Dean - University Libraries (Position #4946)

Northern Illinois University, a regional public university of 19,015 students located about 75 minutes from Chicago in DeKalb, IL, seeks a dynamic, articulate, and energetic leader to serve as the next dean of the University Libraries. The University holds a Carnegie Classification of R2, Doctoral Universities—Higher Research Activity, possesses a vibrant tradition of research and teaching effectiveness, and is dedicated to student, faculty, staff, and community success through provision of research, instruction, outreach, and other services in support of life-long learning.

The University Libraries plays an integral role in sustaining the research and teaching mission of the institution. Its provision of access to robust, responsive collections and innovative technology is one of Northern Illinois University’s distinctive strengths. It serves students, faculty, staff and the public by providing an environment conducive to study, research, collaboration, and leisure needs in which stewardship of library materials meets the most exacting of national standards and legal requirements.

The Libraries’ system consists of Founders Memorial Library (main library), and two branch libraries -- Faraday Library, and the Music Library. The Regional History Center/University Archives are located in Founders Memorial Library. The University Libraries contains over 2 million volumes as well as periodicals, government publications, microforms, maps, recordings, audiovisual materials, and electronic databases.

The Libraries has a committed and talented group of faculty, staff, and experienced administrators who provide day-to-day leadership and make it possible for the dean to undertake new and innovative challenges to keep the Libraries current and meet the University’s mission.

The Dean of the University Libraries reports to the Executive Vice President and Provost and is responsible for the overall administrative, operational, and fiscal leadership of the Libraries. Specifically, these responsibilities include:

  • Administering the main library, the branch libraries, and the Regional History Center/University Archives.
  • Directing long range planning, and formulating suitable policies to further the University’s mission. This includes, coordinating the collection development and acquisitions programs of the University Libraries in order to strengthen the research, teaching and learning outcomes of Northern Illinois University. 
  • Initiating, encouraging and coordinating efforts for securing external funding in support of the University Libraries.
  • Overseeing an active program of services and instruction for University faculty, students and staff. 
  • Consulting with all colleges and other academic units regarding the formulation and implementation of library policies and services in support of the teaching, research and scholarly missions of the University. 
  • Participating in processes related to new program proposals, academic program reviews and accreditation activities across the University.
  • Preparing, presenting and administering the budget for the University Libraries.
  • Advising and informing the Executive Vice President and Provost on matters relating to the libraries, and serving on the Libraries Advisory Committee, a university-wide committee which also advises the Provost on these matters.
  • Recruiting, administering and encouraging the development of the professional and support staff of the libraries in consultation with the Library Administration, Library Council (Library faculty governance body chaired by the Dean), the University Libraries Personnel Search Committee, and the Library Operating Staff Advisory Committee.
  • Fostering regional cooperation in sharing library materials, networking and collection development.
  • Maintaining and exemplifying the university’s strong commitment to diversity and to providing services to people with disabilities in the University Libraries.
  • Collaborating with the director of the Law Library in the collection development and acquisitions programs of the University Libraries.


  • An earned doctorate or master’s degree in librarianship from an ALA accredited program is required. If the master’s degree is the highest degree in librarianship, either an earned doctorate (preferred) or a second master’s degree is also required.
  • Record of effective administrative experience at levels appropriate for appointment to the deanship of a major research library.
  • Evidence of significant professional and scholarly activities, including publications, sufficient to justify a senior faculty appointment.
  • Evidence of commitment to external fund raising in support of the University Libraries through gifts and grants.
  • Demonstrated commitment to support and to improve the environment necessary for the scholarly and creative activities of faculty and staff.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and managing complex projects, leadership, and dealing with personnel matters.
  • Demonstrated commitment to professional growth for library faculty and staff.
  • In-depth understanding of current library trends and best practices.
  • Excellent communication skills that permit open dialog with faculty, staff, students, and internal and external constituencies and partners.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a diverse faculty, staff, and student population, with a history of encouraging cultural diversity.


  • Skill in data-driven management in evaluating, measuring and elevating library operations, and faculty and staff performance.
  • Strategic planning experience with ability to collaboratively identify and develop academic priorities for the Libraries.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of resource sharing.
  • Experience in developing collaborative learning spaces within library facilities.
  • Familiarity with library management systems and next-generation library catalogs, including linked data and knowledge bases.
  • Knowledge of issues related to digital initiatives and digital preservation.
  • Understanding of scholarly communication and publishing, including open access and copyright.


Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin February 10, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled.

Candidates should provide curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements, and the names and contact information of five professional references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. Please send application materials via e-mail to: ULIB Dean Search Committee, For questions, please contact Liz Wright, or 815-753-9400.

In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check. 

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. NIU recognizes Dual Career issues. 

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.