The Georgia Tech Library welcomes new Dean Leslie Sharp, who officially starts her tenure July 1.
Previously, Sharp served as interim chief executive officer for the Library since March 2019, a role she shared with her duties as associate vice provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development.
“This is an exciting time to be at Georgia Tech with its new leadership, increasingly strong academic reputation, crossing of the billion dollar mark in research expenditures, and expanding global presence,” she said. “The Library has the opportunity to be at the center of this transformation by supporting Tech’s students and faculty in ‘Creating the Next’ in education and research.”
As interim CEO of the Library, Sharp was responsible for overseeing all personnel, financial, and operational decisions. She also began to craft a long-term vision for the human resources, technology, space, and culture of the Library, including strengthening integration of the Library with the Institute’s research and academic efforts.
Starting this summer, Sharp will continue work on her priorities for the Library. These include:
- Further integrating the Library with the academic and research mission of the Institute;
- Pursuing opportunities for diversified support through leveraging campus resources, corporate partnerships, and consortia agreements;
- Embracing Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons as an integral part of the Library and its vision;
- Investing in the digital technological infrastructure of the Library; and
- Providing ethical and compassionate leadership to create a positive and highly productive environment where everyone has an opportunity to thrive.
“My personal goal is for the Library to be the heart of Georgia Tech’s scholarly community,” she said. “However, to achieve this the Library must be a place that fosters community and where people want to come. This includes all students, faculty and staff.”
In her time as Interim Library CEO, the organization made tremendous strides toward its goal of being the new model for a public, STEM-focused research library. The accomplishments included:
- Engaging with new degree and curricular proposals;
- Creating a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council;
- Expanding public programming;
- Reinvesting in digital repository and curation initiatives;
- Supporting the offering of six minimester courses; and
- Increasing transparency, accountability, and communications in decision-making, budgeting, and search and hiring processes.
Sharp has more than 25 years of administrative experience in both academic and history-related organizations, and has been at Georgia Tech since 2006. Her time here includes service as the assistant dean for Academic Affairs and Outreach for the College of Design and, most recently, as the associate vice provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development, a position she has held since 2013.
As associate vice provost, Sharp managed operations across the organization, including communications, human resources, finance, and general administration. She also oversaw an expanding organizational mission and operations, including growing personnel and services that offer enhanced graduate student support, professional development for graduate students and postdocs, postdoctoral services, and more intentional faculty development. Additionally, she authored new procedures for the Regents Professor and Researcher processes, resulting in more representative and inclusive practices for nomination, selection, and reappointment, and helped put in place a transparent and consistent promotion path for lecturers and academic professionals, which included adding a principal level to both.
Sharp is a Georgia Tech alumna, earning a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of technology and science, with a doctoral minor in architectural history. She holds a master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a B.A. in history from the University of Georgia.
While at Tech, Sharp has been appointed to the Georgia Tech Athletic Association Board of Trustees (2019-present); selected as a participant for the ACC Academic Leadership Network (2018-2019); named to the Georgia’s Most Beautiful Libraries Selection Committee of the Georgia Public Library Service, USG (2017); awarded the Alumni Trailblazer Award, School of History and Sociology, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts (2015); and received the Dean’s Award, College of Architecture (2008).