Salary Range of Academic Deans


Academic deans are the highest ranking and highest paid officials of educational institutions, under the president or chancellor, or provost or chief academic officer. They are the equivalent of corporate department heads, reporting directly to provosts or vice presidents. Because they come from faculty with many years of experience, deans serve both scholarly and administrative roles.

Types of Deans

  • A determining factor in salaries for academic deans are their subject specialties. This is according to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), which conducted a survey that included responses from 78,118 administrative positions for the 2010 to 2011 school year. The highest paid academic dean belonged to medicine at a median $437,040 per year, followed by the dean of dentistry at $298,710, public health at $285,500 and law at $278,454. The lowest paid deans were for special programs at a median $90,425 per year, then divinity at $93,133, mathematics at $93,646 and instruction at $93,848.

Institutions for Deans

  • Salaries also varied by type of institution. For example, the median salary for all deans of business was $159,112 per year. In universities whose highest degrees were Ph.Ds, median wages for these deans were $268,359 per year. For master's degree programs, the pay was $150,000; for undergraduate degrees, they were $120,000; and for associate degrees, they ran $87,148. The dean with the highest pay was the dean of medicine at a doctoral institute, with a median salary of $437,286 per year. The dean with the lowest pay was the dean of biological and life sciences at two-year institutes, with a median salary of $76,863 per year.

Associate Deans

  • For associate deans, salaries also differed by subject specialty, with the highest wages going to the associate dean of medicine, with a median $188,206 per year. This was followed by dentistry at $164,764, veterinary medicine at $154,175, and cooperative extension at $148,670. On the opposite end of the salary scale were the associate dean of special program at a median $70,800 per year, then public administration at $76,385, performing arts at $81,945 and continuing education at $82,000.

Institutions for Associate Deans

  • Salaries also varied by type of institution for associate deans. However, while this position was fairly common in facilities offering doctoral and master's degrees as their highest degrees, it became rarer in baccalaureate and two-year institutions. The associate dean of business, for example, earned a median $153,131 per year in doctoral institutes, $115,759 for master's, $91,977 for undergraduate and $74,840 for two-year colleges. This compared to a median $125,000 for associate dean of business across all institutions. The highest pay went to the associate dean of medicine at doctoral institutes, where mean annual pay was $187,283. The lowest pay went to the associate dean of continuing education at two-year institutes, where pay was $68,515.

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