By Brittney Haynes/Assistant News editor

He has a smooth Southern drawl, gold-rimmed glasses and gives off a relaxed, laid-back vibe.Jim Keith, director of Information Technology and Delivery Services, will retire at the end of the month after working at Eastern for 33 years.

Keith is from “a holler in Eastern Kentucky.” This holler was known as Leatherwood. It is no longer in existence.

Keith attended Berea Foundation School, a boarding school, which is also no longer in existence. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Berea College.

Keith came to Eastern in 1970 to earn his master’s degree after serving in Vietnam.

He started working at Eastern in 1971.

He became communication director in 1977. After a series of job promotions over the years, Keith became the ITDS director in 1999.

With Keith’s help, Eastern has brought in about $2.3 million worth of computer equipment through the AT&T University Equipment Donation Program.

Also with Keith’s help, the university’s networking system was set up in 1988. Keith gives credit to those who paved the way for him and the people who have helped him.

“I have had a lot of good people to help me along the way,” Keith said.

Keith’s typical day consists of working on budgets, projects, dealing with staff issues and now preparing to leave Eastern.

Keith will continue working part time at Eastern after his official retirement to help ITDS make a smooth transition between himself and an interim director.

Once Keith is no longer working at Eastern, full or part time, he looks forward to spending time with his family. He also looks forward to going trout fishing in the Cumberland River and being able to travel to different locations to trout fish.

After 33 years, Keith is sure to have numerous memories and has surely made a great impact on Eastern. For Keith, he reflects fondly on the people he has worked with rather than the accomplishments he has made.

“I was just a small part,” Keith said.

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