Nancy Allen to Retire as Dean of Libraries at the University of Denver

Nancy Allen to Retire as Dean of Libraries at the University of Denver

June 4, 2015

To: University of Denver Community

From: Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor
            Gregg Kvistad, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

We would like to take this opportunity to announce the retirement of Nancy Allen, long-serving dean and director of the University Libraries, effective Sept. 1. Dean Allen has served in this position since 1992, making her the longest serving dean of the libraries and the third-longest serving dean in the University’s history.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Denver, Nancy served in library positions at Colorado State University, Wayne State University and the University of Illinois, Urbana. At DU, she has had responsibility for all library collections and services for the main library and the music library, which contain 1.3 million volumes and over 3 million items.

Nancy’s academic and professional achievements have been extraordinary. She has remained active with her scholarship and in national professional associations throughout her 41-year career. Her many academic contributions feature work on library technology and digitization, library curricula, assessment, cultural heritage preservation, and, most recently, library design for the 21st century.

Nancy’s expertise in library design draws on her comprehensive leadership during the conceptualization and construction of the University’s Anderson Academic Commons, which opened in 2013. Nationally acclaimed as a library of the future, Nancy’s diligent work on this project actually began a full 10 years before the building opened. The AAC has proven to be one of the most successful buildings ever constructed at DU, drawing students, faculty and staff in unprecedented numbers to a building located in the geographic center of the campus that is also the intellectual and academic heart of the University.

Nancy’s legacy also includes an extraordinary service record at DU, perhaps most notably as chair of many dean search committees over the years. Her ability to lead, motivate, organize and enjoy her DU colleagues in these important activities is unique and will be deeply missed. Most recently, Nancy has devoted herself to the University’s future, serving as co-chair with Chancellor Chopp of the Student Experience Working Group in the Transformative Directions planning initiative.

With Nancy’s retirement, we have asked Michael Levine-Clark, currently associate dean for scholarly communication and collections services, to serve as interim dean of University Libraries beginning Sept. 1. Michael joined Penrose Library as a reference librarian in 1999, became an assistant professor and collections librarian in 2000, an associate professor in 2007 and a full professor in 2011. He has also held library positions at the University of Colorado, Boulder and at the University of Iowa. An internationally recognized scholar of collections development, Michael is very active in his professional field as well as at DU, where he has served on many Universitywide committees. He was Faculty Senate president from May 2008 until May 2010.

Please join me in thanking Dean Nancy Allen for her extraordinary contributions to the library profession, to the University of Denver Libraries, especially the Anderson Academic Commons, and to the University community in which she has played such a multifaceted and positive role.

We will begin a national search for a dean of the University of Denver Libraries later this summer.