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KU Libraries announce departure of Dean Lorraine Haricombe

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lorraine Haricombe portraitThe University of Kansas Libraries announced today the departure of Dean Lorraine J. Haricombe. Haricombe has accepted the position of vice provost and director of the University of Texas Libraries.

Haricombe’s last day at KU will be December 12, 2014. Associate deans Kent Miller and Mary Roach will assume the roles of interim co-deans at that time. Search information will be announced at a later date.

“The years I have enjoyed at KU have been exhilarating, challenging and most rewarding, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with thoughtful and dedicated colleagues, both in the libraries and across campus,” said Haricombe. “I am proud of the accomplishments of our library faculty and staff. I believe their efforts have moved the libraries—and by extension, the university—forward. I have no doubt the future of KU Libraries will be bright.”

Miller and Roach will lead a team to ensure a smooth transition in the months ahead.

“Dean Haricombe’s visionary approach and dynamic leadership have positioned KU Libraries at the forefront of the rapidly changing world of library and information science,” said Miller and Roach. “We are grateful for her contributions, and we wish her the very best in this new endeavor.”

During her tenure at KU, Haricombe oversaw the enhancement of several library facilities across campus. She was instrumental in implementing a faculty-led open access policy at KU, the first public institution in the United States with such a policy, and ensuring increased visibility for KU research and scholarship. Haricombe was also a co-founder of the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions, an international advocacy group for institutions with open access policies.

“Throughout her time at KU, Dean Haricombe effectively positioned the libraries to respond to the changing landscape of higher education and the aspirations of KU, strategically allocating resources to improve user reach and standardizing services to increase efficiency,” said KU Provost Jeffrey S. Vitter. “Her international reputation as a leader in open access, as well as her thoughtful approach to the roles of libraries in research universities, will have lasting and significant influence on our campus in the years to come.” 

Haricombe serves as chair of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Steering committee, an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.  She also chairs the NIH PubMed Central National Advisory Committee to advise the director of NIH, the director of NLM and director of NCBI on the content and operation of PubMed Central.

Prior to joining KU in 2006, Haricombe was dean of libraries at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, for five years. She previously served in administrative positions in the libraries at Northern Illinois University and Peninsula Technikon in the Republic of South Africa. She holds doctoral and master’s degrees in library and information science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a teacher certification from the University of South Africa, an honors graduate degree in library and information science from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and a bachelor’s degree in library and information science, psychology and sociology from the University of the Western Cape.

A South Africa native, Haricombe holds memberships in the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Library Leadership and Management Association, and is active in the profession serving on several boards and committees.

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