Friday, October 5, 2012

Dean of Libraries

Dean of Western Libraries: Western Washington University (Western) invites applications and nominations for an innovative, effective leader for the position of Dean of Libraries. Western seeks candidates with a commitment to communication and collaboration and who have a clear vision for the future of the academic library and its role in the information technology, teaching, learning and research processes necessary in the 21st century. As the chief academic and executive officer of the university’s libraries, the Dean reports to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and is responsible for providing academic leadership and administrative management for all programs within the Libraries and the Libraries’ extensive outreach efforts, which include taking an active leadership role in the University’s new fund-raising campaign.  As a key member of the University’s central executive leadership team, the Dean will work in collaboration with other executive officers to implement the university’s mission and will be an active and visible leader both within the university and greater community. It is our hope that the Dean will assume office no later than July 1, 2013.

The Libraries: Western Washington University Libraries is a vibrant evolving academic library, featuring a main library encompassing two buildings totaling 200,000 square feet, a collection of over one million volumes and an acquisitions budget of just under $2 million. Library personnel include 15 faculty and 45 staff.   Recent Libraries accomplishments underscore a growing culture of innovation and the Libraries are developing a new strategic plan that will closely align the Library’s goals with broader institutional objectives, preparing the Libraries for even more innovative growth in the years to come.  In keeping with the campus-wide commitment to diversity, the Library developed a diversity plan for 2011-2013 which includes a set of initiatives to move us toward our goal of creating a scholarly community where inclusion is valued.

Western’s Libraries belong to the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a dynamic consortium of 37 public and private academic institutions in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Together, the Alliance member libraries have embarked on an ambitious set of initiatives that include cooperative acquisitions programs, shared technical services processes, and a single ILS system to replace all institutional ILS systems. Western Libraries is also host to outstanding unique collections and, with the recent hiring of a new Director of Heritage Resources, will emphasize the development and promotion of heritage resources and the integration of these resources into the overall mission of the library and the university. The Libraries have developed a vibrant online community where the campus engages in civil discourse, creative expression, and information sharing. Ideal for both instruction and social media, this platform hosts forums and groups for student, staff, and faculty participation.

Two years ago Western Libraries created a Learning Commons co-locating several excellent campus programs that together with Library Instruction and Reference Services help students achieve academic success. We are exploring adding additional partners and working to evolve these services beyond simple co-location. The Libraries offer a variety of credit courses and, with our new Coordinator of Instruction and Instructional Design Resident positions, are poised to greatly expand our information literacy initiatives. In preparation for more rigorous involvement in digital initiatives and scholarly communication the Libraries have assumed campus-wide management of copyright. The Libraries have been actively integrating with the local community through introduction of a county-wide One-Card system which allows all University and community library patrons to check out resources from all libraries in the county. We plan to expand services to alumni, and offer an array of use options for community and visiting scholars.  For additional information:

Position Responsibilities: Western seeks a Dean of Libraries who has experience as a visionary leader with keen insight and a track record of inspiring others and fostering innovation. The Dean should have the experience and professional qualifications necessary to support teamwork, set high standards, and craft a long-term strategy for the Libraries. The Dean will understand and support the values of a public, comprehensive, residential campus; recognize the critical role of faculty in the life of the university; participate in and foster collaboration and provide leadership in continuing to build an inclusive climate; and will serve as an advocate for the Libraries internally and externally. Successful candidates will have the understanding and experience necessary to address the major challenges and changing roles of today’s academic libraries, including: the changing roles of academic libraries as places, providers of information and supporters of teaching and scholarship; as well as the storage, delivery, and preservation of information in an electronic age; the effective use of physical space; and changes in scholarly communication. The Dean provides leadership for strategic planning, budget development, advancement and fundraising, coordination of libraries and policy direction. The Dean must be prepared to respect and support an ongoing transformation into a changing digital environment and the expanding instructional and scholarship role of academic libraries. The Dean is expected to promote professional development of faculty and staff and work with faculty tenure and promotion policies in a collective bargaining environment. The Dean will collaboratively implement the mission, vision and strategic plan for the libraries. Western seeks a Dean who has an open and collegial style and is committed to inclusiveness and cultural pluralism.

Required Qualifications:
  • A MLS or MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited program;
  • Record of academic and professional achievement and scholarship sufficient to warrant tenure and appointment at the rank of associate or full professor;
  • Significant administrative experience that includes, planning, organizational change, and innovation in an academic library;
  • Experience and leadership in personnel management, collaboration, interpersonal communication and decision making;
  • Demonstrated leadership in the implementation and promotion of digital initiatives and collaborating with information technology units;
  • Ability to work with diverse constituencies, promote equity, and develop constructive interpersonal relations.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • A doctorate in library science or a second graduate degree;
  • Experience integrating library services with university curricula, academic support, information literacy, and research;
  • Experience fostering interdisciplinary, multi-party and community collaboration;
  • A successful record of securing external funding, including grants and gifts;
  • Experience with emerging library modalities of information storage and dissemination such as open-source formats and institutional data/media repositories.

The University: Western Washington University is a comprehensive state university that enrolls nearly 15,000 undergraduates, post baccalaureate and graduate students, employs over 600 FTE faculty, and consists of seven colleges and the graduate school. Spectacularly located, the Bellingham campus overlooks Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Bellingham, a coastal community of 81,000, about 90 miles north of Seattle and 55 miles south of Vancouver, B.C., is nationally recognized for quality of life, outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship.

Consistently highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report, in the 2013 college rankings Western was named the highest-ranking, public master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest and third among top public master’s-granting universities in the West, a region stretching from Texas to the Pacific.  A recent large-scale study found agreement that Western is a university known for academic excellence; a passion for learning and exploration; personal engagement in education; collaboration between students and faculty; a welcoming and supportive community; and the development of leaders and global citizens. Western has been identified by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the nation’s best college workplaces.   More information about Western is available online:

Application Instructions and Requested Documents: Applications should be submitted online at . The following information is required: 1) A cover letter; 2) curriculum vita; 3) and contact information for four references. Application review will begin on November 1, 2012 and will continue until the position is filled. All applications, nominations and inquiries will be kept confidential. For further information, potential applicants should contact Bev Jones, Assistant to the Provost, by email:

WWU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. WWU is sensitive to and has a policy addressing dual career assistance. All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires. For disability accommodation, call (360)650-3774.

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