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Career profile Academic Dean

Also known as Academic Affairs Vice President, Academic Dean, Admissions Director, College President, Dean, Financial Aid Director, Institutional Research Director, Provost, Registrar, Students Dean

Academic Dean

Also known as Academic Affairs Vice President, Academic Dean, Admissions Director

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$56,310 - $199,400 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Administration and Management
  • Education and Training
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Direct activities of administrative departments, such as admissions, registration, and career services.
  • Develop curricula, and recommend curricula revisions and additions.
  • Appoint individuals to faculty positions, and evaluate their performance.
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What does an Academic Dean do?

Academic Deans plan, direct, or coordinate student instruction, administration, and services, as well as other research and educational activities, at postsecondary institutions, including universities, colleges, and junior and community colleges.

What kind of tasks does an Academic Dean perform regularly?

Academic Deans are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Design or use assessments to monitor student learning outcomes.
  • Recruit, hire, train, and terminate departmental personnel.
  • Direct, coordinate, and evaluate the activities of personnel, including support staff engaged in administering academic institutions, departments, or alumni organizations.
  • Advise students on issues such as course selection, progress toward graduation, and career decisions.
  • Plan, administer, and control budgets, maintain financial records, and produce financial reports.
  • Provide assistance to faculty and staff in duties such as teaching classes, conducting orientation programs, issuing transcripts, and scheduling events.
  • Establish operational policies and procedures and make any necessary modifications, based on analysis of operations, demographics, and other research information.
  • Formulate strategic plans for the institution.
  • Prepare reports on academic or institutional data.
  • Represent institutions at community and campus events, in meetings with other institution personnel, and during accreditation processes.
  • Promote the university by participating in community, state, and national events or meetings, and by developing partnerships with industry and secondary education institutions.
  • Participate in faculty and college committee activities.

The above responsibilities are specific to Academic Deans. More generally, Academic Deans are involved in several broader types of activities:

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

What is an Academic Dean salary?

The median salary for an Academic Dean is $97,500, and the average salary is $115,200. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Academic Dean salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Academic Deans earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Academic Deans earn less than $56,310 per year, 25% earn less than $72,030, 75% earn less than $139,220, and 90% earn less than $199,400.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Academic Deans is expected to change by 7.5%, and there should be roughly 14,500 open positions for Academic Deans every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$56,310 - $199,400
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Academic Deans?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Academic Dean are usually higher in their Enterprising, Conventional, and Social interests.

Academic Deans typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Academic Deans typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Academic Deans typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Academic Dean tend to value Independence, Achievement, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Academic Deans very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Academic Deans very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Academic Deans very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Academic Deans must consistently demonstrate qualities such as initiative, leadership, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Academic Deans, ranked by importance:

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Academic Deans need?

Many Academic Deans have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Academic Deans may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Academic Deans

  • 0.7% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 4.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 7.2% completed some college coursework
  • 4.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 25.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 43.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 14.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Academic Deans

Academic Deans may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administration and management, education and training, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Academic Deans might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

Important Abilities needed by Academic Deans

Academic Deans must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Academic Deans need abilities such as written comprehension, oral expression, and written expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Academic Deans, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Academic Deans

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Academic Deans frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Academic Deans, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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