Friday, February 23, 2007

I’ll take the second one. Please.


NH prep
Originally uploaded by catchesthelight.
One of the positions I’m very keen on is a “dean of studies” role. What does a dean of studies do? I’ve pieced together a general position description:
The Dean of Studies is a member of the senior administrative team and is responsible for the development of the curriculum, mentoring of the faculty and instructional staff, and the progress of all academic matters of the School. The dean provides leadership in curriculum development and review, in hiring and support of faculty, and in refinement of a strong faculty professional development program. The dean’s basic responsibilities are in maintaining a sound overall academic program and a faculty and instructional staff conducive to the attainment of the educational objectives of the School. The dean is to initiate and coordinate curricular change, encourage communication among departments on issues of teaching and learning, and promote and maintain interdisciplinary courses.
I’m all over it. This can be a real change-agent role in an independent school. And, it’s a place to have an impact not only on students, but on faculty and colleagues, too. The dean can drive performance excellence in a variety of venues.

Here are two nearly unedited requirements for recent dean of studies jobs: First,
Significant teaching and administrative experience, including evaluation of colleagues; expertise in the area of curriculum development and assessment; proven track record in advancing school programs; excellent leadership and oral and written communication skills; advanced degree preferred.
And then,
Minimum of ten years of teaching experience. Masters degree level or higher. Highly developed ability to multi-task. An interest in, and real commitment to, detail and follow through. Comfortable managing conflicts and resolving differences. Approachable and an active listener. Experience working as part of an administrative team. Confident enough to stridently advocate; mature enough to understand when to compromise. Able to work with and manage strong willed leadership. Willing to make a long term commitment.
Interesting, I thought. The second set of requirements is much broader, and yet is much more specific. It’s as if they are looking for characteristics and transferable skills more than just standard job-related abilities and background.

And, I think it speaks about what is important for the leadership of the school.

Does it say something about how the leadership leads? I think it does.

I’ll take the second one. Please.

1 comment:

Peter A. Stinson said...

Here's another requirements list for a dean-of-studies-like job:Competencies: Bachelor’s degree and ten year’s progressively responsible experience with solid knowledge of curriculum development and faculty growth and evaluation systems. Prefer teaching experience in two divisions. In addition, the Dean will demonstrate the following competencies: · Leadership to develop and articulate a coordinated curriculum and a faculty growth and evaluation system and work effectively in the accomplishment of goals · Expertise on a range of developmental issues · Highly effective communication, both in-person and in writing · Effective listener, ability to work to build consensus · Clear, concise, and persuasive written material · Knowledge of schools · Ability to work effectively with people at all levels of the organization · Presence that inspires confidence, including giving and receiving feedback, promoting an ethical climate, balancing needs and demands of multiple constituencies · Models personal integrity, consistency and reliability · Commitment to diversity and knowledge of and ability to work with cross-cultural populations · Collaboration · Effective public speaking · Creative approach to building and maintaining effective systems · Change agent · Problem resolution; demonstrated by willingness to confront, ability to handle hearsay, positive reaction to setbacks, solid evaluation and conflict resolution · Accessibility · Ability to represent the School positively to the community · Diplomacy and tact, discretion with confidential information · Good judgment · Computer literacy and the knowledge to make effective technology decisions with regard to integrating technology into the curriculum. · Flexibility to work long hours, including evenings and weekends.Too bad this one is a day school...