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Pushing Back To A Semi-Superior

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Old 3rd September 2011, 1:56 AM   #1
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Pushing Back To A Semi-Superior


I'm the administrative coordinator for the academic department of a university. There are three college deans in this department, and all of the folks in this department are my superiors, but only one is my direct report (i.e. has the power to fire me).

One of the other two deans in this department is a complete BS'er, for lack of a better term. He does the bare minimum of work required of him, and pushes everything else off onto others. My biggest irk is that he proactively ignores and avoids the people he is supposed to be serving - the students. He is a college dean - students are supposed to see him to get advice on courses to take, program changes, performance issues and the like. But every time a student calls him or emails him or makes an appointment, he does everything he can to avoid them like the plague. For instance, I remember once he had an appointment set with a student and left the student waiting for an HOUR AND A HALF after the appointment time because he was having an informal chat with a colleague. The student had to see him so he waited, and when this BS'ing dean finally came to get the student he offered no comment or apology for having the student wait. He pulls this kind of thing on the students all the time. And because I am sort of like the secretary for the department, I'm the one who has to try to calm these students down and justify this BS'ers "unavailablity."

I'm getting really tired of covering for him and am not sure what to do. The only way I know how to tackle an issue is head on. So the last time I noticed him doing this, I told him "If you can't see this student, please tell him/her so yourself." I had given him the student's information and the student had called and rescheduled three times in the course of a month already because this dean kept cancelling appointments and not telling the student. The dean feigned offense at my "terseness", and in the end I ended up contacting the student anyway.

My boss (who is also thsis BS'ers boss, btw) has only recently noticed that he doesn't communicate as well with others as he does with her (he talks to her all the time because she's his boss, so he's always in her face talking about all the "work" he's getting done). My boss and I get along really well, and we both understand the importance of great customer service to the students. I know that if I tell her about the ways I've seen him blow off students, she will want to rake him over hot coals. But I have two concerns:

A) I don't know if I have enough evidence to warrant her giving him a reprimand of any sort (which I understand is the only thing that will change his behavior), and

B) If he does get reprimanded, he will know it's because I reported my observations to our boss. I think he is petulant enough to try and make my job difficult or set me up to get me in major trouble if I get him in trouble in any way, and I don't need that kind of drama. I've got enough stress just doing my job without having to look over my shoulder for a backstabber, metaphorically speaking.

So......with all this shared, I ask.....has anyone been in this situation or have any suggestions? Any and all are appreciated, and thanks if you've read this all the way through .
Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change. - Thomas Hardy
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