In every organization, there are people entrusted with making the daily lives of others seamless and easier. These are the administrative officers. They coordinate, galvanize, organize and manage, and have answers for everything organization-related. Simply put, that is the function of the Dean of Students in an institution to the students. They are the administrative officers for students in a higher institution – charged with providing guidance for students and effectively manage their in-campus affairs.
These affairs are all-encompassing, ranging from sorting out admissions to creating social calendars to always being accessible to students.
The dean of students works all-around-the-clock.
WHO IS A DEAN OF STUDENT?
A dean of students is the director, administrator, and manager of student affairs in a college campus. Students often go into college assuming they are adults who now have the freedom or independence to navigate and influence the course of their lives without help. However, this illusion fades fast, and the reality becomes a bunch of young adults seeking help to navigate their lives around campus. The catch is, the college body is all too familiar with this and knows that like new babes need their parents for guidance and direction, students need someone to guide them around campus, sort of like an on-campus parent. That someone is the dean of students.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS?
Dean of Students Job Description
- INFORMATIONAL: This is one of the most pertinent roles of the dean of students. Their capacities as head of student affairs entrust them with the ability to be in the know of things all the time, especially regarding student affairs.
- ADVISORY: Above we touched down on the fleeting arrogance of young adults once they realize that despite the freedoms of college life, there are rules to be obeyed, and there are things that they just can’t sort out without the help of someone in a higher authority, and this is when another aspect of the dean’s role surfaces. They serve as advisors and guidance counselors to students.
- ADMINISTERIAL/MANAGERIAL: The affairs of students are magnanimous. And we are talking outside of academic activities. First, there are admission requirements to settle with, and then there is accommodation, financial aid, health services, social programs, and a long list of less acclaimed and rigorous functions – all of which are coordinated by the dean of the student.
- ORGANIZATIONAL: We’ve already established how multi-faceted the roles and responsibilities of the dean of students are, hence, there is a need for provision and maintenance of a standardized structure, hence administration and management becomes catastrophic. The dean of the student provides that structure for quick and easy processing of information.
- INTERMEDIARY: The dean of students also plays an intermediary role. They are oftentimes the mouthpiece of the students, as well as of the college body. The interphase between both parties and pass information as needed.
- DIRECTIONAL/SUPERVISORY: They also play directory and supervisory roles. They ensure rules are followed, standards are kept, requirements are met, and activities are carried out smoothly.
- INSPIRATORY: Lastly, as deans of the student, their roles are also inspiratory. They motivate and inspire students through words and deeds and encourage them to aspire and perspire.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A DEAN OF STUDENTS – Dean of Students Job Description
- They are responsible for creating, planning, and implementing social activities and initiatives in the institution.
- They analyze, readjust and reform the institution’s programs and initiatives to match evolving best standards and practices.
- Alongside faculty, they develop policies for the institution and see to it that the policies are adhered to by students.
- They also decide penalties to be given if school policies are breached.
- The dean of students is also responsible for supervising and managing the affairs of students on campus.
- Occupants of the office are also communication officers for and between the student and the institution’s management.
- They serve as guidance counselors and mentors to students, suggesting and providing them with the available and possible best options or alternatives.
- They are tasked with handling students’ complaints and ensure that all complaints are handled fairly.
SKILLS REQUIRED FOR A DEAN OF STUDENT AFFAIRS – Dean of Students Job Description
- MANAGERIAL SKILLS: To be in such a position means to know and have some managerial experience. A dean of student affairs is required to understand the affairs of the institution and run it accordingly.
- COMMUNICATION SKILLS: This is a pertinent skill for everyone, particularly a dean of students who have to interact with students and liaise between them and the school management as a fundamental part of their lives and jobs.
- PLANNING AND ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS: The dean of students is responsible for putting together all extracurricular activities of students, as well as managing every other aspect of student’s life in college, saves for classroom activities.
- MULTITASKING SKILLS: Previously, we’ve highlighted some of the unending functions performed by a dean of students, most of which happen simultaneously and occur impromptu. To be able to succeed in this role is to be able to multitask efficiently.
- CRISIS MANAGEMENT SKILLS: While a dean of students is efficiently organized and always on top of things, sometimes, things will fall out of place regardless. And this is pure because not everything is under our control, and college is one of the most unpredictable places there is.
- CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS: The office of a dean of students also requires someone with critical thinking skills, as well as someone who can think on their feet. This is because the position is one that commands authority and a wide purview under its authority. And the person in the position is regarded as an authority over student affairs hence, he/she should be discerning and process information quickly.
- LEADERSHIP SKILLS: The dean of students is the authority on non-academic student-related activities on campus. This inadvertently puts him in a leadership position; hence, leadership skills are very important for the position.
- PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS: In large associations, and more so those as big as tertiary institutions, problems erupt unprovoked. The dean of students is responsible for maintaining peace and calm in the institution.
- TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS: Time fleets quickly when one has a large number of responsibilities. There seems to be so much to do, yet so little time. This is the case of a dean of students. Despite working 24/7, there’s just so much to do, always something to do, and without time management, some responsibilities might overshadow others.