Case: Leadership and Environmental Changes

Key Phrases:

  • Intergenerational Mentoring
  • Establishing Work/Family Boundaries
  • Evaluating Work Ethic

With the retirement of a long‐standing division chief of a small division in your department, Robert, a clinically accomplished clinician who graduated from his residency 6 years ago and was recently promoted to Assistant Professor, was appointed to the division chief position. Robert has developed a new web‐based program that uses an algorithm to compose the overnight on‐call schedule and ensure that call responsibilities are evenly distributed among all faculty members. In addition, Robert wants to make sure his division is viewed as “family friendly,” so the program ensures that each week, each faculty member has one day when they finish by 5 PM.

Mike and Sally are both Associate Professors who have been in the department for 20 years; they were also considered for the Chief’s position. They resent having to follow the direction of someone more junior to them in experience and academic standing. In addition, since they took the majority of overnight and weekend call when they were junior faculty, they feel that they should have a lower share of call now and that Robert’s computer algorithm does not take seniority into account. Each of the above individuals has independently booked a meeting with you, a colleague involved in faculty development.

Case Questions:

  1. What actions can be taken to accommodate the senior faculty?
  2. What changes, if any, would you implement if you were in Robert’s position?


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