The University of Missouri (Mizzou) has appointed Deborah Ward vice provost for libraries and university librarian, effective May 1, 2022.
Ward has served Mizzou in a variety of roles over the past 25 years: interim vice provost for libraries and interim university librarian (2019–2022), director of the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library and Veterinary Medical Library (1997–2021), associate university librarian for specialized libraries (2017–2019), and interim associate director for research and information services (2009–2013).
During her time as interim vice provost for libraries, Ward supported students and faculty during the campus closure for COVID-19, built on her vision to integrate the e-learning experience of students with e-resources from the libraries, participated actively in the campus space reduction initiative, and found ways to bring the teaching collection of the School of Visual Studies into various spaces in Ellis Library. She also led a team effort to secure a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will fund the renovation of the Ellis Library West Stacks.
Prior to being named interim vice provost, Ward served as the director of the Health Sciences Library (HSL), where she promoted the adoption of electronic information delivery to the hospitals and clinics, clinical librarian services, and the integration of evidence-based information into health care delivery. She was key to the development of a digital library to support rural healthcare providers in Missouri, and she created a new health research librarian position for the HSL. Ward also promoted strong outreach in the state through the HSL’s participation as a library partner in the Network of the National Library of Medicine.
At Mizzou, Ward succeeds Ann Campion Riley, who retired in December 2019, after serving as vice provost and university librarian 2017–2019 and acting director of the libraries 2015–2017.
For more information about Ward and her appointment, see the Mizzou Libraries news release, “Deb Ward Appointed Vice Provost for Libraries.”