The University of Texas at Austin invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the School of Information (the Texas iSchool). We are seeking an accomplished, innovative, and transformational leader who will work with the faculty, staff, students, and university administration to lead and further develop the Texas iSchool during this exciting time of rapid change and evolution in the management and delivery of information.
Founded in 1883, the University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest single campus universities in the United States and is the flagship of the University of Texas System. The university is made up of 18 schools and colleges, including the new Dell Medical School, the first medical school in nearly 50 years to be built from the ground up at a top tier Association of American Universities (AAU) research university. The university is highly ranked nationally and internationally, with more than 40 graduate programs ranked among the top 10 in the nation and four programs ranked No. 1, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 edition of "Best Graduate Schools,” including such disciplines as business, communication, education, engineering, Earth sciences, humanities, information, law, natural sciences, pharmacy, social work, and the social sciences. Internationally, the London-based Times Higher Education lists the university 34th in its World Reputation Rankings; the UAE-based Center for World University Rankings lists the university 32nd; and U.S. News & World Report lists the university 30th in its Best Global Universities Rankings. The Texas iSchool is ranked 5th in the US by U.S. News & World Report and 7th globally by faculty research productivity by the Center for World University Rankings.
The Texas iSchool is committed to making a difference in the lives of all people by enabling and supporting the curation, organization, and experience of information in ways that enhance lives. Currently enrolling over 300 students in its Master of Science in Information Studies, Master of Science in Identity Management and Security, Certificates of Advanced Study, and Ph.D. programs, the Texas iSchool is a founding member of the iSchools Caucus, a growing international association of leading information schools.
Ideal candidates for this position will combine exemplary achievements in the field of information with strategic leadership, entrepreneurial ambition, collaborative and creative strength, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, and a passion for the mission of the Texas iSchool and the university. This is an opportunity to join a university that is on a dramatic upward trajectory, with a strong executive leadership team; a collaborative council of college and school deans; and excellent faculty, staff, and students.
The university has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this recruitment. All applications, inquiries, and nominations, which will remain confidential, should be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document. For more information about the University of Texas at Austin, please visit http://www.utexas.edu.
The University of Texas at Austin - "What Starts Here Changes The World"
The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest public universities in the United States and is the flagship university of the University of Texas System. With origins that trace back to the 1827 Mexican government constitution for the state, the university has grown to a 431-acre main campus with 18 colleges and schools, over 24,000 faculty and staff, and more than 50,000 students.
The university is in the midst of a period of dramatic expansion and development. Over the past five years, the university has added numerous new buildings to the main campus, including the new Liberal Arts Building, the Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall, the Belo Center for New Media, the Health Learning Building, the Health Discovery Building, and the Health Transformation Building. The latter three buildings are part of the new Dell Medical School, the first medical school in nearly 50 years to be built from the ground up at a top tier Association of American Universities research university, which was launched and admitted its first class in 2016. The university finished its eight-year, $3 billion-dollar capital campaign, the Campaign for Texas, successfully in 2016.
Greg Fenves began his appointment as President of The University of Texas at Austin on June 3, 2015. Previously, he served the University as Executive Vice President and Provost. Fenves’s accomplishments included defining strategic academic goals and priorities to advance excellence, streamlining operations for more cost effectiveness, focusing on continuing UT Austin’s leadership in transforming undergraduate education, and the launch of the Dell Medical School. Prior to his role as Executive Vice President and Provost, Fenves was appointed the eighth Dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin in 2008.
Maurie McInnis began her appointment as Executive Vice President and Provost of The University of Texas at Austin on July 1, 2016. Previously, she served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Art History at the University of Virginia. In addition to her role as Executive Vice President and Provost, McInnis has dual faculty appointments in the Department of American Studies and the Department of Art and Art History. She also holds the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities.
Located in the picturesque Hill Country of Central Texas, Austin is the state capital, the 4th-largest city in Texas, and is the 11th-largest city in the United States. Austin is widely regarded as an open-minded, friendly, innovative and growing city and is consistently rated a national creative center that attracts talented people from across the world. Often referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin hosts major annual events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest (SXSW), which includes Film, Music, and Interactive Festivals. Austin serves as the corporate headquarters for Fortune 500 companies such as Dell, Whole Foods, and ABM Industries, plus successful tech start-ups such as Aspyr, Hoover’s, and RetailMeNot. Austin also hosts research and development offices for major technology-oriented companies such as Amazon, AMD, Apple, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Freescale, Google, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Samsung, and Texas Instruments, who have established major operations in Austin to draw from the highly skilled talent the university produces. Savills World Research ranks Austin #1 in the Savills Tech Cities Index. U.S. News and World Report rated Austin #1 in its Best Places to Live list. Expedia ranks Austin #1 in its 21 super cool US cities list. More information on Austin can be found at https://www.utexas.edu/about-ut/life-in-austin.
The School Of Information
The goal of the Texas iSchool is to be the premier research and education program for 21st century information professionals who will apply the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to preserve the past, manage the present, and design the future of information in a multiple of forms and formats and in a wide range of interdisciplinary environments. The Texas iSchool is committed to making a difference in the lives of all people by enabling and supporting the curation, organization, and experience of information in ways that enhance lives. The mission of the Texas iSchool includes discovering new and vital knowledge about information, educating the next generation of leaders in the information professions, developing new scholars who will advance knowledge, improving society through service and collaboration, and applying humancentered values to all of our work.
Founded in 1948 as the Graduate School of Library Science, the Texas School changed its name to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 1980, and then in 2002, the faculty voted unanimously to change the name to the School of Information. The Texas iSchool offers a doctorate, a master’s degree, and an undergraduate minor in Information Studies, as well as an executive education program in Identity Management and Security. The research-oriented Ph.D. in Information Studies program prepares the next generation of scholars to advance our understanding of the information field. The Master of Science in Information Studies (MSIS) program trains the next generation of information professionals, and is also offered in a variety of dual degree programs, including in combination with the B.S. in Computer Science; the M.A. in English, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, the Master of Global Policy Studies and Master of Public Affairs (in the LBJ School of Public Affairs), and the J.D. in the UT School of Law. At the undergraduate level, the Texas iSchool offers a Minor in Information Studies. In 2016, the School of Information, in partnership with the UT Center for Identity, launched an executive education program, the Master of Science in Identity Management and Security (MSIMS) program.
The MSIS program is ALA-accredited, recognized by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society as a professional credential in the information field, and is currently ranked #5 overall by U.S. News and World Report, including #2 in Archives and Preservation, #2 in Law Librarianship, #5 in Digital Librarianship, and #10 in Information Systems. The Texas iSchool is home to specialized research labs in User Experience, Digital Archives, Conservation, and Information Retrieval, and external research funding for the Texas iSchool has averaged over $2 million per year over the past four years, with awards currently from NSF, NIH, IMLS, NEH, DARPA, Google, the Mellon Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation. Texas iSchool students also contribute more than $200,000 a year to the local Austin economy in volunteer efforts, projects and service through the Capstone Project and iGive programs. Texas iSchool faculty serve on multiple editorial boards, have recently held presidential positions in ASIS&T and ALA, and are among the most cited scholars in the information field.
The Texas iSchool is a founding member of the iSchools Caucus, a growing international association of leading information schools, formed to maximize the visibility and influence of its member schools, and their interdisciplinary approaches to harnessing the power of information and technology, and maximizing the potential of humans. The Texas iSchool is also a member of the WISE consortium, which seeks to provide a collaborative, cost-effective distance education model that will increase the quality, access, and diversity of online education opportunities in Library and Information Science. https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/courses/wise_consortium
The Role Of The Dean
As the chief academic and executive officer of the Texas iSchool, the Dean reports to the Executive Vice President and Provost and serves as a member of the university’s Deans’ Council. Direct reports to the Dean include the Associate Dean, the Director of Development, the Finance Manager, and the Executive Assistant.
The Dean of the Texas iSchool will lead an educational unit committed to expanding its intellectual depth, breadth, impact, and reputation institutionally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to providing intellectual leadership, as an energetic and charismatic leader, the Dean will lead a collaborative, congenial, and inclusive culture; guide, inspire, and enable the Texas iSchool faculty and students in their pursuit of excellence in research and education; expand and support research activities; serve as an effective steward of the School’s finances and help to grow those resources through fundraising efforts and engaging industry partners, government entities, and key funders; and advocate, champion, and represent the Texas iSchool effectively both in university matters and across a wide variety of external contexts.
Key Opportunities And Challenges
The Texas iSchool has been making steady progress in advancing its position in academic rankings; for example, in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, the Texas iSchool has climbed from #8 in 2009 to #6 in 2013 to #5 in 2017. The new Dean of the Texas iSchool will have the opportunity to continue this climb, ideally all the way to the top of the rankings. Specifically, the ideal candidate will:
Provide bold vision and leadership for advancing the Texas iSchool’s international reputation
The ideal candidate will sustain and continue to advance the Texas iSchool’s standing among international peers, research organizations, and accrediting bodies. The ideal candidate will bring an established vision of the information field, and will work with the faculty, staff, and students of the Texas iSchool to develop a bold vision and leadership for advancing the Texas iSchool to even greater prominence in the information field.
Develop the financial resources of the Texas iSchool through fundraising
The ideal candidate will lead the development efforts of the Texas iSchool, ensuring that the iSchool has access to the finances and resources required to continue to advance its excellence. Specifically, the ideal candidate will have ideas and initiative for continuing to increase fundraising from both public and private sources, including developing alumni, industry, and philanthropic connections.
Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and a collaborative culture
The ideal candidate will work to ensure an inclusive climate within the Texas iSchool that welcomes and engages faculty, staff, students, and alumni from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, in terms of dimensions including but not limited to gender, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, disability status, and veteran status. The ideal candidate will also work to further the Texas iSchool’s collaborative culture, which embraces different perspectives and fosters collegiality and collaboration among the stakeholder groups within the Texas iSchool and our external partners.
Recruit and retain the best faculty and enhance their career development
The ideal candidate will have strong academic credentials and a scholarly record that will afford the perspective to identify and cultivate excellence among potential and current faculty members. The ideal candidate will be prepared to play a critical role in conducting annual reviews for faculty as well as reviews for promotion and tenure. The ideal candidate will have a broad understanding of scholarship that will enable the ideal candidate to mentor and evaluate faculty from a wide range of theoretical and methodological backgrounds.
Strengthen research infrastructure to further enable and promote faculty productivity
The ideal candidate will be prepared to maintain and strengthen the infrastructure required to ensure that faculty can be productive scholars, including the personnel and technologies required to ensure faculty success in seeking external research funding and conducting interdisciplinary research.
Develop new programs for undergraduate education
The ideal candidate will have ideas for innovation in undergraduate education, potentially including the creation of an undergraduate major or additional, targeted undergraduate minors. The ideal candidate will provide leadership in exploring innovative delivery mechanisms for undergraduate education, including online and hybrid education. The ideal candidate will also work with other academic programs from across the university to develop dual-degree programs that can serve as entry ramps into the graduate programs of the Texas iSchool.
Strengthen the doctoral and master’s programs
The ideal candidate will build on recent efforts to strengthen the doctoral and master’s programs, including recent improvements in administrative infrastructure, recruitment and management, and community-building. The ideal candidate will also be prepared to encourage and develop additional executive educational programs such as the new Master of Science in Identity Security and Management.
Build strategic partnerships across the university, city, state, country, and world
The ideal candidate will work collaboratively with other Deans from across the university to promote interdisciplinary research and joint, partner-based educational programs. The ideal candidate will work with stakeholders in industry, government, and non-profit organizations within the city, state, country, and world to create new opportunities for the Texas iSchool.
The university seeks a dean for the Texas iSchool with exemplary academic achievements, strategic leadership ability, entrepreneurial spirit, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, administrative acumen, and a passion for the unique mission of the Texas iSchool and the university. The ideal candidate will bring these experiences, skills, and qualities:
Scholarly background: An exceptional research record and international reputation of scholarly distinction and accomplishments in the field of information that would be deemed commensurate with appointment at the rank of full professor at the university; an earned doctorate in information or a related field; interdisciplinary training and research experience; ability to inspire and evaluate faculty and student research excellence across a wide range of research specialties.
Strategic vision: An informed, broad, exciting, and creative view of the information field, including its interdisciplinary nature and societal impact; ability to communicate this vision with charisma, clarity, and purpose to specialists, fellow academics, potential donors, and general audiences; understanding of the sociotechnical infrastructure to support interdisciplinary research collaborations; vision for expanding and diversifying the field.
Experience in academic affairs: Demonstrated success in or potential for success in leading the growth and development of academic units, through innovative program creation, research support, and collaborative ventures; a proven track record of effectiveness in faculty recruitment, retention, and development.
Leadership: Energetic and charismatic leadership in the iSchool movement and in shaping the global information society; established record of effective, inclusive, and collaborative leadership; demonstrated experience in strategic management of finances and resources; strong record of service and administrative contributions at the unit and institutional level.
Development: Aptitude and enthusiasm for fundraising from individual and industry donors; proven ability to attract support from individuals, philanthropic organizations, and corporations, or demonstrated potential to be successful in such endeavors.
Personal qualities: Imagination, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, dependability, humility, patience, approachability, and collegiality; excellent interpersonal and communication skills and a commitment to transparency in policy matters as well as general interactions with faculty, staff, and students; charisma and public presence; a commitment to global education and cultural diversity; dedication to building a sense of community that respects the contributions of individuals across various roles and from diverse interdisciplinary and demographic backgrounds; the ability to lead an educational unit with a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student body, and to recruit and support a diverse faculty, staff, and students.
Review of submitted credentials will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants should include a current vita; a cover letter reviewing your vision for the iSchool movement, your leadership experience in establishing research and educational programs, and your management style; and names and contact information for five professional references. Inquiries, nominations and applications should be confidentially submitted electronically to:
Beverly Brady, Managing Associate
Matthew Tzuker, Senior Associate
263 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
The University of Texas at Austin, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.