Chair - Archives and Special Collections

Job Details

Working Title:

Chair - Archives and Special Collections


University Libraries-0905

Requisition Number:


Posting Open Date:


Application Review Date: (To ensure consideration, please submit all application materials before review date):


Open Until Filled:


Description of Work:

The University Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) seeks a Chair of Archives and Special Collections to provide visionary leadership and organizational direction for the Libraries programs and initiatives around university archives and special collections. The chair manages people and resources across a diverse set of activities, collaborating inside and outside of the Libraries on activities such as: teaching and conducting research with primary source materials; building, preserving, and making accessible a strong collection representing the history of the University and in key areas such as Great Plains literary and cultural history; partnering in the continued development of a robust digital collections and archives program; leading growth in community-engaged, non-extractive archiving and post-custodial approaches to stewardship; and pursuing broad equity and information justice goals consistent with Libraries’ strategic plans.

The Chair of Archives and Special Collections joins the UNL Libraries at a time of change and renewal and will be engaged in the implementation of the Libraries’ strategic plan across its objectives. Department heads in the UNL Libraries are expected to practice a range of leadership and management approaches and to pursue departmental planning and development through inclusive, multi-directional approaches and processes. The Libraries is committed to providing financial and other support for faculty professional development and travel.

  • Facilitates the development of an inclusive and collaborative culture within the department.
  • Manages the department, including strategy, planning, policy, personnel, and assessment matters.
  • Ensures departmental efforts to advance antiracism and inclusive excellence.
  • Supervises directly the work of 6-8 full-time staff and faculty. Mentors pre-tenure faculty and faculty not yet fully promoted to help them through promotion and tenure.
  • Collaborates with the Chair of Acquisitions, Cataloging, Metadata, eResources on strategies for preservation and description and cataloging of rare and unique collections.
  • Actively partners with the Digital Strategies department, including the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, on digital scholarship activities.
  • Collaborates with the Dean, the University of Nebraska Foundation, and others on fundraising and donor relations activities.
  • Engages in university-wide conversations, committees, and other forums relevant to areas of leadership and responsibility and as a representative of the Libraries’ distinctive role.
  • Participates actively in the profession relevant to areas of leadership and responsibility.

The chair reports to the Dean of Libraries and serves as part of the senior administrative team of the University Libraries by participating collaboratively in planning and management and as a member of Dean’s Cabinet and Leadership Council. Librarians in the University Libraries have faculty status; the successful candidate will be hired at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor (tenured). The administrative responsibilities of the chair are expected to be no more than 60% FTE. The individual’s remaining FTE will be in other assigned areas of responsibility, research, and/or service, as determined by the needs of the organization and in consultation with the successful candidate.

Salary will start at $84,000 minimum. Faculty are eligible for annual merit raises, with raises also at times of promotion in rank. All faculty in the UNL Libraries currently receive professional development funding of $1,700 per fiscal year, with the opportunity to request additional financial support.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides generous relocation support, including options that do not require new employees to pay expenses out of pocket.

The University of Nebraska offers an extensive benefits package that includes health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance; retirement accounts; tuition remission for employees, their spouses, and dependent children; and reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent daycare. Leave policies are designed to help employees deal with personal or family events or crises. Please refer to the University of Nebraska Benefits site for information.
About Lincoln and the University of Nebraska.The University of Nebraska-Lincoln seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees’ differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse populations we serve. The university fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.

Lincoln, Nebraska, is a city of nearly 300,000 people and the state capital, where residents enjoy a low cost of living, high-quality public schools, and more parkland per capita than most U.S. cities. See

As an EO/AA employer, the University of Nebraska considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See

Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in library science or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate area.
  • Demonstrated expertise in archival theory and practice achieved through formal training and/or experience in the field.
  • At least seven (7) years of experience in an academic library, archives, or related institution and scholarly contributions consistent with anticipated rank at the time of appointment.
  • Supervisory experience at any level.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and support for a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Familiarity with approaches to digital preservation and processing and long-term curation of digitized and born-digital materials.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience leading or participating in community-engaged activities, such as community archiving initiatives, public history projects, or truth and reckoning initiatives.
  • Experience in successfully applying for external grants.
  • Experience in donor relations.

Criminal History Background Check Required:


How to Apply:

Click “apply to this job” and complete the information form. Attach the following documents:

  1. Your cover letter.
  2. Curriculum vitae.
In your cover letter, please be sure to directly address all minimum required qualifications. We are open to a broad range of ways and contexts in which candidates might demonstrate how they meet these qualifications. For example, while candidates might document their demonstrated commitment, experience, and knowledge through work activities—including in positions outside of libraries—they might also speak to coursework, community service, participation in cultural or other organizations, and involvement with student groups, among other possibilities. Cover letters must also include a description from the applicant that speaks to how their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion could be integrated into this position.

For questions or accommodations related to this position contact:

Katelyn Rife, SHRM-CP
Human Resources Specialist
[email protected]

Job Category (old):

Faculty Tenure/Tenure Leading

Job Type:

12 Month (Faculty Only)

Position funded by grant or other form of temporary funding?:



Working at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

For 150 Years, A Leader in Higher Education 
Always a place of high ambition, University of Nebraska was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees - the first was granted in 1896. The University of Nebraska established the world's first undergraduate psychology laboratory. The discipline of ecology was born here, and the campuses reflect that tradition, being recognized as botanical gardens and arboreta. An early institutional interest in literature and the arts provided the foundations for today's Prairie Schooner literary magazine, for the University of Nebraska Press, and for the Sheldon Museum of Art, which houses one of the world's most significant collections of 20th century American art.

Today, Nebraska is one of the nation's leading teaching institutions, and a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities. Nebraska is also a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University of Nebraska offers an extensive benefits package that includes health, life, disability and long term care insurance; retirement accounts; tuition reimbursement for employees and their spouses and dependent children; and reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent day care. Leave policies are designed to help employees deal with personal or family events or crises.

Diversity and Inclusion
In the spirit of the phrase "Every Interaction Matters", UNL has an enacted commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence for our faculty, staff, and students. On our campus, diversity and inclusion are important priorities. Examples include: Husker Dialogues, which is an event that helps first-year students focus on diversity and inclusion and practice handling difficult conversations around difference; three Chancellor's Diversity Commissions that are charged with informing and advising the Chancellor and addressing issues of constituent campus communities; and the establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion whose leader operates at the Vice Chancellor level. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we strive for excellence in all that we do. True excellence requires that each individual be able to work and learn in an atmosphere of respect, dignity, and belonging. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion requires each of us to continuously ensure our interactions are respectful, protect free speech, and inspire academic freedom.

About Lincoln
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is located in an up-and-coming and safe city of 300,000 people that has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. The Pinnacle Bank Arena, opened in 2013, routinely hosts major touring acts. A buzzing entertainment district, the Railyard, connects the arena area to the Historic Haymarket. Cuisines from all continents provide the entree to dynamic urban nightlife and a wide variety of ways to enjoy time with friends. Nebraska's City Campus is one with Lincoln's city center, as it has been since the university was founded.Lincoln has more parkland per capita than Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and all but a handful of U.S. cities. The well-manicured Pioneers Park, the native woods of Wilderness Park and the open grassland of Nine-Mile Prairie are each within a 10-minute trip from campus. Connecting many of these parks is an extensive trails network.

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