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Director of Research and Instructional Support (#206)

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Staff in Library, Information & Technology Services
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Mount Holyoke College invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of Research and Instructional Support (RIS). Reporting to the Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of the merged Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS), the Director of RIS will lead a deeply blended department committed to advancing teaching, learning, and student research excellence.

Founded in 1837 by chemist and revolutionary educator Mary Lyon, Mount Holyoke College, oldest of the Seven Sister colleges, is a highly selective, residential liberal arts college renowned for educating women leaders, from medical pioneers to a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. With 48 majors, Mount Holyoke has long been noted for its rich, innovative, and rigorous curriculum. Its 200 faculty members are both dedicated teachers and active scholars, research scientists, and creative artists.  Each year, members of the faculty publish approximately 30 books, write more than 150 articles and scientific papers, many with undergraduate co-authors, and receive many major grants, the majority for work with students.

Set within the Pioneer Valley and the Five-College Community, Mount Holyoke College attracts students from across the country and around the globe: twenty-five percent of its 2,200 students are international citizens, and twenty-seven percent of domestic students identify as African-American, Asian-American, Latina, Native American, or multiracial. The College values economic diversity and commits generous financial aid to make an extraordinary education available to students from all income levels.

The Director of RIS leads a staff of 13 librarians and instructional technology professionals. The RIS team collectively develops the college’s instructional technology, information literacy initiatives, and library collection environments to advance the College’s teaching, learning, and research. As a member of the LITS leadership team, the Director collaborates with other units in LITS to ensure that the division continues to provide integrated, forward-looking information and technology services and resources to advance the College’s commitment to academic excellence and purposeful engagement in the world.

The Director of RIS also works collaboratively with the College community, including the Weissman Center for Leadership, the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, Professional and Graduate Education (“PAGE”), and other offices on campus to imagine, plan, and implement the future of teaching and learning in the liberal arts.  In addition the Director collaborates across the Five Colleges to advance shared efforts including blended learning and the digital humanities. 

LITS (Library and Information Technology Services)

About 20 years ago, Mount Holyoke was one of the first undergraduate institutions to merge its library and computing services.  LITS is a user-centered organization comprised of nearly 70 staff members that facilitates the creative use of information and technology for the Mount Holyoke College community. It supports the educational priorities of the College by providing instruction, materials, staff expertise, and equipment to sustain learning, teaching, and research, and to advance the College’s mission.

The current organization of LITS includes four departments: Campus Technology and Media Support; Discovery and Access; Research and Instructional Support; and Technology Infrastructure, and Systems Support.  The Directors of these departments report to the Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of LITS, who in turn reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.  See the LITS organizational chart here: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/lits-organizational-charts.


The RIS team includes 8 Librarian and Instructional Technology Liaisons, two Managing Liaisons, a Librarian for Collection Development and User Experience, a Language Resource Center Coordinator and Liaison, and an Integrated Technologies Librarian.  Each liaison partners with one or more academic departments to develop scaffolded approaches to information literacy instruction, appropriate uses of technology, and the collection to serve department’s and College’s learning goals.  RIS is responsible for several service points including the Research Help Desk, a Media Teaching Area within the LITS complex, and the campus’s Language Resource Center and the Media Lab across campus. In addition RIS plays a leading role in larger campus initiatives such as the meaningful incorporation of new pedagogies such as flipped classrooms and blended learning, and outcomes-based assessment, a substantial revamping of the College’s first year seminar program and the use of e-portfolios; the digital liberal arts, data science, and makerspaces; negotiating the shifting information landscape including new modes of scholarship and open access.

Position Details

Specifically, the Director of  RIS will:

Lead, manage, and mentor professional librarians and instructional technologists to be a high performing, collaborative team that is user-centered, aligned with the College’s priorities, and that strives for excellence.

Identify, develop, and enhance partnerships across campus that further Mount Holyoke’s leadership in innovative, effective, and sustainable approaches to the education of a richly diverse group of women in the liberal arts and sciences.

Collaborate with the LITS leadership team to plan for and meet LITS Division goals and priorities, advocate for RIS within the leadership team structure, and achieve the College’s evolving goals in light of pedagogical, information, and technology changes. Assist the CIO in identifying, planning, and implementing the best solutions for Mount Holyoke.

Keep abreast of new trends, tools, opportunities, and campus needs to incorporate technology, library services, and the collection in service of the College’s mission.

Support the Head of Collections to provide leadership around the changing nature of library collections in line with institutional needs, resources, and national trends. 

Plan and manage the RIS budget, including the budget for the library’s collections.

Actively seek opportunities for collaboration within the Five College consortium and across other peer, disciplinary, and professional networks in areas that resonate with institutional priorities such as data science and visualization, active, flipped, and blended learning, and digital humanities and scholarship.

Lead a continuous process of assessment and data-driven decision-making to ensure the RIS department's efforts are advancing the College's evolving teaching, learning, and research goals.

Ensure compliance with professional and technology standards, licensure and regulatory requirements, and MHC standards, policies, and procedures.

Foster a culture of high-quality, user-centered service.

Work evenings and weekends, as necessary. In some circumstances, it may be important to assist during adverse weather and emergency situations to ensure essential services and service points are covered. 


Advanced degree required.

A significant record of successful team-based leadership, managerial, strategic planning, project management, and supervisory experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Knowledgeable in effective learning theories and pedagogical practices and assessment especially within a liberal arts college context; in the realm of academic libraries, collections, and information literacy frameworks; and, in the application of technology to enhance effective teaching and learning.

Demonstrated commitment to work effectively and build strong productive relationships with a diverse group of faculty, students, administrators, staff, and others across the organization and consortium. Active listener with the ability to understand and balance the needs of various constituent groups and reconcile competing priorities and limited resources.

Curiosity and enthusiasm for others’ growth and success. Ability to inspire and foster innovation and to lead and guide change. Creativity, flexibility, and a passion for supporting a collaborative work environment.

Good organizational thinker, able to assess and align structures to smooth collaboration and communication.  Excellent and thoughtful communicator and relationship builder.

Excellent oral and written communication, and problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

Ability to maintain a professional and tactful approach in all interactions, ensuring confidentiality and an individual’s right to privacy regarding especially appropriate student and human resource information.

Ability to travel as needed to participate in Five College, CLAC, Oberlin Group, and other consortial and professional meetings and events.

The physical expectations of the position include:

a.Visual ability to read computer screens and printed materials;

b.Hearing and speaking abilities to effectively communicate via the telephone and in person.

For more information about the College: www.mtholyoke.edu

Mount Holyoke’s superb resources and facilities include a nationally award winning library, a state-of-the-art science center, expanded and renovated music and art buildings, a first-rate sports and dance complex, an equestrian center and a golf course. 

Mount Holyoke is a member of Five Colleges, Inc., along with Amherst, Hampshire, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Part of the culturally and intellectually vibrant Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, MHC is 1.5 hours from Boston, 30 minutes from Springfield, Massachusetts, and 45 minutes from Hartford, Connecticut.

For more information about LITS: www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/

More information and online application available at: http://jobs.mtholyoke.edu.

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Mount Holyoke College is committed to enriching the educational experience it offers through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff members. Mount Holyoke seeks to recruit and support a broadly diverse team who will contribute to the college's excellence, diversity of viewpoints and experiences, and relevance in a global society. In furtherance of institutional excellence, the College encourages applications from individuals from underrepresented groups, including faculty, staff, and administration of color, diverse gender identities, first generation college students and individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to college, and individuals with a demonstrated leadership commitment to including diverse backgrounds and perspectives.