The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association
September 2019
ECE in the News
Bruce Hajek named ECE Department Head at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

ECE ILLINOIS Professor  Bruce Hajek Leonard C. and Mary Lou Hoeft Endowed Chair in Engineering , an internationally renowned expert in the field of communications networks, and a 40-year veteran of the Grainger College of Engineering faculty, has been named the new head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Effective Communication with Your Dean
By Jerry Hudgins, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

An important facet of a Department Chair’s (Head) job is the interaction with upper administration, particularly the Dean. There are universal guidelines that are appropriate in these relationships. One is that to the best of your ability, try to keep the Dean informed on important matters, good and bad, so that he/she is not surprised by news delivered in other settings. One of the worst experiences you can have is for your boss to learn about something that you should have conveyed to them. A cautionary note here is to be careful of pestering the Dean with too many details about day-to-day operations in the department. Those issues are your job. Learning the difference is part of the experience. Also, don’t fall into the trap of only messaging bad news or only good news.

Managing Time
By Don Gruenbacher, Kansas State University

In a position that serves as the intermediary between faculty and upper administration, efficient use of your time is critical in order to remain effective as a department head. There are many tools available to you for managing your time wisely, and each of us must find the right balance of those that fit our own styles.

Prioritization is a fundamental element in managing your time effectively, as your position will ultimately consume all of the time that you make available. For your high and medium priorities, you will want to ensure that you or someone to whom you delegate is working on those items. It is often necessary to wait on the low priority items to see if they either: 1) go away, 2) get resolved by someone else, or 3) rise in priority.  

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ECE Insights
ECE Insights offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.

Hayne Shumate
Senior VP of Internet Business
Mouser Electronics