KU's new vice chancellor for information services is named Goodyear, and she's not blowing hot air when she says there's plenty on her plate.
Marilu Goodyear isn't a computer geek.
"I like what computers can do," she said, not missing the irony of the heavy role computers play in her new job as vice chancellor for information services.
Take a deep breath before reviewing the wide range of university operations under her control driven by technology: administrative computing, which includes student records; networking and telecommunications; printing, including campus mail; academic computing for teaching and research; and the operational side of KU libraries.
Goodyear, whose last name earned her a ride on a Goodyear blimp as a child, replaced William Crowe, who left the job of vice chancellor and dean of libraries to work at Spencer Research Library on campus. Goodyear began as vice chancellor on July 1, but a new dean of libraries hasn't been hired.
"I am honored to have been selected for this position," she said.
Goodyear is a native of Independence, Mo., and came to KU in 1996 from Texas A&M University. She's been an associate vice chancellor since 1998.
At Texas A&M, Goodyear led the technical implementation of a program that connected 52 public academic libraries in the state.
She earned a doctorate in public administration at the University of Colorado-Denver, and two degrees at the University of Missouri.
Goodyear, who is among the highest-ranking female administrators on the Lawrence campus, said demand for computing services continued to grow at KU. Employees want greater power for work. Faculty want more juice for teaching. Students want additional online resources at their disposal for learning, she said.
"For example, faculty discover technology and ... demand increases faster than we can respond to it," she said.
Expanding the computer pipeline and the tools to make use of that information is an expensive proposition -- a point that illustrates Goodyear's daunting reality.
"My biggest challenges are money, money and money."
Extra cash is needed for improving the status of employees as well. Salaries for KU librarians rank in the bottom one-fourth among North American research libraries.
The $41,558 average salary paid KU library faculty was 93rd among 110 U.S. and Canadian institutions in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Weak salaries reflect a general problem at KU of paying competitive wages for information science employees, Goodyear said.
"We can't get the work done if we can't fill these positions. It's critical," she said. "We also have many classified positions (for which) we're not finding people to hire."
Goodyear said there had been a series of failed searches to fill library faculty positions in recent years.
She said a new library fee proposed by the Kansas Board of Regents could provide relief. The $1-per-credit hour fee for all university students would generate $600,000 annually to help the library battle double-digit inflation for library materials.
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