Career Development

What Does a Dean Do?

Find out what a dean does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a dean.

A dean is a senior administrator who oversees the day-to-day operations of an academic department or school. They are often responsible for managing faculty, overseeing curriculum development, and ensuring that students receive a quality education.

Deans may also be tasked with developing new programs or initiatives to help their department or school grow in size or scope. This might include recruiting new faculty members, expanding course offerings, or even creating partnerships with other schools or organizations.

Dean Job Duties

A dean typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing and administering academic policies and procedures for the department, including overseeing curriculum development and implementation, assessment of student progress, and grading of exams or papers
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with students, faculty members, parents, alumni, and other members of the community
  • Participating in fundraising activities to support the department’s activities, such as hosting alumni events or soliciting corporate sponsorships
  • Ensuring that students receive quality instruction in a safe environment by monitoring students’ progress and intervening when necessary
  • Managing student records, including attendance records, academic performance, and disciplinary actions
  • Overseeing the administration of student examinations, including proctoring tests and making sure that exams are secure during the testing period
  • Participating in university committees and other decision-making bodies concerning academic programs or policies
  • Managing the budget for the department, including allocating resources to meet program goals and requesting funds from the university administration for capital improvements or other expenses
  • Participating in professional development activities to keep abreast of current trends in the field and improve one’s own abilities as an educator

Dean Salary & Outlook

Dean salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the school. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $86,500 ($41.59/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $152,000 ($73.08/hour)

The employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

The primary reason for this growth is the increased awareness of the importance of oral health and regular dental checkups. As more people recognize the importance of oral health, demand for dental hygienists’ services will increase.

Related: In-Depth Dean Salary Guide

Dean Job Requirements

A dean typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most Dean positions require a master’s degree in a related field, such as education, business administration or public administration. Some deans may also hold a doctorate degree.

Many deans have a background in education, and they may have previously worked as a teacher or administrator.

Training & Experience: Dean positions require at least 10 years of experience in a related role. Experience as a faculty member or administrator is preferred. Experience in a leadership role, such as a department chair, is also preferred.

Dean positions often require candidates to have experience in a variety of areas, including research, teaching and administration. Experience in a leadership role is preferred, such as a department chair or associate dean.

Certifications & Licenses: Dean is a male name of Gaelic origin. It is a variation of the name Duncan, which means “dark warrior.” The Gaelic spelling of the name is Donnchadh, which means “brown warrior.” There are many famous people who have this name, including Dean Martin, an American singer and actor, and Dean McDermott, a Canadian actor. There are also several fictional characters who have this name, including Dean Winchester, a main character in the TV series Supernatural, and Dean O’Banion, a character in the TV series Gotham.

Dean Skills

Deans need the following skills in order to be successful:

Leadership: Dean duties often include supervising staff and faculty, so leadership is an important skill for deans to have. Leadership skills can help you motivate others, inspire them to work hard and help them develop professionally. You can also use your leadership skills to help your school develop its own leadership programs, which can help you train future deans.

Communication: Dean duties often require you to communicate with students, faculty and staff. You should be able to convey messages clearly and concisely, whether you’re speaking to a large group or one-on-one. You should also be able to listen to others and respond to their questions or concerns.

Teamwork: Dean’s who work in management often have to work with a team of employees to complete projects and tasks. This means that they need to be able to work with others to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. A dean can use their teamwork skills to help them delegate tasks, motivate their team and resolve conflicts.

Problem-solving: Dean duties often involve resolving conflicts between faculty members, students and other members of the university community. You can use your problem-solving skills to help you find solutions to these issues. You can also use your problem-solving skills to help you find solutions to challenges that arise during events or other activities on campus.

Adaptability: Dean duties often change from day to day, so it’s important for deans to be adaptable. This means being able to adjust to new responsibilities and challenges as they arise. For example, if a faculty member is absent, a dean may need to step in and teach a class. Being adaptable means being able to adjust to this new role and teach the class effectively.

Dean Work Environment

Deans typically work in an office on a college campus, although they may travel to attend conferences or meetings. They typically work Monday through Friday during regular business hours, although they may work evenings and weekends to attend events or meet with students, faculty, and staff. Deans typically have a great deal of autonomy in their work, although they are responsible to the president or chancellor of the university. Deans must be able to juggle the competing demands of their job, which can be stressful. They must be able to make decisions quickly and be comfortable with ambiguity. They must also be able to handle conflict and be able to motivate and inspire others.

Dean Trends

Here are three trends influencing how deans work. Deans will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Dean

The role of the dean is changing as more and more schools move towards a digital model. This means that deans need to be well-versed in technology and how to use it to improve education.

As more schools adopt digital models, deans will need to be able to manage and oversee these changes. They will also need to be able to create a culture of innovation within their schools, which can be difficult without the right support from the administration.

A Focus on Student Success

Dean’s offices are increasingly focusing on student success as a way to measure their own success. This trend is leading to an increased focus on data-driven decision making and the use of metrics to track progress.

Deans who are able to utilize data to make informed decisions about students will be better equipped to help them succeed. In addition, this trend will lead to an increased demand for professionals who have experience working with data.

More Collaboration Between Deans and Faculty

There is a growing trend among colleges and universities to promote collaboration between deans and faculty members. This is being done in order to improve communication and ensure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to important decisions.

As this trend continues to grow, deans will need to learn how to work effectively with their faculty members. This includes understanding their needs and priorities, as well as being able to communicate clearly and effectively.

How to Become a Dean

A career as a dean can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students and faculty, and to lead an academic institution. However, it’s important to consider all aspects of this career before embarking on it.

As a dean, you will have many responsibilities, including leading the academic life of the college or university; overseeing the curriculum; managing staff; and working with donors and other stakeholders. You will also need to be able to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and with varying levels of education.

Related: How to Write a Dean Resume

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for deans vary depending on the size and type of institution they work for. In small institutions, the dean may be the highest-ranking administrator. In larger institutions, the dean may report to a vice president or president. Some deans move into upper-level administration, such as a vice president of academic affairs or a chief academic officer. Others become consultants or work in government.

Similar Jobs


What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do?

Back to Career Development

Naturopathic Doctor Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More