Library Hire New Dean After Past Search Failure

After two years with the position unfilled, the search for a new dean of Honnold/Mudd Library, conducted by a search committee of the Judicial Government Committee (JGC), is finally over. The JGC has found a dean ready and willing to take on the challenge of the consortium. 

The name of the new dean has not yet been released. However, according to Sam Kome, Interim Associate Director of the Claremont Colleges Library, the new Dean of Honnold/Mudd Library will begin this summer around July 1, depending upon how long the final hiring negotiations take. 

“The previous search didn’t work out. All the candidates in the previous search backed out,” Kome said. “The feedback from the previous search was the governance of the library needed some work. Pretty much all of the candidates said that. They didn’t understand how the library fit into the academic mission of the colleges, each college, and all the colleges.” 

About a dozen candidates were narrowed down during this first search, but no candidate was willing to accept the position due to the unique governance of the library. 

Since then the Claremont University Consortium (CUC) has changed how the library’s governance operates and began another search in the summer of 2012. On Oct. 1, 2012, CUC updated the agreement establishing a system of government for the 5C library written in March 1971. 

The new division of responsibilities, as stated in the updated agreement, is “that strategic oversight of the library lies with the Joint Governance Committee, a combination of the Academic Deans Committee and the Presidents’ Council. Executive authority rests with the Lead College and the Dean of the Library. Responsibility for the administration rests with the CUC.”

Honnold/Mudd has gained more autonomy from the other services managed by the CUC, such as Student Health Services (SHS). According to Kome, the library has regained its academic focus and has distanced itself from the businesslike approach it had been leaning toward since the split of Claremont Graduate University (CGU) and the CUC in the spring of 2012. 

The library’s operations have been handled primarily by the CUC since its split from CGU. The CUC handles SHS, student chaplaincy, and student counseling. The CUC also owns the library and about 50 other buildings. The CUC was designed to operate primarily as a business office and less like an academic institution. 

With the changes in the library system of government, the second search was more successful. 

“These candidates were really, genuinely interested in this puzzle; you know, they see it as a puzzle,” Kome said.  

Currently CGU holds the most power as the lead college within the JGC and will most likely maintain this position among the other 5Cs when the new library dean begins and for at least five years to come. In the past, the highest position within the governance of the library has been rotated among the colleges every five years. 

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