Karen Williams Appointed as Vice President for Information Strategy and University Libraries

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Karen Williams Appointed as Vice President for Information Strategy and University Libraries

To: UA Campus


Andrew Comrie, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Subject: Karen Williams Appointed as Vice President for Information Strategy and University Libraries

Date: February 7, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Karen Williams as Vice President for Information Strategy & University Libraries. In this new role, Karen will serve as the joint organizational leader for University Information Technology Services (UITS) and the 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.

You are likely aware that during the last year, Karen served as interim Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer in addition to her role as Dean of University Libraries. I was impressed by her success in solving challenging technical, organizational and fiscal issues, while attending to local institutional culture and stakeholder input. As we carried out a search for a new CIO last year and engaged with several well-qualified candidates, it became clear to me and to a range of people with whom I consulted that Karen had the approach and relationships necessary to thrive in this role. Her leadership qualities, insight, and the trust and respect she has earned with colleagues of all ranks at the UA and across the nation make her an outstanding choice.

Under this new leadership role, UITS and the Libraries 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. 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. As a practical matter, the new position will include responsibility for all the activities and organizational functions of the Libraries as well as those under the previous position of Chief Information Officer (i.e., the Chief Technology Officer, the Chief Information Security Officer, and the Executive Director for Campus IT Operations) within a single portfolio. The goal is to create a highly intentional complement of services and strategies for the secure creation, transmission, curation, and presentation of information. This includes developing and managing the campus network and collaboration infrastructure, IT security, high-performance research computing environments, enterprise applications, the distributed IT work force, analytics and reporting needs, a suite of library research services, stewardship of the scholarly record, active management of content and collections, and creation of services and spaces that support student achievement.

I am confident that Karen and her team will position the UA as an innovative leader in information strategy. Please join me in congratulating Karen in her new position as Vice President for Information Strategy & University Libraries!

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