Dean, University Library (Apply via Search Firm)

California, United States
Salary Not Specified
Jul 10, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

**All application materials must be submitted to the search firm.**

San José State University (SJSU) seeks an experienced, visionary and creative leader to serve as its next University Library Dean.

Founded in 1857, San José State University is the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast. Located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, SJSU is the fifth largest of the 23 campuses of the California State University (CSU) system, the largest four-year university system in the United States. It is both a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific-Islander Serving Institution (AANPISI), as well as one of the largest international-student serving institutions in the CSU. As one of the 200 top research universities in the nation, San José State has robust NSF and NIH-funded research programs and one of the highest levels of research funding in the CSU system. SJSU offers rigorous coursework to more than 35,000 undergraduate and graduate students in seven colleges.

SJSU Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (SJSU King Library) is a fundamental player in advancing SJSU's educational, research and public service mission. Through its collections, expert personnel, technology and spaces, both physical and virtual, SJSU King Library provides students and faculty with collaborative experiences and services that adapt to the institution's learning, teaching and research needs. In 2019, SJSU King Library launched Ready for Transformation, its five-year strategic plan, which aligns to the goals of SJSU's Transformation 2030 strategic plan. The work of SJSU King Library and its many dedicated faculty and staff underpins the scholarly and educational activity across the entire institution. SJSU King Library has an annual operating budget of $9.2M employs 29 faculty librarians, just over 55 staff members, and more than 80 student workers.

SJSU seeks a dean worthy of representing the vision of diversity and inclusion symbolized in the library's name. The dean serves as the senior administrator for the University Library, providing leadership and strategic direction. This position requires strong leadership qualities, ability to engage and build strong support for the library's vision for the future, solid management skills, effectiveness in resource acquisition and allocation, ability to build partnerships within the university and throughout the community and possession of a clear understanding of national trends in higher education and the academic library profession. Student learning and success should be at the forefront of the new dean's priorities, while also promoting and supporting an increase in research activity and scholarship across the university. As co-manager of SJSU King Library, the university library dean will be expected to partner with the director of the San José Public Library (SJPL) system. Together they collaborate to effectively offer quality services and resources to both the university and the broader San José community.

Furthermore, as a member of the provost’s leadership team, the dean works with the university president, provost, other deans and senior administrators to manage the university’s resources to enhance the accomplishment of library and university goals. The dean must work effectively with faculty, staff and other administrators to define and articulate the library’s academic mission, vision and educational philosophy. Responsibilities include: develop an innovative vision, leadership and strategic direction for the library and its collections and services for faculty and students; lead library strategic planning; assessment (of operations, services and instruction); recruitment and evaluation of a diverse library faculty and staff in a collective bargaining environment; increase professional development opportunities for faculty, staff and students; management of funds and budgeting process; and allocation and use of facilities. The next dean will work to develop resources from internal and external sources to further the goals of the library and university, and represent the library and university in community, corporate and professional organizations. An earned M.L.S. from an accredited ALA institution or equivalent is required. A second master's or Ph.D. is strongly preferred.

This is a position in the CSU - Management Personnel Plan (MPP), and serves at the pleasure of the President. This position will require adherence to University compliance training such as: Conflict of Interest and Ethics, AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Prevention, Information Security, and Injury and Illness Prevention Program. The person hired for this position may be required to complete an outside employment disclosure statement in accordance with Title V of the California Code of Regulations.

Key Responsibilities

  • The university library dean will provide leadership to the SJSU library faculty and staff, inspiring the vision, passion, creativity, innovation and integrity necessary to accomplish university goals.
  • In conjunction with University Advancement and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, the next dean will generate significant external funding resources with an emphasis on enhancing technology, collections and support for SJSU Library faculty and staff development.
  • The next dean will articulate and advocate the role of the library on campus and in the Silicon Valley community.
  • The dean will be responsible for coordination of the academic library plan, assessment of library contributions to the academic mission, faculty and staff recruitment, evaluation and professional development and budgeting.
  • The university library dean will engage in fiscal planning and budgeting and manage resources strategically, fairly and effectively.
  • Provide oversight and direction for the associate deans of the library, who have primary responsibility for managing day-to-day library operations.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Skills in successful development, effective fundraising and community and alumni relations
  • Ability to attract, seek out and generate external resources.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in working with community leaders in culturally diverse settings.
  • Ability to work collegially with university leadership, faculty and staff within a shared governance structure.
  • Ability to work openly with students, faculty and staff and advocate effectively for them.
  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of faculty, managers, customers and the general public.
  • Experience with, awareness of and sensitivity to the educational goals of a multicultural population and active participation in expanding educational and professional opportunities to currently underserved and underrepresented populations.
  • Ability to provide resources and inspiration to support student learning and improve student success, as well as basic and applied research.
  • Forward-thinking outlook and trend-setting abilities.
  • Ability to be an innovative, visionary and entrepreneurial leader with high personal integrity.
  • Effectively represent the library and/or university concerning critical or politically sensitive matters.
  • Lead a management team and provide academic executive leadership in a collaborative and collegial manner.
  • Ability to participate in difficult situations with dignity and self-control.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a diverse campus community, both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrate a style of open communication and transparent decision-making.
  • Provide effective administration, including academic planning and development, personnel, information technology and fiscal management.
  • Knowledge of and ability to work in a collective bargaining environment.
  • Ability to interpret and implement solid, proven effective budgeting skills.
  • Superior managerial skills with ability to:
  • Identify, interpret and develop policies, procedures and/or regulations
  • Write reports, business correspondence, guidelines, policy and strategic plans.
  • Define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw conclusions.
  • Interpret an extensive variety of information, and deal with multiple abstract and concrete variables.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA accredited program; an earned doctorate strongly preferred.
  • Be eligible for tenure as faculty in the library and/or the School of Information
  • Minimum of five years of administrative responsibility in academic library positions of increasing responsibility
  • Experience in personnel management in an academic setting, space management, facilities and collections development and assessment of library services
  • Understanding of the needs of, and the ability to work openly with, students, faculty and staff across academic disciplines, and effectively advocate for them
  • Demonstrated experience in developing high-quality collaborations and managing partnerships, and a desire to work closely with the public library and others in the community to augment and improve access and services

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with a large state system of higher education is desirable
  • An understanding of a university situated in an urban setting
  • An understanding of collective bargaining and a unionized environment


Classification: Administrator IV
Hiring Range: Commensurate with experience

San José State University offers employees a comprehensive benefits package typically worth 30-35% of your base salary. For more information on programs available, please see the Employee Benefits Summary .

Application Procedure

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited.

For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by August 31, 2020.

Candidates should provide, as two separate documents, a CV and a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the position profile. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer's candidate portal at

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to the consultants:

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Jessica Herrington and Julia Venetos

Contact Information

University Personnel

Additional Information

Satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check) is required for employment. SJSU will issue a contingent offer of employment to the selected candidate, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current CSU employee who was offered the position on a contingent basis.

The standard background check includes: criminal check, employment and education verification. Depending on the position, a motor vehicle and/or credit check may be required. All background checks are conducted through the university's third party vendor, Accurate Background. Some positions may also require fingerprinting. SJSU will pay all costs associated with this procedure. Evidence of required degree(s) or certification(s) will be required at time of hire.


All San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Equal Employment Statement

San José State University (SJSU) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion or lack thereof, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, or protected veteran status consistent with applicable federal and state laws. This policy applies to all SJSU students, faculty and staff programs and activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and certain other federal and state laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities operated by the university (both on and off campus).

Advertised: July 08, 2020 (9:00 AM) Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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