Given the degree of familiarity with the School needed for the departmental tutor (DT) role, the person assigned should be
a full-time member of staff who has experience of working at LSE, who has been through their major review and has been confirmed in post.
In addition to the knowledge and understanding of LSE that is required, the DT also needs to possess certain personal skills and abilities. The DT needs to be able to liaise with colleagues and students effectively, to represent the views of both the student and the department in difficult situations and to ensure where possible that confidentiality is respected. By the very nature of the job, problems that are brought to the DT's attention are often complicated, as they have not been resolved by the student's academic adviser through normal channels.
Most departments see the role of departmental tutor as time-limited (usually three to five years). This approach takes into account the scale of the job with the aim of sharing the responsibilities among colleagues in the department. The role is complex and the workload is explicitly linked to the different stages of the academic year. It therefore takes a full academic year in post to see the job in its entirety. The 'handover costs', for both individuals and departments, are considerable and should be carefully planned.