New Information Resources and Services organization established - Librarian James Estrada named V.P

Image: James EstradaIn a move to support and coordinate the effective uses of technology on campus, University President Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. announced Sept. 24 the establishment of a new University organization, Information Resources and Services, and the appointment of James Estrada as Vice President, Information Resources and Services and University Librarian.

The appointment took effect immediately, and under the new organization, the library, academic computing, SCT, CTS and the media center are reporting to Estrada, who joined Fairfield in 1996 as University librarian and executive director of academic computing.

In a letter to the campus community, Fr. Kelley wrote, "I have become very concerned about the challenges presented to the University by the rapid changes in technology. One of these challenges is attempting to support and coordinate the uses of technology on campus when the traditional lines between computing, telecommunications, media and information services are continually blurring."

The president said, "While many institutions have reorganized and created new structures to better coordinate and leverage information resources on their campuses, Fairfield has followed a more traditional approach. It has allowed its various technology providers to develop their own separate products and services. In some cases the results have been exceptional, in others the decentralized approach has resulted in duplication, overlap of responsibilities, confusion among users and a competition for scarce resources that was not always coordinated with overall university priorities."

In his letter, Fr. Kelley also pointed out that the five units responsible for supporting information technology on campus reside in different University divisions, making "management, coordination and planning difficult, if not impossible." Those units include academic computing, the library, media center, administrative computing (SCT) and communication and technology services (CTS).

Of Estrada, Fr. Kelley said, "His major responsibility will be to take a holistic view of the academic and administrative technology needs of the University as they relate to its principal goals and objectives. It would not be possible to overstate the importance of this appointment for the enhancement of our academic and educational mission. It will have a profound impact on the quality of our operations and ensure that we will not only maintain but enhance our competitive advantage among our peer institutions in the area of technology, information services and learning."

Estrada had been assistant director for Regional Campus Libraries and director of the Harleigh B. Trecker Library for the University of Connecticut before joining Fairfield two years ago. There he had, since 1990, been responsible for the overall delivery of services, research support, and general oversight of the five Regional Campus Libraries. He also provided leadership in strategic planning and implementation, introduced team-based management systems, and expanded the library automation and networked information services.

He is a former senior systems analyst at Yale University Library, and earlier in his career was head of cataloging and systems analyst at the University of Connecticut Health Center Library. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, with bachelor's and master's degrees in Latin American Studies and a master of library science degree in library and information science.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on October 1, 1998

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