We are very sad to announce the passing of Dr. Francis (Fran) Miksa Jr., aged 80, faculty emeritus and former acting dean, on Wednesday March 20, 2019 in McComb, MS.
Professor Miksa joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at The University of Texas at Austin in 1984. As coordinator of doctoral studies from 1985-1991, he was instrumental in reviving the GSLIS’s Ph.D. program. From 1986 to 1987 he received a partial University of Texas faculty research leave to serve as Visiting Distinguished Scholar in the Office of Research at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in Dublin, Ohio. His research at the latter was on how classification and categorization had been implemented across diverse disciplines, and on the development of classification in the field of library and information science.
Professor Miksa authored several grant initiatives including a major proposal in the NSF digital library initiative (1993-94). He was also an active participant in the initial digital library movement, particularly in the form of GSLIS’s cooperative work with the Texas A&M Hypermedia Laboratory and its Center for the Study of Digital Libraries. The latter led to his participating in the creation of the first two national digital library conferences from 1994-1996.
Professor Miksa made active contributions to the GSLIS creation of a Vision Plan for technological advancement. Within the University of Texas at Austin he served two terms as a member of the Graduate Assembly and for two years (1995-96) served on the University’s Faculty Computer Committee and Multimedia Instruction Committee. He also served as a member of the Dean Search Committee in 1989, chaired the GSLIS Dean Search Committee in 1996-97, and served as Acting Dean of GSLIS in 1997.
During the 1990s Professor Miksa’s chief area of research was intellectual access to information entities (both traditional print-based items and those consisting of digital objects) including the categorization of such entities on the basis of content characteristics. Since 1991 he has been investigating the fundamental nature of document attributes in document representation. In 1998 he received a University of Texas faculty research appointment to explore the implementation of an electronic Web-based graduate level course and text on providing intellectual access to information entities.
Professor Miksa retired from the UT School of Information in May of 2008. To read more about Dr. Miksa, can visit his archived faculty page.