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Dean, University Libraries

Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky

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Executive Administration Jobs
Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Librarians & Library Services
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Dean, University Libraries
Position Description

About the University

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a student-centered, applied-research institution committed to providing its students with a transformative academic and social experience and to elevating its surrounding communities. Founded in 1906, WKU is the second largest undergraduate institution in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with approximately 15,035 students (29% first generation, 18% underrepresented minority) and just over 2,500 faculty and staff employees.

Western Kentucky University is committed to empowering its campus community to embrace diversity by building equitable and inclusive learning, working, and living environments. At the heart of our mission, we seek to provide holistic education and employment experiences that prepare students, faculty, and staff to become effective scholars, contributors, and leaders in our diverse and evolving communities.

Located 65 miles north of Nashville, TN, and just over 100 miles south of Louisville, KY, WKU's main campus is in Bowling Green, KY - a city with approximately 70,000 residents. Our population is ethnically diverse, with more than 85 languages spoken in and around Bowling Green, and people from 35 nationalities call our community home.

Western Kentucky University seeks to attract talented faculty and staff who are inspired individually to contribute to WKU's strategic plans and ongoing success. We offer comprehensive wellness and health benefits to employees and their families, including domestic partners and other qualified dependents and take pride in providing a workplace culture that supports balancing the responsibilities of work and family life. Paid time off for holidays, vacation and sick leave, and a tuition discount program for employees and dependents are also provided. Learn more about WKU and Bowling Green at

Job Description:

Western Kentucky University (WKU) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of WKU Libraries. WKU Libraries have a long tradition of excellence in supporting the quest for knowledge, understanding, creativity, and innovation for a broad and diversified range of scholarly resources. As a key element in scholarly development and student success, WKU Libraries plays a significant role in the university. WKU Libraries thus seeks a visionary and energetic leader who will lead innovation and foster growth. A leader who will continue to develop and maintain an environment of strategic and data-driven innovation to support WKU Libraries, WKU’s campus, and the community. This position will require an adaptive leader to nurture change and cultivate an organizational climate built on respect, service, communication, and cooperation.

The Dean of WKU Libraries serves as the chief academic and administrative officer for WKU Libraries and reports directly to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Dean is responsible for oversight of library faculty, staff, and facilities of Access Services and the Departments of Library Public Services and Library Collections and Discovery develops and ensures the execution of the mission and vision of the WKU Libraries within the context of the WKU Strategic Plan; and provides leadership in the areas of administration and operations of WKU Libraries including oversight and development of policies and procedures (as they relate to the libraries), strategic planning, budget maintenance, library services, collection management and maintenance, fiscal management, and supervision and training of library personnel, facilities, and equipment.

Position and Responsibilities

  • Exercise strategic and visionary leadership that aligns with the university's strategic plan, mission, and values.
  • Serve as an active advocate of WKU Libraries through professional and effective communication while fostering and maintaining collaborative partnerships both internally and externally to the university.
  • Collaborate with other academic units to support and sustain vital research and teaching and to strengthen the learning community.
  • Active commitment to personal growth, professional development, and an ongoing understanding of new growth opportunities within the library profession.
  • Oversee faculty progress toward tenure and promotion.
  • Support a culture of shared governance which fosters an atmosphere of decision-making, transparency, and a positive work and learning atmosphere.
  • Plan and manage library resources to meet the libraries and campus’s current and future needs.
  • Cultivate fundraising opportunities in support of WKU Libraries and engage in community alignment of WKU philanthropic initiatives.
  • Promote and advocate for a student centric, service-based culture within WKU Libraries.
  • Serve as a member of the WKU Council of Academic Deans and work in a collegial and collaborative manner with all members.
  • Active participation in national, regional, and/or state library organizations.
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse educational environment and an ability to work with a diverse student and faculty population.
  • Provide creative planning and supervision for the use and maintenance of library facilities and equipment.
  • Champion the library's mission and vision within the campus and Bowling Green community
  • Ability to delegate, motivate, inspire, provide feedback and coaching, and foster a culture of learning, growth and productivity.


  • Master’s degree in library and/or information science from an ALA-accredited library program.
  • Significant managerial/administrative/supervisory experience in an academic setting at the level or higher of department chair and/or equivalent leadership experience.
  • Record of scholarly achievement appropriate for a tenured full professor in either the Department of Library Public Services or the Department of Library Collections & Discovery.
  • Record of visionary and innovative leadership.
  • Demonstrated experience utilizing a Responsibility Center Management (RCM) or similar budget model that encompasses resource allocation, management, and forward planning.
  • Evidence of knowledge of the rapidly evolving field of librarianship and a sense for what the future holds for academic libraries.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for WKU Libraries that fosters an environment supportive of all members of the WKU Campus and community.
  • Demonstrating experience in overseeing and maintaining SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) standards for the library's academic programs and services.
  • Exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is committed to the policy and practice of providing equal employment and educational opportunities to all individuals. In accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, no form of discrimination or harassment will be tolerated at WKU on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices.

Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Institutional Equity. To request an accommodation, report a complaint, or ask questions regarding WKU's Discrimination and Harassment Policy (#0.2040), please contact Ms. Ena Demir, Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator via email at or by phone at (270) 745-6867. Ms. Demir is also responsible for coordinating the University's response to complaints related to sex and gender harassment. Additional information regarding Title IX is accessible via WKU's website.

Information concerning educational programs offered by WKU are provided at:

For information related to job postings, please email

Application Process

The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, complete CV, and list of five references and a brief statement (one page maximum) about how you would contribute toward our mission of creating a culturally inclusive environment in the University), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the Western Kentucky University. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until final candidates for the appointment are identified. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to January 16, 2024.

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Senior Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875 Atlanta, GA 30328
770‐804‐1996 ext. 111 ||

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