Recently I was shovelling our car out of a pile of snow. This was, as usual, a neighbourhood bonding exercise: middle-aged men and women like to take breaks from shovelling, and like to catch up on family events. One neighbour asked me about my family’s holidays, and I asked about her family, and so on. Then she asked me about my job as Dean, how long was it for, how long had I done it and so forth.
I told her I have been doing my job for five years now and had agreed to do another five-year term. With a puzzled expression, my neighbour then asked me the same question many of my family and friends, and indeed my University colleagues ask me: What does a Dean do? (more…)