University of Kansas — Dean of Libraries

The University of Kansas seeks a Dean of the Libraries to serve as an innovative, collaborative member of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor’s leadership team who can guide the libraries beyond its traditional responsibilities to serve the emerging needs of the university and the communities it serves. Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. 

As the leader of the libraries, the Dean has oversight of multiple facilities, collections (hard copy and digital), archives, and the faculty and staff supporting these resources. The Dean is also responsible for exercising strategic leadership in areas of research data management and sharing, resource stewardship, future use of the Libraries for student learning and success, use of space for instructional innovation, consideration of regional workforce development and economic initiatives, and implementing and monitoring policy and practice to ensure access and openness. 

As a member of the Provost’s leadership team, the Dean has the responsibility to develop strong partnerships (internally and externally) focusing on outcomes that are strategically aligned with the goals of the University. The Dean will work to recruit and retain an excellent team of faculty, staff and student employees while building upon the university’s priorities of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The Dean oversees the operations of libraries and manages a $19 million budget and $23 million in endowment holdings, while working to strengthen and grow initiatives with academic units, the Office of Research, economic development, human resources, information security, compliance, facilities and operations, student success and other areas. 

Externally, the Dean promotes the library as a resource available to all Kansans and seeks to extend the library licensing to facilitate research outputs throughout the state, as well as leads all fundraising activities. The Dean actively works with external organizations to ensure collaborations support technology transfer and economic development efforts, talent development, public education, etc. 

The Dean must continuously develop and utilize library resources to support user needs and address compliance requirements within a digital age for scholarship and research activities, while understanding and balancing the operational and organizational needs of the libraries in alignment with the strategic priorities of the university. 

The ideal candidate will be an established professional within the field who has broad connections and who employs emotional intelligence that advances the mission of the libraries and the university. They should be a great communicator, an innovative thinker, and a strong collaborator with a record of successful partnerships. They should possess a work history of productive engagement with a broad constituency of leaders, faculty, staff, students, community partners and strong relationships with peers in academic research libraries at other universities. The Dean is a 12-month, tenured faculty position. This position serves at the pleasure of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor. It is expected that this leadership position has a visible presence at KU Lawrence and KU Edwards campuses. 

WittKieffer is assisting the University of Kansas in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by December 5, 2022. 

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Jessica Herrington, Cathryn Davis or Lucy Leske

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, KS, medical center campuses).