March 14, 2016

Seeking Dean of Libraries

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Photo: Jo Sittenfeld/RISD.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) invites applications for the full-time position of Dean of Libraries to commence August 2016. The Dean will be an academic leader who understands and promotes the integral role of libraries and academic centers in supporting scholarly and creative communities, and who has a vision for the advancement and transformation of these resources to address significant change and opportunity in higher education and creative practice. The Dean will be prepared to work with and engage the RISD community, including the RISD Museum of Art, in the development and implementation of new resources, programs, and other strategic initiatives that support student success and advance research, scholarship, and creative practice.

The Dean of Libraries will replace the current Director of Library Services and includes leadership of four academic units—the Fleet Library at RISD, the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, the Writing Center, and Campus Exhibitions. The Dean will work to advance and coordinate these areas to effectively support RISD’s academic mission, and to ensure these units are recognized as strategic assets in the advancement and development of the institution. The Dean oversees approximately 30 librarians, archivists, directors, and other staff.

The Nature Lab, Writing Center, and Campus Exhibitions are led by individual Directors, each of whom report to the Dean. The Dean will oversee all operations, and will allocate financial and other resources to ensure that each unit is supporting exceptional learning and developmental opportunities for students.

The Dean of Libraries will be a key member of RISD’s leadership team, reporting directly to the Provost and serving as a member of the President’s Leadership Council and the Deans and Provost’s Councils. The latter group is comprised of the deans and senior academic leadership and is responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of school-wide academic policies, strategic and other planning efforts, resource allocation, and initiatives related to critical issues including diversity, instructional technology, and academic program development.

The Dean will be an advocate for libraries and assigned academic support units both internally and externally, and will work with faculty, deans, and other colleagues to create successful educational partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations within the college and with external community and academic partners. The Dean will engage directly with students, faculty, and staff across the institution, and will have an active role in cultivating and strengthening relationships with local and national organizations, as well as donors, sponsors, and alumni/ae.

The Dean of Libraries will be responsible for leading a strategic planning process for libraries and assigned academic support units, including development and articulation of mission and strategic goals for each area and in aggregate, in alignment with current and future institutional planning efforts.

Rhode Island School of Design recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience in academic leadership, teaching, scholarship, professional practice, or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence.

RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. Candidates who submit their materials before April 15 are assured full consideration.

For more information about qualifications and to apply online, please visit



Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks Dean of Libraries

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