Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students: A Guide to Understanding the Many Facets of the Dean of Students Role
The role of Dean of Students is pivotal: in students' lives; for their institutions as a conduit to senior administration about issues of concern to students; as a figure who can coordinate disparate campus constituencies -- from academic affairs and athletics to campus safety and relationships with parents and alums; and as a crisis manager. What preparation, skills, dispositions, and knowledge do DOSs need to be effective in their role; and, indeed, what areas and range of activities generally fall under their responsibility? Through chapters by experienced DOSs--from early career to veterans, and in between--this book provides vivid first-hand accounts of what's involved in managing the multiple roles of the deanship, its immense personal rewards, the positive impact that practitioners can make in the lives of students, and on campus policy and environment, without glossing over the demands on time and the concomitant stresses. The contributors describe the paths they followed to take on the role, and what they do to keep current. Each chapter offers a wealth of anecdotes that provide an insider's feel for the daily life of the DOS, and how incumbents have found ways to integrate family and personal needs with the discharging of their often demanding responsibilities. The contributing authors offer valuable advice on setting priorities and dealing with issues as varied as setting budgets, creating an effective team, delegation, and addressing student conduct issues. They offer guidance on developing allies across campus, keeping up to date with trends and legislation, and building a network of mentors and advisors through professional associations and connection with their peers at institutions around the country. The book concludes with some perspectives about the meaning and purpose of the dean of students role in our current era and as we look to the future of higher education. The dean of students is a challenging role because it is often the one administrator thrust onto the frontlines to meet students not only at their best, but also at their worst. This person is an advocate and educator, disciplinarian and friend, confidant and counselor, and advisor and parent all rolled into one. Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students offers a unique window into this challenging and rewarding position that will appeal to sitting deans; to those seeking this role; and to senior leaders in higher education seeking to appoint a DOS and/or organize a dean of students portfolio of responsibilities.