FSD 17-37 – Memorial Resolution for K. R. Johnson

April 30, 2018

Purdue University Northwest Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Document 17-37

Submission Date: April 30, 2018

Senate Action and Date:

For Information, May 4, 2018

Disposition, no later than 5 business days after being approved:

  • Chancellor
  • Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Services
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Faculty Senate Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Other:

Memorial Resolution for K. R. Johnson, Director of the Library & Assistant Professor

K.R. Johnson died on April 1, 2018. K.R. had served Purdue North Central as the Director of the Library and Assistant Professor of Library Science from 1981 to 2015. His thirty-five years of service were a major contribution to the growth of the campus into a full-fledged autonomous member of the Purdue system and a center of culture and learning in Northwest Indiana.

Kent R. Johnson was born in Kansas and spent his formative years in Southern California where he studied marine biology and pursued his life-long hobby of saving rare tomes from used bookstores. K.R. moved back to the Midwest receiving his master’s degree in library science and the philosophy of science from Indiana University in 1981. The same year he came to Purdue North Central where he provided steady leadership during a time of growth and adaptation to a fast changing world of information. He brought the Library to the digital age while not neglecting traditional collections. Always helpful in acquiring requested books and resources, he mentored several Purdue North Central faculty members in applying for and securing a Purdue Library Scholar’s Grant. K.R. also oversaw the physical renovation of the Library, an effort initiated by student action and supported by the Administration. When he retired in 2015 the Purdue North Central Library was well-functioning and aesthetically beautiful.

K.R was also a valuable faculty member at Purdue North Central. He taught a variety of ethics courses, the philosophy of science and the Great Issues classes which he helped develop and that serve as the gateway and capstone courses of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies. K. R. fostered theatre and poetry on campus. He added character to the university community by his honest insights, his dry, sometime caustic wit, and not least his curiously 19th Century hats, vests, goatee and pocket watch.

After 35 years his presence disappeared from the Westville campus much too early and after 68 years his life ended much too soon.