Dean of Z. Smith Reynolds Library Lynn Sutton has been appointed Vice Provost. Effective July 1, Sutton will move into the role currently held by Jennifer Collins, who will become the dean of Southern Methodist University’s law school.
As ZSR dean since 2008, Sutton has been a dynamic leader who helped elevate our library to national prominence, emphasizing close connections with faculty and students. In 2011, Wake Forest won the national Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries , and remains among the smallest universities ever to receive this prominent award in the university category. Among her many transformative accomplishments, Sutton has presided over the conversion of ZSR librarians to faculty members; led the adoption of advanced technology that includes our signature ZSRx online courses for specialized audiences such as WFU alumni and parents of current undergraduates; and raised funds to enable the expansion and significant renovation of the library space. Thanks to her leadership, the library is known campus-wide as a hospitable environment for everything from a conversation with colleagues at Starbucks to a quiet nook for research/writing to the perfect place for a Friday-night zombie hunt.
“Lynn’s remarkable creative spirit and her proven ability to work with constituents from every quarter to achieve ambitious goals across academic, student-focused, and research/creative areas made her an obvious choice,” said Provost Rogan Kersh. “She also has developed very strong professional relationships with many key stakeholders across the Wake Forest community, so can swiftly shoulder an immense range of existing activities and programs as well as generating innovative solutions to issues we face—all of which is essential given the kaleidoscope of changes affecting universities nationwide.”
Sutton has held many leadership positions throughout her career and just completed a term as President of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. Her scholarly interests range from intellectual freedom and leadership theory to the future of libraries and library collaboration across university campuses. She received her AB and AMLS degrees from the University of Michigan and holds a Ph.D. in Education from Wayne State University, where she was later associate dean of their library system.
Sutton will remain in her library dean position during the coming year, with members of her wonderfully capable senior library staff assuming more day-to-day responsibilities for ZSR operations. A search advisory committee will be formed in the fall to choose a successor as dean of ZSR Library.