Ways to challenge the authority of your committee chair...
- Call a meeting and set the primary agenda items
- Arrive early and sit at the head of the table -- normally occupied by the Chair
- Conduct the business of the meeting (give handouts, ask for departmental reports, etc.)
- Rephrase what the Chair says in your own words (for everyone else's benefit)
- Be aggressive and doggedly defend your ideas, regardless of relevance
- Re-send (to the committee) mass email messages the Chair has already sent to the committee members.