David Borycz reflects on his first year as Assistant Dean

David Borycz reflects on his first year as Assistant Dean

Sept. 8, 2023
David Borycz headshot

In August, University Libraries welcomed Harriett Green as Vice Dean, and Tara Radniecki as Associate Dean, both in Administration. And almost a year ago in October 2022, David Borycz joined as Assistant Dean in Finance and Administration.

Background & experience

"I started working in libraries as a book shelver while an undergrad at the University of Chicago (U of C)," Borycz said. "I stayed on as a clerical employee in the bookstacks department after graduation, and oversaw the shifting of the 3.5 million volume general stacks collection. That led to a role as the project manager for the design and construction of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, and then as Special Projects Librarian overseeing another shift of over 5 million volumes in the collections and U of C's part in the Google books digitization project."

Borycz was then promoted to Director of Budget and Facilities at U of C and managed the operating budgets and all physical libraries. "In 2017, human resources was added to my direct reports, and I became Assistant University Librarian for Administrative Services," he said. "I held that role until I came to the University of Arizona."

While living in Illinois, Borycz earned a BS in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Chicago, an MS in Library Information Science (MSLIS) from the University of Illinois, and an MA in theological studies from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

In addition to his education and work experience, Borycz obtained certifications in Project Management, and Process Mapping and Design; and he championed inclusion as a representative for the Big Ten Academic Alliance. He is the ex-officio representative from the Dean's working group for the University Libraries Diversity, Social Justice, and Equity Council.

Current role

Nearing his one-year University Libraries anniversary, Borycz shared how he's adjusted to a new city and new job. 

Q: Has anything surprised you about your job/role?

Coming in last October with the campus focus on security, I was surprised at how much farther along the Libraries here were already compared to other units in documentation and planning for emergencies. It speaks very well to our Libraries how much of the work being done broadly now we had already prepared for.

Q: Most rewarding part of your job?

It is wonderful getting to work with units all across the Libraries. That is something that has always drawn me to administration, I get to work with everyone and learn about all the cool work that is happening all over.

Q: Most challenging part of your job?

I think coming into a new organization when we're all still adjusting to a post shut-down, hybrid work world is still very challenging. We're all still trying to figure out how to get new staff connected and have chances to socialize and meet people, not all of whom are even physically here. That will be something we continue to work on and improve in the future, but it does make those adjustments harder.

Q: Both deans Harriett and Tara are new to Tucson, and to the University of Arizona as you once were. Do you have any tips on how to navigate those major changes?

For learning about campus and about Tucson both, I have had the best luck just going out and doing things. Go to campus events that different departments put on. And go out and find the art fairs, and farmers markets, and other happenings around Tucson. There are lots of things to do all year 'round, it's great!

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