The role of a university dean is to get a department into top shape and promote the accomplishments and needs of its faculty, University of Southern California professor Martin Krieger writes in this commentary. The best deans don't show favoritism, but will provide incentives for faculty and learn how to handle friction between colleagues, he suggests. Deans also must look to the future, Krieger writes. "Every few years, ask yourself, 'What's the next challenge?' Keep in mind that you need to resign when you don't see a path forward."

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