A good colleague sent these to me the other day – I think I’m #1, but I wouldn’t rule out #7!
Top Ten Reasons Professors Become Chairs*
10. Because you don’t want someone else to do it, even though you don’t.
9. Because you’re burned out teaching the same thing over and over again for 20 years and writing articles two people in the whole country read.
8. For the money.
7. For the petty power, having, in middle age, experienced a precipitous decline… and needing an alternative thrill.
6. Because you lack imagination and can’t think of anything better and more original to do.
5. Because you have imagination and fantasize about all the things you will do back to your peers that they did to you while they were chair.
4. Because some dean made you an offer you can’t refuse.
3. Because your peers elect you to slow down your rate-busting activity by loading you up with administrative trivia.
2. Because your peers elect you, thinking you are useless at research and teaching and this way you can at least fill out administrative reports.
1. because you temporarily became insane, forgetting why you came into academics in the first place, momentarily in a state of confusion, mistaking your college or university for General Motors or Microsoft, thinking you will climb the ladder.
*From Chairing an Academic Department by Walter Gmelch and Val. D. Miskin, Atwood Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin 2004