Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff, Virginia Tech Libraries

Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff, Virginia Tech Libraries

The Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff reports to the Dean of University Libraries and administers a core set of internal and external services that enable the Libraries to deliver many of its services successfully. The Assistant Dean also participates in the senior management of the Libraries, manages selected special projects, and provides strategic and general support to the Dean’s Office.


The Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff serves as a member of the Libraries’ senior management team, contributing to the Libraries’ strategic vision, program development and assessment, and organizational learning and transformation. The incumbent works collegially, collaboratively, and effectively with the Dean, the Associate Dean for Research and Informatics, and the Associate Dean for Learning. Administers selected library units and serves as the interface between them and the Dean. Currently, these units are Planning and Branches (includes library-wide assessment), Public Relations and Marketing, Special Collections, IT Services, and Collections and Technical Services. The Assistant Dean works together with the unit directors to achieve the Libraries’ goals. The Public Relations and Marketing unit manages the Libraries’ web sites program, which soon will be undergoing a major restructuring. This is a large undertaking for the Libraries in the coming year and includes site redesign, university content management platform changes, and content workflows and responsibilities redesign. The position represents the Dean’s office in library-related committees such as the Library Dean’s Advisory Committee, the University Library Committee, and when pertinent, communicates and works with other university groups on issues of interest to the Libraries.

Special projects

Designs, initiates, and manages special projects that are identified by the Dean, Associate Deans, and the Assistant Dean. Provides guidance to other priority projects that need senior-level support. In addition to working with library and university units, projects may involve working with organizations and institutions beyond the university, including other universities and state / national / international organizations.

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About “Gentle Disturbances”

The title of our new blog, “Gentle Disturbances”, is a tribute and a reference to the husband and wife artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s art consists of vast, temporary outdoor installations, such as the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, the 24-mile Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City's Central Park. Christo has asserted that their art creates “gentle disturbances," designed to challenge traditional perceptions of the spaces and landscapes they inhabit. By encouraging viewers to see familiar landscapes in new ways, their art disrupts assumptions about permanence, ownership, and categorization.

While we claim none of the artistic or political impact of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, we hope that this blog and its many contributors will challenge us all to look at the landscape of academic libraries and higher education in new ways. We aspire to “gentle disturbances” of the kind that will lead to productive conversations and creative approaches to our common challenges.