When Good Enough is Good Enough: Department Chairing During Covid-19

When Good Enough is Good Enough: Department Chairing During Covid-19

By Brent J. Steele, University of Utah

Emergencies are unexpected and dangerous, and they require quick action. They also are, admittedly, opportunities for “securitization” (Murphy 2020) and fraught with additional difficulties. When I took over as chair of my department in 2019, I had no idea we would be experiencing a pandemic in 2020. My philosophy as a department chair during this pandemic then and even now (because the United States as a national community has utterly failed to confront the pandemic effectively and safely) is to simply get by and do a good-enough job. It is the same philosophy of the NCAA basketball tournament: survive and advance. We hear the phrase that “perfect is the enemy of the good,” but I would amend that by saying the “good is (also) the enemy of good enough.”

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