The New Department Chair
For seven years the political science department at York State College in which I have been teaching was under the leadership of Professor David Beaufort. As a department chair he was autocratic (by almost anybodyȇs definition) but he had the personal qualities necessary to command respect and loyalty .He made and enforced all rules, regulations, and policies (which were not the domain of the dean or trustees) in almost infinite detail. For example, he assigned secretaries and office space and decided who had to teach the freshman survey courses. Beaufort was willing to accept complete responsibility not only for his actions but those of his colleagues, as long as their actions were within the well defined limits of his policies.
Consequently, the faculty as a group was always careful to adhere strictly to his wishes. He can best be described as a paternalistic autocrat.ȱȱ Professor Beaufortȇs methods left little to the individual faculty memberȇs imagination about experimentation, freedom in teaching, and the handling of students. Still, he did provide an atmosphere in which everybody, faculty and students, knew exactly what to expect.ȱȱ
You have been called in as an HR Consultant at York State College to analyze and provide guidance to the Dean as to how best to resolve the problem which has recently unfolded in the College’s Political Science Department. You are handed a document entitled “The New Department Chair” to help provide background and context to the situation. You are tasked with analyzing the situation and providing a 5-7 page written report to the Dean. GUIDELINES FOR WRITING A CASE STUDY ANALYSIS A case study analysis requires you to investigate a business problem, examine the alternative solutions, and propose the most effective solution using supporting evidence. PREPARING THE CASE Before you begin writing, follow these guidelines to help you prepare and understand the case study: 1. Read and examine the case thoroughly • Take notes, highlight relevant facts, underline key problems. 2. Focus your analysis
• Identify the key problems. Why do they exist? How do they impact the organization? Who is responsible for them? 3. Uncover possible solutions • Review course readings, discussions, outside research, your experience. 4. Select the best solution • Consider strong supporting evidence, pros, and cons: is this solution realistic? WRITING YOUR REPORT: INTRODUCTION: Summarize the basic facts of the problem (What is happening here?) BACKGROUND: Causes of the problem (How did we get here? What are the underlying factors that led up to the situation?) ALTERNATIVES: Outline possible alternatives. Evaluate the alternatives and explain why certain alternatives are not possible at this time.