William Welburn is the executive director for Marquette University’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. As executive director, Welburn is responsible for leadership in setting a strategic direction on campus diversity and inclusion by working with faculty, administrative, staff and student communities on a range of issues leading toward a more inclusive Marquette. His office’s portfolio includes implementation of the university’s strategic planning theme “A Culture of Inclusion,” and in assisting the university in full implementation of actions recommended by planning and climate assessments.
Welburn joined Marquette after having served as associate dean of the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign from 2006–09, where he held administrative responsibility for graduate student academic services, including initiatives on diversity, handling student problems and assisting in establishing an electronic thesis and dissertation program. He began his career in higher education in 1978 as a reference librarian at Indiana University–Bloomington. Since then, he has held positions in the libraries at Princeton University, William Paterson University, and the University of Iowa. He has also taught in library and information science graduate programs at Atlanta University, Rutgers University, University of Iowa, and University of Arizona. While at Iowa, he shifted his career trajectory when in 1993 he accepted a position as the Graduate College’s assistant dean. He also served for a year as interim chair of the university’s African American Studies Program.
A native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, Welburn received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University in 1975, his master’s degree in library science from Atlanta University in 1978, and his doctorate in library and information science from Indiana University in 1991. He remains active in his discipline of library and information science through service and publications. He edited a volume for the Association for College and Research Libraries with Beth McNeil and Janice Welburn titled Advocacy, Outreach, and the Nation’s Academic Libraries: A Call for Action. He continues to write and present papers on diversity, documenting diverse cultures and communities, and the bridge between libraries and African-American studies. He serves on the editorial boards of two journals, including portal: Libraries and the Academy. He is married to Janice Welburn, Dean of Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries and an alumna of ICP. He has two children, Dr. Jessica Welburn Paige, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Iowa, and Dr. Jonathan Welburn, Associate Operations Researcher for the Rand Corporation. Away from work, Welburn serves on several boards in Milwaukee, including the Interchange Food Pantry and the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee. He enjoys music and is an avid collector of music recordings and art books.