There is no question that your Head of department is a vital cog in the academic wheel. At U of S and just about every other institution in Canada, the head is ‘in scope,’ that is, a member of the faculty association and therefore protected by the collective agreement.
The role of the Head should be as mentor and advocate for his or her colleagues. This can be in stark contrast to an approach that is administrative, supervisory and managerial in style. In the hurly burly of day-to-day departmental activities it is sometimes easy to forget that difference. Unfortunately, there are elements in Administration who would like to take Heads out of scope. This would destroy the important collegial role of the Department Head.
The Head’s tasks are legion, so everyone benefits if you help ease the burden by serving on committees, taking on jobs, and offering constructive advice.