John Frazee, CU-Boulder director of faculty relations, has announced his retirement. In this unique role, Frazee worked with faculty members, department chairs and deans across academic units on campus, helping to resolve issues of conflict and conduct in the work lives of faculty.
Frazee said part of the job—addressing issues of conflict and conduct in all their variety and complexity—is one for which academic administrators often feel underprepared.
“I thought that when I became a dean, I would be able to focus more on other types of work, but instead I found that I was dealing with these issues more than ever,” he said. “The idea of the director of faculty relations position is to designate one person who can serve as a resource to resolve issues among the faculty and who can draw from institutional knowledge and experience.”
Frazee said the university is looking for someone to replace him that has both faculty and administrative experience who understands the challenges of both roles and who recognizes that conflict is inherent to the academic mission of a university—something that shouldn’t necessarily be eliminated but rather resolved productively.
“In different phases of my career, I had served as a faculty member and then later as a director, dean, and an academic VP,” Frazee said. “In my different administrative roles, I came to understand just how much of my time I would need to spend ensuring that conflicts and other personnel issues within my unit were being productively resolved.”
The role helps reduce the load on deans and department chairs, allowing them to focus more of their time on the strategic leadership of their colleges and departments, Frazee said.