WCU names first dean of library services

Dana M. Sally, who had served as dean of university libraries at the University of West Florida in Pensacola since 2005, joined Western Carolina University on Feb. 11 as the university’s first dean of library services.

Dana Sally

Dana Sally

Sally (pictured) comes to Cullowhee with more than 30 years of experience in managing and leading academic libraries, including 10 years as associate director of the library at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Sally is filling a position previously held by Bil Stahl, who had been serving as Western’s head librarian and chief information officer since March 2005. Through a reorganization announced by Provost Kyle Carter, Stahl is now the university’s full-time CIO, and the head librarian position has been elevated to dean status.

“Dr. Sally brings tremendous knowledge and experience to the position,” Carter said in announcing the appointment. “He will be a great asset to the university as it redesigns its curriculum to implement engaged learning because he understands the central role of the library in supporting faculty as they focus on student learning outcomes. Last, but not least, he possesses a personal style that all will enjoy.”

The appointment will go to the WCU board of trustees for formal approval at its March meeting.

During his career, Sally has served as co-head of the public services division of the Virginia Tech libraries, head of the Evansdale Library at West Virginia University and librarian for a facility serving five academic departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has worked in libraries at California University of Pennsylvania, and Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.; taught philosophy classes at N.C. State University; served as a Russian translator for the U.S. Army Security Agency; and taught high school science in Pennsylvania.

Sally holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from California University of Pennsylvania; master’s degree in library sciences from the University of Pittsburgh; and master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from UNC-Chapel Hill.

In his new role at Western, he will serve as chief administrative and academic officer supervising 19 tenure-track faculty members and 30 staff members at the university’s Hunter Library, which has an annual budget of $4 million and a collection of approximately 750,000 print and electronic volumes.

“I am very excited about joining the academic leadership team at Western Carolina and coming to Cullowhee,” Sally said. “I am looking forward to working with the provost, the other deans, and the WCU faculty and staff in continuing to build a strong and vibrant library presence. I appreciate the university’s confidence in my abilities to serve WCU and the Western North Carolina region.”