Book By: Gary S. Krahenbuhl
Review By: Christine G. S. Leichliter
Assistant Dean, School of Art Media & Music
The College of New Jersey

If “chance favors the prepared mind” (p. 6), then Gary Krahenbuhl helps prepare aspiring academic deans in his Building the Academic Deanship: Strategies for Success.  

Krahenbuhl asserts that there are no formal preparatory programs for upper level academic leadership; very often, deanships just happen. Therefore preparation is key to success as an upper level administrator. This author offers a wealth of practical information to ensure that success.

Krahenbuhl uses clear, simple language and straightforward honesty to guide the reader through the process that surrounds becoming a dean.  From the interview and first days on the job, to daily duties and responsibilities, the reader finds real-life scenarios that illustrate all facets of the position.  Krahenbuhl realistically describes today’s dean and his or her place within various environments: faculty, administrative, student, staff, and the community. For instance, chapters on Student Affairs and The Dean and the Faculty contain practical advice drawn from everyday campuses occurrences.  Since a dean’s responsibilities do not stop at the academic door, Krahenbuhl extends his advice to include external relations and resource building off-campus. Appendices provide useful outlines that serve as tools to manage such issues as performance evaluation, recruitment, space usage, and the myriad of other fundamental duties of the academic dean.

Krahenbuhl maintains that “when it comes to performing effectively, a dean with the knowledge contained in this volume will have chance on his or her side” (p. 6). He certainly delivers that knowledge in this must-read for anyone who has considered becoming a dean, hiring a dean, or even working for a dean.

Building the Academic Deanship: Strategies for Success. (2004). Book by Gary S. Krahenbuhl. Review by Christine G. S. Leichliter. Westport CT; Greenwood w/ the American Council on Education. 256 pp. $44.95 (hardback). ISBN #0-275-98326-9

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