Ask Michael

Vol. 11 No. 10


Q: Two years ago, we promoted someone who had been an excellent teacher into a Division Head role. Unfortunately, he has struggled mightily in the role—he seems unhappy, and the faculty is quite upset with what feels like a state of paralysis in the division. He’s supporting a large family, so I know it would be hard for him to give up the substantial raise that went along with the promotion. What should we do?

A: This is a complex question that requires considerable reflection on the part of the Head and yourself—in addition to the division head in question. That being said, we might suggest—based on the brief facts you’ve provided—that a change needs to be made, for the good of the school and your students, as well as for the good of the faculty and the gentleman himself.

It seems clear that the interests of all parties would be well-served by returning him to the classroom role in which he excelled, and hiring a new Division Head. In terms of pay, we would suggest keeping his pay as-is—but “red circling” him. That is, explain that dropping back down to the classroom role at your request won’t reduce his current (administrator-level) salary—but that he won’t experience any raises until such time as the salary scale catches up with his current level of pay, which might be a number of years. The most important thing, though, is to make the change in position, for the good of all concerned.

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