Joe Mocnik named new dean of K-State Libraries
MANHATTAN — Joe Mocnik, an experienced university librarian and administrator, has been named the new dean of K-State Libraries at Kansas State University. Mocnik's appointment, which begins July 25, was made by K-State Provost and Executive Vice President Charles Taber following a national search.
"We welcome Dr. Mocnik to Kansas State University and will rely on his expertise, leadership and strategic vision to ensure that the K-State library system is always ready to meet the ever-evolving needs of our public research university," Taber said. "Student learning and success will be at the forefront of Dr. Mocnik's priorities, as well as promoting and supporting increased research and scholarship across the university in support of K-State's goal to become a Top 50 public research university."
As dean of K-State Libraries, Mocnik, who currently serves as dean of libraries at North Dakota State University, will oversee a research library system with a total budget of $13.5 million and a collection of 3.6 million titles. He will work collaboratively with partners across the four K-State campuses and in its nine colleges to develop a broad and synergistic alignment of library services supporting the continuing transformation of K-State Libraries as a center encouraging student research, academic excellence and collaboration in a technologically rich environment.
Mocnik, who will report to Taber and serve on the Council of Deans, will be responsible for the administration, coordination and oversight of all activities related to strategic planning; assessment; policy development; library, archives, and records management services and programs; physical space; collections development and preservation; budget planning and fiscal stewardship; staffing; fundraising; and technology adoption.
"I am truly honored by the appointment and excited about joining the talented team of faculty and staff at K-State Libraries to further the mission of the nation's first operational land-grant university. My desire is to ensure that the Libraries serve as a catalyst for student success, research and discovery for all, including K-State Research and Extension. By enhancing innovation, accelerating systemic change toward justice and equity, and harnessing the creative energy of the local and regional community, my desire is to foster a culture of excellence that generates widely recognized interdisciplinary research and scholarly and creative activities in a variety of disciplines and that benefits society as a whole."
Appointed dean of libraries at North Dakota State in 2017, Mocnik is responsible for all university library services and resources. As dean, Mocnik has developed a comprehensive strategic plan with an equity, diversity and inclusion emphasis, and refocused its mission, vision and values statement. He established a digital scholarship advisory board to provide the framework for implementing efficient digital practices for all data assets; rebranded 3D printing into a digital fabrication lab to better serve students; and developed innovative outreach efforts and helped with fundraising and increasing donors.
Before joining North Dakota State, Mocnik was director of the university library and professor at Georgia College & State University from 2012-2017; director of libraries and professor at Southern Adventist University from 2008-2012; and director of library services and associate professor at Mount Aloysius College from 2004-2008. He served as a doctoral fellow at Bowling Green State University from 2001-2004 and was director of the multimedia center and bibliography services librarian at Andrews University from 1999-2001.
Mocnik has been an invited speaker nationally and internationally. He is regularly serving for various accreditation organizations such as the Higher Learning Commission and the American Library Association. He has been published in several journals and contributed several chapters to books on the Cold War, particularly related to Yugoslavia, as well as U.S. history and politics. He is an active member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, CORE and other professional organizations.
A Fulbright scholar in Croatia, Mocnik was awarded a Distinguished Dissertation Award. He earned his bachelor's degree in humanities from Newbold College, master's degree in library science from University College London, and doctoral degree in history at Bowling Green State University.
Both Mocnik and his wife, Mirta, are from Croatia. They have two sons, Noel, a member of the Air National Guard who is studying cybersecurity, and Ben, a landscape architecture student. In his free time, Mocnik likes to travel, learn languages, and enjoys long walks with the couple's Newfoundland mix, Snowball.