Bean was previously the the senior vice president and provost of the University of Oregon. From 2004-2008, he was dean of the Lundquist College of Business where he also served as the Harry B. Miller Professor of Business. Prior, he served as an administrator for twenty-four years at the University of Michigan as the associate dean for graduate education and international programs in the college of engineering and as associate dean for academic affairs. Bean is also a member of the board of trustees at Harvey Mudd College and was previously president of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. He remains a charter fellow of the institute.
Bean is currently the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.