Seasons Of A Dean'S Life: Understanding the Role and Building Leadership Capacity

What are the demands of being a dean? What leadership development do deans need as they progress through their academic careers? How are their responsibilities changing? What are institutions looking for in applicants? This book identifies the range of leadership skills required, and illuminates the process of building leadership capacity, by drawing on interviews with over 50 sitting deans, both women and men; on the insights derived from conducting professional development seminars for several hundred deans; and on the authors' 48 years of collective experience in eight different deanships. The abundant examples and accounts of individual deans' leadership successes and failures, and the competences they developed along their career paths, give the reader a taste of what the deanship is really like--and how the role changes over time. In the process of gathering their data, and tracing their own and others', administrative journeys, the authors found similarities in how deans progress as leaders, in the common rites of passage they encounter, and in the evolution of their role. They describe the stages or seasons of the deanship, ranging from getting started - the first three years of deanship (springtime), to hitting your stride - years four to seven of deanship (summer), and keeping the fire alive - eight years and beyond of deanship (fall), through to planning to step down and leaving the role (winter). What also emerged from the authors' research is that most deans come to their positions without leadership training, without prior executive experience, without a clear understanding of the ambiguity of their new role, or its responsibilities. This book fills a void by offering guidance on applying for a deanship, preparing for the role, and purposefully building the needed skills and knowledge. For anyone considering taking on a deanship, this book offers a unique window into the role. For sitting deans, it offers a compass for shaping the trajectory of their careers.