May 28, 2022

University of Michigan: James Hilton Stepping Down as University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, Will Continue to Serve as Vice Provost for Academic Innovation

UPDATE Jan. 13, 2021 Additional Information Can Be Found in this Post From The University Record: James Hilton Leaving Library Role to Focus on Academic Innovation

In a message to his library colleagues announcing the move, Hilton said the shift, with one year remaining on his library appointment, will allow the university to hire a new dean of libraries with a sustained commitment for many years to come.


For nine years we have worked together on an aspirational journey to ensure that the library is a culture and place of sustained and supported innovation,” Hilton wrote to his library colleagues.

“We have collaborated to be indispensable partners in the world-changing work of the university with the library as the platform that enables discovery, teaching, learning, health, invention and creative expression. It is an honor to be in your company and a privilege to serve as your dean.”

Read the Complete Post

—End Update–

  • From an Email by Susan M. Collins, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Michigan

James Hilton

Dear Colleagues:

As he announced earlier today, James Hilton has decided to step down as University Librarian and Dean of Libraries while continuing to serve as Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, effective July 1, 2022, after almost ten years of dedicated service in this role.  He has led the University Library in the development of digital scholarship services, increased the awareness of and access to U-M faculty research, piloted new models of sustainable open access publishing to expand the reach and impact of U-M research, while also furthering the potential for cooperative collection sharing, preservation and collaboration among academic research libraries.  He has also increased the organization’s focus on redressing issues of bias and racism.

It is a pleasure to take this opportunity to thank Dean Hilton for his dedication to ensuring that the Library advance its important mission, offering services that represent a great 21st century public research library.

The search for a new University Librarian and Dean of Libraries will begin this semester. To that end, I am writing to seek your assistance in identifying possible candidates for membership on the search advisory committee, as well as possible candidates to serve as chair of the committee. I would also like your considered view of the key issues that the Library will face over the next five to ten years, and important attributes of a new leader. Your response will provide useful information for me and for the search advisory committee.

The search advisory committee will include representatives from the staff of the Library, and faculty, students, and other members of the university community. I will ask the members of the committee to search broadly and recommend to me an unranked slate of candidates.

I will meet with the members of the Library Council in the near future to discuss the search process. In the meantime, please send your feedback on key issues, attributes of a new University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, nominations for the search advisory committee, and thoughts on who might serve as chair by completing the survey, linked (, no later than January 26, 2022.  Additional feedback and questions can be sent to



See Also: James Hilton Bio (via UMich Library)

See Also: James Hilton Appointed Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan (May 19, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.