Associate Dean of the First Year Job Description

(Updated Fall 2021)

The Associate Dean of the First Year is responsible for all aspects of the First-Year Program/First-Year Seminar academic programs to foster an engaging and inclusive community for incoming students.  The Associate Dean works closely with Student Life staff, including Residence Life and Student Activities & Leadership to coordinate the residential component of the program.

Specific responsibilities include faculty recruitment, development, and evaluation; curriculum development and evaluation; co-coordination of the residential life of FYP Colleges; further integrating academic and student life in the first year; developing and administering the budget of the FYP/FYS; and representing the Program in University planning, administration, external relations and development.

The Associate Dean of the First Year also supervises a full-time Administrative Secretary, as well as co-supervising the Administrative Secretary in Academic Advising.

The Associate Dean of the First Year is a full-time, 12-month, administrative appointment, which also requires teaching within the program.

The specific duties of the Associate Dean of the First Year include the following:

Responsibility for Academic Affairs:

  • Recruit the faculty of the FYP and the First-Year Seminars and collate course descriptions and requests for teaching space and times
  • Place students in FYP Colleges and First-Year Seminars
  • Maintain an on-going conversation with departments about departmental and FYP/FYS interests and participate in the departmental hiring process as requested by departments
  • As part of recruitment with departments, solicit and support the creation of FYP and FYS courses with high DEI content and explicit anti-racist pedagogy.  Solicit and support the creation of FYS courses that also count for DIV 13 credit
  • In collaboration with the Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, provide training in diversity, inclusion and belonging for new and continuing program faculty
  • Chair the First-Year Program Council and provide the teller with lists of faculty eligible for election to the Council
  • Collaborate with the Director of the WORD Studio, the Director of the Rhetoric and Communication Program, and the Associate Dean for Academic Advising Programs to plan the series of in-service seminars offered each semester and the orientation and training of faculty new to the FYP/FYS, all in coordination with the offerings of the Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Coordinate and facilitate the Canaras summer retreat for program faculty with the assistance of FYP Council in the planning stages
  • With the Administrative Secretary’s help, maintain Sakai community site of resources for FYP faculty and staff
  • Review teaching evaluations for FYP and FYS to be aware of problematic instruction and work with faculty to help them remediate any problems, as well as work with members of faculty teams with problems in team dynamics.  Such interventions might include mentoring, class visitation, and/or classroom videotaping and review
  • Oversee the program’s process for the evaluation of faculty who have taught in the FYP/FYS as needed for mid-probationary, tenure, and promotion review
  • Provide compensation information for program faculty to Academic Affairs and Human Resources, including tracking tenured and tenure track faculty who are banking the FYP overload compensation for a leave
  • Act as a department chair in relation to FYP/FYS concerns
  • Sit on the Academic Standing Committee
  • Sit on the Dean’s Staff Committee
  • Assist the Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs through participation in staff meetings and other projects as requested and assigned


Responsibility for Curriculum Affairs:

  • Work with program faculty to plan and implement a syllabus review procedure each semester, primarily for new or significantly revised syllabi
  • Work with the Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and the faculty on the Diversity Committee to solicit and support the creation of FYP and FYS courses with high DEI content and explicit anti-racist pedagogy.  Solicit and support the creation of FYS courses that also count for DIV 13 credit
  • Administer the O’Brien research award selection process each spring, including constituting the selection committee according to guidelines in the awards file and communicating information about the selection process to spring FYS program faculty
  • Work regularly with the Director of the WORD Studio, the Director of the Rhetoric and Communication Program, and the Research Instruction Librarians to assess and improve the quality of reading, writing, speaking, and/or research instruction in the FYP/FYS
  • Supervise on-going assessment studies of the FYP/FYS and represent the FYP/FYS in campus-wide assessment projects
  • Sit on the University Assessment Committee


Responsibility for Student Life:

  • Work with the Office of Residential Life:
  1. In the hiring and evaluation of the Residential Coordinators working in the FYP
  2. In the hiring, training and evaluation of the undergraduate Community Assistants in the FYP
  3. To assign and house first-year students in FYP Colleges
  4.  To select the winners of the Bradley Evers Outstanding First-Year Student Awards
  • Work with the Office of Student Activities and Leadership to:
  1. Update the content for the New Student Guide and Forms website each spring
  2. Create the Student and Family Orientation Programs with the Orientation Committee
  3. Coordinate the FYP-related sessions at Family Weekend
  4. Coordinate the FYP reunions during Senior Week
  • Sit on the Residential Education Committee and work with the Chief Judicial Officer, Director of Health and Counseling, Associate Dean for Academic Advising Programs, and Director of Residence Life to formulate plans of action for first-year students in judicial trouble or with medical/psychological conditions affecting their academic performance
  • Sit on the First-Year Cup Committee and act as a liaison between the committee and the FYP/FYS faculty and first-year students

Responsibility for Academic Advising:

  • Work with the Associate Dean for Academic Advising and his/her staff to:
  1. Assign new students to academic advisors and help identify new advisors for the first-year students without an advisor in the spring semester
  2. Help first-year students to develop academic skills and to increase retention rates of first-year students, particularly when retention disparities are evident among various identity groups
  3. Attend to the needs of first-year students with academic difficulties, including those on academic probation and suspension, and collaborating as needed with the relevant Student Life and Academic Advising Programs staff
  • Sit on the Academic Advising Committee
  • Act as a resource for the Retention Committee
  • Serve on the Sophomore Journeys Steering Committee

Responsibility for Program Representation:

  • Represent the FYP/FYS to external constituencies, including prospective students and parents, college counselors, other universities, and professional organizations
  • Represent the FYP/FYS to internal constituencies, including the trustees, the faculty, admissions and development staff, alumni, and parents of current students

Responsibility for Budget:

  • Prepare and administer the budget of the FYP/FYS, including the instructional budget of the FYP/FYS and each FYP College