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The Academic Deanship: Individual Careers and Institutional Roles



The Academic Deanship: Individual Careers and Institutional Roles

David F. Bright, Mary P. Richards

ISBN: 978-0-470-90750-4 August 2001 Jossey-Bass 320 Pages


A deanship is now seen as more of a phase in an overall academic career than as a permanent shift from teaching to administration. In fact, the nature of the job itself has changed, as has the range of likely options at the end of a dean's tenure. This book serves as a guide for the aspiring or new dean, offering practical advice on how to approach the interview process and the new job, as well as providing a thoughtful assessment of the deanship in its wider context. The authors--both experienced academic deans at a variety of institutions--encourage the new or experienced dean to reflect on the larger issues, and address the realities of deaning from several perspectives in efforts to illuminate both the challenges and rewards of the job.


The Authors.

Part 1 Becoming A Dean.

1 The Map and the Crossword: Ways to Think about Being a Dean.

The Map.

The Crossword Puzzle.

Deaning as Part of an Ongoing Academic Career.

2 What It Takes to Be a Dean.

Relevant Credentials and Experience.

Necessary Skills and Expected Duties.

How Do I Match Up?

Do I Want a Deanship?

3 Finding the Right Position.

Dean of What?

What Is Available?

Application and Nomination.

Resumes and References.




Part 2 Administering the College.

4 The Shift to the Dean's Office.

Setting Up and Settling In.

Needing Immediate Attention.

The First Full Round.

5 Balances of Power.

The Office Staff.

Faculty Governance.

Faculty Unions.

6 Departments, Programs, and Their Leaders.

Dealing with the Multiple Identities of Departments.

Working with Departments and DEOs.

Selecting DEOs.

Supporting the DEOs.

Part 3 The Work of the Dean.

7 Planning.


Where and How to Begin: Top-Down or Bottom-Up?

The Planning Committee.

Developing the Plan.

Refining the Plan.

Implementing the Plan.


8 Budgets and Resources.

Budget Assistant.

When There's Month Left at the End of the Money.

Budget Proposals.

Grants and Contracts.



Physical Facilities.


9 Faculty Development.

Recruiting Faculty.


Developing Teaching.

Encouraging Research.

Academic Citizenship.


Reward and Support System.

Dealing with External Offers.

Retooling and Retirement.

10 The Dean's Role in Academic Programs.

Types of Programs.

The Dean's Role.

Reviewing Programs.

Special Problems.

Maintaining the Curriculum.

11 Working with Students.

The Dean's Responsibility to Students.

The Dean's Office and Students.

Student Problems.

Learning from Students.

12 Legal Issues and Other Special Challenges.

Legal Issues.


Sexual Harassment.

Special Challenges for Women and Minority Deans.

Part 4 Beyond the College.

13 The Provost.

The Provost's Role.

Reporting to the Provost.

Establishing a Relationship with the Provost.

The Importance of Communication and Candor.

Performance Reviews.

14 Other Deans and Directors.

Deans as a Natural Cohort.


Working with the Other Deans.

Cooperating on the Academic Agenda.

The Wider Community of Deans.

15 External Relations.



College Publications and Publicity.

Advisory Councils.

Media Relations.


16 Beyond Deaning: Building a Balanced Career.

Maintaining an Academic Identity.


The Decanal Afterlife.