Tim Gritten Named Dean Of The UTC Library

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Tim Gritten
Tim Gritten
photo by courtesy of Texas A&M University-San Antonio
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga announced that Tim Gritten, who has spent the last six years as Executive Director of the Library and Special Collections at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, has been appointed Dean of the UTC Library. The appointment is effective July 1.

Dr. Jerold L. Hale, UTC provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced the appointment.

“Tim has worked in various roles with ascending levels of responsibility and leadership over many years, and what stood out to me was the breadth of his experiences.
Most recently, he was able to transform a library at a relatively new university—Texas A&M University-San Antonio—and turn it into a facility that the entire Texas A&M University System could be proud of,” Dr. Hale said.

“Tim strikes that right balance of being a very person-centered leader and someone with the proper task orientation who can get things done while marshaling the support of the people around him. During the due diligence process, it was clear that Tim had the confidence of the people he worked with; they appreciated his leadership style and ability to get things done. Given the varied experiences that Tim has had, it has positioned him well to help us define what the library should be for our campus moving forward.”

Mr. Gritten joined Texas A&M University-San Antonio as executive director of the library and special collections in 2018 after spending two years at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mi., as associate dean of university libraries. His work experience began during his undergraduate days at the University of Illinois and has included stints at the Urbana (Illinois) Free Library, the Athens (Ohio) Public Library, the University of Notre Dame Law School’s Kresge Library, the Cunningham Memorial Library at Indiana State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

He now comes to UTC after seeing how libraries work from various perspectives.

“Universities and libraries have an opportunity to be that center core for conversations, driving the future of information and technology on campus and within the community,” Mr. Gritten said.

“When I visited the UTC campus, the quick connections I was able to make … people truly made me feel like I could be successful there. In terms of that welcoming environment, from the first time I met the people there, they were really outgoing and made me feel like this is my home.”

Mr. Gritten was a Chancellor’s Scholar in the University of Illinois’ Honors Program, graduating in 1992 with bachelor’s degrees in anthropology, classics, and history. He received a Master of Library Science from Indiana University in 2003.

“UTC is very student-focused, and those student-focused values have always been very important to me,” he said. “The fact that the University thinks about the library’s role in transformational engagement aligns with my experiences.”

Mr. Gritten noted that he is very accessible to members of the campus community.

“One thing I like to do, just because it tells a little bit about my personality, is that I’m always happy to play a strategic board game with anyone who wants to reach out to me,” he said.

In making the campus announcement, Dr. Hale noted that the national search was comprised of “a large and robust applicant pool” compared to most library dean searches, “which I think speaks to the quality of the UTC Library and the power of Chattanooga. I am grateful to the search committee, led by College of Health, Education and Professional Studies Dean Valerie Rutledge, for selecting a talented set of finalists for this crucial position.”

Mr. Gritten will succeed Theresa Liedtka, who is transitioning out of her position as dean of the UTC Library to take on other responsibilities on campus. Liedtka, the library dean since 2004, will be moving into a new position in Academic Affairs.

“She has been and will continue to be an influential and visionary leader who is an invaluable asset to UTC,” Dr. Hale said.
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