UO appoints Alicia M. Salaz from CMU as new VP / University Librarian

Full mail announcement here:

Dear Colleagues,

I am excited to announce that Dr. Alicia M. Salaz will become the UO’s new Vice Provost and University Librarian, overseeing the five locations at our Eugene campus and the branches at UO Portland and the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. Currently, Alicia is the associate dean for Research and Academic Services and a senior librarian for Carnegie Mellon University Libraries. She will join our institution on June 21, 2021, taking over the leadership reins from Mark Watson, who has served in an interim leadership role since June 2019.

UO Libraries is a core strength of the university, serving as an essential partner in our educational, teaching, research, and public service mission. Alicia will bolster our already outstanding team at UO Libraries, who provide critical resources, programs, and other services to students, faculty, staff, and the community. She also plays key roles in her current job around the arena of data science, diversity and equity, and innovation, which all mesh quite well with the work we are already doing here at UO in those areas.

Alicia has been in her current role at Carnegie Mellon since 2018, leading the library’s research and academic services division, along with the access services division. As a member of the library’s leadership team, she oversees faculty mentoring, organizational development, and vision and strategy. She also leads the development of the institution’s service portfolio, along with handling professional and scholarly engagement.
Under her leadership, the CMU has experienced growth in the library’s research and academic services to campus, particularly in the development of partnerships with scholars and research centers across disciplines. With this strategic focus in mind, she invested in the acquisition and licensing of computational tools, digital infrastructure, expert consulting, and conducted the outreach necessary to accelerate the work of researchers, creators, and innovators across campus.

Alicia also guided the launch of a number of new academic services, including research metrics services and evidence synthesis services. She led the library’s subject specialist selectors through a full, data-driven collections review, and she collaborated with Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Technology Transfer and its entrepreneurship centers to connect campus entrepreneurs with consulting support. And she played a crucial role in developing library faculty and staff as full partners in the academic enterprise – up to and including teaching credit courses and serving as principal investigators.

… Thank you to all the UO Libraries faculty and staff, as well as numerous other members of the university community, who provided critical input on the search. I am eager for Alicia to join our team. I also want to thank Mark Watson for his steady leadership of UO Libraries. He has handled a broad gambit of challenges, including the pandemic response and the covering of two controversial murals, with deftness and grace and has remained a firm voice for the future and important role of the library within the UO as a whole. Mark will continue in his interim role until Alicia starts in June.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at provost@uoregon.edu.

Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

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15 Responses to UO appoints Alicia M. Salaz from CMU as new VP / University Librarian

  1. aroundthelib says:

    Considering the UO Libraries are getting squeezed so much by UO administration on the one side and increasingly unaffordable publisher fees on the other, I wish her best of luck. Seems like a great hire, but fingers crossed the UO viper pit and low library morale won’t be too much for her.

  2. Anotherlib says:

    She is an Oregon native ++, a librarian legacy (her mom), traveled, tech savvy, and very forward thinking. I think we should all be happy. Who knows?! Let’s hope she isn’t hit with an instant controversy that is out of her control.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    The UO library has declined so much in the time I have been here. Parts of the library used to be excellent. Now nothing that I use is first rate. A lot of it isn’t second rate either. Fortunately, interlibrary loan works well. And there are some excellent librarians to help find stuff to borrow.

  4. Notalibrarian says:

    An useful library is out of reach of all but a few institutions. Fortunately, it matters less and less. Preprint servers are making journal subscriptions less relevant. Since the library gave up on comprehensive journal coverage a long time ago, historical research (which will depend on your field: mine has a long shelf-life, others shorter) just isn’t possible at U of O.

    I see the library struggling to make itself relevant. They gave up on being a place for books and journals. I guess now they do loan out video games and stuff like that. When I first got here I would do service and attend things like the Library Committee. The library staff would cook up pet projects like remodeling stuff. Sometimes they had bad ideas like wanting to put many books in storage and remove any mention of them from the catalog. I piped up at that point and said that would not be a good plan. (It’s fine to put books in storage, just don’t remove them from the searchable catalog!)

  5. Dog says:

    Furthermore, my experience working with people at CMU suggests that a)it’s one of the best research universities in the country for its size (Rice might be better) and they have a very forward evolving strategy for revising undergraduate curriculum (yes of course they have a lot of money). Coming to the mired mediocrity of the UO is de-evolution in University quality (because we don’t have any money).

    On the other hand, she might be very good for the KC.

  6. Portlander says:

    CMU most certainly has a football team – Division III. My high school band occasionally played at halftime of their games. The Tartans beat Knute Rockne’s Fighting Irish in 1926 in one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

    CMU’s games are not well attended, however – everyone is in the excellent library.

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