Usually, the dean of a college or university comes from the rank and file of the professors already working at that university. However, there may be times when the university wants to hire outside of the university so as to attract new faces and ideas to a faculty. Each faculty within a university has a dean who is responsible for the overall workings of the various departments. For example, within the faculty of Science, the dean is responsible for all the science departments that exist in the university. Each of these departments has a chair, so there are assistants in each area.
Each advertisement for the position of dean will have the minimum qualifications for the position and then a list of qualities the hiring committee prefers to see in prospective candidates. You do need to hold a doctoral degree in the department area and at least four years of experience in delivering the curriculum of the courses of that department. Successful candidates will have to show that they have been successful in developing and delivering extension programs, such as distance learning for students in remote areas. Since technology is all-important in the university life in today’s world, you will need to be well versed in methodologies that incorporate technology in the teaching and learning process. Other minimum qualifications for this position include the ability to develop educational programs that meet the needs of the immediate and global community and to be able to communicate effectively with diverse cultures.
The preferred qualifications you should possess to be hired as dean of a faculty include the ability to articulate a compelling vision for the future of the faculty and the university. You should have a personal vision developed that complies with that of the university and show that your activities all work towards achievement of that vision. You will be responsible for applying for grants for the faculty and university, so there should be some evidence in your resume that you have been successful in this area in the past. In addition, you should be familiar with the fundraising practices of the university and have the ability to draw in new donors and contributions from alumni. Collective bargaining with the staff of the department or faculty is also a responsibility of this position, so you should have some experience in this area.
As dean, your duties will include dealing with the chairs of the various departments, aiding with the design of new courses as the need arises, and establishing more extended and distance learning opportunities at the university. You will also be responsible for assimilating the budgets of the various departments and ensuring that they meet the requirements of the full faculty budget. This means you will consult with various chairs and the faculty members on a regular basis for the business of the department.
The term of office for the appointment of a dean is usually five years. The contract can be renewed for a further term depending on the policies of the university. For the most part, a dean can only serve two terms. With this experience under your belt, you can then move on to the same positions at other institutions.