The dean of libraries and chief information officer positions are being separated to ensure both receive the proper amount of attention to achieve their goals, Mara Saule, the current CIO and dean of libraries, said.
Saule will continue as the dean of libraries effective July 1. T. Simeon Ananou will be the new CIO, a May 1 UVM press release stated.
These positions are fundamentally different as the libraries are a faculty department whereas information technology is more focused on administration and technical support, Saule said. Holding both positions has caused her to juggle these separate responsibilities, she said.
Associate CIO Julia Russell said that this change will give IT an independent representative at the president’s leadership table, which includes the vice president of enrollment management and all of the deans.
Previously IT has not had an independent voice at the president’s leadership table, so this will increase IT’s access and ability to enact change on campus, Russell said.
These changes may not be readily apparent to students but Saule is still confident that this shift will make it easier for both IT and libraries to carry out their missions, she said.
“Hopefully it will increase communication and collaboration across different departments so that will add to the streamlining,” said senior Sarah Senanayake, who works for the UVM Tech Team.
Saule said that she and her department are looking forward to Ananou’s arrival, since it will allow her to focus on the libraries and for him to focus on IT.
The libraries are involved with teaching information literacy and research skills, as well as media and classroom technology, Saule said. The focus of the libraries is on the academics.
IT also works with academics but focuses more on the administrative side, including working with human resources and finance systems, Saule said.
The CIO oversees Enterprise Technology Services and is involved in university operations, Russell said.
“When I was first hired, I was dean of libraries and there was a director for a separate organization of central IT,” Saule said.
Saule was the dean of libraries as well as CIO from 2002 to 2006 before becoming solely dean again, she said. In 2013, she became CIO in addition dean again.
“I actually went to the president and I said, ‘you know, there is just so much going on in the IT world, it’s really just time that we have a full time CIO,’ and he readily agreed,” Saule said.
Ananou said that he hopes to represent students, faculty, researchers and administrators by drawing from his experiences in those areas.
Being at the president’s leadership table will enable Ananou to help other departments advance their goals, Russell said.
“We’re pretty excited that Simeon’s going to be coming,” Russell said. “He has some really good ideas and a lot of good experience.”
Ananou said he is excited to begin his new position and will do the best he can to ensure that he executes his role well.
“My conversations for the first several months will revolve around one topic: how can I, as CIO, help my colleagues, help the students and help the administration improve the conditions of our students,” Ananou said.