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Associate Dean for Special Collections: University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, AR

12 May 2023 7:24 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

The Associate Dean will play a critical role in supporting the evolution of a twenty-first century special collections library. The facility housing the University of Arkansas Libraries’ Special Collections is undergoing a complete renovation and reimagining slated for completion in summer 2024. Special Collections is comprised of manuscript and archival collections, rare books, artifacts, and University Archives. Collecting strengths include international exchange, music, Civil Rights, architectural records, and Arkansas arts. Providing faculty, students, and researchers from across the globe with access to these collections is a vital part of the work of Special Collections. Making collections accessible and assisting those seeking to use our material is essential to this role.  Special Collections ( is the largest holder of works by and about Arkansans, and the University’s land-grant mission makes that the focus of collecting. It also includes a robust and growing Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts program with faculty and staff working across the state (

The Associate Dean is responsible for the development of strategic directions and associated projects, generating national and international interest in the collections, and working collaboratively with other organizations in the nation to enhance the availability of archived materials. As a member of the Libraries’ Administrative Group, the Associate Dean works collaboratively to develop and achieve the broader goals and initiatives of the Libraries. In addition, the Associate Dean will work across the organization on issues of digital preservation and digital collections.

Primary responsibilities include articulating a strategic focus to achieve the division’s goals and priorities while aligning those to the broader activities of the University Libraries; anticipating, initiating, and responding to changes in the academic programs and the University environment; structuring the collections to meet the information needs of the University; and ensuring that the Division maintains a strong commitment to excellent, inclusive, and equitable service. The Associate Dean is responsible for ensuring the alignment and involvement of their division’s efforts and personnel with the entirety of University Libraries. The Associate Dean also facilitates the integration of research and teaching through collaborations with University departments and programs, collaborates with colleagues to advance digital initiatives, actively contributes to library-wide planning and efforts, and ensures representation of the University Libraries in relevant local, regional, national, and international organizations.

Reporting to the Dean of Libraries, the Associate Dean for Special Collections leads a team of six faculty and seven FTE staff responsible for acquiring, processing, teaching, and exhibiting the breadth of unique and rare materials held by the University of Arkansas Libraries.

Responsibilities of this position include research, creative work, and service in keeping with the faculty requirements of the University of Arkansas.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program; OR an Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA) certification and a graduate degree in a related discipline
  • Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible relevant experience in an academic or research library, archives, museum, or major historical society
  • At least three years managing work in a special collections’ repository, archive, museum, or major historical society
  • Experience managing relationships with donors

Preferred Qualifications

  • Secondary graduate degree in a related discipline
  • Experience facilitating digital collections initiatives
  • Demonstrated commitment to effective public service
  • Experience with budget management
  • Knowledge of the development and management of rare books acquisitions
  • Demonstrated success writing and administering grants
  • Familiarity with accepted preservation methodologies including both analog and digital materials

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Skills and commitment to promoting and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, in an organizational context
  • Ability to work independently and collegially as a member of a team

Rank and Salary

Tenure-track or tenured, twelve-month faculty appointment at the rank of Associate Librarian / Associate Professor or Librarian / Professor.  Starting salary: $115,000 commensurate with education and experience.


Relocation allowance available. Benefits include $5,000 start-up research funding, TIAA or Fidelity Investments, 22 days of annual leave, tuition reduction, and health insurance.

Additional Information:

University Libraries:
The University Libraries share the stewardship of the University’s goals and take responsibility for the health of the research and teaching collections and programs that further support the academic mission. The University Libraries are comprised of Mullins Library and three branch libraries: Chemistry and Biochemistry, Fine Arts, and Physics, as well as two off-site facilities including an architecturally unique climate and humidity controlled 27,000 sq. ft. high density storage facility. For more information, visit the Libraries’ home page (

The Special Collection library is housed in Mullins Library and will complete a total renovation in summer 2024. This transformation will allow Special Collections to better support the preservation of its unique material, facilitate instruction and use of the collection, and allow for ample space to exhibit items for public viewing.
Values of the University Libraries:  
The University of Arkansas Libraries aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.
Enriching campus diversity and inclusion is a guiding principle at the University of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Libraries asserts that the responsibility for creating, supporting, and maintaining an inclusive workplace belongs to all of us. We can strengthen our culture and organization by approaching each other and our work with intentional goodwill, honesty, empathy, and trust as we encourage others to hold themselves and each other accountable to do the same.
We are committed to enhancing the diversity of our workforce and we encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. For more information regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion and the University Libraries, please visit our website at

Application Materials:

For the full posting, or to apply, please go to

When completing your application, please upload the following: letter of application, curriculum vitae, and a list of three current references (names, addresses, emails, and telephone numbers). Candidates who received international degrees in library and information science not accredited by ALA will need to submit the foreign credential evaluation determination.

The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The university welcomes applications without regard to race/color, sex, gender, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran or military status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. 

Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

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