Reorganizing for Transformational Change: The 21st Century Research Library at a Flagship Public University

Citation data:

Faculty Scholarship

Publication Year:
2015

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Repository URL:
http://digitalcommons.du.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1009&context=libraries_facpub, http://digitalcommons.du.edu/libraries_facpub/10
Author(s):
Maness, Jack M., Culshaw, John
Publisher(s):
Digital Commons @ DU
Tags:
Library Reorganization, Academic Library, Library and Information Science
article description
One of the earliest decisions the RPT made concerned a new structure and model for management layers in the organization. The RPT supported the dean's recommendation to form an "Executive Committee" composed of the dean and two associate deans. One of the associate directors was planning to retire. The responsibilities within that directorate would be reassigned to the other associate deans. The RPT also supported the [Dean]'s recommendation to change the titles of his senior leadership team from "associate director" to "associate dean." One of the associate deans would be titled "Senior Associate Dean" and would act as a Chief Operating Officer, vested with "hiring authority" responsibilities in the absence of the dean. This model, consistent with that of other schools and colleges, also satisfied the campus desire to see a line of succession in the unit. Given the number of employees in the Libraries, the RPT agreed that the organization could be guided effectively by a three-member executive committee. Salary savings from the soon-to-be-vacated associate director line could support operations in other parts of the organization. The RPT, then, ostensibly decided to adopt a "team-based" managerial structure and approach, a model that is becoming increasingly prevalent. A team in this respect is defined as having members that "are mutually accountable for achieving the team's results. That is, if the team achieves the results, all members of the team have succeeded; if the team fails to achieve the results, then all members of the team have failed."17 This model would create a system of "interdependence [wherein] members of a team work together to achieve results that cannot be achieved if members work entirely independently."18 This Management Team would also use principles of "shared leadership," which can simply mean that "recognized authority within the team exists, but it is based on whatever expertise is needed at the time, not on someone's position in the organization."19 The biggest change at this stage came to the research services cluster. Influenced by subject librarian re-envisioning in other libraries, such as at Duke University,24 the RPT had decided that subject librarians would maintain their multifaceted duties in the "traditional tripartite model of collections, reference, and instruction"25 as opposed to other alternatives (such as centralizing some in Cluster 4), but recognized that emerging work in scholarly communications, research data services, digital scholarship tools, instructional design, and other areas were also necessary additional aspects to this work

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