York University Libraries (YUL) is seeking an experienced leader for the Associate Dean, Research & Open Scholarship position. The position will be attractive to individuals who understand the evolving role of the research library, have a strong understanding of research culture, scholarly communications, content and unique collections, and are adept at championing the Libraries.


Reporting to the Dean of Libraries, the Associate Dean for the Research & Open Scholarship Division is a member of YUL’s senior leadership team, provides strategic direction and oversight over the division and plays a lead role in fostering collaborative strategies to shape a robust and sustainable environment for scholarly content, archives, special collections and open scholarship. Within the context of a new organizational structure, the Research & Open Scholarship Division coalesces existing units and evolving functions associated with the full life cycle of knowledge resources to support the academic programs of the University and to contribute to global scholarship and the stewardship of York’s intellectual assets. With a recent Senate approved institutional open access policy, the Associate Dean will build upon our strengths in knowledge mobilization and open access to operationalize the implementation of the policy on behalf of the University. 


Working closely with the Dean and members of YUL’s senior leadership team, the Associate Dean also plays a lead role in fostering librarian and archivist research and scholarship, including developing effective coordinating and mentorship structures to strengthen  YUL’s research and advancing the Libraries’ research intensification priorities. In this capacity, the Associate Dean will serve on various pan-university Associate Deans of Research committees.


The successful candidate will be an exceptional leader with excellent communication and collaborative skills, as well as an unwavering user-centred focus. Additionally, the successful candidate will work to advance the Libraries’ core values of empowering staff and aligning our resources to be innovative, flexible and creative, and is comfortable operating in a union environment.


This is a continuing appointment with an initial five-year Associate Dean term, with the possibility of renewal upon successful review, and is expected to commence April 2020. The successful candidate will be appointed an Associate or Full Professor tenured continuing appointment.



The Libraries launched a major organizational restructuring process in order to build resource capacity and increase organizational agility by strengthening workflows and coordinating structures. The principal outcomes of this reorganization are enhanced leveraging of expertise across YUL and more focused alignment with the University’s strategic directions. Three new divisions have emerged out of the restructure: Research & Open Scholarship, Teaching & Learning, and Digital Engagement & Strategy. 


The Research & Open Scholarship Division directly aligns with York’s priorities to amplify and sustain research and promote open models of scholarship to support institutional values on the democratization of knowledge. It supports scholarly and creative contributions by providing access to research collections and infrastructure supports for knowledge creation, research dissemination options, discovery, and preservation. The Division is also responsible for providing expertise for open access, enhancing visibility and impact of faculty research, and research data management planning and will have oversight over the Libraries’ leadership role in the implementation of a recently approved institutional open access policy.


The Archives and Special Collections Department resides within this division with the University Archivist & Head having a dotted line reporting relationship to the Associate Dean. The Archives’ mandate is to build, organize, and preserve archival holdings, and to share university and private archives and special collections to support research and learning at York, as well as for visitors from across Canada and the world.

As the chief architect in realizing the vision of the new division, the Associate Dean will work closely with the Dean and collaboratively with YUL’s other Associate Deans of Teaching & Learning and Digital Engagement & Strategy to successfully align the divisional framework within the organizational structure.

The position provides administrative oversight for the Content Development & Analysis Department, Open Scholarship Department and the Archives & Special Collections Department and works closely with library directors and managers within the division to develop policies and protocols that enable and shape the work of the division including intersections with disciplinary clusters, digital scholarship, access and technology specialists, and collection support personnel. 



The Associate Dean is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the Research & Open Scholarship division. The Associate Dean will:

-  Provide leadership, direction, and planning in support of the Libraries’ units associated with the division.

-  Promote a strong vision for the Division and introduce improvements to services and processes within a union environment that will enhance student success, research intensification and academic excellence in collaboration with Divisional Directors.

-  Provide demonstrated commitment to and support for diversity and inclusion.

-  Embrace and implement the Libraries’ strategic plan [https://www.library.yorku.ca/web/download/assessment/internal_reporting/YULStratPlan2016-2020web.pdf] and mobilize leadership, librarians, archivists, and staff in the Division to operationalize the key priorities leading to transformational change in the provision of research assets and learning resources.

-  Demonstrate fiscal leadership and accountability in the context of constrained resources by redesigning and streamlining systems and processes, leveraging technologies, and overseeing the collections budget in consultation with the Dean.

-  Ensure departments are responsive to user feedback with a focus on continued improvement of the user experience.

-  Collaborate across the Libraries’ divisions and coordinate processes related to development and management of content, research, and open scholarship

-  Facilitate the development of divisional strategic planning and recommendations for  resource allocation, policy development, program evaluation, and stewardship priorities associated with knowledge resources.

-  Develop and support the Libraries’ staff in the Division; foster professional development across the organization relevant to YUL’s strategic priorities.

-  Work with Divisional leadership to develop mechanisms for library and campus communication and education relative to issues surrounding content and collections, scholarly publishing and open scholarship.

-  As a member of the Dean of Libraries' senior leadership team, participate in strategic planning, the development of new initiatives, budget parameters, policy development, and governance.

-  Working closely with the Dean and members of the Libraries’ senior leadership team, coordinate strategies to foster and enhance the Libraries’ research and scholarship.

-  Contribute to the profession through engagement with appropriate organizations and societies.

-  Remain up-to-date on challenges, opportunities, and issues facing research libraries and the trends that affect them and communicate these issues to relevant stakeholders.




-  American Library Association (ALA) accredited MLS or equivalent as defined by the ALA.

-  A successful record of leadership, planning, developing and managing library programs and services and leading staff through change gained through at least five years of experience in library management positions.

-  Knowledge of change management best practices.

-  Ability to develop and implement strategic plans.

-  Creative, yet practical in finding new solutions, developing processes, and reconfiguring services.

-  Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to function effectively as a member of a senior management team working within a collegial environment and experience in building and managing relationships at all levels of the organization.

-  A strong record of mentoring and developing individuals and teams.

-  Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills.

-  Demonstrated familiarity with developments in higher education and the issues facing research libraries, especially in Canada.

-  An understanding of academic and scholarly processes.

-  A vision of research library services and the skills to advocate for and communicate that vision.

-  A track record of scholarship and professional service, including presentations, publications, and service to relevant organizations and associations.



York University Libraries (https://www.library.yorku.ca) with collections of over 2.4 million volumes, serves the third largest academic community in Canada.  YUL is recognized for rich historical and special collections, progressive services for accessibility, innovative technologies, and robust services in support of research and open scholarship. YUL’s current strategic plan [https://www.library.yorku.ca/web/download/assessment/internal_reporting/YULStratPlan2016-2020web.pdf]  positions YUL as a key institutional asset and sets the stage to advance new models for creating and supporting knowledge resources for the campus and global communities. With the development of the new Research & Open Scholarship Division, YUL is directly responding to York’s research intensification priorities.

YUL’s  outreach beyond the University is strengthened by unparalleled infrastructure for resource sharing, accessibility, information access, content licensing, digitization, and publishing within the province of Ontario and provided by the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) and Scholars Portal, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL).


The Libraries is a member of OCUL, CARL, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), SPARC, CNI, the Council of Library and Information Resources/Digital Library Federation, and the Center for Research Libraries.



Home to 55,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, York University has an established international reputation as a research-intensive university committed to collegial self-governance, social justice, equity, inclusivity, and diversity. Established in 1959, York has two campuses in the Greater Toronto Metropolitan Region, an eco-campus in Costa Rica, a campus in Hyderabad, India and an upcoming state-of-the-art campus in the City of Markham. As a comprehensive university with 11 Faculties and Schools and 25 interdisciplinary and collaborative research centres, York is a vibrant intellectual community focused on the highest academic quality, outstanding teaching and learning and student experience, cutting-edge research, and engagement with local, national, and international communities.


York is now Canada’s third largest interdisciplinary research and teaching institution, with strengths in areas such as performing arts, humanities and social sciences, vision and space sciences, history and refugee studies, health, communications and culture, engineering, business, sustainability, and digital media. Its Faculties and Schools offer more than 5,000 courses, and more than three million people visit its libraries each year. York’s distinctive and collaborative approach prepares students for the future and brings fresh insights and solutions to real world challenges. Intellectual, cultural, and social life at York is one of the richest in Canada, with more than 300 student clubs and organizations.


York University reflects the diversity and vibrancy of Toronto, attracting more than 6,200 international students from 178 countries. The University has established its reputation worldwide with 280 international partnerships, and its more than 300,000 alumni span the globe.



York University is committed to excellence in research and scholarship in all its forms. Informed by a strong commitment to shared values, including the promotion of social justice, diversity and the public good, we aspire through our research to better understand the human condition and the world around us and to employ the knowledge we gain in the service of society. Intensive engagement in research is a core institutional value that permeates the fabric of the University, and it is this foundation on which York’s vibrant and existing academic environment is built.


Research Vision

Supporting the University’s Academic Plan, the York University Strategic Research Plan: 2018-2023 Towards new Heights lays out a vision for accelerating the growth and development of research, scholarship and creative activity over the next five years that advances York’s commitment to research excellence and to the development and application of new knowledge to the benefit of society. Additional information is available at www.research.info.yorku.ca and the following documents may be viewed at:


-  Academic Plan: http://vpapa.info.yorku.ca/files/2016/07/UAP-2015-2020.pdf

-  Plan for the Intensification and Enhancement of Research (PIER Report): http://pier.info.yorku.ca/files2015/09/PIER-Report-with-Appendices.pdf

-  Strategic Research Plan: http://research.info.yorku.ca/files/2018/07/Final-SRP-2018-2023.pdf



York University is an Affirmative Action (AA) employer and strongly values diversity, including gender and sexual diversity, within its community. The AA Program, which applies to women, members of visible minorities (racialized groups), Aboriginal (Indigenous) people and persons with disabilities, can be found at www.yorku.ca/acadjobs or by calling the AA line at 416.736.5713.  Applicants wishing to self-identify as part of York University’s Affirmative Action Program can do so by downloading, completing and submitting the form found at: http://acadjobs.info.yorku.ca/affirmative-action/self-identification-form.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and Indigenous peoples in Canada will be given priority. No application will be considered without a completed mandatory Work Status Declaration form which can be found at http://acadjobs.info.yorku.ca/affirmative-action/work-authorization-form.

York University has a policy on Accommodation in Employment for Persons with Disabilities [http://secretariat-policies.info.yorku.ca/policies/accommodation-in-employment-for-persons-with-disabilities/]  and is committed to working towards a barrier-free workplace and to expanding the accessibility of the workplace to persons with disabilities. Candidates who require accommodation during the selection process are invited to contact Joy Kirchner, Chair of the Search Committee at [log in to unmask].


Consideration of candidates will begin January 8, 2020. The appointment is expected to commence April 2020. All York University positions are subject to budgetary approval.


Applications should include a letter of introduction (cover letter), curriculum vitae, and the names of three references (who will not be contacted without consent of the candidate), and may be forwarded electronically, in confidence, to the chair of the Search Committee:


Chair, Associate Dean, Research and Open Scholarship Search Committee

York University Libraries

516 Scott Library

4700 Keele St.

Toronto, ON