Discover your career path

Academic Dean



Oversee Professors and enforce policies as head of a college.

What does an Academic Dean do?

If an Academic Dean were a comic book supervillain, they’d be Two-Face. But instead of half devastatingly handsome Attorney and half acid-scarred criminal, they’d be half Professor and half Administrator. All good.

This is a position usually given to more senior, tenured Professors. In larger schools, there’s an Academic Dean for every area of study (Dean of Business and Dean of Engineering, for example). In smaller schools, however, an Academic Dean may oversee all academic fields.

As an Academic Dean, you only keep the title for about five to seven years. The reason for this short tenure is the amount of pressure on you to keep everyone in the school happy while at the same time carrying on your duties as a Professor.

You answer to alumni, students, Professors, and Administrators. You hire and mentor new Professors, help older ones navigate the tenure track, decide what classes will be offered in the upcoming year, create new degree options, assign Student Advisors, and schedule classes. You also create a yearly budget for your department, keep an eye on the budget as the year progresses, and work with alumni to raise funds. Additionally, you appear at university events as the face of the college, and work with shareholders to create long-term academic goals for the school.

On top of all this, you also teach at least one class a semester, and solve any problems that arise within your specific school. These problems can include cheating students or Professors who are unhappy with their pay.

Was this helpful?YesNo