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Dean, School of Communication

American University
Washington D.C.

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Executive Administration Jobs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Search for the Dean, School of Communication

American University (AU) invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean, School of Communication. This individual reports directly to the AU Provost and Chief Academic Officer, working closely with other AU deans and vice provosts to deliver the world-class education for which American University is known.

American University was founded by John Fletcher Hurst, a respected Methodist bishop who dreamed of creating a university that trained public servants for the future. Chartered by Congress in 1893, AU has always been defined by its groundbreaking spirit. Before women could vote, they attended American University. When Washington, D.C. was still segregated, 400 African Americans called AU home. As AU continues to grow in reputation and stature, it is grounded in the ideals of its founders as it remains a leader for a changing world.

The Dean will oversee a considerable portfolio of responsibilities including leadership, strategy, supervision, operations, and creative growth. The Dean will collaborate with the Acting Provost (who will hold the role until 2025) and other university deans in developing and implementing academic policy, engendering cutting-edge creativity, and the flow of communication in direct support of American University's mission.

Driving the success of School of Communication strategic imperatives, the Dean provides leadership to several Divisions and Centers.

The Dean will develop academic and administrative policies that will ensure the School of Communication is poised to educate the strategic communicators, journalists, storytellers, and communication researchers of the future. With a mind toward operating at the intersection of democracy and communication, AU seeks a leader who is passionate about enacting long-lasting, positive change and someone who will champion the school. This Dean will continue to grow a diverse SOC community and will be deeply committed to the scholar-teacher model. A link to the full position description can be found here:

The successful candidate will be a creative and collaborative leader who embraces the University’s mission and strives to grow an innovative, forward-looking School of Communication with an entrepreneurial spirit. The Dean must be committed to enhancing the student, faculty, and staff experience at AU and bring the technical expertise and scholar-teacher mindset to advance the growth and productivity of the School of Communication. The Dean will bring:

  • Experience that enables them to spur enrollment growth at both the undergraduate and graduate levels of study and for recruiting and retaining a talented and diverse faculty and staff workforce;
  • Demonstrated management experience of complex teams across academic affairs, student affairs, and budgeting;
  • Financial acumen and fiscal stewardship with an understanding of cost-containment and sound assessment; deep experience in fundraising and advancement;
  • Firsthand experience working in a shared governance environment;
  • Collaborative vision setting and the ability to show others how to take an idea from thought to implementation to action; and
  • Passion for DEI and desire to make further progress in shaping a more inclusive SOC.

For best consideration, please send all nominations and applications--including a CV and letter of interest--in confidence to: Julie Tea, Managing Director; Holly Jackson, Managing Associate; and Danielle Mebert, Senior Search Associate at

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment against any AU community member on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual's genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases"). Applications from those who are women, BIPOC, disabled, veterans, and/or in the LGBTQIA community are especially welcome and encouraged.

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