Rick Luce, a librarian upon whose expertise the National Science Foundation has drawn to serve on four Blue Ribbon panels, has been selected to serve as dean of the University of Oklahoma Libraries, pending approval by the OU Board of Regents at its May meeting. Luce currently is vice provost and director of libraries at Emory University and previously was director at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He will fill the position being vacated by longtime OU library dean Sul Lee, who last year announced his plans to retire, effective June 30, after serving as dean for more than 30 years.
In addition to serving as University Libraries dean, Luce will hold appointments as a professor, as the Peggy V. Helmerich Chair and as associate vice president for research, OU Norman campus.
“Rick Luce is widely recognized as one of the most outstanding leaders in the field of library administration in the entire nation,” said OU President David L. Boren. “We are excited that he is coming to OU in this critical position.”
Nancy Mergler, senior vice president and provost for OU’s Norman campus said, “It is an almost overwhelming responsibility to chair a search for a dean of the Libraries; the University Libraries supports learning for all the university’s students and supports research and scholarship for all the faculty,” said. “But we could not have found a more perfect candidate than Rick Luce; he understands the changing world of learning and research and has worked with top-tier faculty at two renowned institutions. He and his wife, Marta, will contribute much to our university, and we are all very excited about welcoming them into the OU family.”
“Rick Luce is one of the nation's foremost experts on libraries and the new era of institutional data repositories and advanced techniques for digital data acquisition, analysis, visualization and stewardship,” said Kelvin Droegemeier, vice president for Research, OU Norman campus. “We are extremely fortunate someone of his stature and capability has chosen to join the OU family at a time when libraries are re-defining themselves as major players in the data world. His efforts will have a very positive impact on every discipline, student and faculty member at OU."
At Emory, Luce also has responsibilities for executive and strategic leadership of the Robert W. Woodruff University Library, the Health Sciences and Business libraries, and university-wide library policy. Also at Emory, he has led efforts to develop world-class special collections and headed key initiatives to move the university forward in the areas of digital library innovations, strategic planning and fund raising.
At Los Alamos, Luce was recognized as an information technology pioneer and organizational innovator. In 2005, the laboratory’s Research Library was recognized as “the world’s best scientific digital library.” While at Los Alamos, he was awarded the Fellows’ Prize for Leadership; it was the first time ever that the prize was awarded to a nonscientist.
Luce holds numerous advisory and consultative positions supporting library information technologies and scholarly communications. He was a member of the National Academies Committee on Assuring the Integrity of Research Data in an Era of E-Science. He currently serves on the DataONE external advisory board, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition’s Steering Committee, and Stanford’s University Library and Academic Information Resources Advisory Council.
Luce was co-founder in 1999 of the Open Archives Initiative to develop interoperable standards for author self-archiving systems. In 2003, he co-organized the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, and in 2004, the Brazilian Declaration on Open Access.
From 2000 to 2006, Luce served as senior adviser to the Max Planck Society’s Center for Information Management. He also has served as an external reviewer for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia’s national science agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Digital Library for Earth Systems Education, Stanford University and the University of Kansas. He has consulted with more than 20 organizations, given over 150 invited talks and served on the executive board of numerous organizations, among them the Coalition for Networked Information, the Digital Library Federation and the National Information Standards Organization.
He also has held positions as the first executive director of the Southeast Florida Library Information Network, director of Colorado’s Irving Library Network and assistant director of the Boulder Public Library. He speaks and has published extensively in the areas of digital libraries and scientific communication, quality and change management, and strategic thinking. His publication, “A New Value Equation Challenge: The Emergence of eResearch and Roles for Research Libraries,” was part of the Council on Library and Information Resources Report, “No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century.”
Luce earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of San Diego, master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University and master’s degree in library and information science from the University of South Florida.