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Job: Dean of Libraries-University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, KS, USA.

University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, KS, USA
Dean of Libraries


The University of Kansas invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the Libraries. Reporting to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, the Dean will be a strong, dynamic, and experienced leader with broad scholarly knowledge who embraces digital learning and emerging technologies. This leader will be committed to excellence in library services and collections to meet needs across a broad range of research disciplines in a world-class scholarly community.

The Dean of the Libraries will lead a talented staff to leverage an increasingly networked and collaborative information environment. The Dean will champion the Libraries’ position as an integral partner with the University’s academic and administrative units, ensuring KU Libraries’ continued leadership in advancing research, teaching and global initiatives in alignment with Bold Aspirations, KU’s strategic plan.

The Dean will play a prominent role in shaping the larger scholarly communication landscape at KU and beyond by continuing to build on the strong emphasis on open access at this University, with a concomitant role in the open data movement.

The successful candidate is expected to grow the Libraries’ resource development program, with particular emphasis on innovative private- and public-sector fundraising. Key strategic opportunities for the Libraries include KU’s exploration of new modes of learning and global engagement, upcoming investments in reshaping library spaces, and strengthening staff resources to meet the changing needs of scholars. The University has initiated a major capital campaign and the initial goals for the Libraries have been met or exceeded. The Dean will be expected to be deeply engaged in pursuing development opportunities and expanding relationships with donors.

In 2012, KU Libraries embarked upon an ambitious charge to assess the current organizational structure, identify new and vital positions or functional areas and articulate a new structure to better support the priorities laid out in our strategic plan (see: http://lib.ku.edu/organizational-structure).  Informed by peer institutional research, focus groups and more, always with an eye on Bold Aspirations as well as KU Libraries Strategic Directions 2012-2017, KU Libraries shifted into a new organizational model in spring of 2013.

Primary responsibilities
  • Provides programmatic, strategic and visionary leadership for KU Libraries.
  • Advances the Libraries' strategic plan in support of the University’s academic priorities, curricula and research.
  • Provides leadership for, and collaborates with, campus units in aligning library resources and services with advances in information management, research, instructional delivery, curriculum development and academic study.
  • Promotes a library culture of responsiveness, agility, innovation and assessment.
  • Effectively manages the financial and human resources of the Libraries to meet current and emerging needs and to achieve strategic priorities.
  • Seeks increased allocations from the University, reallocates resources internally, and pursues external funding from donors, foundations and others to support vital and outstanding collections, library strategic priorities and other opportunities.
  • Represents the Libraries within the University, and at the local, state and national levels, engaging with the academic and research library community at large.
  • Cultivates external relations and development opportunities in partnership with KU Endowment and the KU Alumni Association.

Required Qualifications
  • ALA-accredited Master's Degree in Library and Information Science or international equivalent.
  • Professional credentials that meet the standards for tenure and appointment at the rank of Librarian.
  • Minimum of five years of successful and progressively responsible library leadership and fiscal management.
  • Demonstrated understanding of evolving issues in areas such as higher education, libraries, open access, open data, scholarly communication, digital scholarship, fundraising, with the ability to engage campus, national and international groups in meaningful discussion of these issues.
  • Demonstrated success in building partnerships and relationships with multiple stakeholders locally, regionally, nationally or internationally, and engaging with the academic and research library community at large.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Involvement at the national level in professional associations.
  • Ability to foster collegiality, cooperation and consensus-building through staff empowerment and open, transparent leadership.
  • Proven success in recruiting, developing and retaining a talented workforce.
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Understanding of digital learning and emerging technologies trends and their impact on the Libraries’ success in providing resources and services.
  • Experience and commitment in advancing community engagement through the implementation of creative outreach and programming.
  • Commitment to fostering internal and external communications, marketing and donor relations efforts.
  • Successful fundraising experience.


Erin L. Ellis
Assistant Dean, Research and Learning Division
University of Kansas Libraries
Lawrence, KS 66045


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