I am the dean of the faculty of sustainability. In order to reflect on this experience, I wrote a personal dean’s manifesto, which I share here.
1) The dean works on the coherent triangle of management of the faculty, research in the faculty and teaching of the faculty, together with the other deans.
2) The dean tries to jointly create a vision for the faculty. Integrating the different ideas of professors and other faculty, as well as our colleagues both within and outside of Leuphana demands recognition of the bigger picture, as well as being able to compromise. Please help the dean to create this vision.
3) The dean is action-orientated. Solutions are key to the dean. While exploring solutions may take time, we need to focus on how we reach a goal best. This demands a sensible measure and a transparent procedure, and a clear recognition of futile tasks.
4) The dean believes that transparency and communication are key in our daily interaction. Therefore, the dean does not want to tolerate power relations and violent communication. Academia just as any other branch of society is often still hampered by the lack of non-violent communication. Hierarchy should be about taking decisions and responsibility, not about dominating others. I believe all live is precious, and violence is futile.
5) The dean integrates processes and moves the vision of the faculty forward. While this demands leadership, it more importantly demands an hierarchical planning. While some tasks are moved forward by the dean, all faculty needs to stand up to the role to move the faculty forward, since we all are the faculty.
6) There are comittees in the faculty and university that have the role to take decisions. Please consider whether the institution is served best if you approach the dean about a decision that the dean will not and can not decide on.
7) It is in the nature of the position of the dean that the dean cannot be corrupted. The dean will not yield to pressure or violence, and will despite his compassion not yield to negative emotion. I try to be the dean I want to see in the world.
8) The dean is a representative of the faculty. The dean is glad to represent the faculty, however due to his role being focussed on a wide array of tasks please realise that the dean cannot stay for longer time stretches at all events where he is representing the Faculty. The dean often has to leave for other tasks.
9) The dean is a hub of information. Please bring everything you consider relevant for the faculty to my attention. The dean will try and communicate information to the necessary people in order to approximate solutions.
10) I am grateful to be the dean.