University of Missouri Provost Latha Ramchand has appointed Deborah Ward vice provost for libraries and university librarian, effective May 1.
Ward has served MU in a variety of roles over the past 25 years: director of the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library and Veterinary Medical Library (1997-2021), interim associate director for research and information services (2009-2013), associate university librarian for specialized libraries (2017-2019) and interim vice provost for libraries and interim university librarian (2019-2022).
During her time as interim vice provost for libraries, Ward supported students and faculty during the campus closure for COVID-19, built on her vision to integrate the e-learning experience of students with e-resources from the libraries, participated actively in the campus space reduction initiative and found ways to bring the teaching collection of the School of Visual Studies into various spaces in Ellis Library.
She also led a team effort to secure a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will fund the renovation of the Ellis Library West Stacks.
Prior to being named interim vice provost, Ward served as the director of the Health Sciences Library (HSL), where she promoted the adoption of electronic information delivery to the hospitals and clinics, clinical librarian services, and the integration of evidence-based information into health care delivery. She was key to the development of a digital library to support rural healthcare providers in Missouri, and she created a new health research librarian position for the HSL.
Ward received a bachelor of arts from Eastern Kentucky University in German; a master of arts from Eastern Kentucky University in education, with a library science emphasis; and a master of science in library science from the University of Kentucky.