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New dean of University Libraries to begin in March


Like any good librarian, Jeff Luzius did his research before he applied to be Central Michigan University’s new dean of Libraries.

He found a “beautiful facility,” an “engaged student-body” and “a pleasant surprise.”

Luzius will take over for interim dean Kathy Irwin on March 1. He is a United States Air Force veteran and the current CEO of the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Luzius was also an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama and has served in a variety of library positions at Gadsden State Community College, Auburn University and Troy University.

"Everyone I’ve met is incredibly friendly — students, faculty and administrators,” Luzius said. “People spoke very highly of the library and I’m excited to move up there and get started.”

A Battle Creek native, Luzius said he was fortunate to grow up with a beautiful public library nearby. In college, he worked part-time at an academic library and realized that he enjoyed the job enough to make it into a career.

More than 40 people applied for the position, said Provost Michael Gealt. Luzius’ experience with academic libraries, library construction and working with students earned him the job.

“He really has a complete package that he’s bringing to the campus,” Gealt said. “He’s a first-rate candidate and we’re satisfied with the decision we’ve made.”

The dean of Libraries is responsible for running the Central Michigan University library system throughout the state and country.

Academic libraries are facing several challenges, Luzius said. There are budget cuts, changes in how students use libraries and the rapid change that comes with technological advancement. 

Luzius said academic libraries will have to focus on balancing between print and electronic collections while managing limited physical space. He said he will also focus on students' desire to use libraries as collaborative space. 

“His most important duty is making sure that everyone at the university has the resources they need to carry out their classes, research and so on,” Gealt said.