The School of Science, Health and Technology
M. Sc. (D.U.), Ph.D. (Dalhousie Univ., Canada)
Dean, School of Science, Health and Technology and Professor of Biology
More than thirty years of teaching and research experience have fostered my growth into an award winning teacher. Service as an executive member in professional organizations and faculty unions and extensive participation in committees and taskforces have furthered my development as a respected academic leader and efficient manager. In brief, what I am now is the end product of many years of professional and life experiences.
I have developed skills needed to solve problems and resolve conflicts among individuals. During my term as the Dean, I resolved several faculty conflicts involving a variety of academic issues. Colleagues approach me to express their concerns knowing that I cannot solve all of their problems. They come to me because I am a good listener, a good motivator, a good analyzer of facts and situations; because I have patience, integrity, and a positive attitude. Above all they approach me because I treat them and students with respect, the way I like to be respected.
An Academic Dean is the academic leader as well as an administrator of an academic unit of a college/university. I understand that a good Academic Dean must have ability to efficiently persuade his/her people to set a side their individual concerns and pursue a common agenda that is important for their students and for the institution they serve. To do so efficiently, a Dean must be familiar with institutional missions and goals, history, culture and traditions, its staff and faculty, its programs, problems and its position among its peer institutions. I believe leadership of a Dean in an educational institution should be measured by the level of influence he/she has on senior administrators, faculty, students, staff and the community he/she serves. Influence in turn depends on the person’s credibility, which stems from his/her scholarly credentials, vision, character, values, integrity and actions.
Although I make day-to-day decisions and implement them using my common sense, for substantial policy issues involving departments or the entire school, I use a more participatory/consultative decision-making process. I believe shared decisions help ensure selection of the best possible alternatives. This inclusive method also promotes a sense of community and partnership for the common good. I frequently do self-assessment and reflection to evaluate my actions, to celebrate my success and the successes of my cabinet colleagues, faculty and the students with whom I work.
I believe some of the most important functions of an Academic Dean are to advise senior administration on academic matters, address faculty and student issues and to facilitate and oversee academic departments’ efforts in hiring the best quality faculty, in developing challenging and contemporary curricula, in creating new academic programs, in writing grants and in conducting student recruitment activities. With support from the President/Provost of the institution he/she should be able to efficiently implement cabinet decisions and facilitate creation of a supportive, stimulating and nurturing environment in which faculty and students can engage in their learning process. I believe an effective Dean is sensitive to the needs of his/her cabinet colleagues, students, faculty and staff and maintains an open door policy with a goal of meeting their varied requirements. He/she must have the traits, skills and experience required to get diverse interest groups to work together. I am good at producing results through teamwork, resolving conflicts, communicating efficiently and motivating others. I enjoy greatly and feel very proud seeing my colleagues and students surpass me in their achievements.
I believe the best Academic Dean is the one who is faculty and student-centered, who is capable of maintaining a respected relationship with members in senior management. He/she is loyal, courageous, creative, hard-working, facilitates teamwork, makes decisions based on principles, treats his/her people as fairly as possible, and knows when and how to make decisions. He/she must be firm or flexible depending on the situation, be compassionate, enthusiastic, and retain a sense of humor. He/She encourages his/her people to do their best, recognizes their accomplishments and rewards their significant achievements.