Carnegie Mellon associate dean chosen to lead UO Libraries

Alicia M. Salaz has been chosen as the UO’s new vice provost and university librarian, overseeing five library locations at the Eugene campus and branches at UO Portland and the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.

Salaz is currently the associate dean for research and academic services and senior librarian for Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, a position she has held since 2018. She will start her new position in June , taking over the leadership reins from Mark Watson, who has served in an interim role since June 2019.

Provost and Senior Vice President Patrick Phillips announced the selection Tuesday.

“UO Libraries is a core strength of the university, serving as an essential partner in our educational, teaching, research, and public service mission,” Phillips wrote in an announcement to the UO community. “Alicia will bolster our already outstanding team at UO Libraries that provides critical resources, programs, and other services to students, faculty, staff, and the community. She also plays key roles in her current job around the arena of data science, diversity and equity, and innovation, which all mesh quite well with the work we are already doing here at UO in those areas.”

The Data Collaborations Lab program she developed at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries “connects researchers who want more from their datasets with individuals who have data and computer science skills, creating opportunities for people with different technical and disciplinary backgrounds to work together,” according to its website.

Salaz brings a longstanding and deep-seated interest in issues of equity, serving on the Carnegie Mellon provost’s committee to establish the first-ever Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She also developed a faculty recruitment policy and procedure at the library to codify best practices for equitable recruitment and hiring, and revised the library collection development policy and educational and instructional strategy to explicitly address equity goals.

“I am delighted to be returning to my home state to take on this important role for the University Libraries at such an exciting time for the University of Oregon,” Salaz said. “The libraries are an essential academic partner for accelerating UO’s ambitions, and I look forward to working with constituencies across and beyond campus to realize those ambitions together.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Salaz implemented a series of service changes to help Carnegie Mellon Libraries run smoothly, including the creation of a controlled digital lending program and an on-demand digitization service to make physical assets accessible to suddenly remote learners. She also rolled out an automated, authenticated reservation system for all on-site library visits to manage capacity and facilitate contact tracing.

Having grown up in northeast Portland, Salaz graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Arts before receiving a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Washington. She also has a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis on higher education from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

To see the full text of Phillips’ announcement, visit the Office of the Provost website.

 —By Anna Glavash Miller, University Communications