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Dean, University Library

Portland State University
Portland, Oregon
Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Aug 23, 2023

Portland State University seeks a Dean, University Library
Click here to view position profile:
Location: Portland, Oregon

The Position:
Reporting directly to the Provost and serving as a vital member of the University’s Academic Leadership Team (ALT), the Dean promotes a vibrant and inspiring environment for advancing the goals of Library faculty and staff and responding to the opportunities and challenges of the future. The Dean works closely with Library faculty and staff to provide services and foster a supportive professional workplace and productive community of scholarly achievement. The Library Dean advocates for, represents, and serves as the voice of the Library to the University, the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and the community. Reasoned, collaborative, and transparent decision-making is essential to achieving these goals. The Dean manages an annual operating budget of $11.3 million and oversees a team of 50+ staff and faculty, including 4-6 direct reports.

Advocate for the University Library

  • Serve as an active advocate for the Library, driving collaborative partnerships that promote the Library and PSU both on and off campus.
  • Work collaboratively with academic deans and administrative deans and administrative support areas to ensure integration of library planning into overall academic planning.
  • Actively participate in building and maintaining relationships with current donors and cultivating new relationships with potential donors.
  • Represent PSU in the Orbis Cascade Alliance and other metropolitan, statewide, national, and international library initiatives.

Manage the University Library

  • Lead vision development, strategizing, and goal setting for the Library in alignment with the University’s vision, mission, values, and strategic plan. Provide leadership in areas of library administration and operation, including policy and strategic planning, services, collections, systems, fiscal management, supervision of personnel, facilities, and equipment.
  • Foster a stimulating environment for professional engagement and collaboration that promotes collegiality, diversity, professional leadership, and scholarly accomplishments.
  • Promote student success as well as student and faculty research.
  • Create an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences.

The successful candidate will bring expertise and experience from both the academic libraries and the discipline of library and information sciences, and will hold:

  • An ALA-Accredited MLIS or the equivalent degree and a combination of relevant library and academic experience are required.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of key/emerging trends in academic libraries and higher education.
  • Deep commitment to, and demonstrated success in, strengthening workplace culture with respect to diversity and inclusion.
  • Record of success in a Library leadership role that entails recruiting, leading, managing, and collaborating with library employees, including instituting and supporting professional development and research opportunities to build capacity for staff and for the Library team as a whole.
  • Ability to lead innovative and inclusive strategic visioning, planning, and action for an urban, public, 21st century academic library.
  • Superb written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience with budgeting, financial management, and resource allocation.


  • Doctoral degree.
  • Demonstrated experience with open scholarship efforts (including open education resources).
  • Record of commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational environment for first-generation, BIPOC, low-income, and other historically excluded students.
  • Successful fundraising experience, with a record of obtaining grants.
  • Experience with regional accreditation requirements.

About the Branford Price Millar Library:
The Portland State University Library is housed in the Branford Price Millar Library, named after the University’s second president. Millar Library was built in 1967, with a major addition in 1991, and a significant interior remodel in 2001. The University Library is the research library for the Portland metropolitan area. In service to the University motto Doctrina urbi serviat (Let knowledge serve the city), the Library provides services, collections, and spaces for area residents to pursue their scholarly activities. The Library is a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, working to shape the future of academic libraries in the northwest.

The University Library plays a critical role in supporting the institutional focus on student success:

  • The University Library is the primary provider of academic student space on campus, housing group study rooms, quiet floors, group study floors, and computer labs. More specialized spaces include practice presentation rooms, a family-friendly study room, and a meditation room. The Library and the Graduate School recently opened the Thomas C. Bielavitz Graduate Student Collaboration Hub, a space for graduate students to collaborate with each other and for graduate student-focused programming.
  • In keeping with the focus on affordability, the University Library is a leader in open educational resources (OERs). Since 2014 the Library has provided funding to Portland State faculty that led to the completion and deposit of forty-two OERs, with more in process.
  • Subject librarians maintain a broad suite of online learning objects, such as LibGuides, videos, and tutorials. This served as a solid foundation for the librarians’ quick embrace of online teaching modalities as the University increased its online learning.
  • In order to support more accessible scholarship the University Library is a strong open access supporter. The Library faculty passed an OA mandate in February 2012 and were part of the effort that led to the University’s Faculty Senate to pass an OA mandate in June 2021.

Mission: To lead the intellectual vitality, knowledge development, and creativity of the Portland State University community.

Vision: Placing ourselves at the center of intellectual inquiry at Portland State University.

Values: The Portland State University Library is committed to the following values.

  • Integrity: Guided by the principles of intellectual freedom and the protection of privacy, we build trust through accountability and fiscal responsibility. We act with honesty, openness, fairness, and professionalism in our interactions with each other, our collaborators, and those served by the Library.
  • Expertise: We build and provide access to high-quality collections and services. With a focus on critical thinking, we teach our community to evaluate resources. We build tools that enable knowledge creation and intellectual vitality to flourish.
  • Equity and Inclusion: We aspire to make the PSU community feel welcome in the Library. We actively support recognition and respect for different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We are committed to the success of all.
  • Initiative: We strive to be embedded in campus life and aware of the PSU community’s needs. Using innovative approaches, we connect people and knowledge. We meet the challenges of an ever-evolving environment through collaboration, creativity, flexibility, and the empowerment of individuals.
  • Collaboration: Through collaboration and teamwork, we invite partnerships with the University community and the greater Portland community. We are committed to open and respectful communication which is vital to successful collaboration.
  • Stewardship: We identify, preserve, and ensure access to the scholarly and historic records of lasting value to the PSU community. We practice sustainable collection management by building and nurturing supportive relationships within the Library, our campus, and the broader community.

About Portland State University:
Portland State University (PSU) is Oregon’s largest urban university, located in Portland, Oregon. PSU enrolls over 26,000 students and offers programs for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. PSU is an internationally recognized university known for excellence in student learning, innovative research, and community engagement. PSU contributes to the economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and quality of life in the Portland region and beyond. Employees describe Portland State University as a vibrant, diverse, progressive place to work and an environment that welcomes process improvement and innovation. Portland State’s 50-acre downtown campus is located in the heart of the city; a hub of culture, business, and technology, and just 90 minutes from mountains and the Oregon Coast.

Portland State University is committed to providing access and excellent education to students from all backgrounds. PSU is a national College of Distinction, a mark of excellence earned for its pioneering University Studies program, a four-year pathway to undergraduate success. Additionally, the U.S. News & World Report ranks PSU as the No. 1 school in Oregon for social mobility due to the institution graduating the highest number of economically disadvantaged students and No. 4 nationwide for Service Learning. See for additional information about the institution.

Portland State is composed of 7 constituent colleges, offering undergraduate degrees in 123 fields, and postgraduate degrees in 117 fields. Schools at Portland State include The School of Business, College of Education, School of Social Work, College of Urban and Public Affairs, College of the Arts, Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Combined OHSU/PSU School of Public Health, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The athletic teams are known as the Portland State Vikings and compete at the NCAA Division I Level, primarily in the Big Sky Conference.

After four decades of service and leadership in higher education, Dr. Stephen Percy recently retired as President of PSU. He arrived in 2014 to lead the College of Urban & Public Affairs, was appointed PSU’s interim president in 2019, and named president in 2020. An expert in public policy, administrative ethics and urban politics, Percy made a lasting impact on PSU through his ability to advance civic engagement and create innovative solutions by linking the skills and capacity of universities to the knowledge and energy of communities. During his tenure, Percy also prioritized the University’s work on creating a more racially just and equitable place for all.

Succeeding President Percy is Dr. Ann E. Cudd, who joined the University this summer as its eleventh president following five successful years as Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Cudd, the second woman to serve as PSU’s president in its 76-year history, said her initial priorities will include restoring the University’s downtown campus vitality. Dr. Cudd is keen to ensure that the University plays an active role in the city of Portland’s revival, using the example of the city’s current charter reform process and suggesting ways that PSU can act as a convener of citizens and experts to help inform and shape that effort. Getting more students to enroll at Portland State is also high on her list. “There is a national challenge in re-engaging potential students, especially among low-income and first-generation students, with higher education,” she said. “PSU is perfectly positioned to turn that around.” 

To Apply:
Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applications will be reviewed as they come in. Those received by October 16, 2023 will be given first consideration.

To apply, go to: Applicants must submit a CV/resume, a letter of interest that details their related qualifications and vision for the role, as well as a statement (one page maximum) that describes their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion personally and/or professionally.

For more information or to offer recommendations or nominations:
Tammarah Townes
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
(302) 388-9480

Portland State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and seeks candidates who are committed to the highest standards of scholarship and professional activities and a campus climate that supports equality, diversity, and inclusion.

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