This is a study which examines the roles and responsibilities of Deans,
specifically focussing on the Deans in the Faculties of Education at three Ontario
Universities - Brock University, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of
Windsor. This study examines the roles of Deans in the context of leadership and as a
management position. The initial belief of the researcher was that Deans acted as middle
managers at their institution besides being role models, scholars and leaders. Data were
collected through interviews with the various participants and through the examination
of the official job descriptions at each institution. Concepts such as leadership,
motivation, empowerment, and management are discussed in relation to the position of
Dean. The research concludes that a Dean is a leader in higher education who is
responsible for a variety of issues. Besides academic related responsibilities such as
faculty development, program development and research, a Dean is also responsible for a
wide range of administrative tasks including financial management and obligations to
external groups. As a role model and scholar, the Dean must ensure that all areas have
sufficient energies devoted to them. This creates a heavy burden on Deans as they have a
great deal of responsibilities to manage while still maintaining their role as a scholar.
The researcher concludes that the position of Dean requires additional support from the
institution. This support could be in an Associate Dean or an Executive Assistant with
training and support mechanisms on an ongoing basis.
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