Job: Dean of Libraries

1/11/16 – Dean of Libraries
United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE

Sarah P’s comments:  This is listed as a ‘priority’ position.  The UAE has traditional been a progressive, safe country however falling oil prices are bound to have an effect on budgets.  This could be an opportunity for you to gain experience as a Library Director but read the reviews carefully.  I worked in the UAE and have friends who still live there.  It can be a positive experience but only if you go ‘with eyes open’ and understand what you are signing on for.

FYI: I personally like Al-Ain better than Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the other two major cities.  Al-Ain is south in the desert and near the Oman border.  It is far more laid-back and representative of how things used to be in the region.  If you like camping or hiking this could be a good fit.  If you are a city person then maybe not although the other cities are only 1 1/2 hours away by good roads.

Glassdoor reviews

Working at Persian Gulf Universities Can Be a Challenge for Western Academics (2014 article)

Money Proves Elusive and Progress Difficult at United Arab Emirates U. (2010 article but it’s a good overview of how things work there)

The University

The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), the nation’s first university, was established as a government-sponsored, federal institution with a focus on culture and science. Its campus is located in Al-Ain city. The University’s vision is to become an internationally distinguished comprehensive research university. Over the 39 years since its inception, UAEU has evolved from an undergraduate teaching institution to a comprehensive university with much greater emphasis on research excellence. This has led to several important initiatives, including planned growth in graduate programs and establishment of research centers in areas of national importance, such as water, health, public policy, and energy. Its teaching and research activities are accomplished through nine degree-granting colleges, supported by the University College, the College of Graduate Studies, and a preparatory foundations program.

The University has over 3,300 faculty and staff serving about 13,000 students in Colleges of: Business and Economics (accredited by AACSB), Engineering (all undergraduate engineering programs accredited by the EAC of ABET), Information Technology (Software Engineering Program accredited by the EAC of ABET), Education (recognized by CQAIE), Sciences (accredited by CCS for Chemistry Dept), Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Food and Agriculture, and Law. Together, these colleges offer a total of 100 degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels on the main campus.

The United Arab Emirates is known for its rapid social and economic growth and for the open and tolerant society which has resulted from that growth. Al-Ain city is an oasis of natural landscapes, with more than 70 beautiful parks and numerous date palm farms. The city is about an hour and a half drive from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The Opportunity

The Dean of UAEU Libraries provides administrative leadership and has responsibility for UAEU library operations, and serves as the intellectual leader and advocate for all University libraries. The Libraries Deanship is committed to developing comprehensive collections, delivering outstanding service to users in both education and research, capitalizing on new information technologies, and supporting community engagement activities.

The Dean provides strategic planning and policy direction in the areas of collections, public and technical services, facilities planning and personnel policies and works collaboratively with the Deans of all Colleges and administrative units to ensure the provision of both traditional and innovative library resources and services to the university and the community.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Lead the strategic planning process for the UAEU libraries, including the National Medical Library and other specialized collections;
  2. Oversee the development and management of the print and electronic collections and subscriptions to databases;
  3. Oversee the effective application of emerging information technologies to library services;
  4. Ensure that the libraries provide a comprehensive and high quality service to all users;
  5. Ensure that funding and other resources are effectively used;
  6. Seek external funding for strategic developments, as appropriate, to supplement the core budget allocation;
  7. Develop external partnerships to enhance the services offered by UAEU libraries for faculty, staff, students and the wider community;
  8. Represent the UAEU Libraries within the university and at national, regional and international levels and lead national and international cooperative activities;
  9. Ensure that library staff are appropriately qualified and have access to professional training;
  10. Undertake other duties that may be assigned by the University administration.

The candidate must have

  • At least a master’s degree in Library or Information Science from an ALA-accredited program.
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible leadership and supervision in an academic library environment.
  • Awareness of current trends in library science, and library management in a complex academic and/or research environment(s).
  • Administrative, budgetary, fund-raising, and collaborative leadership skills.
  • Skills in teamwork, collaboration, relationship-building, and mentoring.
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service.
  • Skill in advancing digital initiatives and coordinating with information technology units.
  • Ability to anticipate and adapt to priorities and changing needs.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.


Significant experience in an academic or research library, in any of the following areas: metadata services, collections, acquisitions, archives, special collections, or access services.

Salaries and Benefits

  • Tax-exempt compensation package
  • Housing provided
  • Furniture allowance
  • Employer-paid comprehensive health insurance
  • Educational allowance for children
  • Annual airline tickets for employee and family members
  • End of service gratuity
  • Annual vacation based on University Policy.

Qualified applicants are requested to send a cover letter, current CV, supporting documents, and the names of three references with full contact information (References will not be contacted without consent from applicants), to:
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. For best consideration, please submit application materials as early as possible and before the end February, 2016.

Application Information

Prof. Essam Abdel Hafiz
VC Office
UAE University



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