University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce Santi Thompson as the associate dean for Research and Student Engagement (RASE), effective June 1.
The newly created position is designed to provide strategic leadership in building a collaborative and integrated approach to library specialties, one that promotes the teaching and research mission of the University.
“Santi Thompson is a highly regarded leader effectively leading robust research initiatives in academic library settings,” said Athena N. Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “He brings distinctive experience and an exceptionally collaborative spirit that will further strengthen the Libraries’ impact on information access, teaching, and research. I’m thrilled that he has accepted this new role.”
RASE is a recently created portfolio within the new intentional restructure of UH Libraries. The portfolio includes Information and Access Services, Research Services, and Teaching and Learning. As associate dean, Thompson will advance the University’s research goals by partnering with faculty, staff, and students across the research and learning lifecycle; advocate for the effective application of enterprise-wide services across the Libraries; and provide leadership in the enhancement of learning and research spaces and information literacy efforts for undergraduate and graduate programs, and co-curricular learning experiences in support of student success.
“The RASE associate dean role presents a variety of collaborative opportunities to optimize the Libraries’ services and expertise in teaching, research, and access to needed information and resources,” Thompson said. “I am excited to work alongside talented colleagues at UH Libraries to create diverse and enriching experiences for students, faculty, and staff to learn, create, and connect with one another.”
In his prior role as head of Research Services, Thompson was integral in positioning the Libraries to support expansion of research productivity at the University, and continues to provide significant contributions in the development of research support services. Thompson developed policies and workflows for the digital components of scholarly communications, including digital research support and digital repositories. Under his direction and with support from the UH Division of Research and Office of the Provost, UH Libraries launched the Digital Research Commons (DRC) in 2018, a facility dedicated to the production of digital research projects and instruction on digital research methodologies. Thompson has been instrumental in the creation of the Libraries’ digital collection development policy and in the development of the Libraries’ future digital asset management system. He was also involved in the development of a digital preservation policy and the selection of a digital preservation tool; and collaborated with several Libraries departments on the Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (Cougar ROAR). In 2020, Thompson was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Eva Digital Research Endowed Library Professorship, an appointment which enables the Libraries to expand its services in the emerging areas of digital research, data preservation and accessibility, and scholarly communication.
Thompson has authored and produced numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations and has been invited to present his work at international venues. He has represented the profession and the University through leadership roles with the Digital Library Federation (DLF), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), and the Texas Digital Library (TDL). In 2018-2019 he served as an inaugural DLF Futures Fellow. He is the principal investigator for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded “Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT)” grant project and the co-principal investigator for the IMLS-funded “Bridge2Hyku Toolkit: Developing Migration Strategies for Hyku.” He previously served as the principal investigator for the IMLS-funded “Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse of Digital Objects.”