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THE DUTIES AND WORK OF THE DEAN IN A
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING.
BY JAMES M. WHITE, Dean of the College of Engineering, University of Illinois. As the influence of a dean should extend beyond the sphere of his own college, it is necessary to consider his position in its relation to both the general university and college organizations. This relationship at the University of Illinois is shown graphically herewith, the lower half of the diagram representing the college of engineering and the upper half the general university organization.
The students have direct dealings with the officers of other colleges in which they elect courses, with the registrar who admits them to the university and keeps the official records of their work, with the chief clerk to whom they pay their fees, and with the dean of undergraduates who is their special adviser.
The members of the faculty with the rank of full professor and others who are acting heads of departments sit in the senate which exercises legislative functions touching the educational policy of the university. The council is the executive body and includes the president, vice-president and deans. It does not exercise general legislative functions, but acts in an advisory capacity to the president, touching the discharge of administrative duties, and has exclusive jurisdiction over all matters of discipline.
The college faculty exercises legislative functions touching any matter appertaining exclusively to the internal work of that college and the progress of students therein. It does not, however, have authority to take away from any student any university privilege, nor to do anything trenching upon the executive duties of the dean. It is understood that the college organization is only for convenience within university circles, and that no college shall take action not well supported by rule or usage for which the general officers of the university may be called upon to answer. All matters of general policy, or matters involving the interests of outside parties, are determined by general university authority.
The dean presents the recommendations of his college faculty to the senate, council or president as the case may require, and all official communications from members of his faculty pass to higher authorities through his hands. He is supposed to be an information bureau for both faculty and students with regard to the university statutes, the rules and regulations for the government of students, the program of studies, and all matters pertaining to registration. As the presiding officer of the faculty it is his duty to encourage a free discussion of college policies so that all the members of the faculty shall be competent student advisers. As the executive officer of the college, he makes recommendations for appointments and salaries, is responsible for the methods of transacting department business, approves all requisitions before they go to the purchasing agent, and maintains general supervision over instruction.
The students as well as the faculty should feel the personality of the dean, and he must be alert to see that they are uniformly and fairly treated in all cases. His administrative duties require long office hours and
bring him in contact with the exceptionally strong students and with those who are delinquent. The mass of the average students the dean does not see officially, and he should therefore arrange to meet them socially. He cannot have much time for teaching, but should give at least one course which may be elected by a considerable number of students.
To accomplish the work as outlined here, he must have an assistant whose title may be assistant dean, associate dean, junior dean, or vice dean; a chief clerk to keep the accounts and look after inventories, purchases, etc.; a record clerk to keep the students' records and attend to routine matters pertaining to petitions and study lists; and a stenographer.
SOME PHASES IN THE ORGANIZATION OF
BY LOUIS E. REBER,
Engineering, Pennsylvania State College.
In the conduct of a university the factor of supreme importance is the quality of its instructional force. The controlling principles that animate the men who originate and shape policies, the high ideals their lives express, their stability and breadth of character, their scholarship and skill in imparting knowledge, their gifts of sympathy and understanding discernment, their power of influencing to finest issues the lives of those about them,-these are the life-currents of the institution. But just as the blood in the human organism ceases to support life when the heart no longer sends its pulse through the system, so no university can exist without a more or less effective physical structure. An imperfect system of organization may be attended by friction which in its influence will pervade the institution, creating disturbances even in the student body, while a wellbalanced and wisely systematized organization, like an accurately designed and perfect machine, will run easily and smoothly, with no flaw in the results.
Though it is of necessity a somewhat dry and prosaic study that deals so entirely with the internal machinery of educational life, yet it should prove profitable to devote time to it, in the hope of evolving a harmonious, simple and consistent working system, so complete and sufficient in itself as to meet all possible requirements and conditions without strain at any point.
It is realized that no system of organization can be devised that will apply to all colleges or universities; that in every institution special conditions must obtain which necessarily modify and frequently control the nature of its organic structure. There are, however, certain fundamental principles underlying the formation of all institutions respecting which some general observations may be made. Time may be devoted appropriately to a discussion of organizations adapted to the needs of that class of institutions known as the Land Grant Colleges, which, from the nature of their foundation exist under like conditions and present essentially similar lines of work.
In order to introduce some phases of the working structure of a state university the following résumé is presented of a system of organization which has recently come under the observation of the writer.
The highest authority is vested in a board of control. Directly responsible to this board is the president of the university who, assisted by a financial agent, a registrar, and a secretary, is the chief executive.
Assume that the university is divided—there being no professional schools, such as law or medicine into several colleges, their number and work depending upon the scope of the institution of which they form constituent parts.
In the organization of these colleges the dean is