Librarian Resignations

March 2, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Elizabeth Curry, Dean, UNF Library

Many faculty librarians have resigned and left the University. How is the University acknowledging this problem?

Response: 

Attached is information about librarians who have left UNF. I think this should be shared with faculty as part of the answer to the question asked at the last Faculty Association meeting. I think getting information and the facts is important.

Elizabeth Curry, PhD
Dean, Thomas G. Carpenter Library
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224
e.curry@unf.edu
904-620-2553 Administrative Office
904-620-2587 Direct Line

In the past three years that I have been at the UNF Library we have experienced some retirements and some changes in faculty. Of the library’s twenty faculty positions five librarians have left UNF for their own professional enhancement and personal benefit. They took positions that were promotions and/or excellent opportunities for professional development. These librarians honed their skills while at UNF, but just like other UNF faculty their salaries were at the low end of the competitive scale. Also librarians can get promotions in rank at UNF but are not eligible for tenure. There are only a few opportunities for advancement. The librarians who left were given great opportunities to develop their skills and scholarship at UNF. This resulted in their ability to enhance their careers and salaries. We wish them well in their new endeavors.
Examples of these positions include:

  1. One librarian was recruited and left UNF to become the director at the library where he started his career. Becoming a library director of a small college had been his long-time ambition. He did not have a Ph.D. so he was not eligible to be dean of UNF library.
  2. One librarian accepted a position with much more responsibility at a Research I university, with an ARL level library.
  3. One librarian moved in order to work at a prestigious presidential library with historic special collections. This was a rare opportunity for career advancement.
  4. One librarian went to a private liberal arts college to pursue her career.
  5. One librarian with technology skills accepted a position with a vendor of library software that had been his responsibility when he worked at UNF. His new position allows him to work from home and provides flexibility for his family.

In the past three years there were three faculty members who retired after long careers. This month one of the librarians who filled a retirement position resigned due to personal health issue.

The Library has been recruiting new faculty who have much to contribute to UNF. Both of the most recently hired librarians have experience working at Research I universities and they bring a high level of professionalism to the UNF library. We are continuing our recruitment.
Answer also from the floor by FA President Radha Pyati: The Provost will be holding a confidence vote for the Library Dean this spring.