This first month as the Dean of Libraries at UH has been a month filled with many new experiences. My welcome breakfast was terrific and the excitement carried through for the entire month. My first goals are to meet my new colleagues and to start building foundations for new relationships. Toward that end, I have met with Provost Short, many of the deans across the colleges, our award winning Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Richard Walker and Associate Vice President Dan Maxwell, as well as several members of the staff of University Advancement. All value the partnership of the University Libraries as we build on the success of the past in order to forge a bright future.
My second week here, I co-hosted a thank you reception with Dean of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture Patricia Oliver for Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl, who donated a large gift of art and architecture books, and surprised me at the reception with a promise of more. Director of Advancement Todd Marrs and I will be working very hard in the next several weeks and months to call on current and future supporters whose passion for our Libraries is only surpassed by our own.
Inside the Libraries, I have been working very closely with the associate deans to learn about the budget and the services we offer. I have met with almost all of the department heads and will continue meeting with more people and with departments. Already, I was fortunate enough to meet with Liaison Services during their retreat and more departmental meetings will follow. I’ve received several reports from task forces who have been working hard on reports on a wide variety of topics, such as digital asset management, digital preservation, digital initiatives policies and guidelines, and digital scholarship services. The directions that many of our colleagues are suggesting are exactly where a university library of our caliber should be heading. In the next week or so, the Provost will be sending out guidelines for a strategic planning process that will commence this fall and conclude next spring. We will create a strategic plan together that will carry us to 2020. What a terrific time to be joining the Libraries!
Thank you so much for this hearty Texas welcome and I look forward to the months and years ahead with you.