January 2016

Thank You All for an Outstanding Year
This has been an extraordinary year for the Library. I’m deeply grateful for all you’ve accomplished and for all that you make possible through your work. Notable achievements include the grants we’ve secured, the honors individuals have garnered, the difference we make on campus, and our thoughtful planning for the future. In singling out individuals for special mention, I also want to acknowledge that so many of you have accomplished so much. I do want to take this opportunity once again to acknowledge Jennifer Teper for being one of two individuals on campus to receive the 2015 Campus Distinguished Promotion Award, and Bill Mischo for being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year, we led or were a significant partner in four major grants totaling $2m. The Research Data Service has been several years in the making, and this year the staffing and services were launched in earnest and have been welcomed by the campus. I’m pleased that the Faculty Senate overwhelmingly passed the Open Access policy. Our mission of supporting the creation and dissemination of scholarship was abundantly clear in this year’s accomplishments.

I want to make special note of the outstanding collective work done on strategic planning, as well as the associated work on planning for and absorbing budget reductions. In the face of remarkable state budgetary challenges, we worked together to implement reductions for FY16. And while much of the campus continues to struggle with the most recent round of cuts, our preliminary work for FY17 is done. These budgetary pressures are always difficult: their affect on morale is palpable, and they challenge us to keep our focus on the future and the great work we do. It speaks to the vision and commitment of all of you that we did just that, absorbing these cuts while crafting a visionary Strategic Planning Framework that will guide us in the years to come. We kept our focus on the future. I am especially grateful for your commitment and collaboration in these endeavors.

I’d like to close this note with a reminder of the importance of attention to organizational culture. The year’s events are an important reminder of the challenges our society and institutions face with regard to diversity and especially race. The budget pressures make organizational tensions felt. As budgets are under threat, it’s natural for these tensions to increase, for each of us to question the value of work in other parts of the organization, to see the diminishing pie threatening what each of us cares about most. Of course we should always scrutinize the work we do and the investments we make, but we should do that in a spirit of collaborative inquiry. Our work and the way that we accomplish it is a collective responsibility, a rich amalgam of complementary parts adding up to a remarkable whole. We are, as we say, all in this together.

Again, I want to thank you all for all you’ve done to make this year and our Library exceptional. The excellence of your work continues to distinguish this Library and make it one of the most important parts of the campus. I hope you have a very special break and enjoy the holidays.

John Wilkin
The Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian