Dean of the USC Libraries

Search for the Dean of the USC Libraries
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC), one of the world's leading private research universities, seeks a visionary and innovative leader to serve as the next Dean of the USC Libraries. The next Dean will oversee the oldest private academic research libraries in California while innovating toward the university's ambitious future aspirations.

At the heart of USC's academic community, the USC Libraries advance consequential research and scholarship, create enriching and equitable learning experiences, inspire polymathic creativity and informed risk-taking, and empower learners, creators, and explorers to make meaningful discoveries. Core to the Libraries' mission are invention, experimentation, inclusivity, and equitable access. Currently, the USC Libraries include 23 distinct libraries and information services and are home to several notable collections, including the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives (the largest collection of LGBT materials in the world), and an expansive digital collection with particular highlights from the California Historical Society, Korean American Archives, the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, the Dance Heritage Video Archive, the international Mission Photography Archive, and the Wayne Thom Photographic Archive.

Founded by civic leaders in 1880, the start of California's rise to prominence, the University of Southern California has always been a pioneering institution with diversity, discovery, and exploration at its heart. Its aspirations and embrace were as expansive as the region it grew to represent. Since opening its doors, USC's drive to break boundaries and transcend its own geography put it on an impressive trajectory. Today, with a budget of $6.2 billion, $1.352 billion in sponsored research, and over $8 billion in economic impact across the region and state, USC has established itself as anchor institution in Los Angeles; a global center for arts, technology, and international business; and a leading research university, distinguished for its unique, nimble, and inventive culture.

President Carol Folt has outlined a bold set of moonshot initiatives that include a dramatic investment in the "Frontiers of Computing" and an expansion of the university's health science efforts, and the next Dean will ensure the USC Libraries are aligned with these strategic initiatives while continuing to serve the expansive needs of USC's equally expansive academic community. The Dean must recognize the Libraries' existing strengths while building on its success, further elevating its national and international profile. With the strong support of the university administration, the next Dean will lead the USC Libraries into an exciting new era, in which traditional resources remain vital while digital technologies are re-defining the role of academic libraries. To do so, the Dean will address a set of key opportunities and challenges, listed below:

  • Drive and execute a compelling, innovative, and strategic vision for the USC Libraries, providing technological and research support for USC's overarching initiatives;
  • Provide excellent service as a critical resource to USC's academic and clinical community, facilitating creativity and innovation;
  • Ensure the USC Libraries are national thought leaders in terms of structures, systems, services, and technologies;
  • Foster a culture with transparency, equity, inclusion, and balance at the core, in service of recruiting and retaining an excellent team;
  • Work closely with senior leadership across the university as a strategic thought partner and advocate on behalf of the USC Libraries.

    A complete list of the desired qualifications and characteristics can be found at the conclusion of this document, which was produced with the support of Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm.

    USC has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. The salary range for this position is $320,000-$350,000 per year. This is a 12-month full-time position. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate's work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: . Electronic submission of materials is required.

    David Bellshaw, Hayden Lizotte, Silvia Cheng, and Cara Meyers
    Isaacson, Miller
    Los Angeles/San Francisco

    USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting .

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