Just, who begins a five-year term as dean effective Feb. 1, 2017, comes to the U of S with extensive experience in academic and research libraries at a variety of major American universities. She most recently served as associate vice-president for information services, and director of New Brunswick Libraries, at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. She will take over from Charlene Sorensen, who has been serving as interim dean since February 2016.
Just’s first priority will be to lead the University Library master planning project in order to continue enhancing the services available in the seven library branches at the U of S: Murray Library; Education and Music; Engineering; Leslie and Irene Dubé Health Sciences; Law; Science; and Veterinary Medicine.
“I am thrilled to take a leadership role at the University of Saskatchewan to continue the process of revitalizing, refurbishing and reimagining library spaces and services at one of Canada’s most prestigious research institutions,” said Just. “This is an exciting time for us as we re-envision the extensive information services that we offer to continue to meet the changing needs of our campus community and beyond.”
Prior to joining Rutgers University in 2012, Just served as director of the Biomedical Library at the University of California-San Diego from 2009 to 2012, as director of Lee Graff Medical and Scientific Library in Duarte, Calif., from 2006-2009, and filled a variety of library leadership roles at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles and the University of California-San Francisco, from 1995 to 2006. She also served as a library instruction adjunct faculty member at USC from 2007 to 2009.
Just earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in psychobiology at the University of California-Riverside in 1991, a Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas in 1994, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California in 2007.
“We conducted an extensive international search to find the right person for this leadership role and we are extremely pleased to welcome Melissa Just to our campus,” said Michael Atkinson, U of S provost and vice-president academic. “She has a proven track record of achievement in growing digital information resources. Under her leadership our libraries will continue to grow our capacity to support the work of our students and our faculty.”