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Indianapolis library chooses Greg Hill as new CEO

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After months of controversy, the Indianapolis Public Library Board on Monday agreed to appoint the interim leader of the district, Greg Hill, as its chief executive officer.

Gregory A. Hill Sr. has accrued 23 years of military service, including leadership in the Navy, before retiring and getting degrees in library science and strategic management. He started nearly 12 years ago with the library system as an hourly assistant and worked his way up to the job of the system’s chief public services officer before becoming interim CEO.

The library has been without a CEO since Jackie Nytes stepped down at the end of August 2021 after complaints from employees about what the Indianapolis Foundation called inequity and bias. She’d been CEO since 2012, and a library employee for 23 years.

Hill has been serving as acting CEO since Dec. 9. Previously, Nichelle Hayes had held the role of interim library CEO for nine months while leaders searched for a permanent CEO.

A community swell had pushed for Hayes to become the CEO, but, on Dec. 8, the library board named a New Orleans library director, Gabriel Morley, as CEO over Hayes. The next day, Morley declined to take the job.

In the meantime, the community swell for Hayes grew, and even members of the Indianapolis City-County Council pushed the board to hire her as the library district’s leader.

The key moment may have been in March when the newest library board member, Eugene White, said he was changing his mind and no longer supported Hayes. White is a former Indianapolis Public Schools superintendent and the current interim principal at North Central High School.

White said in a March library board meeting, “I changed my mind on that when I learned all the facts involved.”

He also wrote an email, which News 8 obtained from a source who requested to be anonymous, that research helped him learn other library board members did not believe Hayes was “ready” for the job. He noted that Hates didn’t have “the practical experience” of evaluating employees, budgeting, or serving as a regional library branch manager.

The resolution approved Monday by the library board said it “has reviewed and considered Hill’s qualifications for the role of the CEO, including his management experience in the military and in service to the Library in several positions throughout the Library system, and has reviewed and considered his training and proficiency in the science of library administration. Based on this review the Board considers Hill aptly qualified to serve as the new CEO of the Library.”

The board will negotiate an employment agreement with Hill, which the board will approve at a future meeting, the resolution says.