Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.

Dean of the Libraries Seattle, WA

The University of Washington (UW) seeks a collaborative, visionary, and creative leader to serve as its next Dean of University Libraries (the Libraries). The next Dean will join the UW community at a critical moment for the nation and the globe; the University is focused on advancing innovation, enhancing population health, and accelerating systemic change toward justice and equity. UW aspires to grow academic programs of distinction, harnessing the creative power and energy of its community.

The Libraries is at the heart of UW’s academic life. A top 10-ranked public research library (Association of Research Libraries), the Libraries combines the richness of strong and deep collections with a mission of advancing discovery and enriching the quality of life by connecting people with knowledge. The next Dean will join a premiere comprehensive research university of exceptional intellectual breadth and learning located in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. The Dean will inherit a highly functional Libraries system with an incredibly talented staff and a total endowment of about $60 million, made up in large part by the Kenneth S. and Faye G. Allen[1] endowment, currently valued at $31 million. This individual will leverage the University’s many assets, including the historic strength of the Libraries, while forging a new path that simultaneously respects the past and embraces the future.

The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent research universities and the oldest public university in the Pacific Northwest. As the state’s flagship university, it serves over 54,000 students across three campuses in the greater Seattle area.[2] Under the leadership of President Ana Mari Cauce, the university has launched bold initiatives to address pressing societal challenges, many of which are centered around advancing principles of equity, justice, and inclusion.[3] Originally created in 2015 and 2016, these multi-year initiatives are focused upon advancing the health of people around the world, combatting racism and inequities that exist at the university and throughout society, and enhancing innovation by providing space and opportunity for people from all backgrounds to connect, imagine, and discover.  The University has deep and unwavering commitments in these areas, evidenced in part through this work, and aims to confront individual bias and racism, and transformation of institutional policies and practices to accelerate systemic change. In collaboration with others, the Dean will further these efforts, amongst others, and will build upon the Libraries many strengths while leading the Libraries through its next iteration of growth and distinction. In doing so, the Dean will address the following key opportunities and challenges:

  • Create and execute on a strategic vision that reimagines the future of the Libraries;
  • Continue to build an inclusive culture balanced with effective decision-making;
  • Advance UW’s commitment to justice and equity;
  • Address current physical and digital space and infrastructure needs; 
  • Generate resources while demonstrating prudent financial management; and
  • Advocate for, represent, and promote the Libraries internally and externally.

Nominations, applications, and inquiries are being accepted for the position. Consideration of candidates will continue until the position is filled. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications should be submitted below. Electronic submission of materials is required.

Complete applications will include a CV, cover letter, and a separate diversity statement that describes past activities to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion and plans for future contributions.

Regan Gough is leading this search with Courtney Wilk-Mandel.

The University of Washington is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity and strongly encourages applications and nominations of women, individuals with disabilities, veterans and individuals from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds.

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.

[1]In memory of Kenneth S. Allen’s service to the University Libraries, his son, Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder, established the Kenneth S. Allen Library Endowment in 1989. In 2012, the endowment was renamed the Kenneth S. and Faye G. Allen Library Endowment in recognition and in memory of his parents, Ken and Faye Allen.

[2]For more information about the University of Washington, please refer to the appendix at the end of this document

[3]For more information on these specific presidential initiatives, please see: 

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