Jeffry Archer to be new Dean of University Libraries

Jeffry Archer, incoming dean of university libraries, speaks of the role faith will play in his new career at Baylor University. Photo courtesy of Lauren Williams.

By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer

Associate Dean of User Services at McGill University Jeffry Archer will join Baylor in June 2020 as the new Dean of University Libraries.

The search for a new Dean of libraries began in the fall with in-person interviews. They were conducted by eight individuals, including the College of Arts and Sciences Dean.

“As Baylor University moves forward on its aspirations to become a Research 1/Tier 1 university, we are pleased that Jeffry Archer will bring his extensive academic library experience at McGill University and the University of Chicago – two prestigious institutions – to Baylor and continue the tradition of support, preservation and innovation that has characterized our University Libraries for decades,” Baylor Provost Nancy Brickhouse said.

After finding the job on the American Library Association job site, Archer said this position peaked his interest and he immediately began looking into it.

The search committee selected three candidates to bring to campus and each of them presented their ideas to the entire library faculty. The committee then created interview questions and the Provost made the final hiring decision.

After assuming his as the permanent dean, Archer will lead the Central Libraries, Armstrong Browning Library, The Texas Collection and University Archives, The Institute for Oral History, the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society and the W. R. Poage Legislative Library.

Archer said he looked forward to explore his faith and the way it intertwines with his academic career in his new role. “During the interview I was asked questions that I wouldn’t normally have,” Archer said.

Previously employed at the University of Chicago, Archer has held the role of Business and Economics Bibliographer and Head of Reference prior to continuing his career at McGill University.

In his former position, he was in charge of the main library along with seven other branch libraries. Archer has been the associate dean of user services for the last three years. He feels that his new position at Baylor will entail a much broader focus on the library system as he’ll be working with a much smaller staff than in previous years.

McGill University holds around 7.5 million items in its libraries, including printed books and e-books and the University of Chicago holds around 12.3 million titles, while also being the 9th largest academic library in North America.

As Archer brings this experience to Waco, many members of staff feel this will be an important step in strengthening Baylor’s prominence in data research and in the furthering of partnerships with other colleges.