January 9, 2017

Dear Members of our Campus Community,

I write to share with you the news that University Librarian Denise Stephens has decided to accept a position as the Vice Provost and University Librarian for Washington University in St. Louis, beginning July 1.

We will move quickly to consult with our Academic Senate, faculty, administrative, and staff colleagues in order to form a search advisory committee to conduct a national search for our next University Librarian.

We are very grateful for the exemplary leadership Denise has provided since joining our campus in 2011. She has demonstrated a deep commitment to serving our academic community, working with faculty, staff, and students to reinvent our library while overseeing a unique collection of nearly 10 million books, e-books, electronic journals, and digital objects.

We are fortunate that Ms. Stephens arrived at the critical moment that the planning for our library expansion and renovation project was in its final stages after the architect had been selected and state funding had been allocated. We needed her timely leadership to complete the planning and oversee the onset of construction. From the moment she arrived, she worked tirelessly with our colleagues on every detail, culminating in last year’s exciting grand opening with 150,000 square feet of new and revitalized space.

Our new library includes a state-of-the-art facility for Special Research Collections, an Interdisciplinary Research Collaboratory, a 24-hour Learning Commons, and a resource center for transfer students, among many other new spaces, programs, and collaborative initiatives supporting student and faculty productivity. Since its re-opening, our library has welcomed up to 300,000 people a month – a 50% increase in foot traffic, and a testament to the care with which Denise and our colleagues have worked to address the needs of our students and faculty.

In addition to capital planning efforts, Ms. Stephens oversaw an organizational realignment and strategic roadmap to help guide our library’s programs and resources. She has reached out to donors and community members to enhance the level of private support for our library, obtained prestigious grants, and promoted the library as a cultural and intellectual crossroads. Examples include the establishment of the Pacific Views faculty lecture series, as well as expanded curated exhibits and events programming. She has helped to develop a scholarly communications program, expanded data curation support for research data management, and worked collaboratively with our faculty and academic units to address emerging issues of intellectual property, copyright policy, and online education.

From January 2014 to September 2015, Ms. Stephens took on additional responsibilities as our Acting Chief Information Officer. In this role she helped to launch our Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), a merger of several units charged with overseeing the implementation and operation of enterprise systems for our campus.

Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall and I wish to sincerely thank Denise for her many outstanding contributions. Please join us in congratulating her and wishing her the best in all her future endeavors. We know Denise will always be a member of our UC Santa Barbara family.


Henry T. Yang