Okay, so now that I'm not an Associate Dean of anything, I suppose I can ask these questions without looking like I'm trying to feather my own nest ...
I'm interested in how many schools have more than one Associate Dean position (i.e. positions held by faculty rather than senior staff) and what portfolios they are divided into. I've worked at schools with many associate deans - including A.D.s for higher student research (in schools with LL.M. and Ph.D. programs), A.D.s for faculty research, A.D.s for student affairs, A.D.s for international affairs and/or foreign exchange etc. And I know there are an increasing group of A.D.s for experiential learning and practical legal training these days.
I'm wondering if there is an optimal number of associate deans at any given school and how the portfolios might be most effectively divvied up. This will obviously vary from school to school. A lot of the Australian schools I worked at had MANY A.D. positions but also huge student bodies and varied academic programs, whereas a lot of the smaller U.S. schools have only one or two A.D.s And when there are only one or two portfolios they seem to be academic affairs and research/faculty development.
Does anyone have any thoughts on whether multiple associate deans are a good idea and in what contexts it's most effective to have more than one? Is it just a factor of how big the school is and how many student programs it offers or are there more issues to take into account? (And I know I used lots of prepositions to end sentences with in this post but I'm taking a holiday from good grammar through sheer end-of-semester tiredness.)