New dean of libraries at Wichita State named
Donald L. Gilstrap has been appointed dean of university libraries at Wichita State University. He is currently associate dean of libraries at the University of Oklahoma.
Gilstrap will join Wichita State in June, with responsibility for all of the university’s collections, library locations, online services, staff and operations.
His appointment was announced Monday, Feb. 21, by Provost Gary L. Miller, to whom he’ll report.
“Dr. Gilstrap brings a distinctive combination of expertise in library science and contemporary information management,” Miller said. “He is also an accomplished scholar with deep roots in the humanities. It is difficult to imagine a finer addition to university leadership at this important time.”
Wichita State President Donald L. Beggs said: "The important role of the libraries dean has expanded as we've made more of our resources available online. Dr. Gilstrap's background combining traditional scholarship and strength in technology makes him ideally suited to lead our next generation library efforts."
Gilstrap holds a Ph.D. in Education Leadership from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master of Library Science, a Master of Arts in history, and a Bachelor of Arts in history and French from Emporia State University.
Prior to becoming associate dean at OU, Gilstrap was director of libraries at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He has also held positions at the Connecticut Community College System, the University of Connecticut and the University of Central Oklahoma.
Gilstrap has published extensively on leadership, organizational dynamics and assessment of teaching and learning in higher education. He brings to WSU a great deal of leadership experience in technology and digital resource integration in research libraries, as well as engagement in large-scale projects at the state, national and international levels.
Provost Miller said: “Research libraries are at the center of nearly every challenge and opportunity we have in higher education. We want the WSU Libraries to lead the way in integrating the global information economy into learning, discovery and engagement with the community and the world.”
“I am excited to join the University Libraries at Wichita State University,” Gilstrap said. “The amount of information and access points available to support quality research, teaching, and learning in the 21st century is complex and growing at a dramatic rate. Library faculty and staff have implemented many forward-thinking programs to support the research endeavors of students and faculty.
“I am honored to work with such committed and high-caliber people in the WSU community in continuing to position the university as one of the major urban research universities in the country,” said Gilstrap.
Associate Provost Ravi Pendse is the university’s chief information officer and has been serving as interim dean of libraries. He said, “I am looking forward to working with Don Gilstrap as we continue to enhance our ubiquitous information resources to provide anytime anywhere access to library resources to our outstanding students, faculty and staff.”
Gilstrap, who graduated from high school in Augusta, said he and his wife, Kathy, are “very much looking forward to returning to our home state of Kansas and fully engaging in the Wichita community.”
The Gilstraps’ sons, Connor and Kagen, are also excited about the move and becoming part of Shocker Nation.