The University's deans play a dual role: they are both the academic and the administrative leaders of their schools. They are also advocates in the higher councils of the University for the departments under their jurisdiction, as well as interpreters and administrators of the University’s policies. In all of these roles, the deans must continually see that the Provost and President are informed about the status, accomplishments, problems, and needs of their schools. They also must bring to their faculty, students, and alumni an understanding of the University’s policies and needs and try to win support for them.
The deans are primarily responsible to their faculties for curriculum. So although the deans report to the Provost in an administrative sense, they report to their own faculties concerning most of the academic programs.
The deans of the schools preside at all meetings of their faculty, serve as the official means of communication between the faculty or its members and the Provost, and are the budgetary officers responsible for personnel proposals and allocation of funds for each department in their schools. Deans also play an important role in the appointment of chairs of departments within their purview, and they appoint the standing committees of the school (except for the elected faculty committee on academic freedom and responsibility). They participate in the Council of Deans and the Presidential Advisory Group and are represented in the University Council.