This summer, UC Libraries bids farewell to Dean Xuemao Wang as he leaves the university for Northwestern University. Wang has served as dean and university librarian at the University of Cincinnati since 2012. In 2019 he took on the additional title and responsibilities of vice provost of digital scholarship.
During his tenure, Wang worked with library faculty and staff to raise the Libraries’ visibility regionally, nationally and internationally through the development of a Strategic Plan that focused on the four pillars of Digital Technologies and Innovation, People, Space, Data to Information to Knowledge. He emphasized agility, innovation and collaboration as we worked to achieve our vision to become the globally engaged, intellectual commons of the university – positioning ourselves as the hub of collaboration, digital innovation and scholarly endeavor on campus.
His commitment to the library faculty, staff and student workers, as well as his devotion to the larger mission of the university, will be missed, but we wish him well in this next step in his career. Before he left, we asked him some questions about his time at UC Libraries.
What are some of your best memories of your time at UC?
For my decade-long tenure at UC, there are many good memories, but if I have to pick some of the top ones, for work accomplishments, they would be: 1) the completion of our first strategic plan, 2) establishing the Digital Scholarship Center and receiving the Andrew W. Mellon grant, and 3) launching the innovative University of Cincinnati Press and the Research and Data Services unit and initiatives.
Personally, I will cherish the fun times at our annual staff summer picnics and the Staff Appreciation Parties, as well as many of our donor engagement events such as Adopt-a-Book and the recent Vesalius Lectures and Exhibition.
What will you miss most about UC and the Libraries?
At the university level, I will miss most my collaborations with my fellow deans, particularly the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and our collaboration with the Digital Scholarship Center, my work with the dean of the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) to establish management of the university’s Arts Collection; and my partnership with the dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) on the joint Joint Engineering Co-op Program (JCI) with Chongqing University of China.
At the Libraries, I will miss most my interactions with the Dean’s Advisory Council, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions Board and the University of Cincinnati Press Community Council, as well as their counseling and support.
I will miss the library faculty and staff, many of whom I facilitated their recruiting, hiring and promotions at the UC Libraries. I will miss the many retired faculty and staff who devoted long careers to UC.
What will you miss most about Cincinnati?
Among so many things that I have come to like about this city, I will miss Cincinnati’s rich culture, food, music and sports, especially the various public golf courses that I have played.
Do you have any parting words of advice for UC Libraries’ faculty and staff?
The faculty and staff are well equipped to fulfill the Libraries’ mission to empower discovery, stimulate learning and inspire the creation of knowledge by connecting students, faculty, researchers and scholars to dynamic data, information and resources. My advice to them is to continue to believe in the long-term library transformation vision. Stick with the implementation plan outlined in the recently completed NEXT Directions Strategic Framework. There will likely be set-backs along the way, but be resilient. Remember to enjoy the journey itself, not just the destination. I look forward to watching what you accomplish!