After serving at UT for 13 years as a visiting professor and then tenured associate professor, Thomas Atwood, now serves the university in his new role as the associate dean of University Libraries.
Beau Case, dean of University Libraries, announced in an email to university faculty and staff that he began his role effective immediately.
Two years ago, University Libraries became its own college, but it lacked a structure “fit for their needs,” Case said. He wanted the college to match other colleges administratively.
University Libraries employees work in specific domains, but Case said he lacked someone “versatile” enough to work in different departments.
That’s where Atwood entered the picture. His experience and background made it an easy decision, Case said.
Atwood became the coordinator of the upper division undergraduate of information literacy in 2015 where he focused on the first-year experience, freshman and sophomores. Later, he became the coordinator of upper division graduate of information literacy where he focused on seniors and graduates.
Case said Atwood’s experience in the Faculty Senate allowed him to hear faculty and student issues.
Atwood will focus on the teaching and learning aspects of the core mission driven to activities of the university, Case said.
“This involves listening on campus to see what the library can do to be active in the students’ lives,” Case said. “One example is how the library is more involved on campus such as with Welcome Week,”
Atwood’s appointment shows University Libraries’ dedication to learning and supplementing materials in the classroom, he said.
“Part of that is having a student paint a mural on the yellow wall and having an art student restore the globe on the third floor so the students can build their portfolio,” Case said.
Atwood’s motto for his appointment is to nurture scholarship, enhance discovery, provide a positive environment to students first and then to other campus constituents.
“I think it’s cool that they are getting more student representation and making the library the students’ own instead of a boring library,” said Haleigh Brushaber, a second-year English creative writing major.