Candidates for library dean come to Temple

The process will be repeated as Temple looks to fill three other positions.

Joseph Lucia presents at Paley Library on Feb. 13. Lucia is one of three final candidates for the deanship of University Libraries.| JOHN MORITZ / TTN
Joseph Lucia presents at Paley Library on Feb. 13. Lucia is one of three final candidates for the deanship of University Libraries.| JOHN MORITZ / TTN

Last week, Joseph Lucia visited Main Campus and rounded out the last visit of the three candidates for dean of University Libraries.

Lucia, the director of Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University, gave a presentation titled “Not Fade Away,” on Feb. 13, and spoke on the importance of a physical space to serve as a public “commons,” and the need for more open access to information as an increasing amount of documents and scholarly works enter a digital format.

Lucia’s presentation contained slides of a few of the world’s most famous libraries, including the Salt Lake City Public Library and the Vancouver Public Library, which he said exemplified the modern library as a “place of human intersection and interaction.”

Temple is in the design stages of a $297.5 million library project planned for North Broad Street. Lucia mentioned the project as the only new library being built by an academic institution in the nation.

This process of courting dean candidates at Main Campus will be repeated throughout the next few months as Temple works to fill four of its five vacant deanships before the end of the semester.

Each search normally is accompanied by a 12-person search advisory committee as well as a search firm, if it’s deemed necessary.

“The search advisory committee chair will often hold town meetings and go talk to people in that school or college,” said Vicki Lewis McGarvey, vice provost for University College. “The search firm goes out and does informational interviews if we’re using the firm. And we use all that information to create a job description.”

The committee then reviews candidates identified by the firm and, in consultation with the provost, invites eight to 12 of the candidates to confidential off-campus interviews over the course of two days usually, McGarvey said.

The candidates are usually pared down to three to five for campus visits. Policy states that there must be at least three candidates. These visits normally include a tour of campus, meetings with administrators and constituencies and a presentation of scholarship in the department where the dean would hold tenure.

“Our deans are always standing for tenure in their school or college, so they give a presentation to the department in which they would hold tenure,” McGarvey said.

This is the point in which the search for the dean of University Libraries stands. Since the library isn’t a school or college, some adjustments were made in the process and the three candidates met with library staff and the student library advisory board.

Before the dean is chosen, the committee takes three candidates and presents them unranked to the president and provost for consideration before the university offers the deanship to one of them.

The committee will be meeting with the provost concerning the University Libraries deanship this week and the provost and president will be meeting with each other next week. McGarvey didn’t give a timetable on when the dean of University Libraries would be named.

“It’s hard to say,” McGarvey said. “Once they extend an offer to a candidate, negotiations could happen quickly or they could take several weeks, it just depends.”

Carol Lang is currently serving as interim dean of University Libraries. She has been with the university for 20 years.

The two other dean candidates – Mary Case and David Lewis – presented at Temple earlier this month.

Case is the university librarian and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lewis is the dean of the university library at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and has been at the university since 1993.

Candidates for the deanships of the College of Education, the College of Health Professions and Social Work and School of Media and Communication are still being cultivated by the search firms, McGarvey said. All three committees have meetings scheduled within the next two weeks to present candidates who would be considered for the off-campus interview phase of the search.

McGarvey added that the university hopes to bring candidates for all three searches to campus during the month of April.

There is no search underway for the dean of the College of Science and Technology. Michael Klein is serving as the interim dean of that college.

Sean Carlin and John Moritz can be reached at

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