April 1, 2004 – March 31, 2005

Catherine Emihovich

Background Context

The life of a college dean at an AAU Research Extensive institution is filled with complexities, and requires an intricate balancing act among constant, current commitments and responsibilities, and envisioning and planning for the future. In addition, the roles that one has to play to fulfill numerous obligations often seem endless, although it can very creative and stimulating to change hats frequently. My perspective on a dean’s work is that I have two primary responsibilities; one that is basically focused on administrative tasks, and the other that is focused on leadership issues. An administrator’s roles are to acquire resources and apply them to solve problems, to carry out essential tasks, and to remove any obstacles that would prevent faculty and students from being fully engaged in the work of teaching, research, and service.

In addition to gathering resources, an essential component is to establish strong leadership teams comprised of skilled people at every level. As I refine my understanding of how this college operates, I will continually explore new ways to increase the efficiency and openness of the support offices within the dean’s area and departments that will facilitate the primary goals related to the College and UF Strategic Plans. Like our new president, I also believe that strong faculty governance is a critical element in helping to create a positive work environment. I have been impressed with the willingness of the faculty to carry out important policy related tasks that improve the quality of life from both an academic and professional development perspective. As FPC and I continue to forge a collaborative working relationship, I think the College will benefit greatly from having more people invested in how decisions are made and implemented.

In the area of leadership development, I think it is critical for a dean to help people see the “big picture” in terms of how their individual contributions are linked to the identity of the college as a whole. This is especially important for increasing our visibility, which in turn improves our national rankings. At the same time, I have worked to establish a collaborative working relationship among the other deans, department chairs, and heads of units within the College, and with other deans and directors across campus. I am especially interested in developing leadership capacity across faculty, and my goal for next year is to put in place some strategies that will enable more people to take on some leadership obligations without necessarily becoming full-time administrators.

What follows next is a breakout of how my time is allocated across several domains, along with my goals for each area, and a summary of accomplishments/ongoing progress. I should note that in many cases, I don’t accomplish tasks directly, but I hire the people to make them possible (e.g., assistant/associate deans, department chairs, directors of college wide functions). The time period is from April 1, 2004 – March 31, 2005 to match the time period for this assessment.

College/University Program Development (35%)

2004 – 2005 goals

  • Support coordination of new initiatives across programs, departments units, etc.
  • Support the development of distance education/on-line degree programs
  • Increase communication across the college so people are informed about budgetary and programmatic decisions
  • Hire the best possible faculty to ensure continuation of strong programs while also increasing the diversity of our faculty.
  • Increase graduate enrollments to reverse a trend in declining enrollments over the last two years.
  • Conduct successful campaign as chair of University Community Campaign
  • Link PKY and Baby Gator initiatives with College/University initiatives


  • Hired new Associate Dean of Academic Affairs who took office in August, 2004.
  • Negotiated with Bill Riffee, Executive Vice Provost for Continuing Education, to get favorable rates and grant support to develop online degree programs in STL
  • Selected Associate Dean for Research to open new research office in July, 2005.
  • Hired first woman department chair in Educational Leadership.
  • Hired new director of News and Publication in July to develop a more comprehensive strategy for making visible College initiatives.
  • Conducted eleven faculty searches this year: two failed, and of the remaining nine, seven positions have been filled, and two are pending. Three Latino faculty have been hired, and it is very likely we will have an African-American hire as well.
  • Increased graduate student enrollment by 66 (headcount) over last year.
  • Raised $904,000 for UFCC, which is the largest amount ever raised since the campaign began 15 years ago
  • Supported the Teacher/Researcher program at PKY in conjunction with the Center for School Improvement
  • Began planning for new building for Baby Gator to develop a research center on early childhood education

Resource Development (40%)

2004 – 2005 Goals

  • Maintain our faculty lines from retirements, and secure new funding for additional lines.
  • Meet or exceed Foundation fundraising target of $1.5 million dollars
  • Provide additional funds to raise Assistant Professor salaries to approximate national average beyond the funding provided by the University.
  • Address on-going problems in the Business Office that interfered with effective support of departments.
  • Seek new development director to replace Mary Driscoll, who resigned in April, 2004 to take another position.


  • Kept all faculty lines from retirement and received funding for three additional lines, including a separate line for a new chair of Educational Leadership.
  • Raised approximately $2.9 million dollars as of March, 2005. The College also received its second largest gift in the form of a charitable trust for $1.9 million to establish an endowed research fund.
  • Adjusted all assistant professors’ salaries (where necessary) to bring their salaries to a minimum base of $50,000.
  • Hired new Business Office manager in March, 2005.
  • Hired new Development Director in August, 2004.

Community/School/State/National Outreach (15%)

Goals for 2004 – 2005

  • Maintain or increase College ranking in US News & World Report
  • Represent the College at state and national forums related to educational issues
  • Present College initiatives at public venues to raise visibility


  • College ranking increased from 26th to 24th among all institutions; increased from 15th to 14th among public institutions
  • Attended the following meetings on behalf of the College: AERA, Florida Fund for Minority Teachers (4 board meetings a year), Organization of Institutional Affiliates, SUS Deans meetings (twice a year), FACTE (twice a year), Land Grant Deans’ meetings (twice a year), AAU Education Deans’ meetings (twice a year), AACTE, LEARN Coalition
  • Presented on College initiatives at the following venues: Alumni Board of Directors’ meetings (four times a year), Development Advisory Board meetings (twice a year), Grand Guard Reunion, all alumni events (several scheduled each month), Lastinger Center Board of Directors meetings (twice a year), Florida Free Speech Forum, Alumni Association, Foundation Board of Directors meetings, Legislator Day in Tallahassee, Holmes Partnership, Outreach Scholarship Conference

Personal Professional Development (10%)

Goals for 2004 – 2005

  • Maintain professional visibility on personal research agenda through selected writing and presentations at national meetings


  • Presented talk at UF Alumni Association Distinguished Lecture Series
  • Presented talk at International Conference on Poverty in Monterey, Mexico
  • Completed term as President of the Council on Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association, in November 2004
  • Served as consultant to the National Research Council
  • Presented paper (with Nancy Dana) at Outreach Scholarship Conference; paper has been submitted for publication

A Day in the Life of a Dean

To give people a sense of how my day unfolds in relation to the work described above, below is an attenuated description of a typical 14 hour day:

6:00 Wake up, go exercise

7:30 Provost staff breakfast

9:00 Meeting with chairs

11:00 Meeting with one department chair to discuss budget

12:00 Meet with other deans (working lunch)

1:30 Meet with candidate from faculty search

2:00 Meeting across campus

3:30 Meet with faculty member to discuss project idea

4:30 Meet with student who has complaint about a program

5:30 Meet with development director to discuss fundraising trip

6:30 Attend university reception

8:00 Arrive home

9:00 Work on answering email (on average, I receive about 200-300 messages a day) and read reports

11:00 Fall into bed

Despite this heavy schedule, I find that working with talented faculty, staff, and students in our college to be very motivating, and I am excited at all the possibilities that keep emerging that will help make a difference in education. It is an honor and a privilege to work with everyone here, and I appreciate that opportunity every day as I strive to improve the quality of life in the college environment.