Job Openings >> Kansas State University- Dean of K-State Libraries
Kansas State University- Dean of K-State Libraries
Title:Kansas State University- Dean of K-State Libraries
Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Kansas State University in their search for a Dean of Libraries.

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This is an extraordinary opportunity for a dynamic, visionary, and experienced leader to serve as the next dean of K-State Libraries, a public R1, land-grant, university comprised of four campuses and nine colleges. The University serves approximately 21,000 students.

The successful candidate is a collaborative leader and prominent advocate who understands and provides the strategic direction necessary to meet the evolving role of libraries in the 21st century within a public research university setting. The dean will provide the strategic leadership and vision crucial in the support of the strategic initiatives and intellectual core of the university. As the chief academic and administrative officer of K-State Libraries, the dean reports to the Provost and Executive Vice President and serves on the Council of Deans. The Dean of K-State Libraries will also hold the faculty rank of Professor.

At K-State, deans are highly visible University-wide leaders. The dean will work closely with the president, provost, deans, and other senior leaders to advance the missions and strategic goals of the Library and the University through a shared vision of education, research, teaching, and service. Additionally, the Dean will be externally focused developing strong relationships and engaged with the community.

The dean will work collaboratively with partners across the four campuses and within nine colleges to develop a broad and synergistic alignment of library services supporting the continuing transformation of K-State Libraries as a center encouraging student research, academic excellence, and collaboration in a technologically-rich environment. Student learning and success should be at the forefront of the new dean’s priorities, while also promoting and supporting an increase in research activity and scholarship across the university as K-State pursues its strategic goal to become a Top 50 public research university.

The dean of K-State Libraries will provide overall program leadership, strategic vision, and direction to advance K-State Libraries, ensuring that plans, policies, practices, programs, and services align with university and college-level strategic directions and goals. The dean is responsible for the administration, coordination, and oversight of all activities related to strategic planning; assessment; policy development; library, archives, and records management services and programs; physical space; collections development and preservation; budget planning and fiscal stewardship; staffing; fundraising; and technology adoption.

Core Duties and Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership (25%)
Works effectively and collaboratively to lead, execute, and manage change within K-State Libraries. This includes building on the successes of the Libraries’ K-State 2025 plan; refining and articulating K-State Libraries academic mission, vision, and educational philosophy; developing strategic directions for K-State Libraries and its collections and services for students and faculty; updating the Libraries strategic plan and aligning it with the K-State 2025 visionary plan goals; and providing visionary and effective leadership to library faculty and staff to collectively execute library strategies and achieve strategic goals.

Library Services (25%)
Promotes a service-based environment to effectively support and respond to the diverse needs of academic library patrons, including undergraduates, graduate students, professional students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community. Supports intellectual inquiry by aligning library services with advances in research, instructional delivery, curriculum development, and academic study. Ensures that K-State Libraries stay at the forefront of changes in technology, communication, instruction, outreach and the storage and delivery of information. Develops service and collection models that capitalize on new and innovative information formats and access technologies. Provides leadership and support for diversity efforts regarding collections and personnel, including support for university-wide curricular diversity initiatives.

Management of K-State Libraries (25%)
Serves as the senior administrator for K-State Libraries with oversight of planning and assessment; policy development, services and programs, physical space, collections development and preservation, fund development and financial management, staffing and personnel management, and technology services. Sets priorities with finite resources, effectively planning and managing the financial resources of the Libraries to meet current needs while allowing for attainment of strategic initiatives. Oversees the assessment of operations, programs, and services and continual service improvements to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency. Nurtures staff development by recruitment and retention of high-achieving and diverse Libraries faculty and staff, supporting their professional growth, setting performance objectives, evaluating outcomes, and maintaining accountability. Fosters a responsive and inclusive culture that welcomes change and innovation and values teamwork and collaboration.

Advancement, Fundraising, Grants, Outreach, and Community Activities (25%)
Serves as a strong and active advocate for K-State Libraries and its diverse constituencies, missions in teaching, learning, and scholarship, and importance to K-State now and in the future. Builds awareness of library programs and communicates the scholarship, leadership, and research expertise of Libraries faculty. Cultivates external relations, community engagement, and development opportunities. Leads philanthropic efforts to secure funding for all aspects of K-State Libraries, working collaboratively with the president, provost, deans, the Friends of K-State Libraries and the KSU Foundation. Represents K-State Libraries locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Educational Requirements
  • Masters in Library Science, Masters of Library and Information Science, or equivalent terminal degree from an American Library Association-accredited institution or equivalent required; additional advanced degree preferred.

Required Competencies/Qualifications
  • A strong record of sustained scholarly accomplishments and of excellence in librarianship, research, and service appropriate to appointment at the rank of Professor at a land-grant university
  • Proven leadership skills with the ability to analyze, plan, coordinate, articulate, and execute a strategic vision and initiatives and engage others in implementation
  • Demonstrated success as a strategic and creative planner and outstanding collaborator and relationship builder with strong interpersonal skills
  • Proven record as a successful library administrator with managerial experience including guiding strategy, assessment, collections development, financial planning and management, staffing and personnel management, and technology acquisition
  • Excellent organizational, problem-solving, and decision-making skills
  • Record of success in advancing digital initiatives, adopting new technologies, and coordinating with information technology units
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with varied groups of stakeholders and audiences
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and to programs to achieve inclusion among Libraries faculty and staff and to provide services that meet the needs of a diverse population of students and scholars
  • Deep understanding of the major challenges facing academic research libraries today, particularly in a public university, with evidence of engagement in working toward meeting those challenges
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise, lead, manage, and develop high performing faculty, staff, and teams with a commitment to an open and participatory management style and a culture of continuous professional development and learning
  • Proven ability to initiate, lead, and facilitate transformational change and innovation initiatives, be adaptable with changing conditions, and comfortable with the ambiguity that accompanies a large public university

Preferred Qualifications/Competencies
  • Demonstrated success securing funds through grants and external fundraising and stewardship
  • A passion for the role of librarianship in public higher education, with clear understanding of national trends in the academic library profession and higher education, emerging areas of librarianship and scholarly communication and future trends of library technology and systems to maximize discovery and access to scholarly resources
  • Firm grasp of the opportunities and advantages of a land-grant university with R1 status
  • A history of building, enhancing, and sustaining partnerships across a university, local communities, state, region, and nation

About the University:
Kansas State University is a comprehensive, research, land-grant institution serving approximately 21,000 students. The University provides some of the best global food systems and biosecurity research in the world and is progressing toward its goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025.

The university has nine academic colleges and offers more than 250 majors and options. The Graduate School offers 73 master’s degrees, 44 doctoral degrees and 43 graduate certificates in multiple disciplines. The Princeton Review recognizes the university as one of the nation’s best colleges and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities designated Kansas State University as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University.

Commonly referred to as K-State, the university is proud of its student-centered focus and welcoming environment and considers all K-Staters fami­ly. Their athletic teams, known as the Wildcats, compete in the Big 12 Conference and frequently win titles and champion­ships.

About K-State Libraries:
K-State Libraries is a research library with a total budget of $13.5 million and a collection of 3.6 million titles. The materials budget is $5.8 million and reflects a significant shift from print to electronic resources. A staff of nearly 100 work in six departments (Information Technology; Library User Services; Academic Services; Metadata, Preservation, and Acquisitions; Special Collections and Archives; and Content Development) across two divisions as well as two offices for Communications and Marketing and Planning and Assessment. Hale Library is the main facility on campus; in addition, two branch libraries report to library administration (Math/Physics and the Weigel Architecture, Planning and Design Library) and two other branches report to their college administrations (K-State Salina Library and Veterinary Medicine Library). K-State Libraries recently raised $13.1 million in the university's Innovation and Inspiration capital campaign.

In May 2018, water and smoke from a fire at Hale Library damaged about 80% of the building. Over the last 2 1/2 years, a massive renovation has been undertaken with the goal of restoring the facility as well as modernizing it for the 21st century. New features include the Butler Digitization Lab, Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab, collaboration rooms, a large instruction room, and a campus/community meeting space. All library collections were removed, cleaned, and stored outside the building and are now in the process of being returned. Renovation is slated to be completed in January 2021.

Research Opportunities:
As the nation’s first operational land-grant university, Kansas State University is dedicated to research that will better their community, state and world. The university is at the forefront of several crucial research areas, including global food systems and biosecurity. Kansas State University takes great pride in ensuring faculty members have the tools necessary to make the breakthroughs the world needs. They offer a variety of programs and funding opportunities to secure their researchers’ suc­cess.

In part because of the university’s biosecurity research and expertise, Manhattan was chosen as the location for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, which is currently under construction adjacent to campus.

Diversity and Inclusion:
Kansas State University has a long, storied history of em­bracing diversity and inclusion as a core component of their educational mission. As the nation’s first operational land-grant, K-State has always admitted students without regard to race, gender or creed. Their commitment to meeting the needs and interests of a diverse student body and prepar­ing all constituents for meaningful engagement in an ever changing, diverse world is unwavering. They believe that di­versity adds value to the educational fabric of their institution and students are encouraged to capitalize on the learning opportunities that differences can create.

To learn more information about diversity and inclusion at K-State, please visit

About the Area:
Nestled in the heart of northeast Kansas’ scenic Flint Hills, Manhattan’s 56,000 citizens enjoy a dynamic community filled with shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife. Manhattan is affectionately known as the “Little Apple,” a nod
to its East Coast namesake, but has a vibrant culture all its own. Here is just a sampling of what residents look forward to year-round:
  • Shopping, dining and socializing in Aggieville, a local entertainment district with an energetic vibe.
  • A vibrant, revitalized downtown area with fine dining options and local boutiques.
  • The Flint Hills Discovery Center, featuring exhibits about the beautiful surrounding region.
  • Beautiful outdoor life at Sunset Zoo and The Gardens at Kansas State University.
  • Recreation opportunities at the Konza Prairie, Tuttle Creek State Park, Linear Park Trail and more.
  • The university’s McCain Performance Series, which hosts acclaimed Broadway musicals, comedians, musicians and other entertainers.
  • Exciting Big 12 athletic events (faculty and staff are eligible for discounted tickets).
  • Colbert Hills Golf Course, ranked as the top public golf course in Kansas.
  • Excellent K-12 education. The local high school ranks among the top 5 percent of U.S. high schools, and the district is home to several Kansas Master Teachers.
To learn more about the Manhattan community, visit

Equal Employment Opportunity:
Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and actively seeks diversity among its employees.

Background Screening Statement:
In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

To Apply:
Academic Career and Executive Search (ACES) is assisting Kansas State University. Inquiries, nominations and applications will be treated confidentially. For full consideration, application materials must be received by February 8, 2021.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and curriculum vita. 

Please do not email applications. To be viewed by the search firm, you must apply directly. 

Inquiries, nominations and questions should be sent to

Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment.
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