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Campus visits set for Dean of Libraries & Information Resources finalists

Three finalists for position will be on campus Dec. 7 to 9

UND archival photo.

Three finalists for the position of dean of libraries and information resources will be at the University of North Dakota next week for on-campus visits, Dec. 7-9.

The dean of libraries and information resources is the chief administrator for the University’s libraries and chief spokesperson for UND libraries at all levels. The dean is responsible for providing vision and leadership for UND libraries to advance the mission of the University, increase and support research opportunities and provide for student success – all meeting the strategic goals of the University and North Dakota University System.

Open forums are scheduled for next week, Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 7-9, starting at 1:30 p.m. in O’Kelly Hall, Room 343. The sessions will also be available via Zoom. More information can be found on the search website.

  • Rebecca Bichel, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7, O’Kelly Hall, Room 343
  • Sian Brannon, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8, O’Kelly Hall, Room 343
  • Rhonda Huisman, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, O’Kelly Hall, Room 343

Rebecca Bichel

Rebecca Bichel

Rebecca Bichel is the dean of libraries at the University of Texas at Arlington, serving in that role since 2012. She has 25 years of experience as an academic librarian. Before accepting her role at UTA, Bichel served as associate dean for public services at Florida State University Libraries from 2005-2012. She was also a librarian at Pennsylvania State University and Sam Houston State University.

Bichel has a passion for creating transformative learning and growth experiences for students and colleagues. She works with a deeply engaged team to manage on-demand collection policies, provide responsive services and spaces, offer programming for one of the most diverse campuses in the country, support an ambitious Open Educational Resources program, create evolving scholarly communication services for faculty and implement ambitious creative and research data spaces for student success.

Bichel holds a master’s in library and information science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and two bachelor’s degrees from Valdosta State University in Georgia. Her research interests include leadership in support of innovation in libraries and the opportunities of library service and space redesign, such as the creation of makerspaces.

Sian Brannon

Sian Brannon

Sian Brannon is the associate dean for collection management at the University of North Texas Libraries and has worked in academic and public libraries since the 1990s. Brannon also has taught as an adjunct professor for technical services and research methods courses.

Expanding on her leadership training (Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians, Texas Academic Leadership Academy, and American Council on Education Regional Women’s Leadership Forum), Brannon became a trained mediator and helps facilitate employee disputes at the University of North Texas.

Brannon recently completed a five-year tenure as the editor of Public Services Quarterly and serves on the editorial boards of four journals. She was recently appointed as a peer evaluator for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and to the Fulbright Specialist Roster. Brannon serves on multiple American Library Association and Association of College and Research Libraries committees and boards, and she maintains an ongoing record of scholarship with peer-reviewed publications and presentations on topics such as assessment, management and collection development.

Rhonda Huisman

Rhonda Huisman

Rhonda Huisman has had many roles in K-12 and higher education as a classroom teacher, librarian, faculty member, administrator and facilitator. Huisman is currently dean of university library at St. Cloud State University, in St. Cloud, Minn., where she leads strategic planning and assessment, and has successfully secured several grants on affordability (OER/OA). She currently serves as board president for the Central Minnesota Library Exchange.

Previously, Huisman was the director of library services at Marian University in Indianapolis, assistant professor and associate dean of university libraries at Wichita State University and education librarian/CTL at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Huisman has participated in HLC accreditation training, student belongingness and high-impact practices research, and presented at numerous national and international conferences on information literacy, college readiness, and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Huisman’s service includes institutional, state and national committees, including revision of Standards for Libraries in Higher Education and ACRL Immersion curricula, as well as contribution to the National Survey of Student Engagement Information Literacy module. In 2017, Huisman created the TAPS (Textbook Affordability Project for Success) program at SCSU, saving millions in textbook costs and supporting a community of practice for faculty in the creation of affordable and open materials.

Huisman has a bachelor’s degree in English/education from the University of South Dakota, a master’s degree in education from Briar Cliff University in Iowa, and a master’s degree in library information science/learning technologies from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She anticipates successful completion of an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from St. Cloud State University, in 2023. Huisman is also a 2016 graduate of the Harvard Leadership Institute.


Editor’s Note: An email containing this message that was sent out today to UND students, faculty and staff used the words “Information Services” in the position title, rather than the correct “Information Resources.”