I've been chair for a year now, and things are looking way better these days.
First, and probably most important: our new admin assistant is great. They're learning what they need to learn, and they're eager to learn more. They're kind to students and faculty alike, and friendly, and helpful.
Our previous admin assistant was okay, but this one is just stellar. If I've done nothing else as chair, I've helped hire a great person.
Second, I'm learning a lot. I've had three professional development sessions, and one was incredibly helpful. It was campus specific and led by our HR folks. It was on how to bring someone on board as a new hire, and I used a ton of what I learned when we brought our new admin assistant into the department.
The department is relatively healthy; we have some serious conflicts, as I gather all departments do, but I think we're mostly okay.
We've asked for several searches for fall, and are waiting to hear. I've learned that other colleges already know about their searches, so I'm guessing the decisions have been made but just haven't been communicated to us yet. Our college has hired a new dean, so maybe the idea is that the new dean will communicate about searches.
I'm supposed to have a meeting with the new dean this summer. I've got my fingers crossed that he's sane and reasonable and a good explainer.
I'm doing another professional development thing this past week, this week, and next week. (three hours one morning a week). It's pretty awful, and totally inappropriate for university contexts. The only good thing is that I've connected with a colleague.
And now the semester's over. Grades are all turned in. (Only one faculty member was late, and that was because they were trying to help students.) Let summer begin!