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Assistant Dean, Finance & Operations (17945)

Date: Jun 21, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  

About the Department/Unit

American University’s School of Communication (AU SOC) welcomes applicants to join its creative and dynamic team of professionals. Our community is committed to the mission of engaging the most pressing issues of our time through teaching, scholarship, and professional experiences in communication and media in Washington and beyond. SOC empowers undergraduates and graduates in its programs to tell stories that influence change, inspire action, and transform our communities and our world. Faculty are leaders in their fields, contributing scholarly, creative and professional work in communication studies, film and media arts, journalism, and public communication. We know that teams perform best when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. The unique contributions of SOC employees drive our success, and we are committed to building a culture where everyone has an opportunity to do meaningful work. Learn more about SOC at


The Assistant Dean, Finance and Operations manages budgets, facilities administration, technology services, and post award financial operations for external funding in the School of Communication (SOC). As a member of the School’s senior leadership team, they safeguard the School and university’s assets and facilities, ensuring the integrity and effective utilization of these resources.  The Assistant Dean is responsible for budget preparation, providing financial reports with analysis for the Dean and stakeholders, and creating financial models and forecasts for SOC, its divisions, centers, and physical plant. The incumbent creates financial models and provides analysis and recommendations on the development of new programs, centers, and scholarships in support of the academic and strategic goals of the School and University. They review SOC enrollment actuals and projects and the allocation of graduate financial aid and adjunct resources. This position oversees the School’s purchasing and procurement processes as well as contracts that impact SOC’s budget, related to areas such as IRCs, educational agreements, revenue sharing and licensing agreements. The Assistant Dean coordinates part-time and graduate assistant personnel administration in addition to supervising a team of four FTEs. The incumbent is responsible for facilities inventories, needs assessments d facilities planning and creating maintenance and facilities improvement plans and timelines.
Senior staff positions within Academic Affairs with significant budget responsibility will have a matrixed reporting relationship.  The primary oversight (and formal reporting relationship) will be within the school or unit that the position supports.  This will ensure that the position remains a partner and advocate for the school or unit’s needs.  However, as the Vice Provost for Academic Administration (VPAA) has functional responsibility for the Division’s budget, there will be a level of functional oversight provided to primary school or unit budget officers from the VPAA.  This will provide a model for consistency related to communications and process for budgetary matters that have impact both in the school and at the university level.

Essential Functions

  1. Budget Development & Management: Develops and monitors base, restricted, non-restricted and revenue budgets as the School’s Budget Officer and signatory. Makes budgetary and resource allocation decisions in concert with Dean/School senior leadership. Provides financial reports and status updates to the Dean, senior leadership and University officials, conducting forensic accounting research as requested. 
  2. Financial Planning & Projections: Provides critical assessment and recommendation on the financial and operational implications of new initiatives, programs (degree or non-degree), IRCs and related resource commitments in conjunction with School senior leaders. Ensures internal financial and management controls are in place to determine and manage acceptable risk for the School and University. 
  3. Technology, Facilities & Capital Management: Manages the School’s facilities and technology (space, physical plant, furniture, fixtures, signage, etc.) Responsible for the inventory, maintenance and capital planning activities, drafts a multiyear facilities repair and replacement plan and budget expenditures for this plan, as well as a timeline for achieving these goals. 
  4. Post Award Financial Operations Oversight: Manages post award financials and contract functions for sponsored research and gift administration. Works with the Assistant Dean, Administration & Strategic Initiatives on pre-award budgeting and resource allocation requests. 
  5. Supervision of Staff: Manages four FTEs: the Finance Manager, Director of Technology Services, Grants & Contracts Manager, and Executive Director of Current, SOC’s revenue generating, editorially independent publication for public media. Responsible for recruiting, coordinating and directing work, ongoing performance planning, mentoring and resolving issues. 
  6. Other duties to support the strategic priorities of the School & AU: such as serving on AU committees and task teams as SOC representative and, as member of senior leadership team participate in things such as conference and major event planning, community building, and collaborative projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Four FTEs: the Finance Manager, Director of Technology Services, Grants & Contracts Manager, and Executive Director.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full Time.
  • Team Leader/Consultant A.
  • Exempt.

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 8-10 years of relavant experience. 

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master's degree.
  • 10+ years of relavant experience.
  • MBA or master’s in related field. Working knowledge of Colleague/Datatel, Workday or similar ERP systems, sponsored research administration practices, familiarity within one of the fields of communication and media and/or with American University.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills, with ability to articulate complex concepts to constituents.
  • Progressively responsible financial experience with demonstration of advanced knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles and practices in higher education environment. Must demonstrate thorough experience in managing multi-million dollar budgets.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with strong analytical and problem solving abilities.
  • Excellent organizational skills with proven ability to establish and implement strategic priorities in a dynamic and high pressure environment.
  • Employee supervisory experience in successfully managing relationships and developing people.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully work and lead in a community that values and actively supports diversity and inclusion.
  • Good judgement and discretion with sensitive and confidential matters.
  • Familiarity with a university environment, including knowledge of the organizational structure of universities and nonprofits.
  • Advanced knowledge of working with financial systems software and spreadsheets and financial reporting modules.


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Current American University Employees

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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.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC