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Kobulnicky takes new role
in information technology
January 18, 1999

Paul Kobulnicky has been appointed to the new position of Vice Chancellor for Information Services and University Librarian, effective January 1.

"I look to Vice Chancellor Kobulnicky to provide leadership, strategic planning, and senior management in the broad areas of information systems and services, and information technology," said Chancellor Mark A. Emmert, in announcing the appointment last month.

"He brings a history of accomplishment and achievement to this most important position. Since becoming director of libraries in 1994, he has worked successfully to position the library to take advantage of advances in information technology and has been continually active in campus technology planning processes," he said.

Kobulnicky will have overall responsibility for implementing the University's information technology vision.

"If UConn is going to be some place really special in higher education, then information technology has got to enable us to be not simply at the mean but in the lead," said Kobulnicky.

He said a vision statement developed by faculty and contained in the Academic Information Technology report issued last summer will provide a blueprint for his new position, and added that he intends to continue to involve faculty and students in planning.

Kobulnicky will be directly responsible for the libraries, the Computer Center and telecommunications services. He said each of these units is increasingly defined by services, rather than by collections or systems, and that a customer orientation will eventually pervade all that the information services units do.

"Faculty and students are our primary customers," he said.

Kobulnicky plans to engage the Computer Center staff in planning and restructuring along the same lines as the recent reorganization of the library. "The restructuring will aim to establish a greater focus on future-oriented services and greater ownership of that future by the staff at all levels," he said.

He noted that technology is an ideal area for this approach because "technology is an integrating force that tends to obviate hierarchies," adding that the restructuring in the library has encouraged staff at all levels to take personal responsibility and make decisions about their work.

Kobulnicky, who will report to Emmert, will work with Fred Maryanski, vice chancellor for academic administration, on issues relating to academic planning, academic support services, budgets and facilities; with Susan Steele, vice provost for undergraduate education and instruction, and Keith Barker, director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning, on issues relating to technology and information in teaching and learning; and with Dale Dreyfuss, vice chancellor for business and finance, on issues relating to administrative systems.

Kobulnicky came to UConn from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics and math from Pennsylvania State University and a master of library science from the University of Pittsburgh. At the national level, he has actively promoted the uses of information technology through participation in several professional organizations, including the Association of Research Libraries and the Coalition for Networked Information.

Also effective January 1, Brinley Franklin has assumed greater responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the library, as director of library services. Kobulnicky continues to hold the post of university librarian and Malcolm Toedt continues as executive director of the Computer Center.

Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu