Job description

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Occupational Summary

The Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and Student Affairs of the Sanford School of Public Policy provides effective leadership for the administrative support of the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Sanford School, as well as leadership in the strategic implementation of new programs and directions pursued by the School. Responsibilities include implementation of new initiatives, facilitation of special projects, management and oversight of the complete set of student affairs functions ranging from marketing and recruitment to graduation, budget oversight, and effective assignment of faculty and teaching assistants to the classroom. The Assistant Dean reports to the Associate Dean of Academic Programs (faculty position). In addition, the Assistant Dean works with and is responsive to the Director of Graduate Studies of the Masters of Public Policy (MPP) Program (DGS-MPP), the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), and the Director of the PhD program (DGS-PhD), as well as to the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research on matters relating to faculty. The Assistant Dean takes primary responsibility for leading, coordinating, and supervising program staff in recruiting and admissions, student services, registrar functions, data management, and international academic programs. The Assistant Dean facilitates collaboration with the Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development. The Assistant Dean also facilitates collaboration with the Director of the iMEP – International Master of Environmental Policy program, the Executive Director of the DCID- Duke Center for International Development, and the Director of the Masters of International Development Policy (MIDP) Program on mutually beneficial arrangements among the graduate masters programs.

Work Performed

A detailed description of functional areas and tasks follows:

Lead strategic management of staffing undergraduate and graduate classrooms through effective assignment of faculty and teaching assistants to the classroom

The Assistant Dean works with the Associate Dean of Academic Programs, the DUS, the DGSs, and faculty at all ranks (Tenured/Tenure-track, Regular Rank, and Non-regular Rank) in developing and implementing a multi-year plan for the allocation of faculty across required service and elective courses in all programs. This includes the strategic hiring, evaluation and retention of key adjunct instructors and practitioners. The Assistant Dean works with the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Research with respect to faculty course obligations per their contracts. Faculty teaching assignments include working to:

  • create, improve and maintain the “TAMS-Teaching Assignment Management System” with Sanford Web Administrator and Registrar;
  • maintain faculty data such as course load, scheduled leaves, banked courses; working with the Manager of Faculty Affairs to access and input data;
  • maintain the non-regular-rank faculty database, provide content for advertisements for adjunct instructors through Duke’s online system and for individual appointment letters, working with the Sanford HR Director and administrative staff in Sanford’s centers;
  • create and maintain, in collaboration with Assoc. Dean, DUS and DGSs, a repository of potential adjunct instructors;
  • provide information to the Sanford Building Manager to inform assignment of adjunct instructor office spaces each semester; and,
  • collaborate with the Sanford HR Director and the Manager of Faculty Affairs to plan and deliver orientation for new faculty at all ranks each semester;
  • manage process to assess adjunct instructors’ performance annually/prior to contract renewal working with the DUS and MPP DGS.

The Assistant Dean oversees the process of assigning MPP students to teaching assistantships, as well as graduate assistantships and non-grant-funded research assistantships. In this regard, the Assistant Dean partners with the MPP staff, maintaining the role of primary contact with and for faculty during the process. The Assistant Dean manages the process to assess teaching assistants’ performance after each semester.

Oversee program staff and program budgets

The Assistant Dean coordinates and supervises graduate and undergraduate program staff in recruiting and admissions (graduate programs only), program delivery, student services, registrar functions, data management, and associated budgets. This involves efforts to:

  • review and rationalize program-specific tasks versus school-specific tasks;
  • for direct reports, supervise and manage the staff and all aspects of their work, including assignment of responsibilities; for non-direct reports, provide secondary-level supervision and support;
  • manage the hiring process for all academic programs staff;
  • for direct reports, recommend various personnel actions, including, but not limited to, hiring, performance appraisal, and taking corrective personnel actions; for indirect staff (i.e., iMEP), provide support to direct supervisors and assist as appropriate with performance appraisals;
  • provide oversight of annual performance review process and facilitate process for staff and academic supervisors;
  • encourage and provide support to staff’s professional development efforts and provide training opportunities for staff;
  • work with program staff to develop and manage budgets, identify possible places to streamline, and forecast future needs;

Act as administrative lead on new academic program implementation

The Assistant Dean provides leadership in efforts to implement new academic programs within Sanford, with particular focus on connecting with greater Duke entities to ensure compliance with Duke policy and regulations and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) regulations and guidelines. This includes research into similar programs or initiatives and best practices at Duke and other institutions.

Act as administrative lead on reviews of existing programs and special projects

The Assistant Dean leads coordination of reviews of existing academic programs, both those conducted from within Sanford and by Duke or other entities. The Assistant Dean leads special projects as requested by the Associate Dean, Sr. Associate Dean of Faculty and Research or Dean, and provides assistance to the DUS and DGSs.

Facilitate and support coordination efforts among Sanford’s academic programs and with other Duke professional schools and academic offices

The Assistant Dean serves as the primary point of contact among the school’s graduate programs for University initiatives and data requests that involve multiple programs (i.e., testing, student protocols). The Assistant Dean leads and facilitates efforts among the various program/student services staff of the undergraduate, MPP, MIDP, PhD and iMEP staff to coordinate activities, share information, minimize duplication of effort and maximize effectiveness. The Academic Program staff regularly collaborate and coordinate with other Sanford staff and Duke entities regarding common aspects of academic programs and student services and how best to provide them. The Assistant Dean, along with the DGS and DUS, assesses the school’s needs in these areas and backstops staff who represent the programs in dialogue with other Duke units.

The Assistant Dean is the key administrative liaison with collaborative programs such as the Duke-Margolis Health Policy Program and the iMEP- International Master of Environmental Policy degree program.

Oversee Sanford graduation activities

The Assistant Dean provides leadership and oversight to the staff of the Undergraduate, MPP-Master of Public Policy, MIDP-Master of International Development Policy, and PhD programs in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the annual Sanford graduation activities, as well as coordination with the Dean and Sanford Communications staff.

Lead school-wide assessment reporting of student services functions

The Sanford School is both committed to evaluating its student services functions and to reporting goals and outcomes to the Provost annually as required. The Assistant Dean serves as the School’s representative on the Provost’s assessment committee (“CAEAS – Committee for Assessment of Educational and Administrative Support”) and leads the Sanford staff in formulating, measuring and reporting goals and outcomes, and using results to inform and improve program adjustments. The Assistant Dean also prepares the Dean’s annual Academic Assessment report for submission to the Provost.

Manage a variety of Academic Programs’ budget and finance activities

In support of and collaboration with various Sanford staff members, the Assistant Dean manages and/or makes recommendations on these budgets:

  • Faculty credits for supervising honors theses, independent studies and/or MPP Master’s Projects
  • Provost’s office “UPEF – Undergraduate Program Enhancement Fund” application process and reporting
  • Adjunct Instructor budget
  • Assistantship budget
  • Annual tuition increase recommendation and justification
  • Global Education Office (GEO) Reserves
  • Bass endowment fund expenditures

The Assistant Dean will perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.


The work requires knowledge of accounting and business matters, as well as analytical, organizational and communications skills generally acquired through a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, business, accounting or a related field. A master’s degree from a professional program or an allied discipline in management and administration is preferred. Degree(s) in social sciences or the liberal arts, with job experience in higher education administration as outlined below is also acceptable.


This position requires at least six years of experience in an administrative and/or business setting. Familiarity with programs and activities involved in operational budgets, organizational, and business matters is critical, as well as the skills necessary to implement and coordinate administrative programs. We prefer candidates with relevant work experience in management and administration in a university setting, with broad knowledge of higher education issues, preferably at a graduate or professional school level. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE

In addition, the successful candidate should possess the following qualities/attributes:

  • Ability to lead by example and build and strengthen working relationships
  • A strategic skill set that includes strong organizational, planning, data management, and analytical capabilities
  • Outstanding management skills and experience managing a team of program staff, working across multiple program areas
  • A vision for, and comprehensive understanding of, a contemporary and effective approach to data management and assessment
  • An understanding of available technology and its uses in the student affairs initiatives
  • Experience overseeing a data-driven approach to managing academic programs
  • Self-assurance, resilience, and resourcefulness that engenders the confidence of others
  • Adaptability to changing circumstances and commitment to continuous assessment and process improvement
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Cross-cultural communication and diplomacy skills
  • Initiative and flexibility
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.




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Job No:
Posted: 1/22/2021
Application Due: 2/11/2021
Work Type: Full Time