ERIC Number: ED428055
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Feb-24
The Education Dean's Search for Balance.
Gmelch, Walter H.; Wolverton, Mimi; Wolverton, Marvin L.
This study examined who deans of education were, where they worked, how they defined roles and responsibilities, what unique challenges faced female deans, how deans characterized their leadership style, what stressors impacted their ability to be effective, and how they maintained balance between scholarship and leadership and between professional and personal pressures. Data came from the Center for the Study of Academic Leadership national survey of U.S. academic deans. In 1996-97, deans from 360 institutions completed a mailed survey, the National Study of Academic Deans in Higher Education. Results indicated that deans were predominantly male, white, and over age 50. They were most likely to use the assistant dean, associate dean, or assistant to the dean positions as the positions preceding deanship. Most were from public colleges and universities. Tasks they considered most important included maintaining conducive work climates, fostering good teaching, representing the college, recruiting and selecting chairs and faculty, and maintaining effective communication across departments. Leadership styles included keeping promises, treating everyone with respect, being reliable, following through, sharing power, and taking action. Stressors mainly involved time pressures. Despite stress, most deans were satisfied with their positions. Their primary dissatisfaction was inadequate financial support. For many deans, work became their entire life, and there was tremendous pressure to find balance. The survey provided data on properties of dean trade-offs in balancing their lives. (Contains 41 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (Washington, DC, February 24-27, 1999).