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Posted on Tue, May 14, 2013 : 1 p.m.

U-Va. administrator to become University of Michigan dean of libraries

By Kellie Woodhouse

University of Michigan has poached University of Virginia's chief information officer to become the Ann Arbor school's dean of libraries.


James Hilton

U-Va. photo

Upon approval of U-M's eight-member Board of Regents, James L. Hilton will replace Paul Courant on September 1, 2013.

Hilton is a former U-M professor and administrator. He began teaching at the Institute for Social Research in 1985, after he received his doctorate from Princeton University.

At U-M he worked his way up to being appointed an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship and serving as an associate provost for academic, information and instructional technology affairs. He was also interim university librarian.

In 2006 he went to the U-Va. to become the school's chief information officer.

He is an advocate for using technology in teaching and is working on developing the Digital Preservation Network, an archival backbone designed to catch and preserve discoveries for future. He's also a supporter of large-scale preservation and access initiatives such as Hathi Trust.

"As dean of libraries and university librarian, his vision and leadership will be essential to address the changing nature of information acquisition and knowledge dissemination," U-M Provost Martha Pollack wrote in a memo to regents, who are expected to approve Hilton's appointment at a Thursday meeting.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

As an update, this was approved by regents unanimously as was expected.


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

It seems to me that their is a difference between Information Technology and Library Science. Why would you not hire someone who has experience as a librarian? There are plenty of IT folks at UM who can handle the IT part of the libraries but librarians have a much broader responsibility and training than an IT person. Would you hire someone who is not a doctor to be the Chief Medical Officer of the Hospital?

Gene Alloway

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

I agree. UM library is one of the premier libraries in the country, yet again we are seemingly unable to find a member of the profession who works it who can lead it. I find that hard to believe.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

What a great thing for Ann Arbor to have the Hilton family return to the area! Congratulations!


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

I'll bet that you people didn't know that Paul Courant, the current dean, makes $408,453.00. But ya, I'm totally OK with the fact that tuition at the U has risen 74% in 10 years. 'Cause you know, these books don't just write themselves. We have Mr. Courant, and his replacement, to thank for them.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 9:09 p.m.

Is there another UVA administrator who could be getting a job offer from the UM soon?

Dog Guy

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

Which powerful magic is applied between said information acquisition and that knowledge dissemination?


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

When you're the average Ann Arbor resident, and technology is nothing more than evil witchcraft, all of this stuff seems magical and beyond comprehension.