The role of department chair is one of the most important roles in academia, yet chairs are rarely formally prepared for it. A modified job analysis format can be used to examine the role of the chair. In addition to administrative responsibilities, the chair, who is usually selected from the faculty, has teaching, research, and service responsibilities. Administrative functions include dealing with data (finances and programs), people (students, faculty, support personnel, the dean, and other administrators), and things (department reports, space, equipment, and materials).
There is a high attrition rate of department chairs. Occupational therapy students and therapists must be taught to see the academic chair position as an opportunity for a challenging career encompassing academia and administration.