Columbus, OH -- February 26, 2020. OhioLINK announces the departure of Executive Director Gwen Evans. Deputy Director Amy Pawlowski has been named Interim Executive Director, effective February 28, 2020.
Statement from Gwen Evans:
"It is with deep respect that I announce my last day as OhioLINK Executive Director will be February 27th, 2020. As of February 28th, I will assume the role of Vice President, Global Library Relations at Elsevier, where I will serve as a liaison to, and advocate for, the academic library community.
This decision was made with great consideration and thoroughness. When presented with the opportunity by Elsevier in November of 2019, I immediately contacted both my supervisors: Vice Chancellor Charles See at the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and Randy Moses, Senior Associate Vice President for Research Administration at The Ohio State University, to put a formal plan in place to manage any potential conflict of interest and to ensure I was walled off from all activities, conversations, decisions and support tickets regarding content with EJC vendors and any vendor in a similar or competitive space to Elsevier. After a lengthy and involved interview process, where I made as many inquiries of my potential employer as were made of me, it became clear this new position is a path with great opportunities for me to serve and represent libraries as their role on campuses continues to deepen and evolve.
There are big questions leading us all into the next generation of scholarly communication, specifically in the realms of data and technology, which are two of my greatest interests and intellectual drivers professionally. The answers will undoubtedly change the way both publishers and libraries conduct business and offer services in the higher education industry. As a leader with a deep passion for, and loyalty to, the library's crucial role at the table—especially amid great change—this is a logical next step in my career. I'm excited at the opportunity to serve as a fully representative voice of the library, and I'm driven by being in organizations where I can affect change and foster true collaboration and partnership.
OhioLINK has been my professional home since 2012 and I will continue to hold its goals, procedures and professional, passionate community of members in the utmost respect. I am so incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together, and I have absolute faith in Amy Pawlowski who will be Interim Executive Director. Throughout our leadership roles at OhioLINK, she and I have remained focused on building a resilient and sustainable organization with top-performing staff, committed first and foremost to its members, and I have every confidence there will be zero disruption whatsoever due to my departure.
From now through February 27th, it is my commitment to be available to answer any questions you might have. I know this is very short notice of my departure, but we all felt it was best for both me and OhioLINK. I will still be based in Columbus. It has been my absolute privilege to serve OhioLINK's membership for nearly eight years. Thank you for the opportunity."
Details surrounding the search process for the Executive Director role will be announced at the discretion and timing of the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
Statement from Deputy Director Amy Pawlowski:
"As OhioLINK's Deputy Director and the lead on content negotiation and contracting, I have experienced great frustration around the lack of library representation in the commercial publishing industry. While I will miss Gwen greatly, professionally and personally, I am thrilled this is happening—both for her and for OhioLINK. I truly believe we will have the dedicated representation that is desperately needed in the publisher space. I am confident she will serve us all well in her new role.
I would also like to commend Gwen's professionalism and continued commitment to OhioLINK, which has been unfailing throughout her tenure and remains amid her departure. It is also important to commend both leadership and staff for their respective roles in maintaining clear and consistent boundaries while we navigated this process together. We, along with the established procedures of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and The Ohio State University, ensured the entire process was handled with the highest transparency and integrity, to the protection of the interests and needs of our membership—which always comes first for us."