Wellesley User Services Director Appointed Vice President for Information Technology and Dean of Libraries

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Pattie Orr
March 19, 2007

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

After conducting a national search, Baylor University President John M. Lilley announced today the appointment of Pattie Orr, director of user services and the policy and planning officer in the information services division at Wellesley College, as Baylor's vice president for information technology and dean of libraries, effective June 1.

"Baylor University is fortunate to have found in Pattie Orr an individual with the distinctive expertise necessary to continue the integration of library services with the university's information technology resources," Lilley said. "Pattie comes to us from a highly regarded institution, where she has provided senior-level leadership in a merged information services organization for more than a decade. She is a consensus builder among faculty, staff and students, and I am confident she will make a strong contribution to Baylor in several areas, including strategic planning, organizational development and policy creation."

Orr will succeed Professor William B. Hair III, associate dean and director of the University Libraries, who has served for the past year as interim dean of libraries, and Rebecca L. King, director of information systems and services, who has served as interim chief information officer. Both Hair and King assumed the responsibilities previously held by Dr. Reagan M. Ramsower, who had served as dean of libraries and CIO, while also serving as vice president for finance and administration.

As vice president and dean, Orr will lead an extensive, university-wide information technology organization that provides administrative and academic technology services, technology infrastructure, library services and support for digital assets. Her duties will include creating, articulating and implementing a vision for the information technology area that serves the mission and vision of the university, leading and facilitating campus-wide decisions concerning the use of technology and the access and preservation of administrative information and scholarly knowledge, providing leadership to the information technology staff, and leading collaboratively to deliver effective services and infrastructure to campus units, among other duties.

A native Texan, Orr said she welcomed the opportunity to return to her home state. She also was drawn to Baylor by the "commitments to excellence" in Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision, including the transformation of academic information services for higher education in the 21st century.

"The library and information technology touch every area of the university, and I look forward to leading both divisions to serve the academic and administrative information needs for Baylor faculty, staff and students," Orr said. "For many years, Wellesley has benefited from the synergy of a library and IT structure, which places both divisions under one umbrella of leadership. Because of the dramatic climate of change in the information age, it is important to leverage the opportunities for cost efficiency and to bring together the best thinking of both groups to address the needs for the digital library, scholarly communication, preservation of information and support for teaching and learning in a networked world. I hope to leverage my experience to guide and transform the Baylor Libraries and IT to develop the internal and external partnerships to transparently support those needs."

Orr received a bachelor of science degree in education summa cum laude from Abilene Christian University in 1975. In 1994, she earned her master's degree in education from Lesley College (now University) in Cambridge, Mass., while researching the effect of residential computing in higher education. She currently is pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, with a research emphasis in organizational development.

Orr has worked in the information services division at Wellesley since 1992, first as an application support specialist, as manager of user services from 1993-2000, and for the past seven years as director of user services and policy and planning officer. In her current position, she provides leadership for Wellesley's information and technology initiatives and oversees all aspects of desktop technology support for faculty, staff and students. As policy and planning officer, she develops information services policies for the college, including acceptable use policy, security policy and copyright policy. Since 2002, she has served as Wellesley's DMCA Copyright Agent, providing copyright education and security awareness instruction for faculty, staff and students. In addition, she oversees all aspects of institutional research for the Wellesley information services division and serves on college-wide research projects.

A lecturer in Wellesley's department of computer science since 1996, Orr teaches introductory computer science courses and developed an Internet research and resources class that is now a part of the college's standard computer science curriculum. She also served with a faculty team that developed and implemented "Pathways," a bridge-to-college program for Wellesley students.

Professionally, Orr represents Wellesley as one of the co-principal investigators on the national steering team for the Merged Information Services Organizations (MISO) survey, a national assessment of merged library and computing organizations. Orr helped develop and administer the first MISO survey in 2005 that measured the use of services and satisfaction with merged library organizations to provide data for local institutions and to establish national benchmarks.

Orr has participated professionally in The Boston Consortium, Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges, Coalition of Networked Information, International Association of Privacy Professionals, North East Regional Computing Program, and EDUCAUSE, where she has served as chair of the Membership Information Services Advisory Group and as a faculty member for the EDUCAUSE Management Institute. She also serves as an advisory board member for the EDUCAUSE Institute for Computer Policy and Law.

Orr has been honored with the Wellesley College Presidential Merit Award, which she received in 1995, and was appointed as the President's Delegate to the Wellesley College Board of Admissions from 2002-03. She serves as faculty adviser to the Wellesley College Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, as well as on the college's orientation planning committee and as a host family for the college's international students.

Orr and her husband, Steve, are members of Park Street Church in Boston, where Orr is a member of the Marketplace Ministry leadership team. Coming to Baylor, they will be reunited with their daughter, Ivy Hamerly, who joined the Baylor faculty in 2005 as a lecturer in political science. She is completing her doctorate in political science this spring from the University of California at San Diego and has been appointed to a tenure-track position at Baylor beginning in fall 2007. The Orr's son-in-law, Dr. Greg Hamerly, also serves on the Baylor faculty. He is an assistant professor of computer science in the School of Engineering and Computer Science.

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