Executive Assistant to the Dean

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2023


PSD Administration: Academic Affairs

About the Department

The Physical Sciences Division (PSD) has a rich history of advancing and defining new fields of discovery in the physical and mathematical sciences, and this tradition of innovation continues today. Our inquiry and impact spans from the edge of the observable universe to human-computer interaction, from biophysical materials science to the geologic record of seawater composition, from gravitational waves to geometric flows, and beyond. The division includes the academic departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geophysical Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. In addition, PSD includes a number of interdisciplinary research institutes and centers, including the Data Science Institute, Enrico Fermi Institute, the James Franck Institute, and the Kavli Center for Cosmological Physics. Many of our scientists have joint appointments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory as well as joint affiliations with other Chicago-based research institutions such as the Toyota Technological Institute of Chicago, and the Field Museum. Our students build connections with world-leading scientists, collaborate across disciplines, and enjoy the dynamic Chicago and University communities.

Job Summary

The Executive Assistant reports jointly to the Dean of the Physical Sciences Division and the Director of Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff and performs advanced, diversified, and highly confidential administrative support for the Dean of the Physical Sciences Division. Proactively relieves the Dean of as much administrative detail as possible by providing exceptional support and project assistance, including scheduling, and coordinating high-priority meetings, running special events, and maintaining the calendar, while upholding confidentiality and exercising discretion in handling sensitive matters. Partners and collaborates with the Chief of Staff, Associate Deans, and Deputy Deans to advance the work of the Dean and the Division.


  • Manages all business matters related to the Dean.
  • Provides high-level, complete, strategic oversight of schedule and engagements including triaging and confirming internal and external invitations; development and communication of agenda and meeting expectations; and leading follow-up with meeting participants for resulting deliverables.
  • Ensures the Dean is well prepared for all meetings and presentations by crafting required materials and having pertinent information readily available.
  • Independently manages the Dean’s complex and active calendar, exercising considerable judgment as to priorities and effective use of the Dean’s time and accommodating unanticipated events/developments.
  • Guides projects to completion and solves problems for the Dean using available resources, savvy, and discernment.
  • Organizes on and off-campus meeting logistics and events for the Dean, including agenda and meeting materials development and distribution, managing attendance, making room reservations, and handling catering needs. Identifies clear meetings purpose/objectives, validates attendee lists/notifications, communicates required prework/deliverables, and manages necessary follow-ups.
  • Develops a firm grasp of the strategic contacts, relationships, and initiatives important to the Dean and the Dean’s Office to manage scheduling and communication, apprising the Dean and the Chief of Staff of issues as necessary.
  • Responsible for information flow from the Dean’s Office, representing the Dean to other University and external offices. Triages email and telephone calls for action. Interprets requests and implement action, using best judgement to decide what needs to be escalated to the Dean and/or Chief of Staff, and in what timeframe.
  • Manages all day-to-day finances, reimbursements, and reconciliation of expense reports for the Dean on an ongoing basis.
  • Independently arranges the Dean’s complex travel reservations and logistics, problem solving itinerary changes or challenges as they arise.
  • Independently manages the front desk’s day-to day-operations for the Dean’s Office and provides excellent service to guests both in person and via phone. Troubleshoots issues and questions as they arise.
  • Monitors the Dean’s internal and external communications; handles sensitive written and telephone communications effectively in a professional manner at all times by answering, screening, and directing communications with utmost courtesy, professionalism, and confidentiality. Composes and edits emails, letters, memos, reports and meeting agendas.
  • Manages Dean’s speaking and media requests for domestic and international events. This includes screening requests, accepting via email or through form submissions from website (e.g. for interviews, speeches).
  • Provides some confidential and high-level administrative support for the Director of Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff.
  • Anticipates the needs of the Dean and takes initiative to meet them.
  • Initiates correspondence and other written materials under own signature or for signature of the Dean. Triages emails and telephone calls for action. Resolves routine and complex inquiries.
  • Responsible for meeting and event support for the Dean as needed.
  • Work with partners across the University, the Medical Center, laboratory affiliates, and external partners to coordinate the Dean or Officer’s strategic meetings and events with trustees, donors, deans, officers, staff, civic and government leaders, diplomats, faculty, and others.
  • Independently manages, oversees and implements projects as directed by their Dean or Officer’s vision. Prepares and maintains sensitive project plans, budgets, and requirements often with deadline pressures. Tracks progress, solve problems, and provides regular updates to their executive.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 10+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree.


  • Experience working in higher education and in a high-level executive setting.
  • Familiarity with the University of Chicago.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, Zoom, Adobe Acrobat, financial reporting systems, and online databases.

Preferred Competencies

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive, service-oriented attitude and courteous demeanor.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and ability to complete tasks thoroughly and with accuracy.
  • Handle sensitive and confidential situations and information with absolute discretion.
  • Demonstrated ability to be resourceful and think critically and creatively to gather data, answer questions, and solve problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to multitask and meet deadlines in a challenging, fast-paced work environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to use sound judgement and anticipate potential problems and address them before they arise.
  • Acumen to interact with a diverse and distinguished range of colleagues and visitors.
  • Listen and read between the lines and draw inferences and conclusions.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover letter (required)
  • References Contact Information (3)(preferred)

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.

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