University of Nebraska-Lincoln — Dean of Libraries

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln seeks outstanding candidates for the role of Dean of Libraries. Reporting directly to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, the Dean provides intellectual, strategic, and visionary leadership for the University Libraries. The Dean is the chief administrative and academic officer of the University Libraries and responsible for leading the libraries’ current and future efforts to cultivate scholars, students, and members of the public who are astute, critical users, and creators of information in all its forms.


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, chartered by the Nebraska Legislature in 1869, is the campus of the University of Nebraska system that serves as both the land-grant and comprehensive public research university of the state of Nebraska. It works cooperatively with the three other campuses and central administration to provide for its student body and all Nebraskans the widest array of disciplines, areas of expertise, and specialized facilities of any institution within the state. The university is listed in the Carnegie Classification system as a research university with very high research activity, is one of the nation’s leading public teaching institutions, and is a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities. It is a member of the Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Academic Alliance. Nebraska is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and completed a successful reaccreditation visit in 2017.


The Dean will report to Donde Plowman, who became Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer on January 1, 2017. Plowman was previously the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She came to Nebraska in 2010 as the ninth dean in the history of the College of Business and guided the college through a transitional period, which included joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011.

The Dean oversees all aspects of the Libraries’ work and acts as the official representative and advocate for the Libraries in the context of a comprehensive research intensive, RU/VH-classified public land-grant university. The core mission of the Libraries is to fulfill the university’s land-grant commitments to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and the people of Nebraska. It plays an important role in the University of Nebraska system, nationally and globally. The Dean of Libraries will continue the transformation of the Libraries’ physical and virtual spaces, lead major content initiatives, and position the Libraries’ faculty and staff at the center of teaching and research for Nebraska.

The Libraries are deeply embedded in the day-to-day life of students and serve as a welcoming space in the center of campus with 2,000 available seats in the Libraries, including a wide-variety of student-friendly spaces, study rooms, computer labs, and a cafe. The Libraries host a wide array of events and activities that attract students, faculty and community members year-round. In the past several years, the Libraries have invested significantly in upgrading the physical spaces in the building to make them welcoming and comfortable, and this investment has paid off in terms of increased use.

The Dean of Libraries is supported by a seasoned administrative team of seven direct reports who lead in these areas: Access Services, Discovery and Resource Management, Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, Media and Repository Support, Research and Instructional Services, Community and Outreach, Facilities and Planning, and Business Affairs. The University Librarian has responsibility for an annual budget of $16 million, including a collections budget of $8 million.

With the support of the University of Nebraska Foundation, the Dean of Libraries is an active ambassador for the university and the Libraries and has had tremendous success with individual donors for collections and financial support for renovations.

The Dean of Libraries collaborates with faculty, students, staff and external constituents on campus and in the state of Nebraska, across the nation and around the world.


  • Ability to develop, enact and articulate a vision for the library
  • Success in leading diverse, complex teams and/or organizations that indicates a management style that can energize a dynamic, complex academic unit
  • Experience in supporting and cultivating an accomplished and diverse faculty and staff
  • A record of administrative, budgetary, fundraising, program development, teaching, and leadership skills that allow for the advancement of the university’s ambitious goals for achieving excellence in undergraduate, graduate and professional education, creative activity, scholarship and research, and public engagement
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with a broad range of constituencies both across the university and with external audiences
  • Ability to develop specific goals, strategic plans and demonstrated outcomes for the libraries that complement and contribute to campus and system-wide goals
  • Excellent written and verbal skills that would allow for enhanced fundraising, public relations, and state, national, and international cooperative efforts
  • Proven record of distinguished librarianship, scholarly achievement and professional accomplishments that would earn an appointment at the rank of tenured full professor
  • A terminal degree appropriate for the role of Dean, such as MLS or doctorate


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. The search is being led by Beth Schaefer, Vice President and Charlotte Harris, Consultant.

Review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The application deadline is March 4th, 2019. Nominations should be submitted directly to Beth Schaefer at Applications must include a detailed letter of interest and qualifications, a current curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for at least three professional references. These items should be submitted here. References will only be contacted with permission from the candidate.

For questions and assistance with the application process, contact Beth Schaefer, Vice President at

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment. See


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