The Essential Academic Dean or Provost: A Comprehensive Desk Reference, Second Edition
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More About This Title The Essential Academic Dean or Provost: A Comprehensive Desk Reference, Second Edition


The go-to reference for academic leaders seeking practical answers to everyday challenges

The Essential Academic Dean or Provost explains the "how" of academic leadership, providing a practical, comprehensive, reality-based reference for almost any problem, challenge, or opportunity. This updated second edition includes new chapters on the difference between leadership and management in higher education, leadership in politically charged environments, effective strategies for making decisions, and working with associate deans or provosts, plus new case studies, new research, and ten additional chapters available on the companion website. Each topic deals concisely with the most important information deans and provosts need when faced with a particular situation, providing both a comprehensive guide to academic leadership as well as a ready reference to be consulted as needed.

The role of a dean or provost at a modern university is extremely complex, involving budgeting, community relations, personnel decisions, management of a large enterprise, fundraising, and guiding a school, college, or entire institution toward a compelling vision of the future. The details academic leaders have to deal with are numerous and critical, and every little thing matters. This invaluable guide provides the answers you need when you need them, and gives you framework for successfully navigating your job's many competing demands.

  • Build support for a shared vision of the future
  • Interact effectively with different internal and external constituencies
  • Learn decision-making techniques specific to the academic environment
  • Set, supervise, and implement a budget that allows your programs to flourish

Academic leaders need a handy, focused reference that provides authoritative answers to the many issues and questions that arise every day. With proven solutions to a multitude of challenges, The Essential Academic Dean or Provost shows academic leaders what they need to know in order to successfully guide their institutions into the future.


JEFFREY L. BULLER is dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University and senior partner in ATLAS (Academic Training, Leadership, and Assessment Services). He is the author of The Essential Department Chair, Academic Leadership Day by Day, Best Practices in Faculty Evaluation, Positive Academic Leadership, and Change Leadership in Higher Education, all from Jossey-Bass.


About the Author xi

Preface xiii

PART ONE The Academic Leader’s Role

1. Being #1 in the #2 Business 3

2. Preparing for a Leadership Role 19

3. Identifying Your Leadership Style 33

4. Creating a Shared Vision 59

5. Leading Change 73

6. Promoting Diversity 89

7. A Scenario Analysis on the Academic Leader’s Role 109

PART TWO The Nature of Academic Leadership

8. Leadership and Management 115

9. Leadership with Individuals 127

10. Leadership with Groups 135

11. Leadership in Promoting Teamwork 147

12. Leadership in Making Decisions 161

13. Leadership in Politically Charged Environments 175

14. A Scenario Analysis on the Nature of Academic Leadership 189

PART THREE The Ecosystem of the College or University

15. Students 195

16. Parents 209

17. Faculty 219

18. Department Chairs 241

19. Staff 253

20. Assistant and Associate Deans 269

21. Peers 281

22. The Provost 293

23. The President 305

24. Friends of the College 315

25. Donors and Potential Donors 323

26. Boards, Trustees, and Legislators 339

27. A Scenario Analysis on the Ecosystem of the College or University 349

PART FOUR The Academic Leader as Supervisor

28. Evaluations of Faculty 359

29. Evaluations of Chairs and Deans 381

30. Position Requests and Descriptions 393

31. Policies and Procedures 407

32. A Scenario Analysis on the Academic Leader’s Responsibilities as Supervisor 417

PART FIVE The Budget of the College or University

33. Setting Budgetary Priorities 427

34. Budget Proposals 437

35. Supervising a Budget 445

36. Implementing Budget Cuts 455

37. A Scenario Analysis on the Budget of the College or University 463

PART SIX The Opportunities and Challenges of Being an Academic Leader

38. Dealing with Employee Challenges 473

39. Terminating a Faculty Member 485

40. Replacing a Chair 499

41. Responding to Emergencies 509

42. Dealing with the Media 519

43. The Unionized Environment 529

44. The Dean as Chief Academic Officer 539

45. A Scenario Analysis on the Challenges of Being an Academic Leader 547

PART SEVEN The Next Step for the Provost or Dean

46. Knowing When It’s Time to Go 555

47. Changing Institutions 565

48. Returning to the Faculty 573

49. Planning for a Higher Administrative Role 581

50. A Scenario Analysis on the Dean’s Next Step 591

Epilogue: A Checklist for the Essential Academic Leader 599

Index 603