Dean (education)

In academic administrations such as colleges or universities, a dean is the person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, over a specific area of concern, or both. Deans are occasionally found in middle schools and high schools as well.


A "dean" (Latin decanus) was originally the head of a group of ten soldiers or monks, and eventually an ecclesiastical dean became the head of a group of canons or other religious groups.

When the universities grew out of the cathedral and monastery schools, the title of dean was used for officials with various administrative duties.


In Bulgarian universities, a dean is the head of a faculty, which may include several academic departments. Every faculty unit of university or academy. The Dean can appoint his deputies: a vice dean of university work and vice dean of science activity.


In a Canadian university or a college, a dean is typically the head of a faculty, which may include several academic departments. Typical positions include Dean of Arts, Dean of Engineering, Dean of Science and Dean of Business. Many universities also have a Dean of Graduate Studies, responsible for work at the postgraduate level in all parts of the university.

The job description for deans at the University of Waterloo is probably typical, and reads in part, "The dean of a faculty is primarily a university officer, serving in that capacity on the senate, appropriate major committees and on other university bodies. As university officer, the dean has the dual role of making independent judgments on total university matters and representing the particular faculty's policies and points of view. The dean should oversee the particular faculty's relations with other faculties to ensure that they are harmonious and serve the total university's objectives. The dean will report directly to the vice president, academic and provost."[1]

There may be associate deans responsible to the dean for particular administrative functions.

Some universities also have a dean of students, responsible for aspects of welfare and discipline and serving as an advocate for students within the institution.

United Kingdom and Ireland

In some universities in the United Kingdom the term dean is used for the head of a faculty, a collection of related academic departments. Examples include Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Similar usage is found in Australia and New Zealand.

In collegiate universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, each college may have a dean who is responsible for discipline. An interview with the dean as a result of misbehaviour is referred to as a dean. The dean may also, or instead, be responsible for the running of the college chapel. At Queens' College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, for example, the posts of Dean of College and Dean of Chapel are separate;[2][3] likewise at Trinity College, Dublin, the posts of Senior and Junior Deans (charged with the discipline of Junior and Senior members respectively) are distinct from the Deans of Residence (who organise worship in the college chapel).

The University of Durham also has a Dean of Colleges, who is chosen from the various college principals and masters and takes a parallel role to the faculty deans in university-wide debate. There are also Deans of Durham Law School and Durham University Business School.

Each of the colleges of the University of Lancaster has a Dean in charge of student discipline.

United States

Some junior high schools and high schools have a teacher or administrator referred to as a dean who is in charge of student discipline and to some degree administrative services. In large schools or some boarding schools there may be a dean of men or boys, and a dean of women or girls, or each year (freshman, sophomore, etc.) may have a dean. Although most high schools are led by a principal or headmaster, a few (particularly private preparatory schools) refer to their chief authority as a dean.

The term is much more commonly used in higher education. Although usage differs from one institution to another, a dean is usually the head of a significant collection of departments within a university (e.g., "dean of the downtown campus", "dean of the college of arts and sciences", "dean of the school of medicine"), with responsibilities for approving faculty hiring, setting academic policies, overseeing the budget, fundraising, and other administrative duties. Such a dean is usually a tenured professor from one of the departments, but gives up most teaching and research activities upon assuming the deanship.

Other senior administrative positions in higher education may also carry the title of dean (or a lesser title such as associate dean or assistant dean). For example, many colleges and universities have a position known as "dean of students", who is in charge of student affairs, and a "dean of the faculty", who serves as the faculty's voice in the school's day-to-day administration.

Professional schools

Almost every American law school, medical school, divinity school, or other professional school is part of a university, and so refers to its highest-ranking administrator as a dean. Most have several assistant or associate deans as well (such as an associate dean of academics or an associate dean of students), as well as a select few vice deans.

The American Bar Association regulations on the operation of law schools, which must be followed for such an institution to receive and maintain ABA accreditation, define the role of the law school dean. These regulations specify that "A law school shall have a full-time dean, selected by the governing board or its designee, to whom the dean shall be responsible."[4] Thus, a law school dean may not simply be a professor selected by fellow professors, nor even by the president of the university.

Similar standards exist with respect to medical school deans. Specifically, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which accredits medical schools, thereby making them eligible for federal grants and state licensure, sets forth the operative conditions.[5] LCME regulations require that the "chief official of the medical school, who usually holds the title 'dean,' must have ready access to the university president or other university official charged with final responsibility for the school, and to other university officials as are necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the dean's office."[6] The LCME further require that the dean "must be qualified by education and experience to provide leadership in medical education, scholarly activity, and care of patients",[7] and that "[t]he dean and a committee of the faculty should determine medical school policies."[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Policy 45 – The Dean of a Faculty". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Chapel and Services - Queens' College Cambridge". Archived from the original on 17 October 2013.
  3. ^ "College Officers - Jesus College Cambridge". Archived from the original on 16 February 2017.
  4. ^ "ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools, Standard 206(a)" (PDF).
  5. ^ "LCME Accreditation Standards (with annotations". June 2008. Archived from the original on 12 June 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  6. ^ IS-8.
  7. ^ IS-10.
  8. ^ FA-12.

Further reading

  • Buller, Jeffrey L, The Essential Academic Dean: A Practical Guide to College Leadership, ISBN 0-470-18086-2

External links

Albert Jamil Butros

Albert Jamil Butros is a retired Jordanian Ambassador and eremited Dean (education) of the University of Jordan.

Arthur Burns (historian)

Arthur Burns is professor of modern British history and from 2014 to 2017 was Vice-Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at King's College London. In 2017 he was appointed academic director of the Georgian Papers Programme at King's. Burns specialises in the history of English religion since the mid-eighteenth century, and particularly the history of the Church of England. Burns co-founded and co-edits the Boydell and Brewer monograph series Studies in Modern British Religious History. He received his undergraduate degree and doctorate from Balliol College, Oxford. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and from 2012-16 was its Vice President (Education), overseeing policy on the teaching of History in both schools and universities; he previously served as one of its Literary Directors. In 2016 he was appointed President of the Church of England Record Society, and was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Historical Association in 2015.

Burns was responsible for the development of the Clergy of the Church of England Database.

Benno C. Schmidt Jr.

Benno Charles Schmidt Jr. (born March 20, 1942) is the Chairman of Avenues: The World School, a for-profit, private K-12 school, and served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY) until 2016. From 1986 to 1992, he was 20th President of Yale University. Prior, Schmidt was Dean of the Columbia Law School, Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law, and chairman of Edison Schools (now EdisonLearning). A noted scholar of the First Amendment, the history of the United States Supreme Court and the history of race relations in American law, Schmidt clerked for Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In 1998, Schmidt was appointed Chair of a task force established by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to evaluate systemic issues at City University of New York by executive order. After longterm service to CUNY's board of trustees, Governor Andrew Cuomo replaced Schmidt in June 2016, then-Chair, with a new Chair Bill Thompson (New York politician), after an interim report issued, in an ongoing state investigation, issued by the Office of the New York State Inspector General identified a number of systemic problems, largely attributable to CUNY's lack of oversight which led to financial waste and abuse within the CUNY system.

Berry Hill, Gloucestershire

Berry Hill is a village in Gloucestershire, England, 1.5 miles north of the town of Coleford. Berry Hill includes the settlements of Five Acres to the east, Christchurch in the centre, Shortstanding to the north, and Joyford to the north-east. Berry Hill is within the civil parish of West Dean.


Coalway is a village in the West Forest of Dean region of Gloucestershire, England, approximately one mile south-east of the town of Coleford. The village is just south of the village of Broadwell.

Dean (Christianity)

A dean, in a church context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and many Lutheran denominations. A dean's assistant is called a subdean.

Dean of women

The dean of women at a college or university in the United States is the dean with responsibility for student affairs for female students. In early years, the position was also known by other names, including preceptress, lady principal, and adviser of women.Deans of women were widespread in American institutions of higher education from the 1890s to the 1960s, sometimes paired with a "Dean of Men", and usually reporting directly to the president of the institution. In the later 20th century, however, most Dean of Women positions were merged into the position of Dean of Students.


Doyen and doyenne surnames derived from the French word doyen (doyenne in the feminine grammatical gender), which is the term for dean, e.g., Dean (religion) and Dean (education).

In the English language, the meaning of doyen (and the less common doyenne) has extended from the French definition to also refer to any senior member of a group, particularly one whose knowledge or abilities exceed those of other members.

Head teacher

The head teacher, headmaster, headmistress, head, chancellor, principal or school director (sometimes another title is used) is the staff member with the greatest responsibility for the management of a school, such as a college or university or, in the case of the United States and India, an independent school.

Henry H. Bauer

Henry Hermann Bauer (born November 16, 1931) is an emeritus professor of chemistry and science studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). He is the author of several books and articles on fringe science, arguing in favor of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster and against Immanuel Velikovsky, and is an AIDS denialist. Following his retirement in 1999, he was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a fringe science publication. Bauer also served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Tech, generating controversy by criticising affirmative action.

Iain Borden

Iain Borden (born in Oxford in 1962) is an English architectural historian and urban commentator. He is currently Vice-Dean Education at The Bartlett, University College London (UCL), and Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture. He is particularly well known for his academic studies of everyday occurrences such as car driving, skateboarding, walking and movies in relation to contemporary architecture and public spaces. His books Skateboarding, Space and the City: Architecture and the Body, (Berg, 2001) and successor Skateboarding and the City: a Complete History (Bloomsbury, 2019) met with considerable acclaim for their analytical and historical account of skateboarding, using the philosophy of Henri Lefebvre to interpret this global practice as a creative, political and urban act. His book Drive: Journeys through Film, Cities and Landscapes, (Reaktion, 2012), similarly explored automobile driving as experiences of cities and urban spaces, using cinematic representations to explore different speeds, landscape and social conditions.

He graduated from University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1985, and went on to complete masters degrees at UCL and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a PhD at UCL. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

His wide-ranging historical and theoretical interests have led to publications on, among other subjects: critical theory and architectural historical methodology (InterSections: Architectural Histories and Critical Theories, (Routledge, 2000)), the history of skateboarding as an urban practice (Skateboarding and the City: a Complete History, (Bloomsbury, 2019)), boundaries and surveillance, theorists Henri Lefebvre and Georg Simmel, film and architecture, gender and architecture, body spaces and the experience of city spaces (The Unknown City: Contesting Architecture and Social Space, (MIT Press, 2001)). He has also undertaken a history of automobile driving as a spatial experience of cities, landscapes and architecture, and particularly as represented in movies: Drive: Journeys through Film, Cities and Landscapes, (Reaktion, 2012).For many years Iain Borden has been involved in skateboarding history, preservation and facility provision, including providing advice to Milton Keynes council in the early 2000s, which helped lead to the creation of the 'Buszy', often considered to be the world's first skate plaza. In London, 2013, he was involved in events around the controversial Southbank Centre plans to relocate skateboarding on its site. He supported the retention of skateboarding at the original Undercroft location and elsewhere on the Southbank, appearing in the "Save Our Southbank" and Long Live Southbank videos to this end, and playing a significant part in the proposed new skateable space underneath the nearby Hungerford Bridge. In 2014, Borden also helped English Heritage list the iconic Rom skatepark in Hornchurch (constructed 1978), the first such skatepark in Europe to gain heritage protection, and is currently technical consultant for the forthcoming Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad documentary directed by Matt Harris. He has written several articles in national newspapers extolling the history, virtues and benefits of skateboarding to society, and has given advice on skateboard preservation, facility design and provision to numerous city authorities, architects and skatepark manufacturers in the UK and USA. In 2015-16, he acted as an adviser for the multi-million pound 'Urban Sports Park' in Folkestone, UK, designed by Guy Hollaway Architects and Maverick skateparks for the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, to be the world's first multi-level skatepark. Most recently, in 2018 he helped initiate and design a new skatepark in Crystal Palace, south London, including London's first tile-and-coping pool for 40 years.

Index of education articles

This is an index of education articles.

Jon L. Mills

Jon L. Mills (born July 24, 1947) is an American lawyer and former politician.

Modern Two (Dean Gallery)

Modern Two, formerly the Dean Gallery, in Edinburgh, is one of Scotland’s national art galleries. It is part of the National Galleries of Scotland.

Since its opening it has housed the Paolozzi Gift, a collection of his works given to the National Gallery of Modern Art in 1994 by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. It contains a large collection of Dada and Surrealist art and literature, much of which was given by Gabrielle Keiller. It is also used for temporary exhibitions.The Dean Gallery is twinned with the National Gallery of Modern Art which lies on the opposite side of Belford Road.

Rector (academia)

A rector ("ruler", from rector meaning "ruler") is a senior official in an educational institution, and can refer to an official in either a university or a secondary school. Outside the English-speaking world the rector is often the most senior official in a university, whilst in the United States the most senior official is often referred to as President and in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations the most senior official is the Chancellor, whose office is primarily ceremonial and titular. The term and office of a rector can be referred to as a rectorate.

The title is used widely in universities in Europe. and is very common in Latin American countries. It is also used in Brunei, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel and the Middle East. In the ancient universities of Scotland the office is sometimes referred to as Lord Rector, is the third most senior official, and is usually responsible for chairing the University Court.

Springfield, Vermont

Springfield is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The population was 9,373 at the 2010 census.

Superintendent (education)

In the field of education in the United States, a superintendent or superintendent of schools is an administrator or manager in charge of a number of public schools or a school district, a local government body overseeing public schools. All school principals in a respective school district report to the superintendent.

The role and powers of the superintendent varies among areas. According to Sharp and Walter, a popularly held opinion is that "the most important role of the board of education is to hire its superintendent."


In larger school systems, a head teacher principal is often assisted by someone known as a vice-principal, deputy principal, or assistant principal. Unlike the principal, the vice-principal does not have quite the decision-making authority that the principal carries. Although they still carry nearly the same authority among students, vice-principals do not have the same power on the board. Experience as an assistant principal is often a prerequisite for advancement to a principalship.

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