Cruising with the Provost: Dean Cawthorne –  Wayne State University

Cruising with the Provost: Dean Cawthorne – Wayne State University

September 19, 2019 0 By Kody Olson

[ENGINE REVVING] [MUSIC PLAYING] Dean Cawthorne, I presume. Provost Whitfield. How’s it going, John? All right, all right. Other than being a hot one
today, boy, I tell you what. What? Also we’re coming
out of your digs. Yeah. Being a provost has
these privileges. They let me drive everywhere. This is a 1971 Chevy Suburban. So in 1971, what were you doing? 1971, I tell you, well, I was
coloring my favorite coloring book. Frogs, and I was looking
forward to long walks and– Frogs. We got to talk to
you about that. Frogs, OK, because
we’re past July 1. This is your start
of your second year? Third year. Third. That’s going into my third year. Wow. Started on August 1st, 2017. That’s– really
proud to be here. I see all the potential,
the changes, and the ways that the School of
Information Sciences is going to be an example
for the campus of a really dynamic place. I really appreciate the
collaboration that you’ve made. I think sometimes we– Thank you. –we become siloed and we feel
like our colleges are kind of a tab on their own bottom. And we’re not,
we’re a university. I think we have a
great profession and we have always
trained ourselves with this way of
looking at information and we’ve been set up to
answer questions when people come in to ask us questions. But the reality is that
people have their phones and they have other ways. And the perception of the
information that’s out there is that it’s easily
found on their phone. But it’s not, actually, and
the skills that librarians have are really valued
today more than ever. You know, the library used
to be the place of shh, and I always had to shh. Well, now, you’ve made it into
these incredible collaborative spaces and places where
small groups can meet, student orgs can meet. The library, especially the
UGL, the Undergraduate Library has really changed. We’re part of the Association
of Research Libraries, and that’s 126 of the
biggest, baddest research libraries in the world. And we’re one of those,
but I’m the only dean in that group that actually
is responsible for the school of information sciences
and a large library. So for me, it’s really
interesting to think about the path that
people become librarians, and also, how do we
change the physical spaces within the libraries to make
better connections with people. The people have a
very traditional view of what a library
is, even today. But I think that’s
a benefit for us because we can now define
what our future is going to be and then roll
it out and say, this is what the best
research library in the world looks like. Have you got a student
story that you can tell me? Well, I can tell you that we’re
really proud of our graduates. One of them is Darren
Hubbard, who is our– Wow. –CIO. Didn’t think about that. Yeah, and so I want to give a
shout out to him because I love him and love working with him. But for the one
person that’s our– won our distinguished
Alumni Award this year, name is Adriene Lim. And Dr. Lim has
taken over the reigns of the University of Maryland
College Park libraries next month. Wow, that’s incredible. And we gave her the
Distinguished Alumni Award, and her whole family was
there, and she really thought that Wayne State
was the place that gave her the opportunity to
be in the position, to be in that leadership
role in the library. She’s a colleague within ARL and
she’s just a wonderful person and a great representation
of the kind of student that goes to Wayne State. I’m really glad
that you’re going to be the supervising
steward of how we make sure that we keep ours viable. I look forward to it. I mean, I’ve been
here two years, and I think when I’m talking
about cultural change, I’m talking about a path
that is really, really three or four years
more before we actually see some of the fruits of
what we’re talking about. But we’re on a really good
track and path in the libraries, and I’m just really excited
to be here at Wayne State. And I do believe all the
things that we’re doing here will be an example for other
research libraries to look at. But I really appreciate
you as a change agent, to be able to help make
our university better because it is a great
university and we need people like you doing that. So I really appreciate
your leadership. Oh, thank you, sir. I appreciate you too. Thank you so much. Well, thanks for cruising
with the provost. You have a good one. All right, take care. All right. Thanks, John. Yeah. [MUSIC PLAYING]