Patricia Iannuzzi, dean of the University Libraries at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has announced that she will retire on Sept. 1, 2017. Iannuzzi has been the University Libraries dean at UNLV since 2005.
“During her 12 years in Las Vegas, Patty has built a library system that is central to student learning at UNLV,” said UNLV Executive Vice President and Provost Diane Chase. “Her leadership on campus has helped advance the university’s mission in all areas of research, teaching, and community engagement, and she leaves behind an enduring legacy for our students, faculty, and staff.”
Under Iannuzzi’s leadership, the UNLV University Libraries has advanced the university’s educational mission, implementing programs and continually assessing and improving resources and services to anticipate and best meet the needs of students and faculty. She has worked to embed librarians in the curriculum, facilitated library faculty partnerships with the colleges, bolstered support for faculty professional development, and expanded the University Libraries’ educational outreach mission at UNLV in in the Southern Nevada community.
“I could not be more proud or grateful to spend the last 12 years of my 37-year career at this wonderful university in this amazing city,” said Iannuzzi. “I came here with the intention of breaking the mold and creating a research library for the future. From the beginning, my mantra has been that we are placing the library at the center of student learning – that we make learning special. By staying true to this mantra, I believe we have been enormously successful and I look forward to seeing the bright future that is ahead for the University Libraries and UNLV.”
The University Libraries include the main facility, Lied Library, and four branch libraries: the Teacher Development and Resource Library, the Architecture Studies Library, Music Library, and the newly established Health Sciences Library which will open this summer.
As dean, she oversaw the transformation of physical spaces inside Lied Library to provide enhanced areas for research collaborations, social interactions, and learning. These enhancements have included the addition of a graduate student commons, research consultation rooms, library instruction rooms, tutoring spaces, leisure reading area, the Goldfield Room with the Shearing Exhibit Gallery, and group study and charging spaces.
She expanded Special Collections and Archives into a robust division, devoted to saving and documenting the region’s history. The division has launched a number of successful collecting initiatives, including Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project, and Building Las Vegas. She has also invested in the development of a digital collections department to make the region’s history and archives available online for researchers around the world, and developed a gallery space to showcase research from library curators using Special Collections materials.
Putting an emphasis on growing external funding, Iannuzzi recast fundraising priorities for the University Libraries to support education initiatives. The University Libraries established endowed programs such as Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Program and the Lance and Elena Calvert Undergraduate Research Awards. With the support of donors, she was also able to launch new programs, including the Graduate Student Information Literacy Fellowship, Graduate Fellowships in Special Collections, the Eadington Fellows for the UNLV University Libraries Center for Gaming Research, and support for the UNLV University Libraries Oral History Research Center.
She created capacity within the Libraries for external funding, with more than 25 successful external grants during her tenure and an expanded advisory board consisting of community leaders and UNLV alumni who have embraced the mission of the University Libraries, served as ambassadors in the community, and helped to raise millions of dollars for the libraries.
Soon after her arrival at UNLV, she secured the University Libraries membership in the Greater Western Library Alliance, a consortium of mostly R1 research libraries, and launched the group’s multi-institution initiative to assess the impact of libraries on student learning. Building on the Mellon-funded model she designed at UC Berkeley, she also launched a series of Faculty Institutes on course redesign. The popularity and success of the program at the university level led to the institutes being extended to K-12 teachers.
“None of this would have been possible without the wonderful staff of innovative and creative people in the libraries who like to experiment and try new techniques to enhance learning for our students,” said Iannuzzi. “It’s a testament to their hard work and commitment that our students have continually rated the University Libraries as the top pick for the area that enhanced their educational experience at UNLV.”
An international expert on information literacy, Iannuzzi chaired the task force that wrote the first Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Task Force that set Standards for Librarians in Higher Education. In 2013, Iannuzzi was honored as the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year by ACRL.
During her time at UNLV, Iannuzzi worked locally and on the national stage, advocating for undergraduate education reform. She focused specifically on helping colleges and universities articulate and embed learning outcomes of critical thinking, information literacy, and oral and written communication into curricula. She worked extensively with higher education and accreditation associations, including serving seven years on the faculty of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and several years with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
She has been a consultant for the Andrew Mellon Foundation, presented on 21st Century Literacy at the 2005 Nobel Prize Conference on education in Stockholm, Sweden, and has consulted and presented in the UK, Europe, Central America, Canada, and Australia.
Prior to coming to UNLV, she worked in libraries at the University of California, Berkeley; Florida International University; Tufts University; and Yale University. She has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in information science from Simmons College.
The university will form a search committee to begin the process of locating a new dean for the University Libraries.