Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vice President O'Neal Smitherman to Leave Ball State

O’Neal Smitherman, Ph.D., has announced that he will leave Ball State University at the end of October, 2007 to accept the position of Executive Vice President for the Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology, Huntsville, Alabama.

For the past six years, Dr. Smitherman, in his capacity as Vice President for Technology, Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Executive Assistant to the President, has served as the head of Ball State’s Office of Information Technology. This is the administrative group to which the University Computing Services (UCS), University Libraries, and University Teleplex report.

During his tenure, the University Libraries benefited from Dr. Smitherman’s support and vision. In speaking about his legacy for the University Libraries, Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said, “Under Dr. Smitherman’s leadership, the University Libraries successfully integrated substantial additional technology into all of our programs and services for students and faculty.”

Dr. Hafner identified a few of the significant accomplishments during the past five years:
· Modernization of the Libraries’ infrastructure to grow from 125 to 350 public workstations
· Early deployment of high-speed wireless connectivity throughout the University Libraries
· Creation of a digital repository to support student academic success and faculty teaching and research
· The University Libraries’ development of Cardinal Scholar, Ball State’s institutional repository as an integral element of the University’s research publishing distribution strategies
· Modernization and streamlining of the Libraries’ business operations through technology
· Completion of a Program Review that documented the importance and value of having a Library Information Technology Services unit within the Libraries

Dr. Hafner added that another important part of Dr. Smitherman’s legacy was his work to increase the Libraries’ base funding. In 2002, an additional $200,000 in recurring funding was added to the base allocation. More recently, in August 2006, President Jo Ann Gora added another $200,000 in recurring funding. The first moneys were used to purchase core curriculum materials for undergraduates, and the second allocation is used to purchase books recommended by faculty for upper level students, graduates, and faculty research. These additional funds, and the other enhancements to the University Libraries, have helped to increase the role of the Libraries in the academic life of the campus.

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