Fundamental changes to the HE sector over recent years have forced universities to review their organisational management structures. Consequently, middle leadership roles such as the Associate Dean (AD) have gained in importance.
Below the level of Dean, but above the level of department head, ADs are involved in largely strategic as opposed to operational duties. In supporting the Dean, they can have a critical effect on success and provide a link between the academic voice and the ever-changing demands being placed upon University faculties. However, it is a role that is not well understood with previous research tending to look at more clearly defined positions.
The purpose of this paper is to report on initial data from an on-going Leadership Foundation funded project investigating the role of Associate Dean in UK universities. To answer the study’s research questions, an embedded, sequential mixed methods design has been adopted.