Holly Jeffcoat named dean of SMU Libraries

Holly Jeffcoat

University of Connecticut Associate Dean of Libraries Holly Jeffcoat, a leader in the use of technology in instruction and library services, has been selected as the next dean of SMU Libraries. She will assume her new duties Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

“Holly Jeffcoat has deep leadership skills, as well as broad administrative experience in the library system of a highly ranked research institution,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “She will lead SMU Libraries in forging a collective vision in line with SMU’s goals for even greater academic quality.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner lauded Jeffcoat’s strategic vision.

“Holly is wonderfully forward-thinking in her understanding of the role of technology in libraries now and in the future,” Turner said.

As associate dean of UConn Library, Jeffcoat leads core library operations that include access services, administration, marketing, development, facilities, finance, human resources, information technology and strategic planning. She oversees a $22 million budget, and leads the Library’s five-year, $20 million master plan renovation effort.

She is a key contributor to One UConn Library, an endeavor that ultimately will align systems across all UConn libraries. She also serves as interim leader of the strategic library areas of research, teaching, service and outreach. Previously at UConn, she served as the interim vice provost (the head UConn librarian), the assistant vice provost, and as the associate university librarian of planning, finance and assessment.

“It is an honor and privilege to join the SMU community as the new dean of SMU Libraries,” Jeffcoat said. “This is an exciting time of change and growth in academic research libraries and at SMU. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with world-changing faculty, students, staff, and the broader SMU community to create a shared 21st-century vision for SMU Libraries built upon the existing strengths of dedicated library professionals, outstanding special collections, and inspiring facilities.”

Prior to an international search for a new dean, Currall convened a task force to review existing university library organizational structures and processes, and to make recommendations for a new structure favorable to coordination among the libraries, and conducive to future strategic planning. A new unified organization model will take effect when Jeffcoat begins her new post.

As SMU Libraries dean, Jeffcoat will oversee DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, science and technology; Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; the Hamon Arts Library; Bridwell Library, which supports theological education and scholarship; the Business Library; and human resources needs for the libraries. She will serve as ex officio member of the SMU Libraries Executive Board and the Friends of the SMU Libraries.

“Holly understands modern research libraries from the ground up and across all disciplines,” said Thomas DiPiero, dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, who chaired the 15-member search committee. “Her terrific strategic planning experience will help her lead collaborations across SMU Libraries.”

Prior to UConn, Jeffcoat held positions at the University of New Mexico College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences as well as the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center. Her library leadership career began in Galápagos, Ecuador, as the director of the Charles Darwin Research Station. Jeffcoat has published and presented on translational science support, use of virtual reality in education, collection development in health sciences, and numerous scholarly communication topics.

Jeffcoat is a founding creator of BLC Leads, a Boston-based leadership program for mid-career librarians, and serves as a program mentor. She is a 2018-19 fellow in the prestigious Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Library Leadership Fellows program.

She earned B.A. degree in psychology from Greensboro College, where she minored in sociology and French. She earned an M.S. degree in sociology from Utah State University, and an M.A. degree in library and information sciences from the University of Arizona.

Currall thanked Elizabeth Killingsworth, who has served as interim dean since July 2017, for her leadership. “Elizabeth guided us through this period of transition extremely well,” he said. “She’s a wonderful asset to SMU Libraries and the University.”