In the last three weeks the search process for the Dean of University Libraries has culminated in 3 campus visits. (One of these candidates withdrew from the search before the conclusion of the process.) I had the opportunity to meet with all of the candidates, have consulted with the search committee, heard from members of the Swem staff and other members of the campus community, read the Blackboard responses submitted on all of the candidates and discussed all of the above with the President. On balance, although the remaining two candidates each had many strengths and could contribute to the libraries' and College's mission, we did not believe that there was a good enough fit between their strengths and the needs of the libraries and the College. We have therefore decided not to make a permanent appointment of this position. While it is disappointing to not be able to make this appointment, it is much more important to get it right than to get it done. My thanks to all of you who contributed to this process, attending public forums and sessions with the candidates and submitting your thoughts on their candidacies.
I am very pleased, however, to announce that Bea Hardy has agreed to serve as Interim Dean of University Libraries for the next academic year, effective July 1, 2010. Dr. Hardy has been at W&M since 2006 and currently serves as the Marian and Alan McLeod Director of the Special Collections Research Center and the Acting Director of Research, Instruction, and Outreach Services. She brings to the job impressive experience and a strong commitment to excellence. I have asked Bea while serving as interim Dean to continue to move the libraries forward as an integral part of the College. Please join me in congratulating Bea on this interim appointment.
Very soon we will renew the search for the Dean of University Libraries with the expectation of identifying a new Dean well before the start of the following academic year, 2011-12. I will keep you posted on this process.
Finally, let me thank the search committee, chaired by Professor Ann Marie Stock, for their labors. They put in many hours of work and brought three strong candidates to campus. I am grateful for their service and their invaluable perspectives throughout this important process.