Deans spend a lot time with other deans, faculty, and outside groups. It is possible to get too consumed by non-teaching activity and lose sight of the people you were hired to serve—the students.
Staying in the classroom keeps me connected with students and inspires me to make better decisions. It keeps me in touch with the people who are most impacted by my decisions. Students change, and I don’t want to lose sight of their frame of reference, their motivations, their interests. I find joy in interacting with students and helping them work through the challenges of college life and gain the confidence to pursue a meaningful career. I know that I am more effective as a dean because of my commitment to classroom teaching, and I know that I will gladly return to it when my tenure as dean ends.