Leadership Philosophy

Leadership Philosophy

Mark I. Greenberg
Dean of Libraries

Leadership Philosophy

My Leadership Role:

I am proud to serve as Dean of Libraries at Western Washington University.  In this role, I am a leader, planner, fundraiser, and spokesperson for the Libraries. I am responsible for providing academic leadership and administrative management for all of the Libraries’ programs and outreach efforts.  I am an active and visible leader both within the university and greater community. I work in collaboration with the university’s other executive officers to implement the university’s mission.  I recognize national trends in libraries and university administration practices and am involved in advancing the library profession.

My Leadership Philosophy

I have a responsibility to model the behaviors, attitudes, and values that I hope to inspire in others.  I subscribe to a leadership philosophy that provides the basis for my ongoing self-reflection and professional growth and serves as a foundation for nurturing a proud sense of community and a positive university climate. To achieve these goals, I strive to:

●     Treat everyone with respect, openness, empathy, understanding, and forgiveness;

●     Recognize the value and significance of differing identities;

●     Practice humility and good humor;

●     Use my recognition of power and privilege to actively advance equity, justice, and inclusion;

●     Be transparent, truthful, and authentic in my relationships, practices, and communications;

●     Lead and manage with cultural awareness and intelligence to minimize the effects of socialized bias;  

●     Continuously improve my knowledge, skills, and self-awareness;

●     Be creative and open to new ideas;

●     Listen intentionally and seek a deep understanding of others’ perspectives;

●     Encourage risk-taking and innovation;

●     Be on time, productive, accountable, and add value;

●     Responsibly steward Western’s human, natural, built, and financial resources.

I am dedicated to these principles and to Western’s student-centered mission, and I work to create a positive community for everyone.

My Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Western Libraries proudly serves as an intellectual crossroads for the university community and as an innovative partner in Western’s teaching and research mission.  In this important leadership role, I have joined Western librarians, staff, and student employees along with library colleagues nationwide to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion and vigorously oppose racism, prejudice, and discrimination. I seek to advance knowledge, self-awareness, and understanding.  I strive to end ignorance, intolerance, and incivility.  I welcome and value people of all backgrounds and identities regardless of age, (dis)ability, ethnicity, gender, legal status, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation.  Western Libraries is a place of inquiry and learning where intellectual freedom, privacy, and confidentiality are respected and protected.  I want to help people engage thoughtfully with America’s complex history, find solutions to difficult societal problems, and advance pluralism and democracy.

My Approach to Decision Making

As Dean of Libraries, I am responsible for leading the organization through positive transformation, but I also realize the limits of my office.  I understand that my approach to the decision-making process plays an important role in my effectiveness as a leader and in the Libraries’ overall success. I am committed to articulating the decision-making strategies I believe most appropriate in each situation before discussions begin.

I embrace consultative decision making.  When used properly, this approach solicits and respects diverse opinions and approaches while still enabling me to make a final decision that leads the Libraries forward.  When employing consultative decision making, I strive to follow my leadership philosophy.  Specifically, I pledge to listen intentionally and to seek a deep understanding of others’ perspectives regardless of whether the feedback is shared publicly or privately, openly or anonymously.  Following a defined period of consultation, I promise to offer a detailed explanation of how the feedback I received influenced my final decision.

I respect shared governance and the decision-making authority of others.  I understand that some decisions fall outside the scope of my role as dean.  For decisions that reasonably fall to others in the Libraries or university, I encourage them to consider the strategies outlined in this document.

Where to Find Me

As Dean, it is important that I am accessible and available to Libraries personnel and to the university and local communities.  To that end, I welcome face-to-face meetings, emails, and phone calls.  Don’t hesitate to call (360) 650-3051 to speak with me or schedule a personal appointment.  I check email regularly and will respond quickly.