Sree Sreenivasan to leave chief digital officer post at Columbia University, for the same title at the Met

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Sree Sreenivasan. (Twitter)
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Sree Sreenivasan, the journalism professor and social-media evangelist, is leaving his full-time job at Columbia University, where he's taught for two decades, sources tell Capital.

As of Aug. 12, he will begin a job as chief digital officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sreenivasan is the first to hold that title at the museum.

For the past year, Sreenivasan has served as Columbia's inaugural chief digital officer, a job he accepted after serving as dean of students at the Columbia Journalism School, where he remained on the faculty. (Disclosure: Sreenivasan was dean of students at the Journalism School when I enrolled there in 2007.)

Sreenivasan is no stranger to the Met: his bio lists the museum as one of the organizations for which he has either consulted or provided digital-media training.

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On Thursday, a memo was circulated to the museum's staff announcing the appointment.

"Sree’s work in traditional journalism, his role as a commentator on technology and media issues, and his expertise in websites and social media will all be key to the Museum’s work in the digital space," the memo from Thomas Campbell, the museum's director and C.E.O., read in part. "His academic background will also position him well within our community of scholars, and we look forward to working with him as we leverage mobile, in-gallery, and online platforms for the Met’s collections."

Reached by phone on Wednesday before the Met's memo went out, Sreenivasan declined to comment. A Columbia spokesman declined to comment on whether the university will search for someone to replace Sreenivasan as chief digital officer.

As we reported last year, Sreenivasan was also instrumental in the founding of DNAinfo, the neighborhood news website backed by billionaire businessman Joe Ricketts.

UPDATE: Sreenivasan tells AllThingsD: “I loved was I was doing at Columbia, but when you’ve been in love with something like the Met Museum for 30 years as I have, it’s very hard to say no.”

Ed. Note: This article was originally published June 19, and updated on June 20 with news of the memorandum at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.