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New iSchool Endowment Honors Dean Dillion

Dean Andrew Dillon’s leadership in the School of Information is being commemorated with a $50,000 endowment.

Faculty, staff, friends and colleagues joined together to fully endow the Andrew P. Dillon Award for Social Justice in Information. The annual prize will be awarded to an outstanding student or faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in the area of social justice and information.

Dean Dillon said he feels both humbled and amazed to have an endowment created in his name.

“When I think of my parents who left school at 14, found each other, emigrated to an unwelcoming environment, took whatever work was open to them, and then had a child who is subsequently honored in this fashion, I find words fail me,” he said. “This is a tribute to them, to people like them and to the transformative power of education in our lives. The generosity of my colleagues and friends which enabled this award truly takes my breath away.”

According to Dean Dillon, we are living through times of incredible advances and upheavals in information technology as a new global infrastructure of information is emerging. “But rather than the utopia many promised, we are witnessing the exacerbation of inequity and the pursuit of profit over people in this area,” he added. “I believe that our field offers the best hope of change, and I feel strongly that we must educate and research solutions for a more equitable and just information infrastructure for our world now.”

Dean Dillon, an internationally recognized scholar and dean of the iSchool since 2002, has announced that he will step down at the end of August. After a yearlong sabbatical, he will return to the iSchool as professor.

Cassie Alvarado, the School of Information’s director of development and alumni relations, thanked Dean Dillon for his transformational leadership of the iSchool.

“After working with Dean Dillon for nearly 10 years, I can tell you with certainty that he has been a pioneering leader in our field; he helped shape us into a school of the information age,” she said. “I can also tell you that anyone who really knows Dean Dillon knows that he is an inspiring advocate for social justice, particularly when it comes to the role information professionals can and should play in our pursuit of social justice.”

With this in mind, establishing an excellence fund in social justice in information, in his honor and name, was particularly meaningful to the iSchool’s Advisory Council members, colleagues and friends of the school, Ms. Alvarado added.

“Dean Dillon’s legacy, and the legacy of his family, will remain in perpetuity at the iSchool through this endowment,” she said, “and this fund will serve as a reminder for generations to come that we have an obligation to do our part to contribute to a fair and just world through our field.”