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University of Toronto iSchool Names New Dean


The Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto has named Professor Wendy Duff as its ninth Dean, for a two-year term. After serving as Interim Dean since January, Prof. Duff’s officially became Dean as of July 1, 2016, succeeding Professor Seamus Ross, who completed his term in December 2015.

“I look forward to working with the community to ensure we continue to offer students the courses and programs they need to become successful professionals, and provide an optimal academic environment to help our professors conduct ground breaking research and share that knowledge with the next generation of leaders,” Dean Duff says.

Within the iSchool and the U of T Community, Professor Duff has shown a passion for research, academia, the fields of archives and records management, and is a strong supporter of the iSchool’s mission. Prof. Duff joined the Faculty in 1997 and has since served as the Interim Director of Museum Studies program, Director of the Digital Curation Institute (DCI), and the Director of Graduate Studies at the iSchool.

At U of T, she has also served as a member of numerous University boards and committees including the Academic Board from 2008-2012 and 2014-2015, as well as the Planning and Budget Committee in 2014-2015.

As Dean, Professor Duff hopes to make essential advancements in operational, structural, and academic planning over the next two years. Specifically over the next year, she will review the strategic direction of the Faculty. Recognizing the changing landscape of working in the digital age, she wants to support the iSchool’s cutting-edge programs, while maintaining an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research for Masters and Doctoral students, as well as for faculty.

She remains an active researcher within the field of archives and records management, with a focus on access to archival materials, and is currently using case study methodology to understand how archives have assisted or failed to assist in righting injustices and supporting social justice.

Apart from her work in university administration, Professor Duff works with international team of researchers interested in creating access to primary materials through the network AX-SNet. She also served as a member of the International Council on Archives Ad hoc Commission on Descriptive Standards, the Encoded Archival Description Working Group, and The Canadian Council of Archives Standards Committee.

Professor Duff earned her B.A from the University of King’s College, her M.L.S. from Dalhousie University, and holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.


Applications to WHITE 2016 Doctoral Consortium due Aug. 1


Nominations are now being accepted for the WHITE 2016 Doctoral Consortium, which is a pre-conference event at the 7th Annual Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE 2016). The WHITE 2016 Doctoral Consortium will be held on October 20th, 2016, from 1 pm to 6 pm, with a dinner following, in Washington, DC.

The WHITE 2016 consortium will provide an opportunity for doctoral students to receive feedback on their research, network and discuss career issues. All interested PhD students and recent post-docs working on research in the areas of health information systems, health economics, clinical fields and health policy are invited to apply. Acceptance will be based on a review of the application materials; the due date is Aug. 1, 2016.

More information and application instructions can be found at

WHITE is hosted by the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland College Park, with support from the United States Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) and the University of Michigan School of Public Health.


iSchool at Illinois changed its name and seeks nominations for Downs Intellectual Freedom Award


Champaign, Illinois (USA). – “The iSchool at Illinois announced that GSLIS, has change its name to the School of Information Sciences. “This change follows months of planning and communication, including a period of stakeholder consultation, and formal approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
The new name encompasses the current expansion of academic offerings.
This fall, we will admit the first cohort of students to our new MS in Information Management, and we are continuing to advance and evolve our well-established programs: MS in Library and Information Science, MS/K-12 School Librarianship, Certificate of Advanced Study, and the PhD. In addition, plans are underway to establish an undergraduate major.
The name change also reflects our tradition of innovation and excellence.
We look forward to an equally bright future, one that embraces the full range of intellectual practices around information and advances our ethic of service, empowerment, and social benefit.”

The School seeks as well nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2016.
Given annually, the award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. Granted to those who have resisted censorship or efforts to abridge the freedom of individuals to read or view materials of their choice, the award may be in recognition of a particular action or a long-term interest in and dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom.
The Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award was established in 1969 by the faculty to honor Dean Emeritus Downs, a champion of intellectual freedom, on the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as director of the School.”
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Thomas A Finholt named Dean of Michigans School of Information


Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA). – “Professor Thomas A. Finholt, a member of the University of Michigan faculty since 1991, has been appointed the Dean of the U-M School of Information. His five-year appointment was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.
Finholt, a professor and associate dean in the School of Information, has served as interim dean since July 2015. He replaces Dean Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, who left the university to become the University of California Berkeley’s university librarian.
“Tom combines a clear vision for the School of Information with an impressive ability to build research and educational programs that are among the best in the field,” says Provost Martha E. Pollack. “He has been an effective leader in every position he has held. We are delighted he will serve as dean and confident that under his leadership the School will be a hub of innovative ideas, strong scholarship and engaged faculty and students.” ”
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UMD’s iSchool Announces MLS Program Name Change


College Park, Maryland (USA). – UMD’s iSchool: “After due consideration, we are changing the name of our prestigious master’s program in library science at University of Maryland. From this point forward, the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies will offer and award a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS).
This program name change reflects what we at the iSchool have been studying, teaching and learning for years. While we will continue to offer a very strong library-focused program, that is not, and has not been, the only path available to our students. Awarding an MLIS degree is more inclusive of those students who choose to emphasize areas such as information science, data curation, and community analytics.”
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Drexel Names Yi Deng Dean of College of Computing & Informatics


Philadelphia (USA). – “Drexel University has named Yi Deng, PhD, dean of its College of Computing & Informatics. Deng comes to Drexel after a seven-year tenure as dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte where his leadership contributed to dramatic growth in enrollment and research funding. Deng takes the helm of one of the nation’s oldest recognized institutions of computing and informatics studies, whose programs have consistently ranked among the best in preparing students for jobs in these rapidly expanding fields.
“In welcoming Dr. Deng to this leadership role in the College of Computing & Informatics, we are ensuring that a College, already on a rising trajectory, continues on its path of success with a shared vision to address the nation’s fastest growing job sector,” said Drexel Provost M. Brian Blake, PhD. “His record of commitment to building innovative programs, growing the research enterprise and fostering collaboration aligns him perfectly to guide our College forward on all of these fronts.””
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Illinois’ “Whole Tale” enables new discovery by bringing ‘life’ to research articles


Champaign, Illinois (USA). – “The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $5M to the “Whole Tale” project, led by Professor Bertram Ludäscher (PI) along with CIRSS affiliate Matthew Turk (co-PI, NCSA) and Associate Professor Victoria Stodden (co-PI). The five-year NSF Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) project will create methods and tools for scientists to link executable code, data, and other information directly to online scholarly publications, with the aim of helping to ensure reproducibility and pave the way for new discoveries. Project partners include co-PIs at the University of Chicago, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Notre Dame.”
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SMU and PS Solutions signed software licence agreement for High-Speed Geofence Query Engine


Singapore. – “Singapore Management University (SMU), one of Asia’s leading universities, through its School of Information Systems (SIS), and PS Solutions Corp (PSSOL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japan headquartered telecommunications and Internet company, SoftBank Group Corp., have entered into a software licence agreement. The license provides PSSOL world-wide exclusive rights to use an SMU developed software module which implements high-speed processing of geofence* queries, and the application of the software module to solutions that require sophisticated spatial data analysis in real time.
The algorithms to determine the location via a geofence are already well established technological abilities. However, processing many simultaneous geofence queries on large-volume incoming streams of data, at high speed, is technically very challenging, and therefore, it is difficult to achieve high efficiency in processing big data at lower cost for commercial use.
A team of researchers at SMU SIS, led by Associate Professors Kyriakos Mouratidis and Baihua Zheng, collaborated with PSSOL for research and validation, and successfully developed an algorithm to process many simultaneous geofence queries on large-volume incoming streams of data, at very high speed, and in a highly efficient manner. Through this agreement, SMU grants PSSOL the software license for commercial use of the said algorithm.”
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Kelly is New Director at University of Tennessee’s School of Information Sciences


Knoxville, Tennessee (USA). – “Diane Kelly, an internationally known information sciences scholar, is the new director of the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences (SIS). She begins on August 8.
Kelly comes from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a professor in the School of Information and Library Science. Her research and teaching interests focus on interactive information search and retrieval, information search behavior, and research methods.”
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Drexel CCI Faculty Complete One-Year Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering Program


Philadelphia (USA). – “Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) faculty members Ellen Bass, PhD and Jane Greenberg, PhD recently celebrated their graduation from the Class of 2016 of the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) program, hosted by Drexel University. The program is a one-year, part-time leadership development program for senior women faculty in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and related disciplines.
The ELATE’s Class of 2016 included 31 experienced and diverse women faculty from 22 different institutions across the country. Sally Mason, PhD, president emerita of the University of Iowa, delivered an inspirational address at the graduation ceremony held on March 10, capping off a year full of growth and achievements for the Fellows.
Bass and Greenberg were selected as Fellows in ELATE’s 2015-16 class in May 2015.”
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