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Professor Mehra’s Promotion Recognized at the UT Faculty Bookplate Reception

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville School of Information Sciences Director Diane Kelly poses with SIS Professor Bharat Mehra.

The University of Tennessee Libraries and the Provost’s office honored SIS Professor Bharat Mehra’s recent promotion from Associate to Full Professor earlier this week at the Faculty Bookplate Reception. The Faculty Bookplate Reception celebrates faculty promotions by allowing honorees to choose a book to include in the University Libraries’ collections. A bookplate is placed in the book to commemorate the faculty member’s achievements, and the catalog record for the book notes it was selected to honor the faculty member.

Mehra selected Progressive Community Action, a book he co-edited with Kevin Rioux, because it represents the basic philosophy behind his work by detailing how action-oriented research strategies can generate socially relevant impacts through information work. His research has focused on the role of rural public libraries and librarians in the Appalachian region, and his grants have provided funding for the graduate education of more than 25 rural public librarians equipping them to better serve their communities.

Mehra recently accepted a new position as EBSCO Endowed Chair in Social Justice & Professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies and will leave the University of Tennessee at the end of 2018.

“The decision was obviously very tough in leaving the University of Tennessee after 14 years. We have a great school and college with great faculty, staff, and students. I strongly believe that my next career step is to serve as a bridge in this new leadership role and nurture the electrifying possibilities of strengthening our collaborations across the two great institutions and schools, while making a difference in the lives of disenfranchised populations, especially in rural and remote areas, via information-related engaged scholarship toward shaping a more inclusive, respectful, and just society.”

The EBSCO Endowed Chair in Social Justice deeply resonates with his lifelong commitment to further diversity, fairness, and justice while working with underserved communities on the margins of society, he said.

“This amazing opportunity opens up tremendous possibilities to integrate social justice as a core of what we do in the information and communication professions,” Mehra said. “I seek your support, guidance, and help to make these dreams a reality.”

Join us in congratulating Professor Mehra on his new accomplishments and thanking him for forever shaping the University of Tennessee and surrounding communities for the better. Contact him at or at his new email