Committee begins search for new Dean of Libraries

A committee of 14 members formed by Provost Thomas DiLorenzo seeks effective communicators

Bookshelves inside the Chester Fritz Library. Photo by Chester Beltowski/ The Dakota Student.

The search for a new Dean of Libraries is underway at UND, though it is still in the early stages.

The search committee, which was formed by Provost Thomas DiLorenzo, met for the first time Wednesday to discuss the qualities of the right candidate. Many members are already in agreement that effective communication is the highest priority.

“What I think is important is someone who can work effectively, communicate effectively with everyone else on campus,” said Curt Hanson, head of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections for the Chester Fritz Library. “Whether that is faculty, students, staff, alumni, the greater Grand Forks community, someone who is a good communicator and enjoys building bridges, creating connections with people.”

Chemistry Professor Mark Hoffmann agrees and says it should be used as a means to bring a campus and community of many people onto the same page.

“A Dean of Libraries at a major research university such as UND needs to balance the interests and needs of a broad and variegated constituency,” Hoffmann said. “To do so, he or she needs to be able to communicate well with students, faculty and other administrators, and then must be able to build consensuses.”

The committee is comprised of 14 members, with Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Light taking point as chair.

Student Government Vice President Brett Johnson is the sole UND student representative, with the others consisting of professors and library faculty.

According to Hanson, the goal is to have the new dean in place come August, just in time for the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Although it is less than half a year away, committee members are optimistic that the search process will be a great opportunity to do good work.

“Libraries are integral to universities, so I am very much looking forward to participating in the search process,” Accountancy Professor and committee member Kate Campbell said.

Marie Monson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].