Committee on Coherence at Scale Appoints New Members

Contact: Kathlin Smith

Three leaders in higher education will help guide research on cost efficiency, sustainability, teaching, and scholarly productivity across US campuses

Washington, DC, March 11, 2015-Three leaders in higher education have been appointed to the Committee on Coherence at Scale for Higher Education. Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow, Internet2 Associate Vice President for Community Engagement David Gift, and University of Houston System Chancellor Renu Khator will join 21 college, university, and association executives who serve on the committee.

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and Vanderbilt University formed the Committee on Coherence at Scale for Higher Education in 2012 to examine emerging national-scale digital projects and their potential to help transform higher education in terms of scholarly productivity, teaching, cost efficiency, and sustainability.

The Committee is initially overseeing research to develop a series of business models for operating analog repositories more coherently and efficiently at scale. The results will be made public in late summer 2015. In addition, fellowships will be announced soon for PhD candidates in information sciences who are writing their dissertations on topics that will help determine the design of the digital environment for education as envisioned by the Coherence project. These fellowships are administered by the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool and the international iSchool Consortium.

“The Committee is delighted to welcome its distinguished new members, each of whom represents an institution noted for its innovation, strategic vision, and leadership in higher education,” said CLIR President Chuck Henry. “I look forward to many productive years ahead guided by their experience and vision.”

Michael M. Crow is the sixteenth president of Arizona State University. Under his leadership, ASU has established more than 12 new transdisciplinary schools and large-scale research initiatives, including the Biodesign Institute; the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College; and important initiatives in the humanities and social sciences. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Public Administration.

David Gift joined Internet2 in 2014. He helps a community of member universities, colleges, and related research and education institutions develop and spread innovations that advance the mission of higher education and research. Mr. Gift is also vice provost emeritus for Libraries and IT services and CIO, and adjunct assistant professor of radiology at Michigan State University.

Renu Khator is the eighth chancellor of the University of Houston (UH) System and is concurrently the thirteenth president of the University of Houston. As chancellor, she oversees an organization that serves nearly 70,000 students with an annual budget that exceeds $1.5 billion. As part of a $1 billion campus construction program, UH recently added a 74-acre Energy Research Park and 40,000-seat TDECU Stadium. She is the first woman to hold the position of chancellor for the UH System and the first Indian American to lead a major research university in the United States. She serves on several boards, including as chair of the American Council on Education and chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

“Higher education institutions have always existed within a common operating environment for scholarship that spans beyond their individual institutional boundaries,” said Mr. Gift, who concurrently chairs CLIR’s Board of Directors. “This common environment has attained a level of importance that requires attention from higher education leadership toward how the environment is shaped and how each institution finds ways to contribute to its design and support. It is a privilege to join the Committee on Coherence at Scale, and my fellow appointees, to work on this challenge.”

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. Information about the Committee on Coherence at Scale for Higher Education is available at

Vanderbilt University is a private research university and medical center consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development, as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees to its nearly 13,000 students. Located in Nashville, Vanderbilt is the largest private employer in Middle Tennessee and the second largest private employer based in the state.