The Role of a Dean at the University of Missouri

By Brian Foster, Provost

The duties and influence of a Dean vary slightly, depending on the College or School, but in general deans' roles are very similar. At the University of Missouri, as members of the Deans' Council, deans play a central role, individually and as a group, in the University's academic administration. Deans are involved centrally in issues including strategic planning, budget, curriculum, facilities, and research. Moreover, they are key participants in external relations of the university, including fund raising, alumni relations, economic development, political priorities (federal and state), and public relations.

Deans are expected to support and promote the highest quality educational programs, research, public service, and economic development activities of their respective colleges and schools. Each dean must be an effective advocate for his/her college, both within the University and externally. Deans have ultimate accountability for their colleges' sound management of resources: fiscal, facilities, and human. They are responsible for collegiate planning, including alignment of plans for educational, research, and other activities in their colleges. The Deans have direct responsibility for:

As a participant in a broad range of institutional discussions and decision making, deans must maintain perspective on the entire range of the University's activities, including different kinds of service, different academic programs, externally and internally supported research: the entire range of education and research on a world-class diverse campus.