Dawn Paschal named interim Dean of Libraries, Brandon Bernier interim AVP for IT

Dawn Paschal, associate dean for research, digital library and library services, has been named interim Dean of Libraries, as of Oct. 1. She will be filling the position vacated by Pat Burns, who has taken on new responsibilities for information technology with the CSU System.

“It means a lot to me to be entrusted with this responsibility,” Paschal said. “We’re entering a new era, with all the changes that have taken place in libraries in the past decade. It’s an exciting time.”

Paschal will serve in the interim position at CSU Libraries until Dec. 1, when Karen Estlund arrives from Penn State to become the permanent dean.

While Burns held  the combined position of vice president of information technology and dean of libraries, those functions have now been split into two separate positions. Brandon Bernier, head of ACNS, will serve as interim assistant vice president for IT, according to Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda. The search for a permanent VP for IT will be restarted shortly, Miranda said.

“As President (Joyce) McConnell and I assessed the quality of the candidates during the search process, we realized that we have an opportunity to make additional investments in our campus leadership,” he explained. “We will be installing a dean of libraries who will be operationally committed to the principle of integrating IT with the library aspects to best serve faculty and students. We expect the leadership will work together to make this vision a reality.”

“IT was simpler to maintain 12 years ago,” Miranda added. “But as campus has grown, and technology has become more sophisticated, it makes sense to have dedicated leadership in each area.”

Time of transition

Paschal, who received her library science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and joined the CSU Libraries from Northwestern in 2001, has been an academic librarian for 34 years. She had been serving as associate dean for research, digital library and data services become becoming interim dean. Paschal said she sees her role as being a bridge to the new era at Morgan Library, and she looks forward to continuing a number of collaborative projects – open educational research, support for the 150th anniversary celebration of CSU, the consortium of digital library repositories known as Mountain Scholar, and improving the digital literacy of students and faculty.

She has also been one of the leads on the creation and expansion of the online Colorado Encyclopedia, the ultimate fact-based guide to the history and culture of the Centennial State.

Dawn Paschal

Dawn Paschal

Brandon Bernier portrait

Brandon Bernier

“I would say that the migration from print to digital, coupled with the rise of the Internet, really changed libraries,” Paschal said. “The Internet allowed us to expand access to the digital materials dramatically and also deliver some of our services online.”

As a result, the print collection has been shrinking, but according to Paschal, more resources are being accessed, and Morgan Library is still a heavily used physical space, unlike libraries on other campuses.

“We have lots of different cultures on campus who have embraced our space – they like the facility,” she said. “We have people coming in to do group work, and we provide a full range of research support. I want to continue that culture.”

Stepping up

Bernier came to CSU from UW-Madison about a year ago to head ACNS and Telecom. Like Paschal, he said the culture on campus is highly collaborative, and he has been working to support that within the IT realm to better support students, faculty and staff.

“We want to make sure that we have a seamless technology experience across campus,” he told SOURCE in April. “We want everyone to have an amazing experience and to help them think of how they will be able to use technology in new and different ways. It’s important that we take a campus-first focus as opposed to a technology-first focus, to apply the right technology and services.”

He said he looks forward to serving in the interim role, and the opportunities he sees ahead for closer collaboration with the CSU Libraries.