Robert McDonald
Professor • Dean of the University Libraries • Senior Vice Provost of Online Education • Lead, Administration Chapter

If you'd like to meet with Dean McDonald, call Jennifer Cole at (303) 408-2573 to schedule an appointment.

Robert H. McDonald is Dean of University Libraries, Senior Vice Provost of Online Education, and Professor of Library Administration. He is responsible for leading the Boulder campus library system in fulfilling their mission to inspire learning, research and discovery by connecting knowledge, information and people. In his role as Senior Vice Provost of Online and Extended Education, Robert provides leadership and strategy for online education for the Boulder campus, working with all colleges and schools, and for CU System initiatives in this area. 

His expertise and interests include teaching and learning technologies that enable libraries to better support researchers at all levels, open source software development, scholarly communications and new model publishing. Throughout his career, Robert has also been an active proponent of diversity initiatives in libraries and is committed to creating library spaces that are welcoming, diverse and inclusive for all of our Library users.

He frequently presents and writes on a variety of topics, and was editor of the E-Content column for EDUCAUSE Review in 2016 – 2017. In recent years, his research has been centered on digital libraries and large-scale humanities cyberinfrastructure, encompassing large data analysis, storage, and preservation through grant-funded and collaborative projects such as the HathiTrust Research Center. Additional research interests include integration of learning eco-systems, lean and agile frameworks in technology management, data preservation, data cyberinfrastructure, and big data analytics.

He is active professionally with a number of national and international organizations and conferences, serving on the Association of Research Libraries Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, the HathiTrust Board of Governors and as general co-chair for the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 2013 and 2017. 

Prior to joining the CU Boulder Libraries in 2018, Robert held positions at Indiana University Bloomington, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Florida State University, and Auburn University. He earned his Master of Library & Information Science degree at the University of South Carolina, and holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Georgia.