"Education is about the enrichment of lives; of students, literally changing the way they think critically; . . . and of faculty and staff, who are creating new knowledge and sharing it with their students and the greater community. The college is really theirs. The role of the dean is to nurture this synergistic enrichment process by feeding it with the resources and intellectual climate necessary to breed excellence." So commented Dean James C. Bean of the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business in the opening pages of his chapter "Nurturing the Enrichment Process" in the recently published Business School Leadership Strategies.
Bean's chapter was one of ten written by leading business school deans across the country. The publication is part of Aspatore Books' Inside the Mind series, which seeks to share business intelligence from high-level executives (chairmen, CEOs, CFOs, and CTOs) in a range of industries
For Business School Leadership Strategies, Bean approached his chapter like a memoir, illuminating his management style through anecdotes about his experiences at the Lundquist College of Business and as associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Michigan's College of Engineering. Among the stories he shared was a hallway encounter with a student distressed because a company had discovered an analysis he completed for his investment club on the web. The company was not favorably portrayed in the analysis, even though the information was factual, and it threatened legal action. Bean referred the matter to university counsel, who quickly resolved the issue, enabling the analysis to remain on the Internet. Subsequently, another research firm discovered the student's research and contracted him to perform similar work. For Bean, the story illuminates the importance of actively engaging students and faculty in order to efficiently address issues affecting their ability to excel.
Other chapters in Business School Leadership Strategies provide detailed charts, figures, and technical accounts of a dean's role. Taken altogether, Bean said, the book is a guide to the ins and outs of being a dean, including how to go about making decisions, encouraging intellectual growth, and developing a reputation for excellence.