Karen Williams Appointed VP for Information Strategy and University Libraries
Karen Williams, who has been serving as the interim leader for University Information Technology Services in addition to her duties as dean of University Libraries, has been appointed to a new position that gives her oversight over both areas.
Her new title, effective immediately, is vice president for information strategy and university libraries.
"The combined role simultaneously recognizes the increasing complementarity of the IT and library spheres and provides an opportunity for the UA to develop an innovative new national model for an integrated institutional information strategy to support student success, scholarship, and research," Provost Andrew Comrie wrote in a memo sent to UA leadership on Monday.
It is the first position of its kind at a Research I university in the United States, Comrie said.
"I'm very excited about this new position," Williams said. "UITS and University Libraries share many of the same goals with respect to supporting faculty scholarship and student success, and we bring to the table complementary knowledge and skills for an increasing number of campus partnerships and innovative initiatives. Having the chance to advance a model for an integrated institutional information strategy is a terrific opportunity and I'm honored to lead this effort."
Williams, who has been dean of University Libraries for three years, has served as the interim vice president for information technology and chief information officer for the last year.
Although Williams will oversee the two areas, UITS and University Libraries will not be merged into one unit. They "will maintain their distinct missions while they work across campus in increasingly overlapping ways as platforms for transformation and innovation regarding information across research, teaching, learning and outreach," Comrie said. "These units already work together closely on many initiatives and with Karen’s oversight they will develop even tighter linkages together and with others across campus and beyond."
Comrie said he and others around the University realized during last year's search for a new CIO that Williams "had the approach and relationships necessary to thrive in this role."
Learn more about Williams in this Lo Que Pasa Q&A.