The Cal State Fullerton administration won’t say why Clem Guthro is no longer Dean of the Pollak Library, but found his interim replacement

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A white outline of the Pollak Library against a red backdrop
(Dalia Quiroz / Daily Titan)

The Cal State Fullerton administration has not given any details surrounding the sudden departure of Clem Guthro as Dean of the Pollak Library, but has announced that his interim replacement is Emily Bonney, a former Academic Senate chair with no library sciences experience.

At the time of this publication, Bonney said she was not readily available to comment.

Communications librarian John Hickok said he and other library faculty will be “very welcoming” to Bonney.

“In the long term, there should be an experienced library professional as the dean,” Hickok said.

Bonney, who recently served as the interim assistant vice president for Academic Human Resources, does not have a Master of Library and Information Science, a degree required for most librarians. But she will serve as library dean from March 19, 2018 to June 30, 2019, according to a Friday email sent to faculty from Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Kari Knutson Miller. She did not list any reasons for the leadership change.

On March 5, chief communications officer Jeff Cook confirmed in an email on behalf of CSUF President Fram Virjee that Guthro was no longer employed by the university, but would not clarify if Guthro had been terminated or had departed by his own volition.

The office of the president has not directly responded to a request for comment.

On March 2, Knutson Miller informed faculty via email, without explicitly mentioning Guthro’s departure, that Associate Vice President for Academic Operations, Karyn Scissum Gunn, had been appointed as a temporary library lead.

Scissum Gunn said in an email on March 5 that she did not know the circumstances surrounding Guthro’s departure, but had met with library faculty and staff to address any concerns about the sudden leadership change.

“I’m really saddened that (Guthro) is no longer in the Cal State system,” said Karen Schneider, a colleague of Guthro’s who serves as dean of the Sonoma State University library. “I would be thrilled if another CSU picked him up tomorrow.”

Under Guthro, Pollak Library reopened the south wing of its first floor after sustaining damage in 2014. Guthro also began the library’s “Faculty Noon Time Talks,” as part of the library’s goal of facilitating intellectual engagement across campus.

Hickok said Guthro also maintained transparent communication with all library employees, and even baked food for staff.

“He was well respected and well liked,” Hickok said.

Schneider described Guthro as a “great” librarian to work with.

“I was really looking forward to working with him on several big projects that he has unusual expertise in. Everything I saw in Clem was of a real professional,” she said.

Guthro has not responded to repeated attempts for comment.

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