University of Illinois Provost Andreas C. Cangellaris has announced the appointment of Dr. Eunice E. Santos as dean of the School of Information Sciences, effective August 16, 2019, pending approval by the University’s Board of Trustees.
Santos currently serves as the Ron Hochsprung Endowed Chair and Professor, and department chair of computer science, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. She is an accomplished scholar and researcher whose expertise includes computational social science, with an appreciation for the social and human aspects of the information sciences. Her recent research focuses on using computationally intensive methods to understand the behavior of social networks and communities. This work has led to insights related to community resilience, disaster response, and belief and opinion change.
“As a member of the search committee, I was very impressed with Dr. Santos and her vision for the iSchool as a leader both among colleges at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and among our peer schools nationally and internationally,” said Professor Emerita Linda Smith, former Illinois iSchool executive associate dean. “Just as our School’s founder Katharine Sharp came from the Armour Institute (predecessor of Illinois Tech) to establish a pioneering library science program at Illinois, Dr. Santos’ appointment as iSchool dean promises to sustain our leadership into the twenty-first century.”
Santos takes over the leadership role from Dean Allen Renear, who has been an instrumental leader in the iSchools Organization for many years. Renear will return to a faculty role at the Illinois iSchool.
Santos will bring an impressive professional portfolio to the Illinois iSchool, with successful experience in strategic planning, academic program development, and community outreach initiatives. She will continue the School’s excellence in educating information professionals and advancing the broad application of information and technology in science, liberal arts, society, and other sectors. Her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion will reinforce the values of librarianship that serve as the iSchool’s foundation.
At Illinois Tech, Santos focuses on growth, leadership, and partnership. Her accomplishments include furthering robust research programs and curricula in a multidisciplinary environment; supporting diverse groups of faculty by providing mentoring and service opportunities; and acting as an influential voice for her department, which has led to the awarding of external funding from agencies, foundations, and donors.
The appointment of Santos marks the only woman to currently serve as dean among schools ranked in the top ten for library and information studies by U.S. News & World Report.
“This is an extremely exciting opportunity for our School to further advance our global leadership in the information sciences and more fully realize our mission in the world. Dr. Santos is an inventive, committed scholar and an exceptionally creative and entrepreneurial academic leader; there is no one better prepared to lead our rapidly growing School and ensure that we engage the challenges that face our society,” said Dean and Professor Allen Renear.
Santos was selected by a search committee with strong representation from the iSchool. Members included Professor James D. Anderson, dean of the College of Education and committee chair; Heather Clay, executive director of advancement in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement; and the following iSchool individuals: Professor Emerita Linda C. Smith (MS ’72); Professor and Associate Dean for Research J. Stephen Downie; Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner; Associate Professor and BS/IS Program Director Emily Knox (MS ’03); Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Meg Edwards (MS ’04); and Kirstin Phelps (iSchool doctoral candidate).
This story can be read in its entirety on the Illinois iSchool website.