American University — Dean of Graduate Studies

American University (AU) seeks a dean of graduate studies to lead the institution’s graduate programs into the future. The next dean will have the unique opportunity to develop and implement a vision for the university as it looks toward its future in graduate education. It is a broadly accepted position that American University has a distinctive and strong set of programs and opportunities in graduate studies, however there is great potential to further understand, articulate, communicate existing offerings and bring new ideas into reality. 

Chartered by Congress in 1893 in the nation’s capital, American University is a highly selective student-centered research institution of more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate, and law students enrolled in degree and non-degree programs. As of fall 2018, graduate enrollment included 4,275 degree-seeking graduate students. AU is defined by its global outlook, practical idealism, and passion for public service. Recognized for its emphasis on personalized teaching and experiential education, the university provides for the direct involvement of faculty and students in the institutions and culture of the nation’s capital. AU is a Carnegie-classified research university with over $33 million in sponsored research grants and 44 research centers and institutes. As the university has grown in reputation and stature, it remains grounded in the ideals of its founders as it continues to be a leader for a changing world.

American University offers a vast array of top-ranking academic programs including 87 master’s and 10 doctoral degrees; 27 master’s degrees and graduate certificates are offered online. Faculty at AU are world-class academics and serious practitioners. With an average of 17 students per class, AU professors are able to teach, mentor, co-author, and invest in the success of every student. AU has a long record of placing doctoral students in academia as well as strong institutions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Graduate students are employed in a variety of leading institutions, including the U.S. Department of State, the World Bank Group, D.C. Public Schools, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Ninety-three percent of all reporting graduates showed positive employment or graduate school outcomes six months after graduation.

The dean will lead an effort to formulate and champion a vision, mission, and strategy for the Office of Graduate Studies, working in close partnership with the deans of the schools and colleges to build a culture of innovation, including the identification of shared services opportunities that provide value added to the marketing and academic operations of the units.; bolster internal collaborations and advocate for graduate studies, including the development, enforcement, and compliance of policies that support high standards and student success; enhance and expand external relations and strategic partnerships; advance a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

In order to realize its strategic goals, AU seeks a leader with significant and successful academic leadership experience within a complex university, as well as a commitment to excellence in graduate education and scholarship. It will be a great asset to a candidate to have led outstanding graduate programs within a leading university. Reporting to the provost, the dean of graduate studies will be a strategic, innovative and broad thinker, an entrepreneurial tactician, and a creative and energetic leader of both people and programs. The dean will be an individual of the highest integrity and ethical standards with a track record of building, collaborating, and turning vision into reality. The ideal candidate will have an earned doctorate or terminal degree. An academic record sufficient for appointment at the rank of professor with tenure in one of the university’s academic departments is preferred.

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Candidates should provide a CV and a letter of interest that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in this leadership profile.

WittKieffer is assisting American University in this search. Application materials can be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal or by email. Review of candidate materials will continue until the position is filled, with priority given to applications received by March 19, 2020.

Confidential nominations and inquiries can be directed to Robert Luke, Philip Tang and Rachel Bieniek at

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), 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”) in its programs and activities.