January 28, 2022

Brandeis University: “University Librarian Position Removed From Tenure Structure”

From The Justice (Student Newspaper at Brandeis):

At a Friday morning faculty meeting, the assembled members voted by a wide margin to remove the position of University librarian from the tenure structure. This change will allow for more flexibility in future hiring, according to officials. Endowed chairs will also be filled as a result of the move.

“We wanted future Brandeis searches for [University librarian] to have the flexibility to choose the best person for the position, even if that person would not be a candidate for tenure, or even interested in tenure given their professional profile,” wrote Prof. Eric Chasalow (MUS), chair of the faculty senate, in an email to the Justice. “But we did not want to preclude the person serving as [University librarian] from being tenured either.”


Where tenure systems are concerned, “libraries are always kind of an edge case,” explained Unsworthin an interview with the Justice. Librarians’ status in the tenure system varies from school to school, he said. In four-year liberal arts colleges, including librarians in the faculty is more common, whether they are part of the tenure structure or not. On the other hand, research universities tend to treat their librarians as administrative professionals.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.