What is a University Dean?

This term is used to refer to the head of a unit/sub-division in an academic institution. Deans carry out academic, managerial, programmatic, and fiscal responsibilities for the institution. They verify the adequacy of instruction, confer degrees, monitor academic integrity, and are responsible for the students’ recruitment, admission, and academic progress. Deans are also responsible for developing and maintaining a culture of integrity and compliance among students, staff, and faculty. They’re charged with providing the leadership and vision needed for the institution to excel and to advance the school’s teaching, service, and research missions.

An institution may have a dean of admissions, separate deans running different departments, along with a head dean in charge of the entire institution. Deans may need to carry out different responsibilities depending on where they work. Here’re three typical duties of a college dean.

Overseeing academic programs: When students enroll in college, they’ve to take general education courses and then courses within their individual program of study. That department’s dean is the person responsible for overseeing its academic programs. The dean may work with professors to develop a list of courses that students must take or to help create the curriculum used in specific classes. A dean also assists professors regarding special programs, such as study abroad opportunities.

Managing budgets: An institution must adhere to a strict budget to ensure it has sufficient funds necessary for its students’ education. The dean of the institution can help create the annual budget and to follow it. A department’s budget depends on factors, such as the types of classes offered, the number of students enrolled, and the amount allocated by the institution for that department. Deans need to possess a good knowledge of financial planning. They’ll manage issues associated with professors’ salaries, the cost of equipment, along with other costs that impact the budget.

Handling student complaints: The dean is the person who takes care of any complaints from students. Sometimes, these complaints can be quite minor and involve issues such as professors who use older textbooks in classes or laboratories that close early on weekends. Sometimes, the complaints can involve more serious issues, such as cheating and sexual harassment. When it comes to sexual harassment complaints, the dean may have to discipline the accused of making inappropriate behavior. When a student is being charged with cheating, the dean may need to examine the evidence and make a decision about what to do with the incident.

Choose your Reaction!