Denise Stephens will be leaving her position as vice provost and university librarian at Washington University in St. Louis, Provost Beverly Wendland announced. Stephens has been appointed dean of libraries at the University of Oklahoma, from which she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and will begin that role in May.
Stephens joined the university in 2017. She has managed University Libraries’ nine locations, the system’s vast archives and special collections, and more than 150 staff. Stephens led development of the libraries’ strategic plan and oversaw completion of the renovation of the John M. Olin Library, which included new study and exhibition spaces, enhanced technology and more.
“Denise Stephens has been an incredible leader and colleague during her time at Washington University,” said Provost Beverly Wendland. “We have benefited greatly from her expertise and intellect, and our libraries are stronger and better positioned for future growth because of her many contributions. We are sad to see her go, but know her heart and family are in Oklahoma, and we wish her all the best as she embarks on this next chapter.”
Stephens serves on the Center for Research Libraries Global Resources Network and the Greater Western Library Association board of directors and as chair of the Digital Public Library of America board of directors.
A search for Stephens’ successor will begin later this spring.