University Libraries dean finalists named, campus visits begin

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University Libraries dean finalists named, campus visits begin

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced its 11 new Grand Challenges projects, including assistant professor Qiuming Yao's project, “TrustGenViz: An Initiative to Advance Trust and Visualization for Generative Language Models of Biological Sequenc

Three candidates will visit campus for the University Libraries dean position between Oct. 25 – Nov. 7. The finalists, who were selected through a national search, will interview and give public presentations on city campus from 4-5 p.m.

The candidates, listed by presentation date, are:

  • Oct. 26 — Elizabeth (Liz) Lorang, interim dean and professor in the University Libraries, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, presents in the 102 Love Library South Auditorium | Zoom

  • Nov. 3 — Kimberley Bugg, associate library director, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library (Atlanta, Georgia), presents in the Nebraska Union Swanson Auditorium | Zoom

  • Nov. 7 — Bryn Geffert, dean of libraries and professor of history, University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont), presents in the 102 Love Library South Auditorium | Zoom

Additional candidate information, including curricula vitae and candidate evaluation forms, is available on the University Libraries dean search website:

Liz Lorang

Elizabeth (Liz) Lorang interviews Oct. 25-26. Lorang is interim dean and professor in the University Libraries at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She strives to empower individuals and communities to create new meaning, new opportunity, and new futures by drawing on and extending rich and diverse information systems.

Lorang joined the Libraries in 2013 as research assistant professor and digital projects librarian, and in 2016 was appointed associate professor and humanities librarian following a national search. Building on experiences as a digital projects librarian and humanities librarian, as well as on her passion for research and teaching, she has served as associate dean in the UNL Libraries since 2018. In this role, she and her team launched a designed, intentional, and high-impact research and learning division to meet the needs of today’s researchers and learners and to anticipate future information needs and challenges.

Lorang is an alum of the Association of Research Libraries’ Leadership Fellows program, as well as of the Leading Change Institute and Harvard University’s Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians. She is a member ARL’s Scholars and Scholarship Committee and serves on advisory boards for the national Data Curation Network and the National Indian Boarding School Digital Archive, and she has partnered with the Library of Congress in multiple roles, including as an advisor to the Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud initiative.

Lorang holds a Bachelor of Science in English from Towson University, a Master of Arts in information science and learning technology from the University of Missouri, and a doctorate in English from UNL.

Kimberley Bugg

Kimberley Bugg interviews Nov. 2-3. Bugg is the associate library director at the Atlanta University Center, a consortium library that serves four Historically Black College Universities — Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. She oversees the daily operations and strategic initiatives that foster excellence in learning and discovery through advocacy. She has also had a leadership role on eight grants totaling more than $2.5 million to support programmatic efforts.

A practitioner-scholar, her prior roles include librarian leadership positions at the Library of Congress, City College of New York, and Villanova University.

Bugg’s career in library science has built her expertise in strategic visioning, managerial leadership, and business operations. Her scholarship focuses on leadership, organizational culture, and diversity, and she has published several articles on the topic, including the recent “Leveraging talent: Strategies to improve library recruitment, retention, and diversity” in American Libraries.

Professionally, she holds leadership positions at the local, regional, and national levels of library associations including serving as an American Library Association Councilor and Chair of the ALA Committee on Research Statistics.

Bugg holds a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications from Georgia State University, a Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University, and a doctorate in library and information science from Simmons College. She also has a deep appreciation for art history and classical music and holds a master’s degree in liberal arts with a concentration in art and music history from Clayton State University.

Bryn Geffert

Bryn Geffert interviews Nov. 6-7. Geffert is the dean of libraries and a professor of history at the University of Vermont. Prior to this role, he spent nine years as librarian of the college at Amherst College. He was also library director and an associate professor of history at the United States Military Academy, and dedicated 16 years to St. Olaf College, first as a reference librarian and then as library director and associate professor of Russian Studies. He has written about library matters for The Chronicle, Inside Higher Ed, and College and Research Libraries and published three monographs on Russian religious history with Yale University Press and Notre Dame University Press.

Under his leadership at Amherst, the library won the Association of College and Research Library’s “Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.” His achievements included the establishment of Amherst College Press and Lever Press, the latter in partnership with University of Michigan and supported by 56 institutions. He also coordinated the work of Amherst’s libraries with those of the Five Colleges Consortium. These ventures reflect his commitment to equitable and universal access to scholarship and the creation of new, open access models dedicated to rigorous peer review and editing within a diamond open access model.

Geffert received his Bachelor of Arts in history and in Russian from St. Olaf College, with breaks for study in Scotland and the Soviet Union. He earned a Master of Science in library and information science from the University of Illinois. His Master of Arts in Russian history and doctorate in modern European history are from the University of Minnesota.

Nebraska’s University Libraries is a national leader in creativity and knowledge development. It creates and promotes resources and tools for transformative teaching, learning and research, and it develops spaces and technology that inspire life-long learning. The dean of Libraries will continue the transformation of the Libraries’ physical and virtual spaces, lead major content initiatives, and position the Libraries’ faculty and staff at the center of teaching and research for Nebraska.

The dean is the chief administrative and academic officer of the University Libraries and responsible for leading the Libraries’ current and future efforts to cultivate scholars, students, and members of the public who are astute, critical users and creators of information in all its forms. The dean of Libraries collaborates with faculty, students, staff and external constituents on campus and in the state of Nebraska, across the nation, and around the world.

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