John Unsworth named new head of Library and Technology Services

University of Illinois Library & Information Science dean to start in February

John Unsworth

Provost Steve A.N. Goldstein announced today that John Unsworth, dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will be the new vice provost for Library and Technology Services and chief information officer at Brandeis. He will start his position in mid-February, and succeeds Perry Hanson, who in April announced his plan to retire.

“John impressed the search committee and the Brandeis community with his intelligence, deep expertise, collaborative approach and easy manner,” said Goldstein. “Smart, innovative approaches to technology and the library are integral to the university and John will bring a tremendous focus and wealth of experience to help us build for the future.”

Unsworth’s appointment is the culmination of an eight-month nationwide search. An 18-member search committee of faculty, staff and students considered dozens of candidates for the position. The committee was chaired by Dan Feldman, vice president for planning and institutional research, and Ann Koloski-Ostrow, associate professor of classical studies.

“I was immediately attracted to the vice-provost position at Brandeis because it combines the two core information services in a modern university,” Unsworth said. “I was particularly impressed with the vision and the energy of both the provost and the president, and I enjoyed every interaction with faculty, staff and students during the search process. Brandeis clearly means to make the most of its information resources—bibliographic, technical and human—and I look forward to helping it do that.”

Unsworth has served as dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus since 2003. The school is the top-ranked professional program in library and information science in the nation. Under Unsworth’s leadership, the school doubled its budget and its research funding, and the number of enrolled students grew by nearly 50 percent.

Unsworth is a 1981 graduate of Amherst College. He received his M.A. in English from Boston University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in English in 1988 from the University of Virginia. Unsworth and his wife, Maggie, have three grown children (Bill, Thomas, and Eleanor) and a daughter-in-law (Lauren, married to Thomas).

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