University Community

Ohio University names Rob Ross as dean of University Libraries

Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Elizabeth Sayrs has named Rob Ross as dean of University Libraries, effective August 1, 2024. 

Ross currently serves as the executive director for NC LIVE for the North Carolina State University Libraries. In this position, he serves as the chief administrative officer for the 209-member library cooperative that provides electronic resources, library software, and professional development to all UNC System universities, private colleges, community colleges, and public libraries in North Carolina.

“Rob Ross brings a wealth of experience in and with academic libraries to Ohio University. He is a respected leader who will help University Libraries continue to strengthen its role as a catalyst for research, knowledge discovery, and student success,” Sayrs said. “His experience with NC LIVE and with academic libraries across the country, his leadership skills and his dedication to student success will greatly benefit our students and University.”

Ross has served as executive director for NC LIVE since 2015, with the primary mission of delivering the best possible content to all academic and public libraries in North Carolina as seamlessly as possible.  In his work, he established a strategic organizational framework, conceived new services to meet the needs of North Carolina’s libraries, negotiated vendor agreements to create savings, launched a statewide Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative that saved students $10 million in textbook costs over 24 months, established a professional development program, and transformed the way member libraries think of NC LIVE.

Before joining the North Carolina State University Libraries, Ross served as the director of implementation programs for OCLC, Inc., in Dublin, Ohio, as interlibrary loan supervisor for Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and as library associate for the University of New Orleans.

In addition, Ross has served as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bentley University and MassBay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Ross also was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to support an academic library consortium in Rome, Italy.

Ross earned a master of library and information science degree from Kent State University, a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor of arts in creative writing and philosophy from Ashland University.

Ross will follow Interim Dean Janet Hulm, who has served in this position since Aug. 15, 2023, after former dean Neil Romanosky left the University for a position at Michigan State University.

“I am so thankful to Janet Hulm for serving as the interim dean during this crucial time,” Sayrs said. “She showed outstanding leadership in her work, which greatly benefited University Libraries and our entire Ohio University community.

The search committee for the dean position was chaired by University College Dean David Nguyen and Scripps College of Communication Associate Dean Aimee Edmondson.

“I want to thank the search committee for their time and dedication to this process,” Sayrs said. “They brought forth an outstanding pool of candidates and excelled in their work.’

May 28, 2024
Staff reports