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KNOXVILLE — Steven Escar Smith has been named the dean of the University of Tennessee Libraries.

Smith, interim executive associate dean at Texas A&M Libraries in College Station, Texas, begins his new role on July 1.

“We are thrilled that Steve has agreed to take this critical leadership position,” said UT Knoxville Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Susan Martin. “The library system is the academic lifeblood of our university, and he will ensure that we continue to invest in its quality.”

Smith succeeds Barbara Dewey, who left the university to become the dean of university libraries and scholarly communications at Penn State. Linda Phillips, a UT Libraries professor and head of scholarly communication, is serving as interim dean during the search process.

Smith will administer the Hodges Main Library and UT branch libraries in music, social work and agriculture and veterinary medicine.

The UT Libraries serves the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee system, with more than 3 million volumes in print and extensive digital collections. More than 40 faculty and 100 staff members serve the campus with an annual budget of more than $16.5 million. The UT Libraries is a member of the Digital Library Federation and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), which ranks UT 29th among 67 publicly funded ARL institutions.

Smith earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature and a master’s degree in librarianship from the University of South Carolina, and a doctorate in English literature from Texas A&M University. He has extensive experience, rising from a reference graduate assistant at the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina to associate dean for advancement and then associate dean for collections and services at Texas A&M.

While at Texas A&M, Smith delivered the university’s 2007 Distinguished Faculty Lecture on “The Book, Google and the Future of the Research Library,” and oversaw fundraising initiatives that resulted in more than $19 million in cash and gifts to support the libraries’ mission.


Charles Primm, Media and Internal Relations (865-974-5180, primmc@utk.edu)