Denise Stephens currently serves as the Peggy V. Helmerich Dean of University Libraries for the University of Oklahoma
Prior to assuming the role at Oklahoma, she was the vice provost and university librarian at Washington University at St. Louis (WUSTL). There she managed the university’s nine locations, their archives and special collections, and oversaw more than 150 professionals and support staff. She has also served as university librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she planned and executed the $80 million expansion and update of the university’s library.
Stephens has had leadership roles at several other academic libraries in the U.S., including the University of Kansas, where she held positions as strategic and organizational research librarian, information management coordinator and vice provost for information services. She also served as a librarian at Syracuse University and the University of Virginia. Stephens earned both her undergraduate degree and master of library and information science degree from the University of Oklahoma.