Dean Leadership

Scholars and leaders alike speak about a great leadership crisis in higher education. The development of academic deans is at a critical juncture. Some estimate that only 3% of universities and colleges invest in developing their academic leaders—deans and department chairs. This entry discusses several questions regarding the deanship: How has the dean position evolved over time? Why do academics choose to serve as deans? What is the career trajectory of the deanship? How do deans define their roles and responsibilities? How do they develop the requisite leadership skills? And, what are the current challenges facing the deans?

Deans provide the delicate but crucial backbone of the university decision-making. More than any other academic administrators, they link central administration with academic departments and interact routinely with ...

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