Assistant/Associate Dean for Graduate Student Academic Affairs and Professional Development

The Pennsylvania State University

Assistant/Associate Dean for Graduate Student Academic Affairs and Professional Development

The Graduate School at Penn State invites applications for the position of Assistant/Associate Dean of Graduate Student Academic Affairs and Professional Development. This is a pivotal role at Penn State, dedicated to nurturing the academic success, well-being, and professional advancement of our graduate student community.

This position encompasses overseeing academic affairs, managing student concerns, and ensuring adherence to Graduate Council policies. Additionally, the Assistant/Associate Dean serves as the university-wide Ombudsperson for graduate students, spearheading initiatives for their holistic development, including wellness and career advancement.

Key Responsibilities: The key responsibilities with the duties within them are as follows:

Student Development and Professional Growth

  • Develop and implement tailored programs for graduate student wellness, career advancement, mentoring, and professional development.
  • Offer comprehensive support for career progression and overall well-being.
  • Spearhead the conceptualization and delivery of initiatives aimed at enhancing the professional journey of graduate students.
  • Cultivate partnerships with industry stakeholders, alumni, and employers to provide impactful career development opportunities.

Conflict Resolution and Student Support

  • Serve as the university-wide ombudsperson, ensuring impartial and confidential resolution of student concerns.
  • Act as a reliable resource for students seeking guidance and conflict mediation.
  • Co-manage academic and disciplinary cases, facilitating fair resolutions.
  • Address student challenges with empathy and provide guidance in alignment with university policies.

Policy Development and Compliance

  • Co-develop, revise, and implement policies related to the graduate student experience.
  • Ensure compliance with Graduate Council policies and relevant university regulations.
  • Contribute to the development of university-wide policies and initiatives impacting graduate students.
  • Serve as a resource for graduate students on academic policies and procedures.
  • Collaborate extensively with other units within the Graduate School and across the University on issues impacting the student experience.
  • Stay updated on policies related to graduate education.

Student Support and Services

  • Provide guidance and support to graduate students, addressing academic and personal challenges.
  • Liaise with various support services, such as counseling, advising, and disability services, to ensure student needs are met.
  • Oversee the resolution of academic grievances and issues.

Data Analysis and Reporting

  • Collect and analyze data related to graduate student outcomes and satisfaction.
  • Generate regular reports and recommendations for program improvement.
  • Use data-driven insights to enhance student success.

Supervision and Team Leadership

  • Co-manage and supervise the Associate Director of Graduate Student Well-Being and the Associate Director of Graduate Student Career and Professional Development.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to team members, fostering a collaborative and productive work environment.

Budget and Financial Management

  • Develop and manage budgets for academic affairs and professional development initiatives.
  • Allocate resources effectively to support various student programs and services.


  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field is required. A doctoral degree is preferred but not required.
  • Significant experience in higher education administration with an established track record of serving as a student administrator.
  • Strong knowledge of higher education institution policies and regulatory compliance.
  • Excellent administrative, analytical, communication, managerial, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to build positive relationships and collaborate effectively with students, parents, colleagues, employees, and external partners.
  • Ability to think strategically and lead initiatives that involve multiple stakeholders to enhance the graduate student experience.
  • Ability to prioritize and allocate resources effectively to support program goals.
  • Proficiency in utilizing online systems for student affairs and information management.
  • Experience in organizing resources and establishing priorities.
  • Familiarity with Penn State University’s policies and procedures is an added advantage but not required.

Application: Interested candidates are requested to submit a cover letter and a resume for full consideration.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

Penn State offers competitive benefits to full-time employees, including medical, dental, vision, and retirement plans, in addition to tuition discounts (75% discount for spouse and children), and paid holidays. Please visit for more detailed information.

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CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


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