James Wiser has been selected as the new dean of the library services and educational technology effective beginning Aug. 1.
Wiser’s wife, Candice, who is currently a professor at Pepperdine University, will also join the ACU community as a professor of political science. They have lived in California for 16 years and will be relocating to Abilene this summer.
“I worked at Pepperdine from 2004 to 2008, but I’m currently the Consortium Director of the Community College League of California which means I run the consortium of California’s 115 community college libraries,” Wiser said. “I’ve been doing this for the past five years.”
With ties to ACU, as well as a lifelong member of the Church of Christ, Wiser said he is excited to make the move to ACU.
“I’ve known of the ACU library for many years and known of the good work the library has done,” Wiser said. “When I tell friends and colleagues of the role I’ve taken here, the response has unanimously been, ‘You’re gonna love it,’ so I’m pretty excited. And as a member of the Church of Christ, ACU has always been just part of the family.”
However, he said that he does not plan to implement any major changes as he steps into his new role.
“I believe, in normal circumstances, that coming into somewhere new, no one should make too many changes in the first year or two, especially for an organization like ACU.”
Because of this, Wiser said he wants to use the first year as dean to learn and evaluate the current structure and functionality of the library.
“I know, organizationally, how the library is operating and I feel like it is operating quite well,” Wiser said. “So, my goal is just to not mess things up. It is to watch, listen and learn and try to learn from as many people both inside and outside of the library. Then after the first year, begin making little tweaks as necessary.”
Wiser said his love and respect for ACU and the Abilene community is making him excited for the move to Texas.
As next semester gets closer, Carisse Berryhill, special collections librarian, said she is glad about him stepping into the position of dean as well.
“I am delighted that James Wiser has been chosen to be our next library dean,” Berryhill said. “I have watched him build his career over the last fifteen years, gaining valuable experiences in academic librarianship, library leadership and in the information industry. He is just the leader we need for the ACU library to fulfill its promise.”