Associate Dean for Digital Strategies & Innovation— University of Oklahoma

Post date: Sep 23, 2021

The University of Oklahoma Libraries seeks to recruit an Associate Dean for Digital Strategies & Innovation

About The University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma just 20 mins. south of Oklahoma City. OU's Norman undergraduate population is slightly more than 20,000, giving students a major university experience in a private college atmosphere.

OU has three campuses in Oklahoma as well as centers in Arezzo, Italy, Puebla, Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many of our degree programs are ranked best in the nation and provide real- world experiences for students. In fact, not only is OU home to the National Weather Center and world-renowned research, but students are able to begin working with researchers as early as their freshman year.

The Sooner Family embodies compassion, honesty, fairness, and civility. No matter your interests, with over 400 organizations, amazing campus events, incredible athletics programs, and Sooners from all backgrounds, there's something here for you. Our main campus is very walkable, and we take a lot of pride in its beauty.

About a year ago, OU launched "Lead On, University" - OU's Strategic Plan for the Norman campus. This plan is created upon five overarching pillars that stem from OU's core traditions of providing a world-class, affordable education; creating a welcoming place of belonging; and harnessing innovation and pathbreaking discoveries to advance society.

About the University Libraries

The University of Oklahoma Libraries' team consists of 72 library and information professionals, 35 classified staff, as well as graduate and undergraduate assistants. Facilities include the Bizzell Memorial Library located in the heart of campus, Monnet Hall, hosting the Western History Collections, and three branch libraries: Architecture Library, Youngblood Energy Library, and Fine Arts Library. Affiliated OU libraries, not within the administrative oversight of University Libraries, include: the Donald E. Pray Law Library on the Norman campus, Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library on the Oklahoma City campus, and the Schusterman Library on the Tulsa campus.

The University of Oklahoma Libraries' is the largest academic research library in the state of Oklahoma containing more than 5.4 million volumes (including 1.8 million eBooks), 3.6 million microform materials, over 300 databases, and 170,000 serials. Outstanding special collections include the History of Science Collections, with 100,000 volumes; the Western History Collections, with over 12,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 2 million photographs, 80,000 volumes, 2,700 sound recordings, 5,000 cartographic resources, and 580 works of art; the Harry W. Bass Business History Collections, with over 23,000 volumes; the John and Mary Nichols Rare Books and Special Collections, with over 12,000 volumes; and the Chinese Literature Translation Archive, which houses nearly 10,000 volumes and thousands of documents relating to translators of modern Chinese literature in the West.

University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, Center for Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, Greater Western Libraries Alliance, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources, Council on Library and Information Resources, Digital Public Library of America, HathiTrust, Western Storage Trust, Library Publishing Coalition.

About The Position: Associate Dean for Digital Innovation and Strategy

The University of Oklahoma Libraries seeks to recruit an Associate Dean for Digital Strategies & Innovation. This key position reports directly to the Dean of Libraries and serves as a member of the Libraries' senior management team to collaboratively advance the Libraries' strategic plan. This position provides comprehensive, strategic management of the technology division in support of the Libraries' technology- related goals and objectives. The professionals in this division support a portfolio of complex systems needed to operate the Libraries, in partnership with campus stakeholders and other institutions. This position collaborates with other Libraries divisions to integrate appropriate technology into library services and is responsible for building relationships with technology partners across the campus to enable successful library technology in a higher education setting.

The Digital Innovation and Development division employs over 20 professionals and provides technical leadership for major initiatives including repositories, the virtual library experience, and access to online research tools for teaching and learning. This division also supports campus researchers by offering expertise and partnerships in data management plans, informatics, researcher workflows, web development, digitization, and digital preservation.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership (45%)

  • Participate as a member of the Libraries' senior leadership team, serving as an advisor to the Dean of Libraries, making strategic decisions for the Libraries, setting policies and procedures, and representing the division.

  • Lead the strategy, design, development, and management of the Libraries' technology environment, including the infrastructure to support the Libraries' technology-intensive programs and services such as Data Analytics, Visualization, and Informatics Syndicate (DAVIS), Informatics, Digital Scholarship, and Digital Collections.

  • Lead the Libraries' evaluation and implementation of emerging technology services and platforms, and the development, implementation, and support of inclusive, equitable, accessible platforms and services, to better serve the campus community.

  • Provide a strategic vision for identification, development, and/or sunsetting of relevant library technology processes, tools, and resources to meet the evolving behaviors and needs of academic users.

Management (35%)

  • Foster and maintain a productive, collaborative workplace that is diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible, and provide leadership for the professional growth and development of direct reports.

  • Deliver key projects and initiatives across multiple application and technology domains on-time and on-budget.

  • Identify and manage staffing resources for the division to support current services and platforms, while identifying and preparing for trends within the university, libraries, and higher education.

Collaboration and Communication (20%)

  • Represent the Libraries in collaborations with campus stakeholders and other institutions in the development of technology infrastructure and services, and centralized technology policies and procedures.

  • Lead communication within and beyond the Libraries about the Libraries' technology platforms, services, and strategies.

Required Skills

  • Experience with current and emerging trends in technology use in higher education, as well as how information is organized, accessed, and used to support the academic and research missions of a university.

  • Demonstrated ability to work with, mentor, and support people of diverse backgrounds and life experiences, particularly those from historically marginalized and minoritized groups.

  • Experience leading effectively across organizational lines and in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders.

  • Evidence of excellent written, oral, and listening communication skills, and the ability to convey and translate information effectively with diverse audiences.

  • Experience designing and implementing technology projects and programs in support of library services.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree.

  • 48 months relevant, recent experience managing scalable, reliable production systems and/or large-scale information systems such as network architectures, systems administration, or academic/research computing infrastructure, with supervisory responsibility.

  • Relevant experience in a higher education setting within the last three years.


  • Graduate degree or certificate in library, information, or data science, digital humanities or humanities computing, data scholarship, information architecture, informatics, or a related field.

  • Relevant experience in an academic or large public library setting within the last three years.

  • Progressively greater leadership and management experience.

  • Demonstrated understanding of inclusion and equity beyond race, ethnicity, and gender.

  • Experience with one or more digital platforms for services such as an integrated library system, discovery layer, interlibrary loan, institutional repository, digital collections, journal publishing, digital asset management, or digital preservation.

  • Experience managing the full lifecycle of a portfolio of technical infrastructure, programs, and services such as computation and storage, online and digital services, or open-source software development and deployment.

The University of Oklahoma and the University Libraries are dedicated to building and fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable educational and work environment. We seek to create an atmosphere in which diverse thought and experiences are valued and that promises opportunities to succeed and thrive. We recruit, employ, train, compensate and promote regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Named an "Education Futurist" and recipient of a Campus Technology Innovators Award, the University of Oklahoma Libraries' award-winning facilities and resources create opportunities for faculty and students to excel. We invest in our organization by recruiting individuals committed to superior user experience and by actively strengthening and expanding our skills and capabilities.

Applications, nominations, and inquiries of interest may be sent in confidence to the University's executive recruitment consultant:

Chelsie Whitelock, Principal Buffkin / Baker