Southern Methodist University — Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies

Southern Methodist University (SMU), a nationally ranked private university located near the heart of Dallas, seeks an innovative individual, adept in both marketing strategies and graduate recruitment best practices, to serve as its next Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies.

A nationally ranked private university with seven degree-granting schools, SMU is a distinguished center for teaching and research located near the heart of Dallas. SMU’s 11,600 students benefit from small classes, research opportunities, leadership development, international study and innovative programs. The University is strengthened by its partnership with the Dallas region, a global center of commerce and culture. SMU students, faculty and alumni are changing the world through their chosen fields, civic engagement and service to society. SMU’s progress in the last 20 years includes a near tripling of applications, an increase of more than 165 points in the student SAT average scores, an increase in underrepresented student population enrollment to 25 percent, and a more than doubling of the University endowment, currently valued at $1.5 billion.

About the Office of Research and Graduate Studies:

Under the direction of the Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies oversees of Doctoral and Master’s degree candidates in collaboration with academic graduate advisors and departments in Dedman College. The office also oversees graduate student recruitment and matriculation; coordinates graduate student life events; administrates the University Ph.D. Fellowship and Dissertation Fellowship programs; monitors graduate student progress; provides administrative approval of dissertations; and awards Graduate Student Travel Grants.

About the Position:

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies is responsible for creation and implementation of policies pertaining to graduate student admission and academic progress.

Within the SMU community, the Assistant Dean coordinates centralized graduate student community and professional development opportunities; administrates University Fellowship programs; and mediates conflicts between graduate students and their departments.

The Assistant Dean oversees a Director of Graduate Recruitment, who develops and implements strategies to market SMU graduate programs, and an Assistant Director of Graduate Studies, who monitors graduate student progress, maintains records, and approves dissertations.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead faculty in development and implementation of strategies, guidelines, programs, and policies to improve graduate education at SMU.
  • Promulgate and provide oversight of University academic standards for current graduate students.
  • Create cross-campus professional development and student life initiatives targeted at graduate students
  • Resolve issues and conflicts between graduate students and their departments.
  • Supervise employees who track graduate student progress and maintain graduate student records.
  • Administrate University Fellowship and Graduate Student Grant Programs.


Education and Experience:

  • Education required is a terminal degree in field (i.e. PhD in sciences, JD in Law, etc.)
  • A minimum of five years of professional work experience is required.
  • Program management experience is also required with experience in a graduate university context strongly preferred.
  • Experience in administration of graduate admissions, recruitment, and student life is desirable.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
The ideal candidate must possess strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University. The ability to communicate effectively in writing and a strong customer service orientation are essential. A proven track record of working collaboratively with faculty at a research university is preferred.

Demonstrated ability to work with faculty and students across disciplines. Evidence collaborating and partnering with colleagues and building trust and credibility. Demonstrated tact, diplomacy, and discretion and appreciation for the values of higher education and sensitivity to the nuances of an academic culture.

The ideal candidate must possess a strong working knowledge of MS Office, especially MS Excel. Familiarity with financial statements preferred. Experience with PeopleSoft or other databases, online communications, social media is desirable.

Physical/Environmental Demands:
Sit for long periods of time

Deadline to Apply:
Review of applications will begin immediately and full consideration will be given to all applications received by September 21, 2018. The position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:
SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,