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This is a follow-up question to What does a head of department do?

The University of Waterloo has a document that describes the answer to this question; however the document is rather vague, and it seems to imply that if all the individual heads of departments have their departments in order (which they presumably will most of the time), the dean barely has to do anything. That's at odds with how most deans don't seem to teach/conduct research anymore however. It also seems awkward to be dean unless one is also head of department: the two people would be subordinate to each other depending on situation.

closed as off-topic by Brian Borchers, Solar Mike, Massimo Ortolano, Wrzlprmft Apr 15 at 8:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as a certain person’s preferences, a given institution’s regulations, the exact contents of your work or your personal values. Thus only someone familiar can answer this question and it cannot be generalised to apply to others. (See this discussion for more info.)" – Brian Borchers, Solar Mike, Massimo Ortolano, Wrzlprmft
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    The job specification for a Dean is what that particular institution decides it is... No one single document will give you a definitive answer... – Solar Mike Apr 15 at 3:36
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    The term "dean" is used for many different kinds of academic administrators. A Dean is often the head of an academic unit that is composed of several academic departments, with department chairs reporting to the dean and the dean reporting to a provost. However, it's not uncommon to have other deans such as a "Graduate Dean" who administers graduate programs, a "Dean of Students" who handles disicipline matters, and so on. – Brian Borchers Apr 15 at 3:43
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    Our dean spends his/her day being a busybody :) – Prof. Santa Claus Apr 15 at 3:43
  • They're middle management, so they do what middle management always does. – Elizabeth Henning Apr 15 at 5:15

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