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Kathy Webb, dean of UD libraries

University Libraries Dean Kathy Webb to retire in December

University Libraries Dean Kathy Webb will retire at the end of December, concluding a distinguished 30-year career as an academic leader and faculty member at the University of Dayton.

Webb has served as dean since 2006, following an interim dean appointment in 2005. As dean, she led University Libraries during a period of tremendous national transformation in library services, systems and facilities, approaching those changes in innovative and highly collegial ways.

As the University’s longest-serving libraries dean and longest-serving active dean, Webb has been an influential senior leader across the campus. She led major renovations of Roesch Library, completed in 2019, which markedly expanded the ways in which students, faculty and staff use library space.

“Kathy has served with distinction as dean of University Libraries, bringing a spirit of innovation and collaboration to her work overseeing Roesch Library, Marian Library, University Archives, and Special Collections,” University of Dayton President Eric F. Spina said. “She has worked broadly across campus to connect academic units and staff areas with the vast resources offered by University Libraries, enhancing the learning experience for all. Her leadership in guiding Roesch Library through a major renovation helped transform a beloved gathering space on campus into an exemplar for digital and collaborative learning in higher education. Kathy’s impact at the University has been extraordinary, and she will be deeply missed.”

Webb also worked to elevate the quality and visibility of Roesch Library’s academic and artistic programming, establishing the Stuart and Mimi Rose Gallery in 2021 and leading the University’s acquisition of the papers of beloved syndicated columnist and UD alum Erma Bombeck, and nationally acclaimed artist and Dayton native Willis “Bing” Davis. Colleagues praised her thoughtful stewardship of the Marian Library, as she oversaw the library’s transition to lay leadership and collaborated with the provost’s office, the Office of Mission and Rector, and the College of Arts and Sciences on a strategic repositioning of the International Marian Research Institute under the college.

“Kathy has excelled in every dimension of her deanship,” said Paul Benson, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “She has developed an extraordinarily talented and creative faculty and staff, she has been a strategically focused dean during a period of deep change in academic libraries, and she has been a superb collaborator on academic initiatives throughout our campus and community. Kathy has had a particular impact on our mission-based work to become a more equitable and inclusive university.”

Webb approached her role as University Libraries dean as one of building bridges, connecting students, faculty and researchers on campus with the information and resources they needed to complete their work. She also recognized the importance of integrating library resources into the curriculum, enhancing faculty and staff scholarship.

“I am honored to have been a part of the Libraries team for the last 30 years,” Webb said. “This team of faculty and staff have expertly faced many challenges and opportunities, from the rapid growth of digital resources and new expectations for study space, to the changing needs of faculty and students. I can’t wait to see how this amazingly talented group of faculty and staff will continue to impact the University’s teaching and research mission.”

Webb joined the University faculty in 1993, and directed the Libraries’ client services division from 1998-2005 before her promotion to interim dean. She previously held positions at Sinclair Community College and Dayton Metro Library. She has served numerous influential roles in statewide and regional library, arts and community organizations, including OhioLINK and the Government Documents Roundtable of Ohio. She has written and presented on topics including web site development, library technologies, and the use of academic library spaces and its impact on learning.


News and Communications Staff