Dr. Mark Tucker, dean of library and information resources, has announced his retirement after 8 years of managing the Margaret and Herman Brown Library.
Tucker assumed the position of library dean at ACU in 2003, after almost 25 years of work in Purdue University libraries. His retirement will take effect in October.
He said he grew up in a home full of books, and a love of those books led him to pursue his current career.
“I’m a preacher’s kid and we had lots of books in our house,” Tucker said. “I just didn’t get the preacher’s gene.”
Tucker earned his bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University and his master’s of library science from the Peabody College of Education & Human Development at Vanderbilt University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.
He said he always had a love for working with students and helping them grow academically but never wanted to be limited to a classroom.
“I wanted to work in an academic setting, but I didn’t like grading papers,” Tucker said. “Academic schedules were just too structured, and I like less structure so this appealed to me. I could converse with students without the formal academic structure.”
Tucker said when he first came to ACU, he recognized a chance to work with gifted students and faculty. He said he could have retired sooner but saw a good opportunity at ACU.
“I was impressed with the intangibles here. I wanted to have fun. These are fun people to work with,” Tucker said.
Dr. Jeanine Varner, provost, said ACU’s Brown Library would look nothing like it does today without Tucker’s leadership. She credits his vision and willingness to cooperate with others as key factors in the library’s advancement.
“He has an amazing depth and breadth of experience with libraries and universities in general,” Varner said. “He is an amazingly collaborative and creative individual that has helped us move the library forward in amazing ways in a relatively short amount of time.”
Varner said Tucker played a major role in bringing the AT&T Learning Studio to the library. She said he was also the drive behind improvements to the learning commons and Stanley Reading Room.
“A person like Mark Tucker helps make libraries relevant to our faculty and students,” Varner said. “On some campuses, libraries are just repositories, on our campus, all it takes is one quick stroll through the library and you see that our library is far more than a collection of books.”
Varner said the university has a search committee in place that is proactively trying to find the next library dean. She said she hopes to have a replacement by the fall.
“We have applications and Mark himself has talked with me at length about the kind of person we should look for to take the library to the next level,” Varner said.