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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Library dean looks forward to teaching, research

Charles T. Townley, dean of the University Library at New Mexico State University, has decided to leave the post he has held for nine years and assume the duties of a professor.


The change is effective July 1. Townley said he made the decision for personal reasons "and a desire to undertake a different set of responsibilities."

Townley will take a sabbatical leave from July through December, and for most of that time he will be a senior Fulbright scholar in Beijing, China, lecturing at Beijing Normal University. In January 2000, he will return to NMSU as a librarian, researcher and teacher, with duties divided between the University Library and the NMSU College of Education's educational management and development department.

Interim Executive Vice President John Owens said he will consult with library faculty and staff before appointing an interim dean to serve while a search is conducted for a replacement.

"Dean Townley has provided distinguished service to the NMSU Library," Owens said. "He has placed special emphasis on informing state decision-makers about the importance of appropriating adequate funding for all university libraries in New Mexico. Ultimately his efforts will result in stronger libraries in our state."

In nine years as dean, Townley has overseen the building of a new library and renovation of the old one, Branson Hall. The collection has grown by 25 percent to more than 1 million volumes. Library usage has increased substantially as users take advantage of new, often electronic, resources.

"We have worked to make the library a more integral part of the university's educational structure," Townley said. "We have implemented a strategic plan that focuses on our users. For example, we are now putting in a new library system that will encourage users to access print and electronic resources simultaneously."

Townley was head librarian at The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, before joining NMSU in 1990. He has served as an officer in numerous national and international organizations and authored more than 30 scholarly papers and books on academic librarianship.

He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1983. In 1997 he was named a distinguished alumnus by the University of Oklahoma, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees.

Karl Hill
April 30, 1999