CLEMSON — Christopher Cox, dean of library services at the University of Northern Iowa, has been chosen as the new dean of libraries for Clemson University. He will start on Aug. 1.

Formal photo of Christopher Cox, the new Dean of Libraries

Christopher Cox
Image Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Cox

“I am honored and excited to be named Clemson University’s dean of libraries,” said Cox. “During my visit, I was impressed by the quality of the library’s faculty and staff and the great interest that students and faculty have in the libraries’ collections, services and spaces.

“I appreciate Clemson’s dedication to providing high-quality undergraduate programs at the same time it transitions to become a world-class research university,” he said. “I look forward to working with my new library and university colleagues to ensure the success of both Clemson’s undergraduates and its cutting-edge scholars.”

As dean, Cox will oversee 28 faculty and 58 staff members in the R.M. Cooper Library in the heart of campus along with a number of smaller collections and facilities on and off campus.

Cox will be tasked with providing a clear vision of the evolving role of the libraries and how they directly support the strategic initiatives and intellectual core of the university.

“Clemson’s vision to be a top 20 public nationally acclaimed research university will require significant contributions from our library, faculty, staff and facilities,” said Robert Jones, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Chris has the unique combination of vision, innovation, experience and leadership skills to make this happen.”

The Clemson University Libraries provide access to more than 1.6 million books, approximately 500 databases, over 65,000 journals and numerous unique, digital collections.

With an annual budget in excess of $14 million (with more than half committed to the library collection), the libraries are engaged in numerous digitization projects and have also been involved in several initiatives to support new forms of scholarly publishing and communication.

Cox earned his undergraduate degree in English from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, a master’s in English from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Library Science from the University at Albany, New York.

He has been the dean of library services for the University of Northern Iowa since 2012. Before that, he was dean of libraries at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, and interim director of libraries at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is a member of the editorial board of College & Research Libraries and is the current chair of the Iowa Commission of Libraries. He was named a 2017 Leading Change Institute participant.

Under his leadership, the University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library won the 2016 Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award for its Microsoft Surface Hub crowdfunding campaign and the Association of College & Research Libaries’ College Libraries Section 2015 ProQuest Innovation in College Librarianship Award for its Comic Con event.

Cox’s wife, Juliann, will be enrolling in Clemson’s Master of English program. They have three children. In his spare time, he enjoys performing in community theater.