Paul Bracke has been selected to serve as the next dean of the Wayne State University School of Information Sciences (SIS) and University Libraries. The appointment, which was recently approved by the Board of Governors, concludes a national search to replace Tom Walker, who has served as interim dean since August 2022. Bracke will join Wayne State on Oct. 16, 2023.
Bracke is currently dean of the Foley Center Library, the primary library for Gonzaga University’s Spokane, Washington, campus, a position he has held since 2016. For the last two years, he has also served as associate provost for the Institute for Research and Interdisciplinary Initiatives.
“While at Gonzaga, Dr. Bracke has worked to align services, collections and spaces with the teaching and research needs of the university,” said Wayne State Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Kornbluh. “Significant initiatives under his leadership included the dramatic expansion of access to collections through joining the Orbis-Cascade Alliance and the development of open publishing services to amplify the research being done at Gonzaga.”
Bracke was chosen following a highly competitive and deeply consultative search process.
“I would like to thank everyone who participated in this successful search, including the members of the search committee, who devoted much time and effort to identifying the best person for this role, and Irvin D. Reid Honors College Dean John Corvino, who chaired the committee,” said Kornbluh.
Bracke was previously an associate dean at the Purdue University Libraries. At Purdue, he provided leadership in technology, digitization, research services and assessment and developed internationally recognized research support services, including data management services and institutional and data repositories. He also directed projects that explored the intersections of digitization and open access publishing and of digitization and scholarly workflows in the social sciences.
He previously held positions at the University of Arizona, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“I am excited to join Wayne State,” said Bracke. “The opportunity to be part of an excellent university that is deeply engaged with Detroit was attractive to me, as was the unique combination of major research library and School of Information Sciences. I was impressed by the strength of the faculty and staff of the University Libraries and SIS, and look forward to working with them in both developing the cutting-edge library services that are so important to research universities as well as educating the next generation of information professionals.”
Bracke’s research interests include social and relational capital in academic libraries, research services, digital libraries, and library automation. He has held leadership positions in the Library Information Technology Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, DataCite, and the Catholic Research Resources Alliance.
Bracke holds bachelor’s degrees in history and journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a master’s in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arizona. He was a member of the Association of Research Libraries’ Leadership Fellows’ 2013-15 cohort.