O ne characteristic that distinguishes academics from professionals in the corporate world is the former don’t necessarily aspire to climb the management ladder. Many professors — perhaps most, and especially the tenured — are content to spend their lives focusing on teaching and research, with no desire to become a department chair or dean.
That said, some faculty members do want to scale the ladder of academic administration, the first rung of which is usually department chair. Others may not have pursued a management job but nevertheless find it extended to them. And still others may feel some obligation to "take their turn" at the helm, for the good of their department or simply to share the burden. Professors in all three of those groups, at some point, face the same dilemma: "Should I do this, or not?"