Apr 20, 2009
A $5 million gift has established a deanship at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. Professor Paula T. Kaufman, university librarian and dean of libraries for
the University of Illinois, will be honored as the inaugural Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean
of Libraries at an Investiture ceremony hosted by Chancellor Richard Herman and Provost Linda
Katehi on April 29, 2009.
The Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson University Library Deanship is one of the first deanships at the University of Illinois to be endowed at this level. The seven-figure donation will create an endowment—a permanent trust that is invested to provide a long-term source of funding—which will be used to finance the perpetual needs of the University Library.
Paula Kaufman joined the University Library in 1999 after serving in key library positions at the University of Tennessee and Columbia University. She has four decades of experience as a librarian and has written and made presentations on a number of issues pertaining to scholarly information, privacy, copyright, research libraries, recruitment, and leadership.
“Juanita and Robert Simpson have bestowed the greatest possible honor to the University Library with the establishment of this deanship. By endowing this position, they ensure that our Library continues to attract leadership of the highest order and they make certain President James’ vision of a great library that recruits the best faculty and students to this University is secure,” said Professor Kaufman. “I am humbled and honored to be the first person to carry the title of the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of the Library and University Librarian. It is only through the Simpsons’ foresight and generosity that this is possible."
Robert E. Simpson and Juanita J. Simpson have supported the University Library for over 20 years and share Professor Kaufman’s passion and vision for the University Library. Through their committee work at the Library, the Simpsons provided leadership for the successful completion of a $30 million campaign to raise awareness of the Library’s needs for support of its collections, facilities, and faculty. Their gifts for this deanship, as well as for the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Rare Book & Manuscript Library Chair, have provided invaluable funding for Library programs and projects.