KU Libraries Organizational Structure

In the summer of 2012, KU Libraries Organizational Review Team (ORT) embarked on a charge to assess the libraries’ current organizational structure, determine existing major functions and cross-functional areas therein, and identify new and vital positions or functional areas as required by our new strategic directions. Throughout the process, the team worked diligently, drawing from peer institutional research, focus groups and more, always with an eye on Bold Aspirations, as well as our own strategic plan.

Libraries exist in a steady state of change, and our new organizational structure is just the beginning of what is truly an evolution. Like the broader goals for KU defined in Bold Aspirations, our aims are ambitious. They are premised on the understanding that the libraries are responsible not only for the cultivation, discovery and dissemination of information, but also for facilitating learning, research and knowledge creation. By achieving these goals, we support and encourage outstanding research, teaching and learning across the university.

The following new or expanded positions comprise the Dean’s Cabinet, the leadership group that will guide KU Libraries in the coming years. In all cases, appointments are of a limited term with an option for reappointment; this ensures we have the flexibility to address evolving needs and directions.

The new organizational design (pdf), which outlines the major divisions listed below, is intended to be fluid, user-focused structure which will continue to change to meet the evolving needs of the organization.

Interim Deans of Libraries

Kent Miller
Kent Miller
Mary Roach
Mary Roach

Kent Miller and Mary Roach have been appointed to serve as interim deans of the University of Kansas Libraries. These roles commenced on December 13, 2014, following the departure of Dean Lorraine J. Haricombe.

Miller and Roach are longtime faculty librarians at KU. Since 2013, they have held the positions of associate deans, sharing internal leadership for KU Libraries and directing operations and activities across the libraries’ five divisions.

In their new roles, Miller and Roach will oversee the libraries’ new strategic directions, which seek to promote knowledge creation, interdisciplinary scholarship and research productivity at KU through collections and services.

Executive Director of the Office of Administrative Services

Mike Broadwell
Mike Broadwell

Mike Broadwell serves as the new Executive Director of the Office of Administrative Services. In this role, he will provide leadership in the areas of library facilities and space management, budget processes and human resources as well as other administrative actions to strengthen the libraries’ support within the campus community. He will help prepare us for anticipated changes in these areas due to the new service centers that are beginning to emerge on campus. He will report to the dean, with a dotted line to the associate deans, and will supervise staff in HR and Fiscal Services. Mike will also have oversight for the organizational development unit, a new direction resulting from both the strategic plan and the ORT recommendations.

Executive Director of Communications, Advancement & Administration

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith serves as the Executive Director of Communications, Advancement & Administration, and reports to the Dean of Libraries. Rebecca provides leadership on organizational strategy, communications and advancement. The Executive Director establishes priorities for the dean’s activities; leads all marketing, communications and fundraising efforts; and manages the Board of Advocates. Rebecca will continue to supervise staff members in the Office of Communications, Advancement and Administration.


The following Assistant Dean positions will report to Associate Deans Mary Roach and Kent Miller.

Assistant Dean of Information Technology & Discovery Services

Scott Hanrath
Scott Hanrath

Scott Hanrath will serve as Assistant Dean of Information Technology & Discovery Services. In this role, Scott will lead KU Libraries in efforts to consider, plan, implement and evaluate services and resource-delivery technology systems across a number of platforms. He will lead collaborative efforts across the libraries to ensure an integrated approach to systems development and overall architecture that is efficient, highly functional and rapidly evolving. Scott will also oversee two new positions in metadata and data, which will be part of a new unit called Metadata, Data and Discovery Services, as well as the unit of Cataloging, Archival Processing & Digitization Services. In addition, Scott will serve as the libraries' liaison to a KU IT team, to be formed to support library technology development.

Assistant Dean of Distinctive Collections

Beth Whittaker
Beth Whittaker

As access to general collections and data becomes increasingly digital and shared among institutions, an institution’s distinctive and one-of-a-kind resources become even more important to maintain and promote. As Assistant Dean of Distinctive Collections, Beth Whittaker will ensure we leverage resources and facilitate the collaboration and innovation needed to meet the demands of building collections in these areas, while moving us toward a more user-focused culture—one that will enable increased collaboration. Beth will supervise the following areas:

  • University Archives
  • Special Collections
  • Kansas Collection
  • International Collections
  • Conservation
  • Digital Collections

Assistant Dean of Content & Access Services

Judith Emde
Judith Emde

Judith Emde has been appointed to the position of Assistant Dean of Content & Access Services. In this role, Judith will work to enhance access and delivery of information resources to our users while elevating the position and impact of the libraries as a trusted partner on campus and beyond.

Judith will oversee strategic directions in collaboration with other assistant deans and the associate deans, our department heads and librarians throughout KU Libraries, working to foster effective relationships with library and academic colleagues while enhancing and assessing service quality and operational efficiency. The chief responsibilities of this position include administration of Acquisitions and Serials, Resource Sharing, Content Development, as well as oversight of our seven library branches.

Lea Currie will serve as the head of content development, supervising a team that includes:

Sara Morris | semorris@ku.edu 864-8907
Julie Waters | jwaters@ku.edu 864-8829

This streamlined department will allow these librarians the opportunity to focus entirely on collection development. Additionally, this change provides us the important ability to redirect the time and effort of others previously charged with collection development to our new strategic priorities, specifically in the areas of the four centers under the Research and Learning Division.

Assistant Dean for Research & Learning

Erin Ellis
Erin Ellis

Erin Ellis has been appointed to the position of Assistant Dean for Research & Learning. In this role, Erin will work to enhance the experience of our users and to elevate the position and impact of the libraries on campus and in the community, while providing strategic visioning, policy and program development that embeds the libraries in the KU community and beyond.

The AD for Research & Learning will ensure integration of library services into a new signature student experience initiative; explore digital technologies that capture new scholarship; and partner with academic departments, research centers and university programs to generate new scholarship. Erin will lead a user-focused Research & Learning division, organized around four new centers: the Center for Faculty and Staff Initiatives and Engagement, the Center for Graduate Initiatives and Engagement, the Center for Undergraduate Initiatives and Engagement, and the Center for Community and Affiliate Initiatives and Engagement.

The following five head positions will report to Assistant Dean for Research & Learning Erin Ellis:

Head of Community Engagement

Sarah Goodwin Thiel
Sarah Goodwin Thiel

Sarah Goodwin Thiel has been appointed head of community engagement within the Division of Research and Learning. In this role, Sarah provides high-level coordination and oversight to the work we do in this area. She seeks to enhance potential partnership opportunities through expanded library collaborations with stakeholders including the campus research centers, the Dole Institute of Politics, the Spencer Museum of Art, Haskell and others. Additionally, Sarah leads the Libraries Lecture Series and exhibition programs, both of which have become major tools for community engagement.

Head of the Center for Faculty and Staff Initiatives & Engagement

Brian Rosenblum
Pam Lach

Pam Lach has been appointed head of the Center for Faculty and Staff Initiatives and Engagement. This position will work to advance scholarship through proactive engagement in research and scholarly communication. The center will focus on supporting KU’s faculty and research community, including KU’s research centers, through collaboration and engagement in teaching and research support to drive discovery and innovation.

Head of the Center for Graduate Initiatives & Engagement

Scott McEathron
Scott McEathron

Scott McEathron has been appointed head of the Center for Graduate Initiatives and Engagement. In this role, Scott will lead development of a cohesive approach to support our graduate students as researchers, teachers, and academics and professionals in training—and then align services and space along that continuum. The chief responsibilities of this position are to lead formation of strategic alliances and support the effective design and coordination of graduate initiatives and engagement.

Head of the Center for Undergraduate Initiatives & Engagement

Jill Becker
Jill Becker

Jill Becker has been appointed head of the Center for Undergraduate Initiatives and Engagement. Jill will lead collaboration and programming to support integration of information literacy, research skills and information resources into the curriculum to enhance critical thinking, academic success and lifelong learning. The center will focus on energizing the educational experience, supporting undergraduate teaching and learning through collaboration with teaching faculty and first-year experience offices, other undergraduate initiatives, and through the design of undergraduate programs and outreach from the libraries.

Head of the Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright

Ada Emmett
Ada Emmett

Ada Emmett has been appointed head of the newly created Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright within the Research & Learning Division. The creation of this office supports the implementation of strategy 2.C of the libraries’ strategic plan, to "develop a robust and coordinated approach to scholarly publishing, scholarly communication and copyright services." The office will offer a physical, virtual and administrative “front door” to the scholarly communications efforts in the libraries and on campus, while also serving in a consultative and advisory role to local, regional, national and international efforts. Additionally, the Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright will serve as the ongoing home to the work of open access policy support and outreach for it, as well as copyright services offered to students and faculty.


Contact us

Rebecca Smith
Executive Director of Communications & Advancement

1.5 million visits a year at 7 library locations
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection
—American Library Association
KU ScholarWorks offers access to more than 13,000 items created by KU faculty and students
An international leader in the open access movement
Users check out nearly 300,000 items every year
Users access more than 3.3 million articles online each year
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More than 700 Vosper Society members support the mission of KU Libraries
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