WCU names Razzaghi new dean of library services

Farzaneh Razzaghi, dean of library at the University of Texas-Pan American, will be joining Western Carolina University in the fall semester as its next dean of library services.

Farzaneh Razzaghi

Farzaneh Razzaghi

Razzaghi, library dean at the university in Edinburg, Texas, since July 2007, will be filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Dana M. Sally, WCU’s founding dean of library services, who retired Dec. 31.

“Dr. Razzaghi is a situational leader with extensive experience and a stellar background in higher academic administration,” WCU Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar said Friday, June 5, in announcing the appointment. “She has a demonstrated track record in leading a university’s library in providing innovative services, implementing new technologies, and collaborating with colleges and departments across the campus to better serve the needs of faculty and students, and to help students succeed and become lifelong learners.”

Prior to becoming dean of library at UTPA, Razzaghi served for a year as that institution’s interim library director, her second term in the interim leadership capacity. She first joined the school in March 1990 as a librarian for the nursing department, advancing through increasingly responsible positions in her nearly 25-year career at the library until being named its dean.

“I am so excited to start my work as the dean of Hunter Library,” Razzaghi said. “It is my pleasure to join the library team of experts to serve WCU’s students and faculty. Together, we will continue to create an environment not just for learning, but a place for creation of knowledge and discovery for our students and faculty. It will be an honor to work with the WCU administrators and the college deans to have one of the most engaging academic libraries within the University of North Carolina system.”

She earned her doctorate in library and information services and her master’s degree in library science, both from Texas Women’s University, after earning her bachelor’s degree in library science at Tabriz University in Iran.

The appointment of Razzaghi concludes a national search led by Brian Railsback, dean of the WCU Honors College, and a committee of faculty and staff from across campus.

Becky Kornegay, WCU professor emeritus of library services, has been serving as acting dean of library services since Sally’s retirement. Kornegay retired from WCU at the end of 2013 following 34 years of service to WCU, where she was head of the reference department between 2002 and 2010.

WCU’s Hunter Library contains more than 600,000 books, serial back files and other printed materials, more than 300,000 e-books, and about 1.5 million microforms, and subscribes to more than 40,000 journals.

As a selective federal depository, the library holds more than 180,000 government documents and adds items monthly. Hunter Library also is a depository for maps published by the United States Geological Survey, Defense Mapping Agency and other federal agencies. The Map Room collection contains more than 110,000 sheet maps, more than 500 atlases and a small reference collection.

The Special Collections unit of Hunter Library maintains manuscript collections, books, photographs and other resources documenting the history of Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia, the history of the Cherokee Indians, literary works and papers of authors residing in or native to WNC and the history of WCU.

For more information, visit the website library.wcu.edu.