The iSchool has introduced a new comprehensive academic management structure to strengthen its programs.
The new model includes two Associate Dean roles, and a new middle academic management layer consisting of Director positions for the MI, MMSt, and PhD and Research Masters Programs, as well as the CRO & Collaborative, Co-op & Undergraduate Programs.
Faculty members who will assume new roles include: Professors Kelly Lyons (Associate Dean, Academic), Leslie Regan Shade (Associate Dean, Research, effective January 1, 2016), Matt Brower (Director, Museum Studies), Alan Galey (Director, Master of Information), Cara Krmpotich (Director, Concurrent Registration Option and Collaborative Programs), Heather MacNeil (Director, PhD and Research Masters Programs), David Phillips (Director, Undergraduate Programming), and Siobhan Stevenson (Director Co-op Program).
“The new academic management team will meet regularly to discuss priority matters as they arise, from policy decisions, to student issues, to academic concerns, as well as help set future priorities,” Dean Seamus Ross says. “A year from now, our senior administration team will discuss plans for succession, consider remuneration for each role, assess each position, and the overall success of the new governance structure, and identify any areas for improvement.”
Need for New Structure
The need for a new structure stems from a recommendation in the 2014 External Review of the Faculty of Information and its graduate programs. The report recommends that because the Faculty had been without a Vice Dean or Associate Deans, “much routine academic oversight has by default gravitated to the Office of the Dean,” which made for a concentrated work overload.
The report also cited the rapid expansion of the Master of Information (MI), Master of Museum Studies (MMSt), and Doctoral (PhD) programs, that would require careful and ongoing examination. Furthermore, the report stated the need for strategic management in several specialized programs: Co‐op Program and Undergraduate Programs, as well as the Concurrent Registration Option (CRO), Research Masters, and Collaborative Programs.
New Management Positions
Professor Kelly Lyons, Associate Dean, Academic
Prior to joining the Faculty, Professor Lyons served as the Program Director of the IBM Toronto Lab Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS).
Since joining the iSchool, Kelly’s research has focused on social systems to support interactions in service systems. Her further research interests include service science, social media, and collaborative work.
In her new position, Prof. Lyons took on numerous responsibilities. Aside from Chairing the Committee on Standing and the Programs Committee, Kelly mentors new faculty by providing guidance on three‐year review dossier and tenure dossier preparations, and provides academic oversight and managing the enforcement of all University regulations in Academic Matters in coordination with the Registrar/Student Services.
Professor Leslie Regan Shade, Associate Dean, Research (from January 1, 2016)
Leslie’s research has focused on social and policy aspects of information and communication technologies (ICTs). More specifically, her work promotes the idea of community outreach and the promotion of a wider popular discourse on information and communication policy issues and media reform in Canada.
Prof. Shade will provide academic direction and coordinate oversight of the Faculty’s research priorities. More specifically, this includes identifying opportunities to enhance internal research culture and external research links by attracting post‐doctoral fellows. In a similar vein, she will work with colleagues to enhance the Faculty’s grant‐writing expertise, and support faculty and students with a goal of significantly increasing the Faculty’s level of funded research. Lastly, she will also support research‐intensifying events and colloquia across disciplines and seek opportunities to host conferences, symposia, and festivals.
Professor Matt Brower, Director, Museum Studies
Matt’s research interests include visual culture, exhibition practice and history, photography, animal studies and curation. His most recent exhibition, “Through the Body: Lens-based Work by Contemporary Chinese Women Artists,” was co-curated with a former student.
Prof. Brower oversees transfer credits, exemptions, course waivers and reading courses in the MMSt Program. He is also responsible for ensuring that students in the MMSt Program are aware of their responsibilities and opportunities. Further duties include thesis-related MMSt matters specifically in relation to before, and after, the oral final examinations, as well as issues related to academic misconduct.
Professor Alan Galey, Director, Master of Information
Alan is overseeing the day‐to‐day and ongoing administration of the Master of Information Program, including curriculum and program development; as well as curriculum and program development; graduate student affairs; course evaluations; transfer credits; exemptions; course waivers; and hiring of Sessional and other temporary lecturers in the program. Prof. Galey also sits on the Program Management Committee.
Prof. Galey recently published first monograph book, The Shakespearean Archive: Experiments in New Media from the Renaissance to Postmodernity, which explores the entwined histories of Shakespearean texts and archival technologies. He has also undertaken research for his second book, tentatively titled The Veil of Code: Studies in Born-Digital Bibliography. Alan recently completed a Fellowship at Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., where work continued on digital humanities project, Visualizing Variations, which offers free, open-source browser-based visualization prototypes to textual scholars.
Professor Cara Krmpotich, Director, Concurrent Registration Option and Collaborative Programs
Cara teaches both Collections Management, and Museums and Indigenous Communities at the iSchool. Her current research includes partnering with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, two other professors, and a team of student researchers and cultural programmers, on a SSHRC and Canadian Heritage-funded initiative called, “Memory, Meaning-Making and Collections.” The aim is to create a space in which people’s life histories, experiences and memories can be shared among and between generations.
In terms of broader research interests, Cara’s work looks at complex and dynamic relationships between museums and source communities, the interconnections between memory and material culture, theoretical aspects of repatriation, and generating new modes for understanding post-colonialism in the museum context.
As the Concurrent Registration Option and Collaborative Programs Director, Cara’s responsibilities are to oversee the synergies amongst the collaborative programs at the iSchool including Addiction Studies; Aging, Palliative and Supportive Care Across the Life Course; Book History and Print Culture; Environmental studies; Jewish Studies; Knowledge Media Design; Sexual Diversity Studies; Women and Gender Studies; and Women’s Health. This is a big role as the Faculty’s PhD, MI and MMSt degrees all participate in various Collaborative Programs.
Professor Heather MacNeil, Director, Doctoral Studies
Heather teaches courses on archival concepts and issues, the history of record keeping, and archival representation. In the past, her research has focused on theory and methods of archival arrangement and description, and the authenticity of records in analog and digital environments. Her most recent research explores archival description as a rhetorical genre in traditional and Web-based environments.
In her new Director role, Prof. MacNeil’s responsibilities include transfer credits, exemptions, course waivers, grade changes and reading courses in the PhD program. She is also responsible for (PhD) thesis-related technical matters relevant to oral final examinations, for the coordination of PhD Research Day, and the annual doctoral review process.
Professor David Phillips, Director, Undergraduate Programming
David’s multidisciplinary work brings together surveillance, queer theory, and infrastructure studies.
David’s overarching question asks whether and how infrastructures of data exchange and knowledge production can be made amenable to democratic action, non-normative identities and ideals, and queer world-making.
In one of his most captivating pieces of work, David was the co-creator of “Work and Play at the Thresholds of Legibility,” a collaborative theatre piece exploring two themes: the ways life is contorted to become legible to surveillance systems and the pains and pleasures of those remaining illegible.
In his new role as Director of Undergraduate Programming, David’s administrative duties are to oversee the Interactive Digital Media (IDM) program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that is run jointly with the Faculty of Information. The program provides students with the ability to analyze and use a variety of media tools, a focus on digital media, and its information communication infrastructures.
Professor Siobhan Stevenson, Director, Co-operative Education (Co-op) Program
Siobhan’s research interests include critical policy studies, the political economy of information, and digital labour. Specifically, she has investigated the working conditions within the information economy, at public libraries. Furthermore, she has developed a model that attempts to capture the dialectic between the ascendancy of library consumer-producer identity and the diminishment of the public librarian as a skilled, waged, and unionized public service worker.
As Director of the Co-op Program, Siobhan is responsible for overseeing the partnership between students, employers, and the Faculty of Information. The MI Co-op gives students the option to complete two consecutive, paid, full-time co-op work terms and gain professional experience in a student’s specified field.
In order for this new management structure to be created, Dean Seamus Ross would like to thank and acknowledge and hard work of the members of the Governance and Organizational Structure Work Group, chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Music, Don McLean.