New dean this summer

Reflecting a trend among research universities, the next head of WSU Libraries will have the title “dean” rather than “director.”

“The WSU Libraries’ director has long been a member of both the College of Deans and the university cabinet and functions as a dean, but the old title had not been changed,” said Cynthia Kaag, interim director of libraries.

The decision to change the title came from the provost’s office and reflects the libraries’ role as an academic partner with all other academic units.

“The title change to dean provides parity with other research universities,” said Provost Robert Bates. “It recognizes the importance this leadership position occupies for the libraries of our multicampus university.”

Librarians are faculty members, Kaag said, and along with increased responsibilities maintaining, searching and tracking information in various media formats, they have an expanded teaching role. They are helping faculty, students and staff understand emerging technology, evaluate unfamiliar sources and search dynamic databases.

“Finding accurate, current information has not gotten easier with the Internet,” Kaag said, “it’s gotten harder.”

A search committee began screening applications March 19 and a new dean is expected to be named this summer.

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