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Dean of Libraries Call for Applications: Position Announcement

Dean of Libraries, Alfred University

Dean of Libraries, Alfred University

The Alfred University Libraries seek an innovative leader to join a highly engaged team in the midst of a self-initiated reorganization. We are looking for someone with strong skills in advocacy, communication, and collaboration to lead us in achieving a shared vision.

Founded in 1836, and nestled between the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains and the Finger Lakes wine region in western New York State, Alfred University is a small comprehensive private university. It is situated on a sprawling 232-acre campus where nearly 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students reside in a vibrant, student-centered learning community. Outdoor recreational opportunities are abundant at our campus location, while our New York City area satellite instructional locations keep Alfred connected with an urban experience.

Alfred University houses the New York State College of Ceramics, a Statutory College of the State of New York, creating a unique public-private partnership. One result of this distinctive arrangement is that Alfred’s students, faculty, and staff are served by two libraries: The Samuel R. Scholes Library, which supports the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Design, and Herrick Memorial Library, which supports the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, and AUNY (External Programs).

The Dean of Libraries is the chief administrative and budgetary officer of the University Libraries (Scholes and Herrick) and plays a key role in working with faculty, other deans, the Provost, and the President to advance the mission of the Libraries in conjunction with the mission of Alfred University. The Dean will provide strategic vision and be responsible for leading the strategic planning process to achieve that vision. The Dean will build on the current strengths of the Libraries while ensuring a solid foundation for their future. The duties of the Dean of Libraries include advocating for necessary resources including appropriate levels of staffing and adequate compensation, and representing the libraries to the greater campus, trustees, SUNY-system, and additional communities outside the University. Success in that mission will require understanding of and enthusiasm for the unique role of libraries in higher education and the ability to successfully convey this perspective to diverse audiences. The successful candidate will embrace new perspectives and have the ability to lead the library staff to identify and act on opportunities for collaboration and effective change. The Dean of Libraries will oversee the assessment of library services and their continuous improvement, which includes maintaining and reporting library statistics. The Dean ensures the delivery of quality library service to students in residence at Alfred University as well as to students in off-campus programs in New York City and Corning, NY, and provides creative leadership in identifying and highlighting the ways in which the University Libraries support campus wide retention goals.


  • ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS or equivalent degree.
  • Minimum of seven years of professional experience in an academic library, with a record of increasing administrative and supervisory responsibility.
  • Strong record of effective project leadership, problem solving skills, and engagement with complex issues in a changing environment. 
  • Understanding of the issues impacting library service today and awareness of current and emerging trends and technologies.
  • Experience with Alma or a similar library service platform and its potential to transform staffing arrangements and patron services.
  • A commitment to raising funds to support the Libraries, including external grants and philanthropy.
  • A vision for the future of libraries, particularly academic libraries, in the changing information environment and a plan for how libraries can continue to best serve their communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work within a collaborative and collegial framework, and to foster this ability in others.
  • Proven success in strategic planning and policy initiatives.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, leadership and fiscal management skills, with a strong service orientation.
  • Strong record of scholarly and professional achievement.
  • Excellent understanding of all aspects of contemporary library operations.
  • Demonstrated initiative, creativity and flexibility.
  • Familiarity with promotion, tenure and faculty status issues, and an understanding of the scholarly and professional contributions required of tenure track librarians.
  • Demonstrated organizational and planning skills.
  • Knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing higher education, broadly, and university libraries, in particular, and creative approaches to meeting the challenges and opportunities.
  • Understanding of the changes that are reshaping scholarship, publication, and the dissemination and preservation of knowledge.
  • Ability to serve as an energetic champion for the Libraries inside and outside Alfred University. 
  • Ability to foster an organizational culture of collegiality in an inclusive, participatory team environment.
  • Supervisory and budget management experience.
  • Comfort with risk taking and change in a rapidly evolving profession.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in written word with key constituencies, including faculty, staff, and students; and the ability to facilitate communication between others.
  • Commitment to the libraries’ long-standing traditions of exemplary customer service, shared faculty governance, and collaboration between the libraries as well as with other campus units.

Job Responsibilities

  • Works with the library faculty and staff to develop, administer and implement strategic planning initiatives, ensuring alignment with and support of the Academic Affairs and the University strategic plans and missions.
  • Leads the libraries successfully through changing work environments within a system of participatory management.
  • Ensures the delivery of quality library service by allocating the budgets of the University Libraries (around $1.5m) appropriately and effectively to maximize the benefit to the campus community.
  • Analyzes and negotiates a variety of contracts for services and resources through the State University of New York Office of Library Services (OLIS) as well as private vendors.
  • Maintains awareness of national trends and new methods in providing library services.
  • Responds to concerns from all constituencies about matters related to the University Libraries.
  • Encourages collegiality, cooperation and professional development of the library faculty and staff.
  • Assists in the coordination of joint library initiatives to achieve service goals and objectives.
  • Schedules and leads all-staff meetings as well as the bi-annual strategic planning retreats.
  • Supervises and works cooperatively and collaboratively with the Director of Libraries and the Administrative Assistant.
  • Writes tenure- and promotion-related support material as required of the University Libraries Promotion and Tenure process.
  • Acts as the primary liaison between the Libraries and the University administration (including the other Deans and Vice Presidents), and as the liaison to the State University of New York.
  • Serves on multiple campus committees and councils to actively participate in the overall governance of the University and to communicate library concerns and maintain awareness of the changing needs of the University community.
  • Analyzes and evaluates library services in order to prepare annual, accreditation, statistical and other reports as needed. Works with the Administrative Assistant to coordinate the compilation of relevant statistics from all library departments. Is accountable for accuracy of data required by SUNY, IPEDS, and other institutional research agencies.
  • Maintains and reports library statistics as needed for University and outside agency reports.
  • Sustains personal professional development and supports librarians and staff continuing education opportunities through workshops, conferences, online educational programs, etc.
  • Works comfortably in and supports a culturally diverse environment.
  • Works with library faculty and staff to establish, document and interpret library policy for a wide range of operations and services.
  • Assesses effectiveness of library services and process through surveys and other assessment tools; uses outcomes and data for further planning and continuous improvement of library services.
  • Contributes to the University and the library profession through research, scholarship and professional service as appropriate for a senior member of the University faculty.
  • May be responsible for leading one or more Library Teams responsible for a functional area of the Libraries, to be determined based on the interests, experience, and background of the candidate.

Send letter of interest, résumé or CV, and contact information for three professional references (address, phone number, and email) as one PDF document to with Dean of Libraries in the subject line. Review of candidates will begin on January 28, 2019, and continue until the position is filled.