The dean is the titular head of the Faculty whose main functions are determined by his or her dual role as chair of the Faculty Council and chief executive officer of the Faculty. As chair of the Council, the dean carries out his functions in accordance with Senate and Faculty Council regulations. He or she is also ex officio a member of all the Faculty Council committees. As chief executive officer of the Faculty, the dean acts in conformity with The University of Ottawa Act, the regulations of the Board of Governors and the by-laws of the Faculty.
More specifically, the dean is responsible for:
- the day-to-day administration of the Faculty budget as approved by the Board of Governors;
- preparing itemized budgetary estimates for the following year in accordance with the academic development plan approved by the Faculty and the Senate;
- presenting recommendations to the Joint Committee of the Senate and the Board of Governors, prepared by the Committee on Teaching Personnel of the Faculty and dealing with appointments, renewal or non-renewal of contracts, promotions, various types of leave, and tenure.
- communications between the Faculty and the rest of the University and, more specifically, for ensuring that the members of the Faculty are kept informed of the proceedings and decisions of the Senate and its committees as well as the proceedings and decisions of the Faculty Council and its committees;
- preparing the annual report on Faculty activities;
- discharging such other responsibilities as may be assigned.
More informally, one could say that the dean is the Faculty CEO, responsible first and foremost as an academic for excellence in teaching and research, but also for the overall management of the Faculty. Today's dean is also deeply involved in public relations and fund-raising, while at the same time maintaining traditional roles related to protocol and diplomacy.
The term of office is normally five years.