Campus News

Vice provost for UW-Madison libraries to retire

Image By: Leah Voskuil and Leah Voskuil

Edward Van Gemert, vice provost for libraries and a university librarian, will retire in May 2018, the university announced Tuesday.

Van Gemert started his 46-year long career at UW-Madison in 1971 as a student assistant in Memorial Library. He held a variety of positions at the university until ultimately accepting the position of vice provost under then-Provost Paul De Luca in 2013.

During his time as vice provost, Van Gemert strove to forge partnerships both on campus, across the country and around the world. His accomplishments range from serving as chair of the Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries to participating in the steering committee of the Coalition for Networked Information to serving in leadership roles with the Association of Research Libraries and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

According to Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf, Van Gemert’s efforts to develop one of the largest academic library systems in North America have made him a leader in issues regarding the library systems.

“Ed has been a terrific colleague during a time of significant change, where visionary leadership and collaborative approaches to problem-solving have been paramount,” Mangelsdorf said in a university news release. “He is a national leader on issues of access to library materials. We are very appreciative of all that he has accomplished with his leadership team during his time as vice provost and university librarian.”

Van Gemert said he is proud to have “had the opportunity to work at an outstanding public research university, in a library system that makes an impact on campus and has afforded [me] tremendous experiences along the way.”

“As I prepare to explore the opportunities in the next chapter of my life, I can say without hesitation, my passion and advocacy for libraries and this institution will be unwavering,” Van Gemert said in the release.

The Office of the Provost is conducting a national search to fill Van Gemert’s position. More details about who will fill the position will be released as the semester moves forward.

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