ERIC Number: ED163865
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov-7
Reference Count: 0
The "Amateur" Dean in a Complex University: An Essay on Role Ambiguity.
Scott, Robert A.
An examination of the university dean's role and its conflicts and ambiguities considered the type, frequency, nature, and the dynamics of the liberal arts dean's interactions with his faculty and staff and the central administration. Relations with staff and the provost and the dean's role as an individual in an organization are given major attention. Information was obtained from the daily logs kept by the deans who served at Cornell University between 1965 and 1978 and from the records and observations of the author, who served as assistant and associate dean. The logs provided information about the deans' use of time, the issues that occupied them, the process of decision making, and the people who were consulted. The role of the dean as cited in the literature and background information about the three deans at Cornell are included. The concerns of the deans as revealed in the logs involved: extraordinary activities, such as student sit-ins; department budget items; operating expenses; curriculum; and faculty appointments and status. Most of each dean's time and attention concerned faculty appointments and status. It is argued that the adoption of the term "amateur" for the liberal arts dean is a means of coping with the conflicts and ambiguities of the dean's role. The skills and traits required by the position are rooted in personality and character. Posing as an "amateur" allows the liberal arts dean to exercise "moral suasion" on his colleagues. (SW)
Descriptors: Administrator Evaluation, Administrator Role, Board Administrator Relationship, College Administration, Deans, Deans of Students, Higher Education, Interaction Process Analysis, Interpersonal Competence, Interprofessional Relationship, Leadership Qualities, Liberal Arts, Organizational Climate, Personality, Role Conflict, Role Perception, Teacher Administrator Relationship
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cornell University NY
Note: Paper presented at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Conference on Deans as Individuals in Organizations (University of Toronto, Canada, November 5-7, 1978)