The College Administrator's Survival Guide

Where was this book when I was department chair?

It provides an extremely useful and comprehensive set of tools and skills that would help almost anyone in academic administration—and in a conversational tone, with a good dose of humor.

—Laura Schreibman, former Associate Chancellor, University of California at San Diego
Get the book

“Tina Gunsalus has enormous experience as an administrator, and in this book, with the conversational tone that makes it so enjoyable to read, her knowledge and common sense shine through.”

—Hal Irvin, Executive Director, Organizational Development, Georgia

“During her years in university administration she has had to investigate myriad problems, including sexual harassment and financial improprieties. The upside of confronting such "yucky problems" is her book, which reflects her hands-on experience with reworked procedures and managerial training.”

—Jean Marie Angelo, University Business

The College Administrators Survival Guide

Late one afternoon, as you are organizing your new office as department chair, one of the senior members of the department drops by. He affably informs you of his plans for the coming semester: that contrary to the published class schedule, he only teaches on Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, and Thursday morning, so as to have the weekends free for travel; that he expects the office staff to start his coffeemaker by 10 a.m. sharp on his teaching days; and that since he hasn't been assigned a research assistant, his teaching assistant will do research tasks, including errands. What do you say? What do you do?

Never mind budgets or curriculum reform: staff problems can be the most thorny of any academic administrator's job. Every day, professors who have never run anything bigger than a seminar find themselves in charge of a complex and volatile organization called a Department of English (or Biology, or Sociology, or Textile Marketing). What should they do? In this book, a widely respected advisor on academic administration and ethics offers tips, insights, and tools on handling complaints, negotiating disagreements, responding to accusations of misconduct, and dealing with difficult personalities. With humor and generosity, C. K. Gunsalus applies scenarios based on real-life cases, examples from negotiation, law, and child-rearing to guide novice (and experienced) academic administrators through the dilemmas of management in not-entirely-manageable environments.

About the Author: C.K. Gunsalus

C.K. Gunsalus

C. K. Gunsalus is a nationally recognized expert on professional ethics and the director of the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her book, The Young Professional’s Survival Guide: From Cab Fares to Moral Snares, grew out of her experience teaching Leadership and Ethics to all first-year MBA students and leading the Professional Responsibility curriculum in the Illinois College of Business taken by all undergraduates.

A consistently honored teacher, she was recognized as one of fifteen finalists in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Best Business Professor of the Year Award in 2013. Now Professor Emerita of Business and Research Professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois, she formerly taught in the Colleges of Law and Medicine and served for many years as Associate Provost, where she was responsible for a wide range of academic policy and administrative duties. Her work has focused on organizational and research integrity, whistleblowing, and professionalism in complex organizations. A licensed attorney, she was a member of the United States Commission on Research Integrity and served for four years as chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility and was elected a Fellow of AAAS in 2004. She served on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Responsible Conduct. In her spare time, Ms. Gunsalus also served 12 years on the Urbana Board of Education (school board), eight of those years as its President.