UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

Thank you, Stephanie Walker, soon-to-be dean of University Libraries at UMass Boston

Walker, UND’s dean of libraries and information resources since 2015, led major upgrades for Chester Fritz Library

UND archival image.

Stephanie Walker, UND’s dean of libraries and information resources, has accepted the position of dean of university libraries at University of Massachusetts Boston.

Walker will begin her new position Aug. 22.

“Dean Walker has been an outstanding dean of the UND Library and we will miss her greatly,” said Eric Link, UND provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She is a fine colleague and a leader with vision—she will do great work at UMass Boston, and we certainly wish her the very best.”

“Dean Walker leaves a lasting legacy here at UND,” Link continued. “Under her guidance, UND completed a renovation of the library and her work advocating for, and supporting, OER efforts on campus has been transformative.”

Stephanie Walker

“I will absolutely miss UND and everyone here,” Walker said. “I’ll also think fondly of North Dakota – living here has been a wonderful, restorative experience. I got to do a lot of truly exciting work, and it really rejuvenated my love of library work.”

Walker joined UND in 2015, leading the University’s four research libraries and art collections.

Through her seven-year tenure, Walker had a significant role in renovating the Chester Fritz Library. In its most extensive upgrade since 1981 and completed last year, the campus’ central library has a new layout and technology including a virtual reality lab, a data visualization lab and 3D printing facilities, among many other advancements geared toward student success.

Alongside physical changes, Walker and her team have been recognized for their innovative work in the digital realm. Since joining UND, Walker worked to establish the UND Scholarly Commons, an online institutional repository housing the collective research and creative works undertaken at UND. In 2018, the Chester Fritz Library received the Most Innovative Library award from the Mountain Plains Library Association, a collective of libraries across 12 states.

Walker spent much of her tenure leading UND’s implementation of open educational resources, made available to students at no charge. As a co-chair of UND’s award-winning OER working group, Walker helped provide faculty with thousands of dollars in grants and dozens of training hours to modify their curricula for the use of open source materials. These efforts have saved students more than $11 million in total, supplementing textbooks with inexpensive and accessible learning materials across a number of academic fields.

“With my fantastic library team, and with our terrific partners in UIT, the Research Office, the Writing Center, Legal Counsel, TTaDA and others, we’ve been able to have what I think is a big impact,” Walker said. “The Chester Fritz Library is now the attractive, pleasant, functional, tech-supportive place UND’s students, faculty and staff deserve.”

“We’ve fostered a lot of partnerships,” she continued. “Our OERs program is healthy and strong, far surpassing many at much larger institutions. Our institutional repository, UND Scholarly Commons, is one of the fastest growing repositories on the Digital Commons platform. Our nascent development program is going very well. We’ve hired some amazing people, and I feel like we’ve really set the Chester Fritz Library up for success.”

Before joining UND, Walker most recently served as Chief Librarian & Executive Director of Academic IT at Brooklyn College. Previously, she held the positions of Associate Librarian for Information Services at Brooklyn College; Manager of Collection Services, Technical Services, & Library IT at Harvard Medical School; Dean & University Librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia, Canada; Director of the Library at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, Ont.; and Faculty Librarian for the University of Toronto’s Dental Library. It was at University of Toronto where she received her Master of Library Science after previously earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at the University of Waterloo.