Special Assistant to the Dean

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2023


Law Dean's Office Support

About the Department

The University of Chicago Law School occupies a unique niche among this country's premier law schools. Located on a residential campus in one of America's great cities, UChicago Law offers a rigorous and interdisciplinary professional education that blends the study of law with the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. Students, faculty, and staff form a small, tightly knit community devoted to the life of the mind.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Dean of the Law School, the Special Assistant to the Dean acts as an administrative partner to the Dean, and works with other senior leaders across the Law School. Contributing to the execution of Law School-wide strategic priorities, this position works collaboratively to implement priorities that align with the mission and vision of the University. The Special Assistant to the Dean provides direction and follow-up for planning the allocation of resources to meet current and anticipated priorities and special projects.

The ideal candidate must be comfortable working on cross-functional priorities at a strategic and operational level, and thrive in an intellectually engaging role that demands an elite level of excellence. The Special Assistant to the Dean engages with administrators, faculty, and alumni of the Law School as well as key stakeholders from the broader University community, and will need exceptional interpersonal skills for navigating and influencing within a complex environment with varying demands and considerations.


  • Leads Dean’s office projects and initiatives that advance the Law School’s academic and administrative effectiveness, engaging the right resources, implementing change management, holding parties accountable for deadlines, and providing regular updates to the Dean.
  • Executes and directs special projects related to the business of the organizational unit.
  • Works closely with the Dean of the Law School to identify Law School operational goals and oversees allocation of resources to meet priorities.
  • Uses professional discretion to respond to inquiries, requests, and issues on behalf of the Dean with thoughtful correspondence, engaging other leadership members as needed for resolution.
  • Partners with the Dean’s Executive and Administrative Assistant to ensure proper management and time allocation of the Dean’s calendar and general support for day-to-day operations.
  • Collaborates with other University offices and leaders to ensure the Law School’s Dean’s Office administrative functions are in alignment with the University’s policies and practices, and to ensure the Law School’s needs are understood centrally.
  • Leads on continuous improvement of processes and workflows.
  • Ensures compliance of staff and faculty with organizational, University and other relevant policies and guidelines.
  • Supervises Dean’s Office administrative staff.
  • Coordinates input from senior leaders to facilitate the integration of departmental plans with the Law School’s strategic plan.
  • Connects strategy with business operations, drawing from disciplines such as strategy development, business analysis, process management, operations and systems analysis.
  • May conduct or facilitate periodic reviews of achievements and performance vs. strategic plans.
  • Solves complex problems; takes a broad perspective to identify solutions.
  • Guides others in resolving complex issues in own specialized area and solves complex problems with implications on cross-functional business processes and outcomes.
  • Serves as an advisor and applies knowledge of strategies that can be deployed within own function and discipline.
  • Acts as a lead researcher and planner for a wide array of efforts led by the department/division.
  • Establishes and maintains a database of peer and competitor profiles. Helps develop and maintain a database of faculty (international) research topics and international inter-institutional collaborations.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Advanced degree preferred.

  • J.D. preferred.


  • Experience in higher education strongly preferred.

  • Experience in legal settings preferred.

  • Progressive administrative experience.

Preferred Competencies

  • Proven leadership in managing projects in higher education, public institution, or non-profit settings.

  • Skills in project/program management, change management, and/or process improvement.

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively across teams and units.

  • Ability to operate at a high level of decision-making, priority-setting, and leadership.

  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.

  • Expertise in translating complex issues and ideas to general audiences in written and verbal communication.

Working Conditions

  • Ability to work evening and weekend hours as needed.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

  • Writing Sample (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Administration & Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.