Director of Digital Initiatives

Rochester, NY
0 other recent jobs
Salary: $100,000-$110,000
Created: January 29, 2024


University of Rochester Libraries has exclusively retained Jack Farrell & Associates ( to find the winning candidate for this important hire. Interested candidate should provide a CV and 2-page cover letter (instructions below) to Jack Farrell ( Thank you. 


Rochester, NY


The University of Rochester is one of the country’s leading private research institutions and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). The University of Rochester Libraries play an essential role in the academic and cultural life of the school.

The River Campus Libraries (RCL) provide access to over 3 million books in both print and electronic formats and over 40,000 journals. Its extensive collections, which support research and learning, include databases, datasets, streaming video, rare materials and other media. Digital collections can be accessed from anywhere via the Libraries’ website, and dynamic physical collections are available to students, faculty, and members of the Rochester community. The total study space seating capacity is 2,463. In addition to ARL membership, the Libraries are active members of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST), HathiTrust, Northeastern Regional Libraries, and the Rochester Regional Library Council. See more about the Libraries below.

The Libraries seeks a highly-motivated technology leader to join its stellar team.

The Director of Digital Initiatives is responsible for the overall direction, development, and management of the River Campus Libraries’ (RCL) core and emerging digital infrastructure in support RCL’s strategic aims and the teaching, learning, and research mission of the University. Reporting to the Assistant/Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources and Curation, this position works closely with library administration, colleagues, and stakeholders to collaboratively envision and implement innovative services and technologies that underpin a wide range of programs and services. This role directs a team of nine to ensure the sustainable and effective operation of the Libraries’ core enterprise-systems, connections to/integrations with key University and vendor systems, and the development and implementation of new applications and services. A key collaborator, the Director works closely with colleagues from across the UR Libraries, University IT (UIT), and vendors to establish and implement a digital strategy with a focus on system administration, digital preservation, data manipulation and analysis, automation, interface design, and project management. The position is based on the University of Rochester River Campus in the Rush Rhees Library. Relocation assistance is available.


Digital Infrastructure – 25%

·      Responsible for the management, planning, maintenance, and continuous improvement of the Libraries’ digital infrastructure, including collections discovery systems, digital projects, digital library systems, and interface design.

·      Ensure reliable operation of library systems and direct ongoing improvements to user experience, accessibility, resource discovery and access, digital preservation, and automation.

·      Manage the implementation, development, upgrading, and sunsetting of systems and software.

·      Identify and prioritize departmental projects to ensure alignment with RCL strategic aims.

·      Ensure alignment with University IT (UIT) systems and policies.

Digital Transformation and Collaboration – 25%

·      Develop, integrate, and support library applications and systems, encompassing both local and vendor-developed systems, and their integrations with vendor-hosted library enterprise systems and University enterprise systems.

·      Collaborate with library colleagues to design and deliver outstanding digital experiences of RCL’s collections, spaces, programs, and services.

·      Build relationships and partnerships with IT stakeholders across the library, libraries, campuses, etc.

·      Coordinate and collaborate with UIT on projects to improve and stabilize the libraries’ digital infrastructure.

·      Advise library leadership on information technology operations and models.

Digital and Library Leadership – 20%

·      Collaborate with department heads, working groups, and stakeholders to develop a sustainable digital infrastructure that addresses the current and emerging needs of library staff and users.

·      Serve as a member of the Libraries’ Digital Collaborative Governance Team to ensures effective and centralized collaboration, communication, and coordination across the UR Libraries for work relating to our digital projects, digital collections, and digital assets.

·      Participate in RCL’s Leadership Team.

·      Develop high-impact departmental goals that support RCL’s strategic aims

Departmental Management – 20%

·      Oversee and direct departmental operations including administration, service delivery, community relations, project management, risk management, and program development and implementation.

·      Encourage robust cross-unit/library and cross-functional work.

·      Manage direct reports. Provide coaching, mentorship, and performance management.

·      Nurture and grow an agile, high-trust, and strategically-focused culture

Miscellaneous – 10 %

·      Maintain currency with IT and library functions, resources, practices, and procedures.

·      Participate in and contribute to RCL, UR Libraries, and University committees, meetings, and events.

·      Contribute to the profession through active participation in conferences, associations, research, writing, etc.

·      Perform other duties assigned.



·      5+ years IT experience

·      3+ years experience leading and managing teams.

·      Experience supporting IT or digital infrastructure/systems in higher ed and/or libraries.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

·      Demonstrated knowledge in one or more of the following areas: software development, web development, digital library systems, user experience, and/or systems administration.

·      Demonstrated ability to discover, and quickly become competent in using, new technologies, software, and services.

·      Willingness to explore the use of innovative technologies with a high tolerance for risk, ambiguity, and failure.

·      Strong analytical, quantitative, and problem-solving skills.

·      Ability to successfully manage multiple projects and people on a cross-functional, cross-organizational basis.

·      Ability to organize, direct, motivate, and evaluate performance of staff.

·      Demonstrated project management experience, including fluency with project management tools (e.g., Asana and Jira).

·      Outstanding verbal, written, and communication skills, with the ability to convey complex technical concepts to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.

·      Excellent team building and collaboration skills.

·      Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

·      Familiarity with at least one programming language (e.g., Java, Python, Ruby).

·      Familiarity with current trends in digital library initiatives.

·      Experience with library and digital library systems, such as Alma, ILLiad, EZProxy, Preservica, Omeka, etc.


*Critical Thinking: High level of problem-solving ability. Integrates and interprets data from diverse sources to find solutions to very complex problems.

*Freedom to Act: Work is accomplished without considerable direction.  Exercises judgement in selecting methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria in obtaining results. Exerts significant latitude in determining objective of assignment.  Takes calculated risks with consultation from an expert.

*Supervision of Others: Managing a team of up to nine.

*Planning: Develops and executes goals and objectives for a department or functional group.  Recommends and gives input to strategic initiatives.

*Financial Responsibility:  Manage a pre-determined budget. 




Founded in 1850, the University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading research universities and is the cultural, artistic, and educational leader for the region. The university’s motto, Meliora, embodies the goals of the University, which are to “learn, discover, heal, create – and make the world even better.” Embedded in the ideal of Meliora are the shared values of the University community: equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect, and accountability. The University is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is regularly ranked in the top 35 national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

The University enrolls nearly 12,000 undergraduate and graduate/professional students, both domestic and international, and employs more than 3,000 faculty and 30,000 staff. It offers over 200 academic programs organized into the following schools:

·      School of Arts and Sciences

·      Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences

·      Eastman School of Music

·      School of Medicine and Dentistry, including graduate programs at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health

·      School of Nursing

·      Simon Business School

·      Warner School of Education

The institution’s integrated University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is one of the nation’s leaders in professional education, biomedical research, and clinical care. It forms the centerpiece of the University’s health research, teaching, and patient care missions and includes Strong Memorial Hospital, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, Golisano Children’s Hospital, and affiliated healthcare systems in the region comprising five additional hospitals and numerous clinical locations as well as long-term care facilities.

The University also encompasses: the Memorial Art Gallery, which houses a permanent collection of paintings by American and European masters, as well as sculpture and decorative arts, and offers a variety of classes for adults and children in the community; and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, an internationally renowned science and technology center conducting research in physics, fusion, optics, high-energy-density phenomena, and other fields.

The University expends $350 million annually for research, denoting the high value placed on scholarship at the institution. With over 60 research centers and institutes, the University allows students, faculty, and research staff to pursue their academic goals in an environment that empowers and supports their efforts.

Rush Rhees Library provides collections, programs and services in support of academic departments in the humanities and social sciences. It was designed to serve as a centerpiece of the River Campus when it was dedicated in 1930. Rush Rhees is primarily home to a number of special libraries and collections, including the Art/Music Library, The Barbara J. Burger iZone, Gleason Library, Rare Books & Special Collections, the Rossell Hope Robbins Library, which specializes in medieval studies, and the University Archives. The dome of Rush Rhees is the most well-known and featured icon of the University, and a trip to its tower gives an unforgettable vista of the campus and a magnificent view of the city.

Anchoring the west side of campus, in the computer science building, is Carlson Science & Engineering Library. Collections and services in support of physics, optics, and astronomy are located in a physically separate library near the center of campus. The Carlson Library is a home to Studio X, a hub for extended reality that fosters a cross-disciplinary community, exploration, and peer-to-peer learning that lowers barriers to entry, inspires experimentation, and drives innovative research and teaching in immersive technologies.

The Libraries have earned a reputation for innovative, user-focused programs and services undergirded by a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and its vision. With its unique and diverse expertise, collections and spaces, the River Campus Libraries provides transformational experiences for students and faculty to achieve their scholarly aspirations including: extending access to collections, enabling spaces, enriching education, enhancing research, and engaging community. The new Dean should be amenable to exploring new opportunities in scholarly communications and publishing and stay atop the fast-moving field of library science with a focus on how they can optimally benefit the libraries and the broader University community. 


Recent innovative initiatives include The Barbara J. Burger iZone, a creative problem-solving program and space designed to empower students to explore and imagine ideas for social, cultural, community, and economic impact. Evans Lam Square, a dynamic re-envisioning of the main service area in Rush Rhees, and Studio X.


The libraries support and add value to the mission of the University. In addition to a range of core services and collections, the libraries provide leadership in sustainable scholarship, contribute to the impact of the University’s scholarship, provide support for a range of research services, and advance open educational resources and practices to increase the accessibility of higher education. The quality and quantity of activity within the Libraries leaves no doubt that the Libraries reside at both the physical and academic heart of the university.


Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region, our community, is a wonderful place to work and live. The area features a wide range of affordable housing options, and two of the Top 20 public school systems in New York State. Rochester was ranked the 26th “Best Place To Live in the U.S.” for 2023 according to US News and World Report.


There are endless cultural opportunities, including concerts at the world-renowned Eastman School of Music and with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Local museums include the University’s own Memorial Art Gallery, the George Eastman Museum, the Strong Museum of Play (home to the National Toy Hall of Fame), and the Rochester Museum of Science. Geva Theatre Center, a nationally recognized regional theater, and the Rochester Broadway Theatre League provide varied seasons of plays and musicals.

A vibrant and varied local restaurant and food scene offers many cuisines to explore and enjoy, and the Rochester Public Market offers year-round fresh local produce and other grocery items. Rochester is also home to Wegmans, the grocery store chain that has developed a national following.

Lake Ontario lies to the north of the city, and to the south, the Finger Lakes Region offers numerous parks, lakes, and trails, with opportunities for running, biking, hiking, and water sports. The Finger Lakes are also nationally known for viniculture and excellent independent wineries.

The University of Rochester values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for persons regardless of age, color, disability, domestic violence status, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law. Further, the University complies with all applicable non- discrimination laws in the administration of its policies, admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs and activities.


NOTE: The University of Rochester has exclusively engaged Jack Farrell & Associates ( to find the winning candidate for this important position. Interested candidates should provide a CV and two-page cover letter by email to Jack Farrell ( The cover letter should address: 1) why are you interested?; 2) how are you qualified?; and 3) share your philosophy on technology and people management and how you meld the two to support collaboration, innovation, and user success. Please provide an example of where you have accomplished this in your career. Thank you. JO 202401005


How to apply


Jack Farrell,


Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2024 20:51 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024 20:51 UTC