Appointment of Vice President for University Libraries and University Librarian
June 29, 2022
Dear University Colleagues:
After a successful national search, President Holloway and I are pleased to announce that we will be appointing Dr. Consuella Askew as Vice President for University Libraries and University Librarian (VPUL/UL), effective July 18, 2022.
Rutgers University Libraries (RUL) is a core component of the academic mission of the University. RUL faculty and staff provide the Rutgers community access to world-renowned collections to advance human knowledge. As we launched the VPUL/UL search, we shared that we were seeking a leader who would chart a course for RUL to navigate and thrive in an evolving landscape for academic libraries.
Through the multitude of conversations, interviews, and thoughtful feedback obtained from many library constituencies, we are confident that Dr. Askew is best positioned to stimulate collaborative leadership and strengthen RUL’s culture and infrastructure to foster the changes needed to realize Rutgers’ full academic potential. While we appreciate the rich slate of talented applicants and candidates for the role, we and several advisory groups believe that Dr. Askew was the most qualified candidate to advance RUL through a harmonious style of leadership, but with a firm eye on improving both the cohesiveness and stature of the libraries over the next five years. Importantly, we expect that Dr. Askew will derive strength from the existing relationships and partnerships that are integral to maintaining and enhancing the national standing of RUL. Be assured that President Holloway and I will empower Dr. Askew and her leadership team to uphold the primacy of the libraries in the context of our resourcing and prioritization as we seek ways to enhance philanthropy, equitable budgeting, and inclusion of RUL within academic priority setting.
As Interim Vice President for University Libraries, Dr. Askew has performed admirably during the transition of RUL leadership. Over the last six months, she collectively mobilized and implemented a series of forums and convenings for RUL on varied topics: budget, collections, services, operations and staffing, and assessment. To establish better governance, she introduced the formation of an RUL Staff Advisory Committee, to complement the faculty governance committee, which will serve to amplify the voices of the largest population of library employees with a focus on communication, collaboration, advising, recognition, and professional development. In Dr. Askew, we see a forward-looking academician who views the libraries as foundational to embracing the values of diversity and inclusive excellence. As a librarian who previously worked in a variety of educational settings, such as public schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), community colleges, and private and public institutions, Dr. Askew brings to Rutgers a rich set of experiences that position her as a compelling advocate for fostering both access and excellence in a public university whose work for the common good has never been more important or timely.
In her previous role as the Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Rutgers–Newark, Dr. Askew led Dana Library through a strategic planning process, a multimillion-dollar renovation, and an organizational restructuring to encourage innovation, community engagement, and operational excellence. Prior to Rutgers, Dr. Askew served as the Associate Dean for Public Services at Florida International University Libraries and held leadership positions at the City University of New York (CUNY), where she was appointed the inaugural Chief Librarian for the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. An active contributor to the academic libraries profession, Dr. Askew serves on the executive board of the HBCU Libraries Alliance and on the editorial board for the award-winning journal, portal: Libraries and the Academy. Dr. Askew has published and presented widely on cultivating library leadership, developing a culture of library assessment, and adapting library services to meet evolving user needs.
We believe that under Dr. Askew’s leadership, Rutgers is well suited to chart a strategic direction for RUL, especially with a view to closely aligning the libraries to enhance the goals of academic units. A part of this work will involve centering RUL at the heart of our beloved community; optimizing RUL’s collections, personnel, and services to enrich the teaching, learning, and research that occur across the University; establishing organizational coherence across RUL; and developing a strategic plan for Special Collections and University Archives (SC/UA), all values that have been articulated by President Holloway.
We are immensely thankful to the search committee, which drew upon the rich diversity of our academic community and reviewed and recommended a strong pool of candidates, and to the committee co-chairs, Dr. Margaret Marsh and Dr. Henry Turner, for their leadership during the search process. We are also especially grateful to the many individuals – RUL faculty, RUL staff, college/school faculty, and academic leadership – who participated in multiple rounds of the interview process. Their participation was critical to making an informed decision on selecting the next VPUL/UL.
Dr. Askew will report to me and will be a member of my core leadership team. She will work closely with the president’s cabinet, chancellor units, faculty, students, and the RUL community as a collaborative intellectual leader and a thought partner with the vision and heart to strengthen and champion RUL's identity, organization, and culture.
Thank you, as always, for all you do for Rutgers.
Prabhas V. Moghe, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs