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Working As An Academic Dean

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $90,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Academic Dean Do

Postsecondary education administrators oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities. Their job duties vary depending on the area of the college they manage, such as admissions, the office of the registrar, or student affairs.

Duties

Postsecondary education administrators who work in admissions decide if potential students should be admitted to the school. They typically do the following:

  • Determine how many students to admit to the school
  • Meet with prospective students and encourage them to apply
  • Review applications to determine if each potential student should be admitted
  • Analyze data about applicants and admitted students
  • Prepare promotional materials about the school

Many admissions counselors are assigned a region of the country and travel to that region to speak to high school counselors and students.

Admissions officers often work with the financial aid department, which helps students determine if they are able to afford tuition and creates packages of federal and institutional financial aid, if necessary.

Postsecondary education administrators who work in the registrar’s office, sometimes called registrars, maintain student and course records. They typically do the following:

  • Schedule and register students for classes
  • Schedule space and times for classes
  • Ensure that students meet graduation requirements
  • Plan commencement ceremonies
  • Prepare transcripts and diplomas for students
  • Produce data about students and classes
  • Maintain the academic records of the institution

Registrars have different duties throughout the school year. Before students register for classes, registrars must prepare schedules and course offerings. During registration and for the beginning of the semester, they help students sign up for, drop, and add courses. Toward the end of the semester, they plan graduation and ensure that students meet the requirements to graduate. Registrars need computer skills to create and maintain databases.

Postsecondary education administrators who work in student affairs are responsible for a variety of cocurricular school functions, such as student athletics and activities. They typically do the following:

  • Advise students on topics such as housing issues, personal problems, or academics
  • Communicate with parents or guardians
  • Create, support, and assess nonacademic programs for students
  • Schedule programs and services, such as athletic events or recreational activities

Postsecondary education administrators in student affairs can specialize in student activities, housing and residential life, or multicultural affairs. In student activities, they plan events and advise student clubs and organizations. In housing and residential life, they assign students rooms and roommates, ensure that residential facilities are well maintained, and train student workers, such as residential advisers. Education administrators who specialize in multicultural affairs plan events to celebrate different cultures and diverse backgrounds. Sometimes, they manage multicultural centers on campus.

Postsecondary education administrators can be provosts or academic deans. Provosts, also called chief academic officers, help college presidents develop academic policies, participate in making faculty appointments and tenure decisions, and manage budgets. Academic deans direct and coordinate the activities of the individual colleges or schools. For example, in a large university, a dean may oversee the law school.

Education administrators’ duties depend on the size of their college or university. Small schools often have smaller staffs who take on many different responsibilities, but larger schools may have different offices for each of these functions. For example, at a small college, the Office of Student Life may oversee student athletics and other activities, whereas a large university may have an Athletics Department.

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How To Become An Academic Dean

Although a bachelor’s degree may be acceptable for some entry-level positions, a master’s or higher degree is often required. Employers often want candidates who have experience working in the field, particularly for occupations such as registrars and academic deans. 

Education

Educational requirements vary for different positions. A bachelor’s degree may be sufficient, but a master’s degree or Ph.D. is generally required. Degrees can be in a variety of disciplines, such as social work, accounting, or marketing.

Provosts and deans often must have a Ph.D. Some provosts and deans begin their career as professors and later move into administration. These administrators have doctorates in the field in which they taught. Other provosts and deans have a Ph.D. in higher education or a related field.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Employers typically prefer to hire candidates who have several years of experience in a college administrative setting. Some postsecondary education administrators work in the registrar’s office or as a resident assistant while in college to gain the necessary experience. For other positions, such as those in admissions and student affairs, experience may or may not be necessary.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Postsecondary education administrators often need to be adept at working with computers so they can create and maintain databases and use computer programs to manage student and school records.

Interpersonal skills. Postsecondary education administrators need to build good relationships with colleagues, students, and parents. Those in admissions and student affairs need to be outgoing so they can encourage prospective students to apply to the school and existing students to participate in cocurricular activities.

Organizational skills. Administrators need to be organized so they can manage records, prioritize tasks, and coordinate the activities with their staff.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators often need to respond to difficult situations, develop creative solutions to problems, and react calmly when problems arise.

Advancement

Education administrators with advanced degrees can be promoted to higher level positions within their department or the college. Some become college presidents, an occupation which is discussed in the profile on top executives.

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Average Yearly Salary
$90,000
Show Salaries
$56,000
Min 10%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Concorde Career Colleges
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does an Academic Dean make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Academic Dean in the United States is $90,247 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $56,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $144,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Academic Dean Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Academic Dean Hult International Business School Jan 05, 2013 $181,280
Academic Dean Hult International Business School Jan 04, 2010 $170,000
Dean of Academic Initiatives The New School May 07, 2009 $146,000
Academic Dean Hult International Business School Jul 14, 2010 $135,000
Academic Dean World Learning Mar 02, 2016 $96,970
Dean of Academics Milkyway Education Center, Inc. Sep 22, 2014 $84,430
Academic Dean New York College of Health Professions Dec 05, 2011 $80,000
Dean of Academics Pioneer Charter School of Science Aug 05, 2013 $74,560
Academic Dean Nine Star University of Health Sciences Jan 11, 2016 $74,300
Academic Dean & International Bacclaureate Program St. Timothy's School Mar 20, 2014 $71,000
Dean of Academics Pioneer Charter School of Science Jul 19, 2010 $70,020
Dean of Academics Truebright Science Academy Charter School Jul 19, 2010 $70,000
Dean of Academics Truebright Science Academy Charter School Jul 20, 2013 $68,620
Dean of Academics Hampden Charter School of Science Sep 27, 2014 $68,310
Academic Dean Rochester Academy Charter School Jul 07, 2011 $66,300
Dean of Academics Hampden Charter School of Science Sep 27, 2011 $64,830

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Top Skills for An Academic Dean

  1. Curriculum Development
  2. Ensure Compliance
  3. Faculty Members
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administer the campus curriculum development and review process.
  • Complete monthly audits on faculty files to ensure compliance with regulatory and accreditation standards.
  • Directed relocation and reorganization of fifty faculty members to new location.
  • Participated in development of Student Learning Outcomes at the course, program, and institutional levels.
  • Greeted students and provided information about academic programs.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Academic Deans

  1. Utah
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Nevada
  5. Arizona
  6. West Virginia
  7. New York
  8. New Jersey
  9. California
  10. Massachusetts
  • (8 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)

Academic Dean Demographics

Gender

Female

53.2%

Male

42.1%

Unknown

4.8%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

17.0%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

French

12.3%

Italian

7.7%

German

4.6%

Chinese

3.1%

Vietnamese

3.1%

Swedish

1.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Armenian

1.5%

Mandarin

1.5%

Thai

1.5%
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Academic Dean Education

Schools

Nova Southeastern University

14.2%

Capella University

12.4%

Walden University

8.8%

Harvard University

7.1%

Andrews University

5.3%

Regent University

5.3%

Pepperdine University

5.3%

Strayer University

4.4%

Arizona State University

3.5%

National Louis University

3.5%

Kaplan University

3.5%

Southern University and A & M College

3.5%

University of Southern California

3.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.5%

University of Florida

2.7%

Saint Mary's University

2.7%

Florida International University

2.7%

James Madison University

2.7%

Liberty University

2.7%

Wayland Baptist University

2.7%
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Majors

Educational Leadership

21.0%

Business

16.9%

Education

10.5%

Elementary Education

7.0%

Nursing

4.6%

Theology

4.6%

Curriculum And Instruction

3.8%

Management

3.8%

Psychology

3.2%

Law

3.0%

Counseling Psychology

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

English

2.2%

Criminal Justice

2.2%

Educational Technology

2.2%

Human Resources Management

2.2%

Special Education

2.2%

Political Science

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

History

1.9%
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Degrees

Masters

48.2%

Doctorate

23.8%

Bachelors

16.9%

Certificate

5.9%

Associate

2.4%

High School Diploma

1.4%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.2%
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Updated May 18, 2020