Lisa A. German will be the next University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, effective February 28, 2020. Karen Hanson, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Minnesota, made the announcement this afternoon.
An accomplished research library leader who comes to Minnesota from the University of Houston, German will be the executive and strategic leader of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Hanson said that she will ensure the Libraries’ continued excellence as an exemplary research library system at the center of the University’s academic mission and will maintain and advance its important role as Minnesota’s research library.
German has over 25 years of experience in leadership of academic libraries. The dean of libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell Chair at the University of Houston Libraries since 2015, she previously served in leadership positions for the large research libraries at Penn State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has proven experience managing a large and complex organization, a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion, and a substantial record of accomplishments advancing innovation, inclusive excellence, and national collaborations among academic research universities.
As dean of libraries for the University of Houston’s research library system, German led the development of a strategic plan emphasizing research productivity, student success, and the quality and relevance of collections for campus and global communities. This was paired with a related plan focused on diversity and inclusion.
Her many other accomplishments include the creation of a Digital Research Commons supporting faculty and student research in the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences; expansion of special collections and research services; successful fundraising; the opening of a new Health Sciences Library; and leadership in the development of a university-wide Open Educational Resources program. This latter involved a partnership with the provost on an alternative textbook incentive program that reduced student textbook costs while expanding instructional flexibility.
At the institutional level, she has been a member of the Academic Leadership Council and has served in leadership roles related to budgetary planning and accreditation.
German holds the master of library and information science degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She publishes, presents, and is an expert consultant on topics related to library collections, management, planning, policy development, implementation, and assessment. Engaged nationally as an academic library leader, German recently led strategic planning for the Greater Western Library Alliance, a consortium of 39 research libraries across the United States. She has been active in the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, has been a member of the editorial board for its peer-reviewed journal, and has served as a mentor for the Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellows Program, having been part of its inaugural cohort earlier in her career. Within the Big Ten Academic Alliance, she has been involved in collaborations related to acquisitions, collections, and technology.
As University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Minnesota, German will
provide leadership for the system encompassing 12 libraries on the Twin Cities campus
and the broad portfolio of services, collections, and partnerships that support the
University’s academic mission, provide infrastructure and service support to all system
campuses, and provide critical services to the state and region through Minitex.
Working with the Libraries’ outstanding staff, and collaborating across the entire academic enterprise, she will identify opportunities and new directions for the Libraries and for the University in a rapidly evolving environment. She will work to advance diversity and inclusion and will chart a course for the Libraries’ continuing leadership among contemporary research libraries, widely recognized for innovative and model programs and technologies, multi-institutional collaborations, and as a vital resource for large and diverse communities that span from local to global. As a member of the Council of Twin Cities Deans, she will play a collaborative role in campuswide academic affairs.
“Lisa’s appointment, the culmination of a competitive national search, is important for the University of Minnesota and important for the Libraries, one of the University’s and the state’s greatest intellectual assets,” Hanson said. “I am confident that Lisa’s talents and experience will successfully build on the outstanding legacy of Wendy Pradt Lougee, who will step down after serving as dean since 2002.”
Lougee’s exceptional vision and leadership brought great distinction to the University of Minnesota, as recognized by the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, America’s highest honor for museums and libraries.
“Please join me in welcoming Lisa German to the University of Minnesota,” Hanson said in an announcement to campus. She also thanked the search committee for its excellent work, including John Finnegan, dean of the School of Public Health, for his work as chair.
“I also thank all members of the University community and stakeholders of the Libraries who took the time to meet our outstanding candidate finalists and to provide invaluable feedback on this important search.”