Being the dean #8 – representing the Faculty

#Representing the Faculty

It is a large honour to represent the Faculty as a dean. While honour is hard to quantify, I am constantly aware that currently I am there for the Faculty, whenever a face, a speech or a welcoming is needed. Knowing as much as possible about the Faculty facts, all the while having these lined up in a nice canvas of stories and anecdotes is essential to connect to others and explain the Faculty to them. In my case, I am very glad that this honour is shared among other people, hence I am currently focussing on representing the Faculty within Leuphana. Representing the Faculty has to be balanced, for at least two reasons. First, there is a high number of requests, asking for you – or better the Faculty- to be represented somewhere. Here one needs to focus, and only attend the ones which are most necessary and helpful to a high number of people. While the dean can welcome or integrate people or give a larger perspective, the dean certainly has also time constraints and cannot participate in time-intense activities that are relevant to a smaller circle of people. Where to draw this line, you ask? I do not know. This is the time where you can give the position your very own tone and style. I try to walk the fine line between diversity and utility. The second reason why representing the Faculty can get out of hand is the ego. It is not about you, it is about the office and the Faculty. When representing one should as much as possible step out of your own ego, since power enables, but also corrupts. This is again the point to realise how much power people associate with the office. However I think this has next to nothing to do with me as a person. Another thing that is worth noticing is that some occasions are closer to my interest than other. Here, one should remember the bigger picture in balancing the Faculty. I sometimes wonder whether all time representing is well spent, even when I know I have to be there. At some occasions the dean is a bit like a Jack-in-the box, being put somewhere to represent. Still, I think that this is not only a necessity in constructed institutions, but an honour. By now I enjoy these occasions, as there is always something to be learnt. When being a dean, you have to be the Jack-in-the-box you want to see in the world, and make this role come to live. Evolve you style, and try to become good at it. The constructed function of the dean demands you to serve in this role.