Why do UK academics become Associate Deans and what are their future career plans?

Floyd, Alan and Preston, Diane (2019). Why do UK academics become Associate Deans and what are their future career plans? Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 41(4) pp. 430–443.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080x.2019.1625220

Abstract

The role and number of Associate Dean posts in UK universities has grown considerably in recent years. Despite this, relatively little is known about the reasons why individuals take on such roles and how it fits into their career trajectories. The purpose of this article is to explore these issues by drawing on data from the first national study of Associate Deans in the UK. Adopting a two-staged mixed methods approach, data were collected from semi-structured interviews (n = 15) and an online survey (n = 172). The findings suggest that academics take on the role for a number of reasons such as the challenge of working across the University, making a difference to staff and students, or being asked to take it on by a senior member of staff. It is argued that these Associate Dean roles are part of new and emerging academic career pathways within the higher education sector.

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