Head of the Scholarly Commons
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
United States


Head of the Scholarly Commons

Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Library 

Position Available: Position available immediately. This is a 100%, twelve-month, tenure-system appointment.

The University Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign values diversity of thought, perspective, experience and people, and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. We are dedicated to the practices of social justice, diversity, and equality, and strive to overcome historical and divisive biases in our society and embrace diverse points of view as assets to the fabric of our community. All positions will be called on to contribute to building this environment in the Library and throughout the campus community, and we encourage candidates to apply who share these values.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

Position Description: The University Library seeks a dynamic, forward?thinking, service?oriented person to serve as Head of the Scholarly Commons. The Scholarly Commons is the University Library’s interdisciplinary digital scholarship center, a unit at the forefront of providing innovative research and teaching support at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Scholarly Commons operates in a hub-and-spoke model with  a number of partner units across the campus, such as the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning and the Seibel Center for Design, and plays a prominent role in outreach for digital scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. Based in the Library’s Office of Research alongside the Research Data Service and Scholarly Communication and Publishing units, the Scholarly Commons collaborates with a network of Library-led units, including the Media Commons, the IDEA Lab at Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, the University Archives, and Special Collections units, to support technology-intensive and interdisciplinary research across the university. For more information on the Scholarly Commons’ service profile, see: https://www.library.illinois.edu/sc/

Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Research as a member of the University Library’s Central Public Services Division, the Head of the Scholarly Commons will oversee a unit with 3.5 FTE, including tenure track faculty and a team of graduate assistants. The Head of the Scholarly Commons has primary responsibility for initiating and leading strong campus partnerships and fostering a departmental culture of innovative and robust in-house service programs, technological infrastructure, and outreach efforts, and will provide leadership for and supervision of digital scholarship services to students, faculty, and other scholars. In addition, the Head of the Scholarly Commons establishes a unit vision and maintains robust collaborations to maximize the impact of the unit’s resources, footprint, and service profile. The University Library has a history of continually evolving to support researcher needs and is currently undertaking a major building renovation. The leadership of the incumbent will be key to the evaluation, vision, and configuration of the Library’s next-generation digital support services, as the Library navigates its transformative renovation, and in future years. For more information, see https://www.library.illinois.edu/library-building-project/

As the Head of the Scholarly Commons, the successful candidate will:

  • Initiate, shape, and develop the Scholarly Commons’ overall strategy and programs, in close collaboration with Library and campus units , while keeping abreast of trends that impact higher education and community digital scholarship 
  • Coordinate the design, implementation, and assessment of innovative, user?centered, and cross-disciplinary digital scholarship support services in conjunction with other Library and campus units.
  • Foster a setting for the Scholarly Commons to innovate and experiment with services including professional development of staff to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing environment, and actively support a workplace culture that values and promotes collaboration and a cohesive service philosophy
  • Collaborate and consult regularly with faculty and staff across the campus stakeholder units, as well as within the Library, on the continual development of digital scholarship support services
  • Oversee departmental management of operational activities including a service desk, budget, technology, and personnel
  • Guide and participate in the promotion of the Scholarly Commons on campus and in the Library, including the Scholarly Commons website, community-building events, and social media accounts
  • Prepare regular and on-demand reports for the Scholarly Commons, including, but not limited to strategic plans, annual reports, and budget proposals
  • Work with Library Advancement to secure additional funding for the Scholarly Commons
  • Contribute to the national and international reputation of the University Library through professional research, service, and collaboration with appropriate colleagues and organizations

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library school or equivalent by start of employment, or other advanced degree relevant to the mission of the unit
  • Evidence of strong supervisory skills developed through increasing responsibilities over three years or more
  • Practical knowledge of and experience with a range of digital scholarship tools, technologies, and platforms such as textual analysis, geographic information systems, data services, data visualization, and digital humanities
  • Demonstrated experience providing and managing technology-enriched interdisciplinary services and spaces
  • Strong communication skills and leadership qualities including an energetic, flexible, creative, proactive approach to service demonstrated by the ability to work collaboratively and effectively with others in a team environment
  • Evidence of research, professional service, and publication consistent with the ability to succeed in a tenure-track appointment

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Supervisory management and project management experience with appointments showing growth in responsibilities, such as experience leading and managing a digital scholarship center, preferably in an academic research library
  • Experience with strategic planning and implementation
  • Experience performing research using one or more digital scholarship methods
  • Demonstrated interest, experience, and/or ability to promote cultural competency, diversity and/or inclusive excellence
  • Demonstrated experience assessing the effectiveness and impact of programs, services, learning, and/or spaces
  • Involvement in professional service organizations key to shaping digital scholarship, such as an established leadership role in professional service organizations
  • Evidence of research, professional service, and publications sufficient to merit appointment at the level of tenured Associate or Full Professor

Environment: The University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign is one of the preeminent research libraries in the world. With more than 14 million volumes and significant digital resources, it ranks second in size among academic research libraries in the United States and first among public university libraries in the world. As the intellectual heart of the campus, the Library is committed to maintaining the strongest possible collections and services and engaging in research and development activities in pursuit of the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, and public service. The Library currently employs approximately 80 faculty and 300 academic professionals, staff, and graduate assistants. For more information, see: http://www.library.illinois.edu/.

Salary and Rank: $60,000 - $70,000 Salary commensurate with credentials and experience. Librarians have faculty rank, and must demonstrate excellence in librarianship, research, and university/professional/community service in order to meet university standards for tenure and promotion. Library faculty have an obligation to remain professionally informed, to pursue the discovery of new knowledge related to their field of expertise, to disseminate the results of their scholarly work, and to seek opportunities for service to the Library, campus, state, nation and profession. Library faculty are governed by University statements on review and promotion found in Article IX of the Statutes, and in Provost’s Communication No. 9  https://provost.illinois.edu/policies/provosts-communications/communication-9-promotion-and-tenure/  and Provost’s Communication No. 13 https://provost.illinois.edu/policies/provosts-communications/communication-13-review-of-faculty-in-year-three-of-the-probationary-period/. For more information on library tenure and promotion, see https://www.library.illinois.edu/staff/committee/promotion-and-tenure-advisory-committee.

Terms of Appointment: Twelve-month appointment; 24 annual vacation days; 11 annual paid holidays; 12 annual sick-leave days (cumulative), plus an additional 13 sick-leave days (non-cumulative) available, if needed, each year; health insurance requiring a small co-payment is provided to employee (with the option to purchase coverage for spouse and dependents); required participation in State Universities Retirement System (SURS) (8% of annual salary is withheld and is refundable upon termination), with several options for participation in additional retirement plans; newly-hired employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security and are subject to its deduction.

Campus and Community: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. It employs 3,000 faculty members who serve 31,000 undergraduates and 12,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receives campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at http://www.illinois.edu.

The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit: https://illinois.edu or https://www.champaigncounty.org.

To Apply: To ensure full consideration, please complete your candidate profile at https://jobs.illinois.edu  and upload a letter of interest, resume, and contact information including email addresses for three professional references. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.

Deadline: In order to ensure full consideration we urge candidates to submit application materials on or before August 14, 2020. All applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. 

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. 

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University Library - Head, Scholarly Commons - Scholarly Commons (133827)

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