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Become A Dean

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Working As A 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

  • $165,756

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 A 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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Dean Jobs

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Dean Demographics

Gender

Male

49.3%

Female

47.5%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.2%

French

15.5%

German

6.1%

Portuguese

4.5%

Chinese

4.1%

Arabic

4.1%

Russian

3.7%

Italian

3.7%

Mandarin

2.4%

Hindi

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Gujarati

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Swahili

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Czech

1.2%

Polish

1.2%

Swedish

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%
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Dean Education

Schools

American University

16.3%

University of Phoenix

11.8%

Capella University

6.3%

Boston University

6.0%

Walden University

5.3%

New York University

5.0%

Nova Southeastern University

5.0%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of Florida

4.0%

Harvard University

3.8%

Auburn University

3.5%

Iowa State University

3.5%

West Virginia University

3.3%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

3.3%

University of Central Florida

3.3%

Northern Illinois University

3.3%

Texas A&M University

3.0%

DePaul University

3.0%

Northcentral University

3.0%

Grand Canyon University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

20.1%

Educational Leadership

9.8%

Law

8.6%

Education

7.5%

Nursing

5.5%

Psychology

4.6%

Elementary Education

4.4%

Communication

4.0%

Accounting

4.0%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

Management

3.6%

English

3.4%

Biology

3.2%

Political Science

2.9%

Human Resources Management

2.6%

Finance

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Social Work

2.4%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%

History

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

29.3%

Masters

24.0%

Other

20.6%

Doctorate

15.9%

Associate

5.5%

Certificate

3.5%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.2%
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Real Dean Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Dean and Professor University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Jun 01, 2014 $275,000
Dean & Distinguished Professor/Smlr Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Piscataway, NJ Aug 01, 2015 $268,000
Dean and Professor Northeastern University Boston, MA Sep 01, 2010 $251,111 -
$270,000
Dean and Professor Harvard University Boston, MA Jan 01, 2012 $250,000 -
$550,000
Dean The Trustees of Princeton University Princeton, NJ Jul 01, 2012 $240,000 -
$390,000
Dean University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI Jul 01, 2014 $227,250
Dean University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI Sep 01, 2011 $225,000
Dean of Architecture and Design Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI Aug 01, 2012 $127,920 -
$160,000
Dean of Planning, Institutional Research and Effectiveness Northern Essex Community College Haverhill, MA Jan 11, 2016 $125,000
Dean Minot State University Minot, ND May 01, 2016 $123,600
Dean Minot State University Minot, ND Aug 20, 2013 $120,000 -
$130,000
Dean of Global Initiatives & Prof. of Int'l Educat Dowling College Oakdale, NY Jan 02, 2014 $119,350 -
$130,000
Dean University of Hawaii Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 02, 2010 $111,192
Dean of Learning Resources Savannah College of Art and Design, Inc. Savannah, GA Oct 22, 2012 $92,290 -
$110,000
Dean of International Programs Lander University Greenwood, SC Jan 21, 2015 $89,690
Dean of Teaching and Learning Kipp NYC LLC New York, NY Jan 07, 2014 $89,580
Dean University of Hawaii Kaneohe, HI Oct 01, 2010 $80,952
Dean Stanton University Garden Grove, CA Dec 08, 2010 $76,600
Dean Northwestern Presbyterian Theological Seminary Tacoma, WA Jan 26, 2011 $74,402
Dean of International Programs Lander University Greenwood, SC Jan 03, 2016 $70,053
Dean of International Programs Lander University Greenwood, SC Mar 01, 2015 $70,053
Dean Hancock University Long Beach, CA Dec 30, 2016 $69,500
Dean of International Programs Lander University Greenwood, SC Jun 13, 2013 $65,125 -
$66,000
Resident Dean Lecturer Harvard University Cambridge, MA Sep 01, 2014 $61,547
House Dean Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Sep 01, 2015 $60,000
Dean, Culture and Guidance Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy Washington, DC Aug 31, 2015 $60,000 -
$90,000
Dean, Culture and Guidance The Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Washington, DC Nov 19, 2015 $60,000 -
$90,000

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Top Skills for A Dean

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  1. Curriculum
  2. Safety
  3. Financial Aid
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Support and develop learning opportunities for scholars utilizing data, curriculum, and social emotional learning to achieve academic excellence.
  • Developed and implemented all safety and environmental goals for the production departments.
  • Assisted in revamping operational (student affairs) and financial aid functional areas; Advised and assisted in developing performance/production management measures
  • Maintained student records and communicated student progress to parents/caregivers.
  • Developed highly-effective philosophies and approaches for course development and teaching adults both face-to-face and online.

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Top 10 Best States for Deans

  1. New Jersey
  2. Nevada
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Alaska
  5. New York
  6. Michigan
  7. Maryland
  8. Delaware
  9. California
  10. North Dakota
  • (22 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)

Top Dean Employers

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