Flight enthusiast and historian Larry D. Sall recently ascended to dean of libraries, becoming UTD’s 11th dean in the process.
After directing the library’s department of special collections for more than 20 years and serving as director of libraries since 2000, Sall will now sit as a member of the dean’s caucus to advise the university provost on matters of policy decisions.
Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Hobson Wildenthal said President Franklyn Jenifer’s decision to designate a Dean of Libraries fits the “standard nomenclature” of UT System and other universities that UTD seeks to emulate.
“Dr. Sall is certainly a fitting peer of our other deans,” Wildenthal said. “‘Dean’ is a title with a firm identity, and the decision (to create the deanship) couples the library with the academic track at UTD.”
Wildenthal compared the evolution of director of libraries to dean of libraries to the process by which Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Darrelene Rachavong became Dean of Students a few years ago. He added that the university hopes the title will attract hihg-caliber candidates when it comes time to replace Sall.
Sall considers the deanship a high honor for the university, and in a university press release added, “It also is a recognition of the central role the library plays in a university, supporting learning and research.”
Among the challenges he will face as dean, Sall said the growth of the student body outpaces the growth of the library.
He plans to increase the speed of library acquisition by “short-circuiting” many of the inconveniences that hinder growth of the collections.
Additionally, Sall aims to increase the availability of library services via satellite operations around campus.
“We are partners in this endeavor – the university mission to expand and maintain the quality of education we have now,” Sall said.
Sall’s latest milestone is the acquisition of the library’s historic millionth volume to be commemorated 2 p.m. Sept. 10 in the McDermott Library Auditorium (MC 2.410).
Sall considers the addition symbolic of the continual growth of library collections and services.
“The library is not just a building; it’s a function,” Sall said. “We want students to get their money’s worth.”