Totten assumes term as Library Science dean

Dr. Herman L. Totten
Dr. Herman L. Totten
Friday, September 9, 2005

DENTON (UNT), Texas - The University of North Texas has named Dr. Herman L. Totten, UNT Regents Professor of Library and Information Sciences and former associate dean of the school, to a special two-year term as dean of the School of Library and Information Sciences.

For the past three years Totten has served as faculty executive assistant to UNT President Norval Pohl.

According to Dr. Howard Johnson, UNT's provost and vice president for academic affairs, Totten will begin serving in his new post immediately.

The appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Regents.

"We are pleased that Dr. Herman Totten has accepted the position of Dean of the School of Library and Information Sciences. Dr. Totten has had a long and distinguished career in higher education as well as here at UNT. We look forward to his leadership of the school and to working with him as we continue to build on the great tradition that has already been established in the School of Library and Information Sciences," said Johnson.

Totten replaces Dr. Samantha Hastings, associate professor of Library and Information Sciences, who has served as interim dean since 2004. At that time, Dr. Philip Turner, who had served simultaneously as dean of the school and associate vice president for academic affairs for distance education, stepped down from the dean's position to assume an increased role in directing the university's online academic programs.

"It is a very humbling experience to be offered the deanship of a school that I have held so close to my heart for 28 years. I served as an advocate for SLIS for 25 years in several capacities including professor, associate dean and interim dean. For the past three years, I have maintained my advocacy role for SLIS as faculty executive to the president," Totten said.

In 2004, President George W. Bush nominated Totten for a five-year term on the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. The U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment in January of this year.

Totten joined UNT in 1977 as professor and associate dean of SLIS. He returned to full-time teaching in 1983 and taught 14 years before resuming his position as associate dean in 1996.

In addition to his academic and administrative work at UNT, Totten is the former president of the Texas Library Association, the nation's largest state library association. During his more than 30 years as a member of TLA, he has served as both chair and member of many of its committees.

He is a life member of the American Library Association, where he has served as chair of both the ALA Committee on Accreditation and the ALA Committee on Minority Concerns. He has served two terms on the ALA Council and is a member of several ALA divisions.

Among his many awards and honors are the 2001 ALA Melvil Dewey Award for creative professional achievement, the 1999 Association for Library and Information Science Education Outstanding Teacher Award and the 1992 ALA Black Caucus Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Library and Information Science Education.

Prior to UNT, Totten was dean of the library school at the University of Oregon, associate dean of the library school at the University of Kentucky and professor and director of the library at his alma mater, Wiley College in Marshall.

Totten earned his bachelor's degree in music at Wiley in 1961. He earned a master's degree in library science in 1964 and a doctoral degree in library science in 1966 -- both from the University of Oklahoma.

A photo of Dr. Totten is available on the UNT Web site at

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