Kresge in search of dean

By Jake Thielen

Julie Voelck, dean of Kresge Library, announced last month that she will be resigning from her position and chose to step down for personal reasons.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Voleck’s colleagues at the library held a farewell reception in her honor. The reception took place from 2-4 p.m. in the Oakland Center’s Fireside Lounge.

Voelck has served as Kresge’s dean since 2004 and was the associate dean, 2001-03.

“This is a semi-retirement for me,” Voelck said. “I live in Ann Arbor and it’s kind of a long commute every day, so I’m looking forward to not getting up quite so early for a while and staying close to home.”

Voelck said the library has changed a lot since she took the position as dean in 2004. New additions that were implemented during her time as dean include the Writing Center, which opened in 2006, and the Kresge Café that opened earlier this semester.

“The librarians and the library staff have, I think, transformed the library from what it was back in 2000,” Voelck said. “It is, first of all, a place where students want to come.”

With the implementation of new information commons, “Students can use computers there, work in groups and practice presentations,” she said.

Voelck said the library has also focused on making it easier for students to find and understand information.

“We have really focused in our library on information literacy, which is helping students understand how to use, access and evaluate information,” Voelck said.

Voelck will be replaced on an interim basis by Frank Lepkowski, Kresge Library’s associate dean.

Voelck said one of her responsibilities as the dean has been to promote the work of Lepkowski and the Kresge Library staff.

“My role as dean has been to serve as the mouthpiece for the all good work that people like Frank and everyone at the library are doing,” Voelck said.

Lepkowski said part of his role as interim dean will be to support the library’s interests during meetings with university officials.

“The dean provides leadership for the library and also sells the library outside the library, because we need people to understand our needs,” he said.

Lepkowski said there will be a national search to find Voelck’s permanent replacement. The university’s provost, Virinder Moudgil, will name a campus-wide search committee that will identify candidates for the job.

A new dean could be in place next year.