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Kevin Garewal named dean of University of Rochester Libraries

November 18, 2021
interior photo of libraryLooking into Lam Square in Rush Rhees Library. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Garewal is a noted collaborative leader with extensive collection development experience in university, public, and special libraries.

Kevin Garewal, associate director of collections at Harvard Law School Library, has been named vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries. He will begin in this role in February 2022.

Interim Provost Sarah Peyre announced Garewal’s appointment, which follows a four-month national search chaired by Joan Saab, vice provost of academic affairs and professor of art history. Garewal succeeds Mary Ann Mavrinac, who has served in this leadership role since 2012. Mavrinac is retiring and will officially step down in January.

“I am so pleased that Kevin will be joining the University of Rochester team,” says Peyre. “Our libraries are the heart of academic mission, and I know that he will continue to breathe excitement and engagement into this central part of our institution. My sincere thanks go to Vice Provost Saab and the search committee for all their hard work, and for identifying such a high-caliber individual to move into this role.”

“I know I speak for the entire search team when I say how happy we are to welcome Kevin to the University of Rochester community,” says Saab. “As a candidate, he stood out for his vision and his insight—two qualities that I know will serve him and the institution well. I look forward to working with Kevin, and I am eager to see the next chapter of our University of Rochester Libraries.”

Kevin Garewal has been appointed vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries (photo provided)

At the Harvard Law School Library, Garewal has been heavily involved in diversifying the collection and in leading a Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging and Anti-Racism plan to assess, diversify, and collect material and increase traditional digital access to these items. As part of this work, he has played a key role in garnering donor support to digitize content from under-represented communities. He is a noted collaborative leader who works to improve processes and workflows. Most recently, he had direct administrative responsibility for four areas in the Harvard Law Library: Collection Development, Historic & Special Collections, Digital Lab, and Service Design and Assessment.

Garewal has extensive collection development experience in university, public, and special libraries, and he often delivers presentations on collection development, monograph acquisition, and researchers’ needs. He holds a master’s degree in library and information science from Kent State University, and a JD and master’s degree in accounting from Cleveland State University.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the University of Rochester as vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean,” says Garewal. “This position has been on my radar as a destination job for a long time. The libraries have positioned themselves at the forefront of innovation and campus engagement, and central to all of this amazing success is the staff and leadership of Mary Ann Mavrinac. I am very excited about the opportunities to continue to innovate and engage the University community and represent the Libraries at a regional and national level.”

In addition to specific responsibilities for the River Campus Libraries, this position provides leadership for University-wide library issues and enterprise systems, facilitates training and learning opportunities for all University library staff members, and coordinates efforts with respective deans and advancement units to enhance the University libraries and oversee the University Libraries National Council.

In February, Garewal will assume leadership of a River Campus Libraries system that has been physically and digitally transformed in recent years to provide students, researchers, and visitors with the latest tools and spaces that promote accessibility, collaboration, and idea generation. River Campus Libraries is at the midway point of a strategic plan focused on further extending access to collections, enabling spaces, enriching education, enhancing research, and engaging community.

The search committee led by Saab included faculty representatives from five schools, and staff representation from University of Rochester Libraries, including Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School and Miner Libraries at the Medical Center. It was led by Jack Farrell & Associates Executive Search. Representation from the University Board of Trustees and the University of Rochester Libraries National Council also participated in interviews with each of the finalists, as did student representatives, deans and other University leaders, and libraries staff.

Garewal will be the fourth recipient of the Neilly deanship. The position, which helps the University attract outstanding talent, was established in 2000 through a gift from University Life Trustee Andrew H. Neilly ’47 and his wife, Janet Dayton Neilly.

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