Katie Vale named Bates Vice President for Information and Library Services and Librarian

Bates President Clayton Spencer announced today that Katie L. Vale, director of digital learning at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will become vice president for information and library services and librarian at Bates effective Sept. 1, 2015.

“Katie Vale brings a remarkable breadth and depth of experience to this role,” Spencer said. “A leader in educational technology, she has played a shaping role at MIT and Harvard in exploring the uses of technology in teaching, learning, and research, in supporting faculty and students engaged in curricular and pedagogical innovation, and in working with librarians on both e-research and larger organizational issues. During her visit to campus, Katie impressed colleagues with her hands-on approach, her collaborative spirit, and her broad-ranging knowledge. I am thrilled to welcome Katie to the Bates community.”


Katie L. Vale, director of digital learning at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will become vice president for information and library services and librarian at Bates effective Sept. 1, 2015.

“I am a strong believer in the mission of the liberal arts,” Vale said. “I feel that Bates is distinctively positioned to demonstrate how information technology and the library can support the value proposition of the liberal arts — the lifetime reward of intellectual curiosity, academic rigor, and engaged citizenship. I look forward to the opportunity to join such a strong and vibrant community.”

As a member of Spencer’s senior staff, Vale will work closely with faculty and staff across the college to align ILS priorities and resources with the college’s larger institutional goals. An experienced organizational leader and manager, Vale will oversee 65 staff members in five library and IT departments at Bates: Ladd Library, the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, User Services, Network and Infrastructure Services, and Systems Development and Integration.

“I very much admire colleges that have merged their library and information technology organizations,” Vale said. “What I see at Bates are librarians and IT staff who are invested in helping to deliver a highly personal liberal arts education. I am excited to help this organization build on its strong reputation and support Bates as the roles of technology and libraries in higher education continue to evolve.”

Vale brings to Bates almost 30 years of IT and library experience at Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and, most recently, Harvard University, where she has held leadership roles since 2008.

In 2014, Vale received the Rising Star Award from EDUCAUSE, a national organization that advances higher education through the use of information technology, for work that “epitomizes service to the academy and leadership in the field of information technology” and for her contributions to “some of the most influential educational technology projects of the past few decades, providing the critical roles of planning, launching, and providing dependable support for these initiatives.”

As director of digital learning at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health since 2014,
Vale manages a team of learning designers and educational technologists on academic support, curriculum design, assessment, e-learning materials, learning space design, and faculty development initiatives.

From 2008 to 2014, as director of academic technology for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, Vale provided vision and strategy for in-person and online teaching and learning across the undergraduate and graduate programs. She led major instructional design projects and directed IT efforts in areas including scholarly technology, academic platforms, academic administration, curriculum support, video production, and software development, and she oversaw budgeting and a number of administrative technology projects, including the creation of a Harvard College committee to prioritize IT projects.

Vale also played a key role in the planning and launching of the Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching and HarvardX, and served on numerous committees focused on the work of the libraries, including the planning group that led a major reorganization and new strategic direction for the Harvard Library.

From 1992 to 2008, Vale held positions at MIT that supported faculty teaching and scholarship. As assistant director of the office of educational innovation and technology, she led the university’s Educational Technology Consulting group, which included specialists in geographic information systems, software development, instructional technologies, and multimedia development.

Active in professional organizations, Vale has authored a number of publications and been a frequent presenter at the EDUCAUSE, SXSWedu, and NMC conferences, among other invited venues.

Vale received A.B. degrees in cognitive science and anthropology/archaeology from Brown University. She earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Boston University in education.

Vale’s appointment follows a national search overseen by a committee consisting of faculty, students, and staff that was chaired by Associate Professor of History Karen Melvin. Vale succeeds Eugene Wiemers, who retired on June 30.


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