I also regularly write about leadership on this blog because, as an academic, I am naturally observant and curious and have had enough war stories both from several years in industry and many more as a female professor to have insights as to how effective organizations are run.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a test for evaluating prospective deans.
The Gotcha Quiz was composed by an actual Dean, Dr. Scott Dalrymple.
My favorite questions on it are:
4. Do you want to be provost or president someday?
YES , Incorrect. We haven't even interviewed you yet, and already you're halfway out the door. We need someone who wants to do this job. How can you give your best effort if you're constantly planning your next career move? Sheesh.
NO , Incorrect. Have you no ambition? Do you expect to simply coast into retirement, collecting an annuity from us? Not here, pal.
5. In a faculty meeting, you spend 20 minutes pontificating on a budget matter. Later you realize that some of your assumptions were wrong, making what you said complete drivel. You suspect that faculty members will never discover this on their own. Do you issue a mea culpa?
YES , Incorrect. Show any sign of weakness and the faculty will eviscerate you. Picture a lion and a three-legged gazelle. You aren't the lion.
NO , Correct. +5 points.
6. Are you a technology enthusiast, e.g. iPods, iPads, etc.?
YES , Incorrect. The last guy treated us like his own personal Best Buy, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in charges for "educational technology." Overhead projectors were good enough when we were in school, and they're good enough now.
NO , Incorrect. The gal before Mr. Best Buy was a complete Luddite, and what a legal-pad-infested nightmare that was. We need someone who can relate to today's techno-savvy students. Someone who is up on the latest trends, like Prodigy, Geocities, and MySpace.The full quiz can be accessed here.