21st-Century Dean

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Monday, May 13, 2019
Filmed February 2019 at AACSB's Deans Conference in Vancouver, Canada.


Moez Limayem: [0:16] Like students who need specific skills and know how to succeed in their studies, deans also, in the 21st Century, need specific skills and general skills to be successful in the things they do and advance the mission of their college and the mission of the university.

[0:33] Deans are called upon today to play many roles, or wear many hats. They are called upon to be the fundraisers, so it's important for them to have the skills, relationship building, developing a vision that is compelling to donors and alums. That's one of the roles.

[0:54] It's really important, becoming more and more important given the scarcity of resources in many universities.

[1:01] Deans should be visionary. They should not only have good vision for their college, but also should rally the team to forge and build that vision and that strategic plan. That is also not enough. They need to have the skills to actually implement it, so visionary plus attention to details for successful implementation.

[1:28] Also, deans should be the marketers of their business schools, building a brand that highlights their distinctiveness, their mission, and their vision and what they do. These skills are very important.

[1:43] They also need to be very good budget managers, try to not only slice the pie different ways, but also make the pie bigger. More importantly, understand budget and numbers. Deans have to be the ambassadors who will always be out and about, promoting and talking about their students, and also their college and the good things that are happening.

[2:14] More importantly, they should also manage downward, horizontally, and upward. What do I mean? Let's start with horizontally. They should manage that relationship with fellow deans. They should go and build interdisciplinary programs.

[2:32] Of course, down work with their teams, and their faculty, and their staff. More importantly, they should work hard on managing their provost and their president, too. [2:46] As you can see, there are so many roles that the...Several years ago, a few decades ago, all we wanted deans to be are administrators. Now we want them to be the visionary, the fundraiser, the relationship builder, the students' recruiter, the faculty recruiter.

[3:04] If I have to say what is the overarching skills, it's all about human skills. That's important. We need to make sure that us, as deans, master these skills so that we can address conflicts, lobby when we need to lobby, fight for resources when we need to fight for resources and build relationships so that we can get the transformational gifts that will help our students and our college.

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