Executive Assistant to the Dean

Pennsylvania, United States
03 May 2019
End of advertisement period
03 Jul 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

The School of Arts and Sciences forms the foundation of the scholarly excellence that has established Penn as one of the world’s leading research universities. We teach students across all 12 Penn schools, and our academic departments span the reach from anthropology and biology to sociology and South Asian studies. http://www.sas.upenn.edu/

The School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) is the academic foundation of the University of Pennsylvania, providing liberal arts education for all Penn undergraduates and supporting graduate studies and research across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The Dean of SAS provides broad leadership for the School’s academic departments, education programs, research centers, and operations, working closely with eight associate/vice deans to oversee an organization with nearly 2,000 faculty and staff and 10,000 students.

The Executive Assistant to the Dean has primary responsibility for providing high-level administrative support to the Dean and plays a central and critical role in ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of the Dean’s schedule. Duties include:

  • Manage short- and long-term calendar planning, exercising considerable independent judgment about multiple demands on the Dean’s time and coordinating planning among the executive assistants of the School’s leadership team and others. Troubleshoot and resolve scheduling conflicts, and communicate final schedule to the Dean.
  • Compile background material for meetings in a timely manner; conduct background research and compile data, statistics and other necessary information.
  • Manage travel arrangements, act as liaison to coordinate and confirm itineraries, and communicate the information to all necessary parties; use Concur to manage reimbursements.
  • Assist internal and external constituents with inquiries on behalf of Dean. Identify issues requiring the Dean’s direct attention and re-direct others that can be addressed or facilitated by others on the Dean’s behalf. When appropriate, follow up with all responsible parties to ensure resolution of inquiries.
  • Assist the Assistant Dean/chief of staff with office management, overseeing key processes among support staff and major office facilities issues. Suggest improvements to existing processes and procedures and take charge of implementing improvements as necessary.
  • Draft letters and other short texts for the Dean in a manner consistent with the tone and messaging of overall routine correspondence; independently prepare a wide range of documents.
  • Coordinate Dean’s office special projects, meetings, and events as assigned.
  • Maintain records and manage Dean’s mail; manage tickler file and bring timely issues to the Dean with ample time to manage each request.
  • Provide back-up support for other office functions as needed.
  • A Bachelor’s degree and 3 to 5 years of progressively responsible experience in executive assistant or comparable administrative positions or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. 5 to 7 years of experience is strongly preferred. Experience in support of senior-level leadership preferred.

Ability to work both independently and as part of a close-working team in a fast-paced, executive-level setting requiring initiative, strong organization, flexibility, and the prioritization of multiple demands. Thorough knowledge of office procedures. Ability to take broad view of existing procedures to determine what is working efficiently and what issues need attention and to implement improvements. Outstanding oral and written communication skills; ability to exercise diplomacy, tact, and judgment in interacting with a wide range of constituents at varying levels of an organization.

Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Outlook calendar programs required. Ability to query databases and use web content management systems preferred. Willingness to learn and apply new technologies as needed.

Strong attention to detail. Demonstrated experience in handling confidential information with discretion.

Knowledge of Penn or experience in a university setting strongly preferred.

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.