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The Libraries Welcome Interim Dean Lynda Coon
Dennis Clark will step down from his role as dean of the University Libraries to become the chief of research and reference services at the Library of Congress.
Clark joined the U of A in 2019 to lead the university's library system, which includes the David W. Mullins Library, four branch libraries and more than three million volumes. In his time as dean, Clark oversaw the ongoing $25 million renovation of the main library, in addition to expanding access to digital resources and ensuring library access during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also restructured library administration that included the establishment of an assessment team and the re-establishment of a diversity, equity and inclusion committee.
"Dennis has provided exceptional leadership in our libraries, overseeing a vital renovation project while navigating the challenges of this calendar year to ensure our campus community has the resources it needs to conduct its academic and research endeavors," said Charles Robinson, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. "While we will miss him at the U of A, I want to congratulate him on this exciting opportunity and wish him well."
Robinson has appointed Lynda Coon as interim library dean, effective Jan. 1. Coon will retain her duties as dean of the Honors College.
Coon has served as dean of the Honors College since 2015, where her accomplishments include fostering curricular innovation through interdisciplinary courses, expanding the Path Program with grants of nearly $2 million from the National Science Foundation and $6 million in private support, and strengthening donor and alumni engagement. She has also established numerous new initiatives, including a mentoring program for first-generation students, study abroad experiences and the first-ever statewide partnership of honors colleges and programs.
Her time at the U of A extends more than 30 years, beginning as a professor and including roles such as as chair of the Department of History, director of the Humanities Program and associate dean of Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
"Lynda has a wealth of experience in all levels of academia and will provide invaluable leadership during this time of transition," Robinson said. "I couldn't be more excited that she has agreed to serve in this role."