May 26, 2021
Dear Trinity College Community Members,
I am delighted to announce the appointment of Kristen Eshleman as Trinity’s vice president for Library and Information Technology Services (LITS). She will begin her new role on July 12. As a key member of the college’s senior administration, Kristen will provide leadership of the merged LITS organization and collaborate with fellow cabinet members and me, as well as with faculty, staff, and students, to advance our strategic goals.
Kristen joins the Trinity community from Davidson College in North Carolina, where she has served since 2019 as director of innovation initiatives. In that role, she is responsible for operational leadership of innovation strategy, process, and projects for the college, leading through deep collaboration complex institutional initiatives that address needs and seize opportunities.
She has been at Davidson for 20 years, starting in 2001 as an instructional technologist in the humanities and advancing to become director of instructional technology in 2005, then director of digital learning and innovation in 2015. Prior to her tenure at Davidson, Kristen worked in two start-up companies. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in social anthropology from the London School of Economics. Kristen has written numerous articles on such topics as complexity, innovation, and change management in higher education for Inside Higher Ed, EDUCAUSE Review, and other outlets, and she co-authored, with Joe Eshleman, Richard Moniz, and Karen Mann, the 2016 book Librarians and Instructional Designers: Collaboration and Innovation.
She also has been active in service to Davidson and higher education. In 2017, she led a project at Davidson to develop an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative innovation management framework and now chairs Davidson’s Innovation Council. She has served previously as a member of the EDUCAUSE Annual Meeting Program Committee, the Partnership for Liberal Arts Collaboration and Exploration Steering Committee, and the Liberal Arts Consortium for Digital Innovation (LACOL) Advisory Council, where she helped launch the Undergraduate Network for Research in the Humanities. She was part of a team that won an $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a curricular model for digital studies. And she is co-founder of HAIL (Harvesting Academic Innovation for Learners), a community of leaders from all areas of higher education advancing institution-led innovation.
The search committee and I were impressed by Kristen’s agility and breadth, her ability to lead diverse teams collaboratively, and her passion for the liberal arts. She has a proven track record of designing inclusive processes to empower others to innovate. We know she will bring her vast talents to bear in leading digital transformation at Trinity and ensuring our library is an intellectual hub for the campus. She will be a positive, energizing member of the Trinity community.
I want to extend my gratitude to Sonia Cardenas, acting dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs, for leading the search for our new vice president, as well as to all members of the committee for their dedication and service on this critical search: David Andres, director of analytics and strategic initiatives; Carlos Espinosa, director of community relations and Trinfo.Café; Jordan Lewis ’22; Dan Lloyd, Brownell Professor of Philosophy and chair of the Library and Information Technology Committee (LITC); Christina Posniak, assistant vice president for college advancement; and Ewa Syta, assistant professor of computer science and member of the LITC. I also want to thank Fred Kass, who has provided outstanding, steadfast leadership and served with great dedication as interim chief information officer throughout this very challenging and demanding year.
We look forward to welcoming Kristen to Trinity in July!
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience