Associate Dean for Academic Engagement

Associate Dean for Academic Engagement


About the JMU Libraries:

JMU Libraries is an essential and deeply valued part of our university, reporting to the Provost and Senior Vice President of JMU and undergoing transformation and renewal under the leadership of Dean Bethany Nowviskie. At JMU, the Libraries includes campus educational technology, digital scholarship, and online learning services alongside foundational library collections, resources and spaces, scholarly communications and data/information literacy services, and collaborative teaching and research support. We work with faculty and administrators across the institution as respected peers. Our team comprises approximately 150 staff and faculty, including tenured/tenure-track librarians and instructional designers, classified and wage staff, and administrative and professional faculty from a number of fields. Approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate student workers join the Libraries in a variety of roles.

The Libraries particularly welcomes applicants who can enhance the diversity and excellence of our campus community, and who can demonstrate their leadership in building equitable and inclusive environments for teaching, research, and service. We are committed to cultivating a welcoming place for everyone, encouraging dialogue, and celebrating diverse life experiences and perspectives. We encourage experimentation and creativity in pursuit of meaningful solutions that build on our position as core academic infrastructure for our campus community.


About This Role:

JMU Libraries seeks a dynamic, collaborative, pragmatic, and service-minded leader to fill the newly created position of Associate Dean (AD) for Academic Engagement (AE).

The successful candidate will serve as a key member of the senior leadership team reporting to JMU’s Dean of Libraries and Chief Academic Technology Officer, working closely and cooperatively with peer ADs who guide the other primary divisions of our library system: Learning Innovations and Design; Discovery, Access, and Technology; and Libraries Administration—as well as with leaders at all levels throughout our closely interconnected organization. In this role, the Associate Dean for AE will provide visionary leadership and strong managerial support for the Libraries’ core public and information services in multiple buildings and locations; for campus-wide instruction and expertise on information literacy through our valued and essential academic liaison librarian program; and for a variety of specialized offerings. These include: our special libraries and partnerships with JMU’s colleges and departments; Libraries services surrounding distinctive collections across media types; and the support we provide for digital scholarship at JMU, with particular emphasis on digital humanities and social science offerings connected with Special Collections and on scholar-created thematic research collections related to student- and community-based collaborations.

As a re-envisioned unit of the JMU Libraries, Academic Engagement will include approximately 40 faculty and staff from the following departments: Library and Information Services (including circulation and public services), Research and Education Services (including liaison librarians, who further JMU’s teaching, learning, and scholarship mission through their work as educators, researchers, and collections managers), the Music Library (housed in the facilities of our College of Visual and Performing Arts), Special Collections, and Digital Projects. The incumbent will also supervise a position currently in recruitment: the Director of Digital Scholarship and Distinctive Collections, charged with shaping a new department within Academic Engagement that will encompass Special Collections and archives, preservation/conservation, library-based digitization services, and support for faculty digital scholarship. Distinctive collections at JMU include Special Collections print, manuscript, and audiovisual holdings (particularly rich in the history of the campus and Shenandoah Valley and in Black arts and culture, including the unique video archives of JMU’s distinguished Furious Flower Poetry Center) as well as oral histories related to Harrisonburg’s vibrant immigrant community, faculty digital projects, and more.

The new AD for Academic Engagement will additionally guide Libraries partnerships that include (among others) our support for General Education at JMU, library services offered through an Educational Technology and Media Center in our College of Education, and collaborations with our College of Arts and Letters. These include library support for the Center for African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, digital liberal arts initiatives including an innovative History Studio, and a multi-year Mellon Foundation-funded partnership between the JMU Libraries and the Furious Flower Poetry Center. This is a particularly exciting moment to join the JMU Libraries as we are celebrating JMU’s reclassification by Carnegie as an R2 institution of increasing national stature and planning the renovation and expansion of Carrier Library, which will provide new facilities for key departments of Academic Engagement.

This is a tenure-eligible, 12-month instructional faculty position at JMU with the administrative appointment of associate dean ( The ideal candidate will come in at the rank of Associate Professor or above. Libraries faculty participate in shared governance at JMU and adhere to policies established in our Promotion & Tenure Guidelines ( and the JMU Faculty Handbook ( Faculty are evaluated annually on Job Performance, Scholarly Achievement & Professional Qualifications, and Professional Service.

Desired Leadership Approach:

As a member of the Libraries Dean’s Council and executive leadership team, the AD for Academic Engagement will help set the overall vision, direction, and strategy of the JMU Libraries. Leaders in the JMU Libraries believe in fostering a balanced and rewarding work environment, value staff from all areas of the organization and with all kinds of lived experience, and work to strengthen equitable and positive relationships across employment classifications. We therefore seek a relationship-builder with a high level of emotional intelligence and commitment to equity and inclusion; an appreciation for the intersections of teaching, research, and learning; and deep professional knowledge spanning the departments that come together in Academic Engagement. Our new AD should be someone who takes a user-oriented and whole-systems approach, supportive of creative strategies to build organizational strengths and create new partnerships within and beyond the Libraries. The successful candidate will demonstrate integrity and an ethic of care, grounding their leadership in listening, representation and co-creation, reciprocity, and respect. Our successful candidate will also be able to demonstrate experience in advancing inclusive excellence and articulate a compelling leadership philosophy in fostering diversity in the workplace.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide user-centered leadership for Libraries departments and services related to academic engagement, including approximately 40-45 faculty and staff (with 5-6 direct reports) and the majority of our approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate student employees
  • Work with colleagues and campus partners to ensure the JMU Libraries proactively supports student and faculty teaching, learning, research, and creative endeavors
  • Provide leadership in library instruction and support, and foster collaborative and innovative programming across the JMU Libraries on discipline-specific research methods and modes of inquiry, and on broadly shared topics like data and information literacy and the role of distinctive collections in teaching and research
  • Represent the JMU Libraries and core values of librarianship in campus conversations about enhanced support for teaching, research, and scholarship, in ways that lead to more diverse and equitable futures for higher education
  • Engage in relevant service and scholarly and professional development activities


Required Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated understanding of and engagement with the central role of libraries and librarianship (including special collections, and special libraries and services) in the current higher education context
  • Ability to offer a vision for the Academic Engagement unit in the future
  • Significant supervisory experience, demonstrated experience with team-building, and progressive responsibility in developing user-centered library services and programs in support of research, teaching, and learning
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting and/or enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within organizations and in the profession
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate closely with internal and external stakeholders, including inviting and engaging input, facilitating constructive conversations, and partnering to co-create solutions
  • A graduate degree in library science or another relevant field

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of theories, practices, and/or technologies relevant to library instruction and support, including information literacy frameworks and primary source literacy standards
  • Demonstrated knowledge of theories, practices, and/or technologies relevant to access and use of special collections and archives
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices to promote and sustainably support digital scholarship


To learn more and to apply, go to and reference posting F1873, or go directly to Review of applications will begin 6/6/2022, and the position will remain open until filled. Pay range: $110,000 - $115,000.


James Madison University is committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status We promote access, inclusion and diversity for all students, faculty, staff, constituents and programs, believing that these qualities are foundational components of an outstanding education in keeping with our mission. The university is interested in candidates whose experience and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.