The Ross Pendergraft Library isn’t the only facility that saw change with the turning of the new year.
Academic Affairs said its good bye to John Watson and welcomed AJ Anglin, who assumed Watson’s position and is now acting interim vice president of academic affairs.
Anglin, who has been in academic administration for more than 35 years, has come out of retirement for a third time to fill the position for the next 18 months.
Anglin said he wanted the position because it called for much of his previous experience.
“I know that it’s to use my expertise because I’ve been the vice president at six other institutions, and I’ve been president at one institution,” Anglin said. “I have a good foundation about organizations and about this particular position.”
Anglin’s previous administration experience includes being president at Trinity College in Illinois from 1996-2002; vice president of academic affairs at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania from 2003-08; and vice president of academic affairs at Missouri Southern State University from 2010-12.
Anglin said he also favored the position because it catered to his personal needs.
“I wanted to do this because it has a shelf life,” Anglin said. “I know that it’s 18 months.”
Anglin said the position often takes up to 60 hours of his week, but he is able to make the drive back home and spend the weekend with his family, who own a permanent residence in his hometown of Siloam Springs.
Anglin is currently working with RPL Director Brent Etzel to make the library more technologically oriented.
“I believe the library is the hub of the learning process,” Anglin said.
It is unknown whether or not this will be Anglin’s last vie at employment, as he admits to being restless and enjoying the work that he does. Much of his love for upper level education can go back to his roots as a professor and an administrator.
But what lies behind Anglin’s board meetings and excitement for young students is his passion to make a difference.
“I want to teach you to be a really good human being,” Anglin said. “But I’m also very, very interested that the experiences you have, the opportunities you have and the mentoring you receive, you also develop to a person who really contributes.
“When August gets here, to be part of a system where you can help these young men and women…oh my goodness. What a joy.”