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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Rackham Graduate School is the joint academic home of more than 8500 University of Michigan students pursuing doctoral, master’s, and certificate credentials.  Horace H. and Mary A. Rackham endowed the graduate school more than 80 years ago as a focal point for academic inquiry, community, and intellectual exchange.

The Rackham Graduate School partners with University of Michigan graduate faculty and programs to advance excellence in graduate education, to cultivate a vibrant and diverse student community, and to impact the public good through the scholarship and discoveries of its students and degree recipients.

The Graduate School’s vision is that all partners – faculty, students, alumni, and staff – will embrace their membership in the Rackham community and collaborate to promote excellence, diversity, innovation, and a student-centered academic experience in graduate education.  Major goals of the graduate school include reimagining the academic experience of graduate students, strengthening the diversity of the Rackham community, enhancing partnerships within the graduate community, and strengthening the organizational culture and climate of Rackham.

The Rackham Graduate School is seeking candidates for the position of assistant to the Dean and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs – Graduate Studies (Dean).  This individual will perform complex administrative duties in support of the Dean.  Elements of the role include: acting as administrative liaison between the Dean and internal and external groups, offices, and constituents; working effectively with Rackham associate deans, staff, faculty, and students as well as individuals in other University offices. The person must represent the Dean and the Graduate School in a friendly, professional, and inclusive manner in person, on the phone, and in written correspondence. We are looking for someone who is poised and confident in their abilities; capable of exercising discretion; and, experienced in maintaining confidentiality. This position interacts and collaborates with the leadership team of the Graduate School and coordinates communications and information flow within the dean’s office. This individual will demonstrate excellent organizational, creative, and problem-solving skills; the ability to prioritize and delegate; the capacity to offer a high degree of support under dynamic, uncertain, and emergent conditions; experience handling confidential information; sound judgment; and, dependability.

Rackham is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and encourages all employees to fully incorporate their diverse backgrounds, skills, and life experiences into their work and towards the fulfillment of Rackham's mission.


Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:


Act as the Dean’s liaison within the University and for external organizations. Respond to, and act on behalf of, the Dean using tact and diplomacy in matters of a highly sensitive and confidential nature, including those requiring comprehensive knowledge of University policies and interactions with university leadership.


Manage the Dean’s calendar and help prioritize commitments so as to use the Dean’s time effectively. Plan for near-term and future events and needs by anticipating challenges and exercising independence, initiative, discretion, and judgment as to priorities. Provide timely, accurate information about meeting participants and meeting purposes.


Manage tracking systems, agendas, and supporting materials for committees, teams, and Boards that the Dean leads.  Prepare briefing materials for meetings, organize communication of requests from the Dean to other members of the leadership team, and monitor their progress to ensure timely completion.  


Maintain systematic follow-up systems for the Dean; ensure that deadlines are met and materials are received on a timely basis.

Work independently and within a team on nonrecurring and ongoing projects. Research issues, distribute information, and organize special events. Prepare regular reports and updates on projects/activities relevant to the Dean’s interests, agendas, and roles.

Provide support in the review and management of communications by and for the Dean. As requested, review the Dean’s incoming mail and email; sort as to importance and priority, Draft outgoing communications. Respond to time-sensitive communications in Dean’s absence.

Create and maintain electronic filing systems for the Dean. Establish and maintain SharePoint tasks to track records requiring responses and or follow up.

Manage travel arrangements including air and ground transportation, lodging, registration, itineraries expense reports.

Perform general administrative tasks such as coordinating hosting activities for various School activities, special events, and Dean's meetings; assist the Dean in planning and arranging for visitors; maintain and update multiple email groups.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree and 8 years of progressive professional administrative office experience in a higher education environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and capacity to contribute to a work environment that values collaboration.
  • Demonstrated poise, tact, and diplomacy.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a dynamic environment, to maintain confidentiality, and to exercise discretion and judgement in responding to requests for information.
  • Experience that demonstrates that the individual is well-organized, thoughtful, collegial, independent, and team-oriented.  Demonstrated ability to set priorities, handle multiple assignments and deadlines, and display appropriate judgment while operating in a flexible and professional manner.
  • Excellent written and oral communicate skills, in a variety of mediums and formats.
  • Demonstrated experience with and proficiency in mastering productivity tools, including calendaring, file sharing, and archiving applications.
  • Functional knowledge of University of Michigan policies and procedures.
  • High degree of creativity, initiative, and resourcefulness is required.
  • Understands and values diversity and the importance of inclusion as demonstrated through a commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to an organization.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Master’s degree, previous experience at U-M, supervisory experience and experience using M-Pathways applications.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.