Dear Students, Alumni and Friends of DLIS,
I have just been appointed Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem, Utah. UVU is the largest university in the state and the fastest growing. It has 34,000 students and is projected to have 40,000 within a few years. This appointment will provide me with an opportunity to help the students, their families and community develop in important and meaningful ways in a society that is changing dramatically, primarily as a result of technology.
Unfortunately, it also means leaving DLIS, St, John’s University and New York, all of which I have grown to love. For the last eight years I have had the privilege of working with the DLIS faculty, students, alumni and other professional colleagues. We have accomplished much together, including full reaccreditation at a time when many other programs have not. Our students have received an outstanding education. In turn they have joined our alumni in serving society well and continually improving that service.
Dr. Jim Vorbach has agreed to serve as Director, beginning May 14th. He will do an outstanding job. I am grateful to leave DLIS leadership in his capable hands. Of course, the faculty will also lead it well. I cannot thank them, Rosann Kelly, Debbie Martinez and Linda Russell enough for their support and service to our students. Rosann and Debbie merit special attention, because they will also be leaving St. John’s. They have accepted a voluntary separation offer that the university made to ensure that St. John’s remains strong fiscally. They will be sorely missed.
Dr. Katherine Shelfer has also accepted a voluntary separation offer and will be leaving at the end of this semester. We have outstanding faculty members who go the extra mile for students, but no one has ministered to students with greater love and concern than Dr. Shelfer. She has met with students on Sundays, evenings or whenever she was needed and traveled throughout the area to meet their needs. At the same time, she demanded much of students to help them prepare for the professional world. Our prayers go with her too.
DLIS has a bright future. There is nothing more important in the age of information than librarians and other information professionals who understand how to provide people with what they need–where, when and how they need it–to accomplish their many purposes. No program is better situated than DLIS. It has remarkable faculty, students and staff; access to an amazing array of the best libraries, archives, museums and information centers in the world and the professionals that lead and support them; outstanding alumni; and a rich history and tradition.
I wish you all the very best,
Jeffery E. Olson, Ph.D., J.D.