic Planning.I have several goals for this year related to supporting chairs. My main goal for this year is to provide updated and timely training and support opportunities for chairs. One of my first initiatives will be a brief survey to current chairs to inquiry about training and support needs. Next year in CETL, we will also begin a new chair cohort group to provide information, support and problem-solving skills for new chairs. Department chair is a demanding and critical role in maintaining quality educational experiences for our students, valuable support to our faculty/staff and contributing to our OU mission. I look forward to providing programming and support to academic chairs across campus and serving Oakland University in this capacity.

Contact Lisa at

Head shot of Jenn Heisler


Jennifer Heisler

Associate Professor in Communication

Jennifer M. Heisler is an Associate Professor in the department of Communication and Journalism in the College of Arts and Sciences. She joined the faculty in 2001 after receiving her Ph.D. in Family and Interpersonal Communication from Michigan State University. Jennifer served as Chairperson of COM & JRN from 2009-2015 during which time the department experienced significant growth including multiple new faculty members, a graduate program, and several undergraduate minors. Her research interests explore how families discuss (or don’t) difficult topics such as dating, relationships, gender roles, religion, and finances. Jennifer’s most recent work examines work-family balance for faculty members in higher education, including how the role of department Chairperson influences departmental culture for faculty with children.

Contact Jenn at

Head shot of Jay Meehan


Jay Meehan

Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Jay Meehan is a Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and has been at Oakland University since 1987. From 2006-2016, he was chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice. In his 29 years at Oakland, he has served in various leadership roles on University-wide and CAS committees, including Senate Steering Committee, the Faculty Reappointment and Promotion Committee, the CAS Assembly Executive Committee, and the CAS Committee on Appointment and Promotion (CAP).

He was a co-founder of SurPriSe, a CETL-sponsored faculty learning community which fostered interdisciplinary approaches to understanding Surveillance, Privacy and Security through curricular development and research. He is currently teaching courses on the Police and Society, The Surveillance Society, and a seminar on Police-Citizen Interaction. His current research focuses on police-citizen interaction in traffic stops using camera-car data from police department video archives.

Contact Jay at

Past messages from the chair
Handbooks and Documents
Share with Faculty

Faculty Feedback: OU's Early Alert System - Faculty Feedback is a system located in SAIL for communicating with students who show early signs of struggle in their courses. It replaces mid-semester evaluations as it allows faculty to give students feedback earlier than the half-way mark. Visit the Faculty Feedback webpage for a video introduction and further discussion on this university-wide initiative.

2019-2020 Faculty Handbook This is the official OU guide for everything faculty need: registrar information, student support services, faculty support services, and all of the procedures that keep our campus moving.