Associate Dean for Curriculum, Research and User Services

Allendale, MI
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Created: November 10, 2017


Job Overview

The Associate Deans (ADs) provide leadership within the Libraries, working collaboratively across campus, with the local community, and with national and international partners to create and support traditional and cutting edge services designed to meet the current and emergent needs of students, faculty, and staff, with a strong student experience focus in line with liberal education.

As key members of the Grand Valley State University Libraries’ senior management team, the ADs ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency and share in responsibility for decision-making, resource management, and development of policies for operations and services as well as library-wide planning, assessment and programming. While each AD position has individual areas of responsibility, both ADs should adopt a holistic library-wide view in terms of strategic planning, communication, and fostering an environment of innovation. ADs play a leadership role in promoting teamwork, diversity, and inclusiveness within GVSU University Libraries and the campus. In addition, ADs participate in relevant campus, consortia or multi-institutional groups.

As faculty members of the Libraries, the ADs maintain a strong agenda in research, scholarly publication, and professional service activities in line with expectations at the Grand Valley State University Libraries.


As members of the Executive Team, collaboratively provide executive leadership and support for the Libraries’ strategic planning, policy development, financial administration, and resource allocation in conjunction with the Dean, which includes:

  • Building a shared service ethic and commitment to the success of the Libraries by supporting, communicating, and championing the mission, values, philosophy, and culture of the organization, with a particular focus on student experience, teamwork, accessibility, diversity and inclusion
  • Collaboratively drafting and reviewing annual and strategic plans for the Libraries as well direction for portfolios
  • Reviewing the annual budget and identifying resources required for future development through multi-year budgeting
  • Contributing to and advancing the development and execution of the Libraries’ strategic goals and objectives
  • Supporting and facilitating the work of the Libraries’ leadership, and in doing so sharing overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Libraries
    • Providing leadership and mentorship in support of Department Heads and their responsibilities
    • Sponsoring and supporting committee chairs, functions and activities in the Libraries
    • Leading and/or mentoring cross-functional task forces and/or working groups
  • Serving as executive sponsor for strategic partnership and stewarding of MOUs as per portfolios
  • Proactively addressing challenges in the development and execution of multi-faculty/unit and campus-wide strategies, which requires a high degree of coordination and consultation
  • Building and nourishing effective partnerships within and outside of the Libraries
  • Serving as a coach and mentor for library faculty and staff
  • Authorizing expenses for areas of responsibility
  • Acting for the Dean in his/her absence

Curriculum and Research

Provides strategic leadership and guidance for curriculum and research based services and partnerships to support the teaching, research, and clinical activities of the University’s students, faculty, and staff:

  • Enables the use of technology in support of user-centered services
  • Shapes the development and delivery of high-quality curriculum-integrated information literacy and information science for faculty and students
  • Guides those with teaching duties to continually engineer relevance in all outreach and teaching responsibilities
  • Advocates for targeted, embedded information literacy teaching in basic and advanced classes, whether in-person, hybrid or online, by leveraging universal design for learning
  • Promotes forward thinking, service-oriented professional research consulting services as well as peer-to-peer services
  • Oversees the development of exhibits that align with a liberal education mindset and support teachable moments in physical and digital forms
  • Collaborates with others to develop, evaluate, and continually improve programs and services

Strategic Facilities and Building Management

Collaborates with library faculty and staff, as well as other university offices and personnel, to oversee strategic and multi-year planning for all facilities and physical spaces, with a focus on universal design and accessibility:

  • Enables the development of a multi-year facilities and operations plan for maintenance and upgrades
  • Fosters partnerships with various university departments to ensure long-term space planning and capital improvements to integrate universal space design and accessibility to ensure a positive user experience throughout all library spaces
  • Fosters the development of events and tours that support the educational goals of library spaces in alignment with University mission and goals
  • Collaborates to ensure necessary infrastructure to support the applications of signage guidelines throughout University Libraries
  • Collaborates to ensure high-functioning technology hardware infrastructure supports the programmatic outcomes of the Libraries
  • Provides oversight for the funds associated with facilities and operations

User Experience and Service Development

Provides strategic leadership and oversight in the areas of front-line services, stacks management, interlibrary loans and course support services:

  • Supports the development, planning, assessment and programmatic design for user experience initiatives and user-facing services
  • Collaboratively develops and implements policies and procedures vital to the delivery of services, with a focus on accessibility, diversity and inclusion
  • Oversees user experience initiatives and services regardless of format
  • Leads an assessment program to ensure evidence-based service and space development

Either Associate Dean, based on Alignment and Organizational Need

Assessment and Planning

Serves as executive sponsor for assessment and data analytics initiatives in the Libraries and liaison for campus:

  • Leads the active development and management of an assessment framework and programs, including the generation and interpretation of data to inform the Libraries’ service, collection, and investment decisions, and to demonstrate the Libraries' value to the campus community and beyond
  • Facilitates library assessment efforts to illustrate university community satisfaction and student success
  • Ensures the effective development and administration of the Libraries' operating budget, including multi-year budgeting
  • Coordinates ongoing strategic and annual planning processes for the University Libraries and department, monitoring progress toward accomplishment of strategic goals and initiatives as well as departmental goals and objectives
  • Ensures alignment of annual goals with the Libraries' and the campus's strategic plans
  • Provides written reports, statistics and data to the Libraries, University and appropriate entities as needed
  • Leads the development of operational implementation framework and planning

Communication and Engagement

As the strategic lead for marketing, communications, social media and outreach:

  • Oversees the Libraries’ communication strategy for both internal and external audiences, interpreting the Libraries’ contributions and needs to constituencies within the Libraries and on campus
  • Links staff activities and operations to the Libraries’ strategic goals and assessment plans, and develops communication strategies
  • Oversees library publications, library contributions to institutional publications, and all public facing content
  • Provides strategic leadership for community engagement and educational marketing content in digital and physical spaces
  • Coordinates communications from the Libraries’ leadership team to the Libraries
  • Manages partnership with the University’s Institutional Marketing

Strategic Workforce Management

As the strategic lead for professional development and human resources:

  • Coordinates recruiting, hiring and retention of quality library faculty, staff, and student workers
  • Develops and sustains the Libraries’ staff and faculty library professional development program, including initial training and succession planning
  • Ensures Library compliance with legislative and procedural requirements through active partnership with campus experts including Human Resources and bargaining units
  • Provides leadership in strategic planning and direction-setting with respect to workforce management as well as equity and inclusion



  • Master's Degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) or from a program in a country with a formal accreditation process as identified by ALA;
  • Demonstrated progression of increasingly responsible, relevant, and professional work experience, with a particular expertise and passion for the delivery of user-centered services and/or infrastructure;
  • Strong leadership skills, including keen analytical and conceptual abilities and demonstrated ability to lead collaborative organizational change, inspire innovation, and delegate responsibility appropriately;
  • Strong interpersonal and public communication skills including ability to serve as an advocate and spokesperson for the  Libraries;
  • Demonstrated engagement in areas associated with portfolios;
  • Strong record of collaboratively working with all levels of library personnel, as well as stakeholders and students,
  • Experience with personnel development and management (faculty, staff, student and graduate student assistants, staff development, coaching, mentoring, supervision, hiring, etc.);
  • Strong commitment to user experience, with the ability to view issues from Libraries and university wide perspectives;
  • Evidence of partnership development and project initiation;
  • Evidence of implementation of emerging trends in higher education in the areas of focus; 
  • Evidence of working creatively, collaboratively, and effectively in a leadership role in promoting teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness;
  • Strong comfort with creative ambiguity;
  • Evidence of research, publication, and service consonant with university standards for tenure.


  • Experience in developing and implementing strategic plans, operational plans and large projects;
  • Experience with budget management;
  • Demonstrated facility with data analysis;
  • Demonstrated project management skills;
  • Experience in consortia and multi-institutional program development;
  • Experience in an academic library or research environment;
  • Experience in publisher and vendor negotiations and collaborations.

How to apply


Annie Bélanger, search committee co-chair and Dean via email or telephone 616-331-2621


Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 16:10 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 16:10 UTC