Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services

Apr 02, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services

The Graduate School of The Pennsylvania State University is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services. This position reports to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School (VPD) and works closely with the Senior Associate Dean to provide critical strategic direction, long-term planning, and operational oversight for The Office of Graduate Student Services, which includes Graduate Enrollment Services and the Office of Theses and Dissertations, reaching across all research and professional graduate degree programs under the Graduate School, including those delivered in residence, as well as online through Penn State's World Campus. This position is responsible for enforcing Graduate Council academic policies and Graduate School administrative policies, as well partnering with the Associate Deans for Graduate Student Affairs and Graduate Education Equity in supporting adjudication of individual student admission, matriculation and graduation issues; and, works in collaboration with the director of Graduate Business Analytics Core in exploring efficiency and process enhancements.

As the land-grant University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Penn State is composed of the University Park campus and 23 other campuses throughout the state. The Graduate School, established in 1922, is one of the nation's largest graduate schools, with more than 14,000 graduate students enrolled in residence at University Park; Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College; Penn State Erie, the Behrend College; the Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies; the College of Medicine, as well as at a distance through Penn State's World Campus. Penn State offers over 190 graduate fields of study. The Graduate School is responsible for overseeing the admission, matriculation and graduation of all graduate students across the University; maintains academic standards and adherence to academic and administrative policies; promotes and provides professional and career development opportunities for graduate students; and promulgates best practices for the Graduate Faculty to augment the efforts of graduate programs and colleges.

This newly created position will lead and oversee all components of Graduate Student Services, including but not limited to setting strategic direction and operational goals, monitoring national and global trends, anticipating challenges, identifying solutions to complex situations and emerging issues and identifying opportunities for improved services. The Assistant Dean will develop and define work standards and key performance indicators, recommend staffing and operational needs, and continuously assess the organizational structure and functioning of the unit to optimize efficiency, promote best practices, and support professional development of staff. The Assistant Dean will serve as the VPD's designee on University bodies, including those related to student recruitment, admissions, enrollment, and central marketing of graduate programs at Penn State, as well as being a member of the Advisory Committee for Graduate Education, Graduate Council, and an ex officio member of the Graduate Council Committee on Academic Standards and Joint Curricular Committee. In collaboration with the Senior Associate Dean, this position will provide critical guidance and recommendations to colleges/schools and graduate programs in building formal collaborations with domestic and international partner institutions. The Assistant Dean will work closely with college administrators for graduate education, graduate program heads/professors-in-charge/directors of graduate studies, and central offices including, but not limited to, the Office of the University Registrar, Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising in the Office of Global Programs, Undergraduate Admissions, Office of the Bursar, and Office of Student Aid.

The Assistant Dean serves as a member of the Graduate School's Senior Administrative Leadership Team and of the VPD's Executive Leadership Team, and is engaged in strategic planning, decision-making, policy development, and problem solving for University-wide graduate student services issues.

The successful candidate must have evidence of excellent analytical and communication skills (including written, oral, and interpersonal), demonstrated ability to prepare reports and deliver high quality presentations (both internal and external constituencies), a high level of critical and strategic thinking, attention to detail, the ability to work collaboratively and build teams, the ability to solve complex problems and recommend and implement solutions, a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and respect for others, experience in graduate education administration (preferably in aspects of graduate enrollment operations), a graduate degree preferably at the doctoral level, and at least five years of relevant experience. Awarding of tenure is not available for this position. The position routinely requires time after traditional business hours and on weekends, and with increased time demands during certain periods of the academic calendar and/or when institutional needs due to special circumstances must be met.

Review of applications will begin on April 20, 2021, and continue until the position has been filled. Qualified individuals should submit: 1) a cover letter that includes a concise overview of their interest and experience relevant to the position, along with a vision for meeting the emerging challenges and opportunities facing graduate education, particularly with respect to graduate student enrollment services; 2) curriculum vitae; and 3) names, respective position title, relationship to the applicant, and contact information (mailing address, daytime telephone and e-mail address) of four professional references addressed to the Co-Chairs of the Search Committee for Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services, Dr. Michael Verderame and Ms. Janine Andrews.

Apply online at

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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