November 2018

New AUL Appointments

For those who may have missed my LIB-NEWS email on October 18, 2018, about the appointments of our new Associate University Librarians, I wanted to include that announcement below. Chris and Heidi officially begin their new roles today, November 1, 2018, and will be relocating to the suite of offices in 246 Main Library (Heidi will split her time between 246 and her office in 312 Main Library). Both will be offering office hours after they have settled into their new spaces.


First, I would like to thank you for your helpful and genuine engagement in the process we assembled for appointing our new AULs. There are a few things I’d like to share about the process, so please read past the next paragraph.

I am pleased to announce the appointments of Heidi Imker and Chris Prom. Heidi will serve as AUL for Research, and connect with other associate deans on campus with responsibility for research in their schools and colleges, as well as coordination of our grant-funded activities. Units in her portfolio will include the Research Data Service, the Scholarly Commons, Illinois Experts, and Scholarly Communication & Publishing. Chris will serve as AUL for Digital Strategies; Chris will also assist the Library in academic affairs, e.g., managing our sabbatical process and assisting our HR office with academic appointments and faculty issues. Units in Chris’s portfolio will include RBML, Library IT, UX, Discovery, and Preservation and Conservation (including our Digital Preservation/Digital Library activities). Both Chris and Heidi will begin their appointments on November 1, 2018. I am pleased by the experience and perspectives both Chris and Heidi bring to their roles.

Many of you will have heard me remark that this is a work-in-progress, a step along an evolutionary path. Your participation and feedback helped to improve the process. Over the next two years, I expect we will continue to see refinements to the new model and to the process, with much feedback from faculty and staff. As we evolve, we will continue to follow the annual review process for AULs as outlined in our two documents on AUL appointment and evaluation: and I heard your feedback about the broad job description, and will continue to work with the current (and future) AULs to shape areas of responsibility. Again, thank you all for your participation and help in shaping this effort.

We will also embark on a deliberate process for managing the terms of our AULs. First, we will strive to arrange future appointments so that they begin on August 16th, consistent with the University’s contract year. We will stagger the initial terms of our AULs in order to ensure continuity in the administrative team and, I hope, lighten the load in our search process. Cherie’ Weible has agreed to serve for roughly two more years, no longer as “interim,” until August 15, 2020; Heidi Imker’s term will end in August 2021; Chris Prom’s term will end in August 2022. And of course each of these terms may be renewed. Tom Teper, whose appointment predates this process, will continue to serve as AUL, and will continue to devote a significant part of his energy to the building project, as well as Collections and Technical Services.

I am excited by this next chapter in our administrative evolution. I believe it will benefit the Library on campus and will strengthen us as an organization. I hope all of you are similarly enthusiastic. Please join me in congratulating Heidi and Chris!


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