News & Events

Prom Named Interim Dean of Libraries

Professor, archivist to serve in provisional role

In December, Christopher J. Prom was appointed as the Interim Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian (Designate), pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

“As the interim dean, I will collaborate with people from across campus to strengthen our already excellent services and programs,” Prom said. “I look forward to helping everyone welcome the permanent dean, whose appointment will be announced this spring.”

Prom took on these duties after the previous dean, John P. Wilkin, stepped down on November 30, 2022.

Prom currently serves as a professor in the University Library and in two administrative roles: Acting Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation—Humanities, Arts and Related Fields and Associate Dean for Digital Strategies—University Library. From 2000 to 2018, he served as Assistant University Archivist in the University of Illinois Archives.

No stranger to the University of Illinois, Prom came to the campus in the 1990s to pursue a doctorate in history, which he received in 2004. He recalls “practically living” in the stacks and the History Library (when it was on the fourth floor), and indeed, in one instance was so absorbed in his work that he was nearly locked inside when he missed the closing call.

As to his new role, Prom credits his colleagues for maintaining the excellence of the Library’s services. “More than anything, it’s our talented librarians and staff members—past and present—who have made the University of Illinois Library a world-class institution,” he said. “And the Library’s many users inspire me through the innovative ways they use our collections.

“When I first passed through the Library doors in August 1994, I was in awe,” said Prom, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marquette University. “I’d never seen a library of such size or quality. For that reason, and many more, I feel both humbled and honored to serve in this temporary role.”

Editor’s Note: At press time, a new University Librarian and Dean of Libraries had not been announced. Look for an announcement in the spring/summer issue of Friendscript or, in the meantime, visit the Library’s website at for the most up-to-date information.

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