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Credit: Luke Chen

Penn recently announced the creation of a committee to help select the new vice provost and director of libraries. 

The current Vice Provost and Director, Carton Rogers, will be retiring at the end of June. Rogers, who was first hired to serve as the director of public and technical services in the University's Medical Library, has worked in Penn Libraries since 1975 and became the vice provost and director of libraries in 2004. In his role, he oversaw 18 separate University libraries. 

Provost Wendell Pritchett, who serves as the chair of the committee, formed the consultative group late last year to assist in his decision making. 

The vice provost and director of libraries is one of six vice provosts for which Pritchett, as provost, is responsible. The others include the vice provost for faculty, education, global initiatives, research, and University life, which is the position that usually communicates most directly with the student body.

The committee consists of 15 members of the Penn community including three faculty members, four staff members, and two students. Spokesperson for the Provost Leo Charney wrote in an email that the committee plans to meet sometime soon.

"There is a committee of students, faculty, staff, and overseers in place for this process," Charney wrote. "That’s really all the information that there is at this point."

The Chair and Vice Chair of Penn Libraries' Board of Overseers, Judith Bollinger, who received her master's degree in Business Administration from Wharton in 1981, and Erik Gershwind, who graduated from Wharton in 1993, are members of the group. Bollinger serves on the University's Board of Trustees as well. 

Committee member and Engineering senior Shawn Srolovitz, a former opinion columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian, said that he worked closely with Pritchett during his tenure as the chair external of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education. 

He said that he encourages students to provide input for the committee to consider in making a decision. 

“The committee is taking nominations, so if any students have anyone who they think would be a good person for the position, they should totally recommend nominations,” Srolovitz said.

The committee will accept nominations from members of the Penn community until February 2018. The next committee meeting will be held later this month. 

The group also includes two consultants, Jonathan Fortescue and Anne Coyle, who are a managing partner and partner, respectively, of Park Square Executive Square, a search firm which helps to place business leaders in executive positions in the fields of higher education, healthcare, information technology, renewable energy, and life sciences. 

Fortescue previously participated in the selection of John Jackson as the dean of Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice in 2014. 

Committee member Jonathan Moreno, a professor of history, sociology of science, medical ethics, and health policy, described Rogers as a “tough act to follow.”

“We are looking for the best leader for information sciences in the country,” Moreno said.  

Pritchett appointed Moreno to the committee. He previously served as a member of the committee advising the hiring of Larry Jameson, the executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and the dean of the Perelman School of Medicine in 2011.  

“[Information sciences is] a field that changes so quickly,” Moreno said. “You need someone like Rogers who’s a visionary.”

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