Associate Dean for Research & Academic Success

University of Oklahoma

Norman OK, OKlahoma

ID: 7255128 (Ref.No. if138870)
Posted: June 13, 2024

Job Description



The University of Oklahoma Libraries invites applications for an assistant or associate professor to serve as Associate Dean for Research & Academic Success. We seek an innovative, collaborative, experienced, and motivated individual to provide leadership and vision in designing and implementing an integrated strategy and creative, sustainable approaches to building and managing research library collections, from selection and acquisition, through metadata and discovery, to storage and delivery of materials and providing services including instruction, circulation and liaison support. This position leads goal setting, planning, prioritization, design, and monitoring of workflows within five major library units; builds relationships and effectively engages with internal and external library partners; explores and advocates for new and emerging tools and procedures to improve efficiency and effectiveness in service to library users. This position directly supervises two senior directors.

The Associate Dean for Research and Academic Success reports directly to the Dean of University Libraries and serves as a member of the University Libraries’ senior administrative team to cooperatively set and meet strategic and operational goals and objectives and to effectively manage change. The Associate Dean is responsible for strategic direction and support for the work of fifty divisional personnel in the operational areas of acquisitions, description and access, liaison & instructional services, user services, three branch libraries, and storage & delivery.

The Associate Dean demonstrates strong leadership skills, including excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills, to establish and maintain productive working relationships with colleagues in an environment where flexibility and collaboration are essential. A strong commitment to providing excellent service, a demonstrated ability to develop and sustain productive partnerships within and across organizations, budgeting, and creativity in solving problems and creating efficiencies is expected of this position. The Associate Dean must maintain a deep knowledge of current issues and best practices for developing managing research collections, as well as awareness of major trends in publishing, higher education, and research libraries.


Position Responsibilities

  • Oversees the activities of managers of five library units, including hiring, training, scheduling, and performance management.

  • Ensure unit and divisional goals align with library and university strategic initiatives. Actively participate in strategic planning and relevant assessment activities.

  • Advocate for, lead, and support the development and implementation of innovative tools and workflows to meet internal and external user needs and support OU Libraries’ mission.

  • Consult closely with relevant personnel on library materials budgeting needs to meet current and emerging needs in support of print and electronic collections, as well as open access initiatives.

  • Represent libraries and the University as assigned to institutional, regional, and national organizations and initiatives.

  • Provide direction for and publicly represent relevant services and collection strategy decisions, especially regarding high-

    visibility commitments and projects.

  • Strategically deploy and promote the development of relevant expertise across Libraries units to enhance resource discovery and the end-user experience.

  • Oversee and promote the maintenance of library physical collections, both circulating and in storage, as well as electronic collections.

  • Provide leadership for the scholarly and instructional functions of the University Libraries, guiding and advancing library programs to support student success for undergraduate and graduate learners.

  • Ensure prioritization of positive, accessible user experiences for all users through the development of programs, services, and tools.

  • Collaboratively facilitate the development of academic and research collaborations with faculty across academic units at OU, ensuring the alignment of library services with academic needs across the university.

  • Guide the provision of resource sharing capabilities and commitments.

  • Develop and maintain knowledge about new and emerging technologies and trends impacting research library services

    and collections.

    Professional Contributions and Activity

    • Serve as a leader and/or active member of library teams, task forces and committees. Represent OU Libraries and participate in campus-wide initiatives as appropriate.

    • Participate in and represent OU Libraries in local, regional, and national professional activities.

    • Engage in research/scholarship/creative activities to disseminate knowledge and expertise.


Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma was actually established 17 years prior to Oklahoma’s statehood. So, while this venerable institution is, of course, dedicated to the success of its students, the university has always focused on contributing to the advancement of the entire state. The mission of OU is to provide the best possible educational experience for our students through excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and service to the state and society.

With three campuses and International Study Centers in Italy and Mexico, OU has top-ranked programs in engineering, business, law, meteorology, and more. Home to partnerships with NOAA, the Department of Defense, and many others, OU has $416.6 million in research expenditures. The university provides students with opportunities in and outside of the classroom. OU is a major, public Research university just 20 minutes south of Oklahoma City. With more than 32,000 undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students, OU gives the feel of a private college atmosphere. Our stories continue to span every aspect of student life imaginable.

In 2020, the University of Oklahoma launched its strategic plan for the Norman campus, "Lead On, University." There are 5 Pillars that define how we will fulfill our purpose - they are objectives carried out through the implementation of thoughtful, concrete strategies and tactics. 


The University of Oklahoma Libraries’ team consists of 15 faculty, 59 library and information professionals, 33 classified staff, as well as graduate and undergraduate assistants. Facilities include the Bizzell Memorial Library located in the heart of campus, Monnet Hall, hosting the Western History Collections, and three branch libraries: National Weather Center Library, Youngblood Energy Library, and Fine Arts Library. The Libraries also operates a large collections storage, processing, and receiving facility located five miles from the center of campus. Affiliated OU libraries, not within the administrative oversight of University Libraries, include: the Donald E. Pray Law Library on the Norman campus, Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library on the Oklahoma City campus, and the Schusterman Library on the Tulsa campus.

The University of Oklahoma Libraries is the largest academic research library in the state of Oklahoma containing more than 5.6 million volumes (including over 2 million eBooks), over 300 databases, and 170,000 serials. Outstanding special collections include the History of Science Collections, with 100,000 volumes and the Western History Collections, with over 14,000 linear feet of archival collections and 80,000 volumes. Other noteworthy collections include the American School of Architecture Archives, the Chinese Literature Translation Archive, the Harry W. Bass Business History Collections, and the John and Mary Nichols Rare Books and Special Collections.

University Libraries maintains a robust program of course integrated instruction, with librarians and subject specialists hosting over 250 instruction sessions for OU undergraduate and graduate courses annually. Additionally, Libraries personnel deliver expert services advancing impactful research and learning by providing over 50 research workshops and over 1,250 research consultations per year. Subject liaisons embedded within each OU department develop custom-tailored research programming to meet the unique needs of campus learners and scholars.

Open Access repositories and platforms hosted and managed by OU Libraries elevate the visibility and accessibility of university research. The SHAREOK repository provides open access to nearly 13,000 OU theses, dissertations, and faculty and staff publications. The Libraries additionally publishes and archives 10 open access journals covering a range of topics in the social science and humanities fields.

University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, Center for Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, Greater Western Libraries Alliance, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources, Council on Library and Information Resources, Digital Public Library of America, HathiTrust, Western Storage Trust, Library Publishing Coalition. 



Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in library science or equivalent or an advanced degree in a relevant field.

  • At least 5 years relevant academic library experience managing or coordinating at least one related area of

    organizational focus (scholar/public services, acquisitions & collections, description & access, storage & delivery).

  • Experience with publisher relations and license negotiation.

  • Demonstrated experience managing projects, workflows, and deadlines in a collegial, complex and changing environment.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to collaborate effectively with students, faculty, staff, and external stakeholders.

  • Ability to make effective public presentations and to communicate complex ideas.

  • Strong organizational skills and ability to plan, implement, and evaluate new services initiatives and meet deadlines.

  • Ability to collect, analyze, and utilize and communicate data for informed decision-making.

  • Experience with one or more contemporary library service platforms.

    Desired Qualifications

  • Commitment to training and developing personnel.

  • Familiarity with Ex Libris Alma, ILLiad or similar, and inventory management products.

  • Significant publisher and vendor, negotiations, or vendor relations experience.

  • Significant leadership or managerial experience overseeing relevant multi-department program clusters across scholar services and/or collections.

  • Demonstrated interest in continued professional and leadership development



  • Applications, nominations, and inquiries of interest may be sent in confidence to the University’s executive recruitment


    Chelsie Whitelock, Associate Partner and Head of HE Practice Operations

    Buffkin / Baker

    [email protected]