Guy to Know – Dean Hendrix

Dean Hendrix


Dean Hendrix

Vice Provost of Libraries and Museums at the University of Texas at San Antonio


By Michelle Vasquez | Photography by David Teran


Dean Hendrix, a proud San Antonio native, is dedicated to giving back to his community through his role as Vice Provost of Libraries and Museums at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). “I came home in 2016 after 27 years of being away from San Antonio, and I am thrilled to see how much the city has grown and evolved while still retaining the warmth of a close-knit community,” says Dean.


UTSA is a diverse and vibrant research university, home to 35,000 students, approximately 60% of whom are Mexican American and 75% of whom are students of color. According to Dean, “UTSA represents the promise of higher education where every student’s story and journey matters.”


Dean manages four libraries, two museums, and an art collection of over 3,000 pieces. He is passionate about ensuring students and scholars access to information and artistic expression. “I believe libraries and museums foster knowledge and growth, empower individuals to make informed life choices, and improve the quality of life for everyone,” he says.


Shaped by his intellectual curiosity, Dean spent his formative years delving into his passions at Texas libraries. Combining library archives and international magazines, he took deep dives into subjects like electronic music. “When I went to Europe in 1989, I knew I needed to go to Ibiza for music. Why? Libraries,” he says. This early exposure to research and libraries shaped his love for libraries and social infrastructure, a quality he carries into his role as Vice Provost of Libraries and Museums.


A renowned scholar, Dean was ranked among the top 20 researchers in the information sciences worldwide in the journal Scientometrics. Dean is actively involved in acquiring library resources, which requires him to stay abreast of information technology, artificial intelligence, and science developments. His leadership extends to a team of 175 people, and he is dedicated to raising awareness of UTSA as a premier research institution.


One of his goals is to gain membership in the Association of Research Libraries, which includes the top 125 libraries in North America, such as Harvard, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress.


Dean envisions UTSA as the ‘library of record’ for the Mexican American experience. This aspiration is supported by UTSA’s extensive Mexican cookbook collection, the largest in the United States, dating back to 1789. These resources reflect the rich history of the predominantly Mexican American student body.


Dean doesn’t skip a beat when asked about the importance of access to the archives and the library’s collections. “Access to trustworthy information sources allows our students to direct their own learning and gain understanding of complex subjects. In this age of information saturation and artificial intelligence, students with strong critical thinking skills are better at assessing situations, questioning assumptions, and ultimately making smart choices for themselves and their community,” says Dean.


Students learn to find, evaluate, and synthesize information at libraries and museums into term papers, videos, podcasts, or informed conversations on specific subjects. “We aim for them to understand the information lifecycle – how information is created and valued,” he says.


These skills are invaluable in any career and will set students apart in the real world. “When he asks CEOs and CFOs in San Antonio what they want from new workers, they say, ‘We want people who can solve problems,’ says Dean.”  “By developing these skills, they will likely become valuable community members who contribute to San Antonio’s economic and cultural growth, as many choose to stay in the area.”


Outside of his professional life, Dean is a proud father of a 17-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, making art collages, engaging in DIY house projects, and patronizing local businesses in the Tobin Hill neighborhood. These personal interests enrich his life and provide a creative outlet that complements and informs his professional endeavors.


Dean Hendrix


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