Announcing Dr. Melissa Just as Dean of the USC Libraries

August 8, 2023

Dear USC Libraries Community,

On behalf of President Folt, I am pleased to announce that we will welcome Dr. Melissa Just as dean of the USC Libraries, effective November 27, 2023. Dr. Just will hold the Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair while she serves as the USC Libraries dean.

A fellow Trojan, Dr. Just will join us from the University of Saskatchewan, where she has served as dean of the University Library since 2017. During her time as dean, she also served as interim deputy provost and interim provost. Prior to her tenure at Saskatchewan, Dr. Just was assistant vice president, director, and librarian at a variety of libraries around the nation, including our very own Norris Medical Library at USC.

As dean of the University Library at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Just has been responsible for the strategic and operational success of the library as a vital academic and administrative unit, and for advancing the university’s ambitions through leadership on university-wide activities, including research data management strategy, collective bargaining, and administrative renewal. As a testament to her strong leadership, Dr. Just has also served in a wide array of roles within the library community in Canada, including the vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), and on the Board of Directors of both the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Digital Research Alliance. She currently chairs the Strengthening Capacity Committee of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), which fosters development of expertise and capacity for new and emerging library roles.

During her tenure, Dr. Just strengthened the library and its role on campus by building a cohesive, inclusive, respectful, and collaborative culture while ensuring that the team, services, and resources aligned with and advance the university’s goals. In this vein, she worked with her team to develop a strategic plan for the libraries, as well as developed a variety of programs that enhanced Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through the expansion of the university’s Indigenous Studies Portal, the development of an Indigenous Storyteller in Residence program, and more.

Prior to joining the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Just was the assistant vice president for information services and director of New Brunswick Libraries at Rutgers University, preceded by a variety of positions in biomedical libraries at UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, City of Hope National Cancer Center/Graduate School of Biological Sciences, and the University of Southern California. 

Before her arrival in November, Dr. Just will visit USC and looks forward to meeting with the USC Libraries community. My office will assist with the coordination of these meetings.

Marje Schuetze-Coburn will continue to serve as interim dean through the end of November 2023. I would like to express our deep gratitude to Marje for her dedication to the USC Libraries and her taking on the interim role to ensure the continued stability of the unit and successful support the Libraries provide to all of our faculty, students, and community. 

Thanks goes to the USC Libraries Search Committee, co-chaired by Ishwar Puri, senior vice president of research, and Amber Miller, dean of USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, both of whom provided thoughtful service through a lengthy process. Our search also benefitted from the input and participation of so many members of the USC Libraries community, including staff, faculty, and the USC Libraries Board of Councilors, whose feedback throughout the process has demonstrated their passion for their community and the service they provide to all of us at the university.

Please join President Folt and me as we welcome Melissa back to USC in this leadership role. We are excited for the experience and expertise she will be able to bring through her many years of service in libraries throughout the country and abroad. 


Andrew T. Guzman