Following a national search, New Mexico State University has selected Kevin James Comerford as the next dean of the NMSU Library.
Renay Scott, NMSU’s vice president for student success and acting provost, announced Comerford’s appointment to the campus on Jan. 14. He will begin his new role on March 15.
“NMSU has a dedicated team of library employees, and I’m honored to join them as the new dean of the library,” said Comerford. “I’m also very excited to be coming to NMSU right now, when the university is working toward new goals and an expanded role in New Mexico higher education.”
“Kevin Comerford is a wonderful addition to NMSU.” Scott said. “He brings knowledge and experience with information, museums and libraries that are invaluable. He previously lived and worked in New Mexico and his familiarity with our state and its processes will be an asset as he leads NMSU’s libraries in the future.”
Phame Camarena, dean of the Honors College, chaired the search advisory committee.
“The NMSU Library search advisory committee did an exceptional job of reviewing numerous qualified applicants and helping to host our top candidates,” Camarena said.
Comerford holds a Master of Information Science degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas Christian University. He also has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art from Texas A&M.
The new dean has a wide range of experience involving implementation of extensive resources and programs, projects, teaching, and publications.
“In addition to a strong library administrative resume, Kevin Comerford brings some unique digital expertise, industry work, and Southwestern library connections that make him an exceptional fit for the NMSU Library dean position,” said Camarena. “He has the background and support to hit the ground running when he begins this spring.”
Comerford comes to NMSU from the University of California, Riverside, where he served as associate university librarian for research, technology and the digital library. His division at the university library included the research services unit, Creat’R Lab maker space, library information technology, digitization solutions, digital initiatives, and library communications units.
Prior to that, Comerford served as the director of digital initiatives and scholarly communication at University of New Mexico Libraries. He also taught a graduate course in digital information management and was the founding chair of the library’s research data services program.
Early in his career, Comerford worked at the Dallas Musuem of Art as a visual resources librarian and museum IT manager, and then as group manager for media content management at Microsoft Corporation.
In his academic work, Comerford has placed a focus on developing library programs that give students access to new skills and emerging technologies.
“Academic libraries are well suited to providing innovative resources and services that reach across academic program boundaries and benefit all students at the university,” he said.
Comerford said over the next several years, the NMSU Library could significantly increase its role in supporting student success and faculty research.
“The library will accomplish this, in part, by developing strong partnerships and collaborative initiatives, both within the university as well as communities beyond,” he said.
An accomplished visual artist, Comerford has exhibited works throughout Texas and the Southwest. He is also an active member of the American Society for Information and Science Technology.