University Library Dean Elizabeth Hammond Announces Retirement; Provost Appoints Search Committee

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MACON – Elizabeth Dankert Hammond, dean of the University Library at Mercer since 1999, has announced her retirement from the University, effective June 30, 2018, and Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis has appointed a committee to lead the search for her successor. The search committee will be led by Dr. Anita O. Gustafson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

“Beth Hammond has served the University with distinction for almost 40 years,” Dr. Davis said. “She has led the University Library through a period of dynamic growth and change, always seeking innovative ways to keep Mercer on the leading edge of the field. We are very grateful for her dedicated service.”

Prior to being appointed dean, Hammond served Mercer in various administrative and public services library positions since 1978, including two terms as interim library director. She received her B.A. in art history and her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As dean of the University Library, Hammond is responsible for operations of the Jack Tarver Library on the Macon campus, the Swilley Library on the Cecil B. Day campus in Atlanta, and libraries at the Regional Academic Centers. These libraries serve undergraduate and graduate programs in business and economics, education, engineering, liberal arts, music, nursing, pharmacy, health professions, theology and working adult programs. 

Hammond oversees a $4 million budget and a combined staff of 50 Mercer employees. Working closely with other deans, University administrators and department heads, the dean ensures that library services, technology, facilities, and collections provide top-quality, responsive support for the academic programs and the research agenda of the University. In 2016, she and the senior leadership team implemented a reorganization of the University Library into cross-campus teams that has led to innovative approaches for supporting Mercer's initiatives in service, research and scholarship.

She serves on a number of administrative bodies, including Provost's Council and Council of Deans. In 2007, she chaired the University Planning Council subcommittee that drafted a new vision statement for the University. 

Hammond recently served as chair of the Board of Trustees of LYRASIS, a national membership organization for libraries and information professionals. She is a manuscript reviewer for College and University Libraries and regularly serves on reaffirmation review committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as providing consulting work on library administration. In 2000, she was selected for the inaugural class of the Frye Leadership Institute, an intensive two-week experience for emerging leaders in library and information technology in higher education. Hammond is married to Dr. L. Kenneth Hammond, former dean pro tem and professor emeritus in the College of Liberal Arts.

Also serving on the search committee are Dr. Ashish Advani, clinical assistant professor and director of the Drug Information Center in the College of Pharmacy; Dr. Susan Codone, professor of technical communication in the School of Engineering and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning; Dr. Wallace Daniel, Distinguished University Professor of History and former provost; Dr. Susan Gunby, professor and former dean of the College of Nursing; Stephen Michaels, instructor and research services librarian, Swilley Library; and Theresa Rhodes, associate professor and assistant dean for collection services, Tarver Library. Amber Pritchett, employment specialist in the Office of Human Resources, is advising the committee.

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Kyle Sears