Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Michele G. Wheatly today announced that the search for the next dean of the School of Information Studies (iSchool) has been extended.  In addition, Wheatly announced the appointment of David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, to the interim position of iSchool dean. Seaman will take on the additional responsibilities upon the retirement of longtime iSchool Dean Liz Liddy later this month.

“David is uniquely qualified to serve both the libraries and the iSchool at this critical time,” says Wheatly. “He has been chairing the Dean Search Committee for the iSchool since last November and is fully aware of the qualities needed in its next leader. David’s breadth of experience in a collaborative academic environment, his work ethic and willingness to step up and step into an additional role are just what the iSchool needs right now as it transitions to new leadership.”  

Seaman will step down as chair of the Search Committee while it continues its work into the next academic year. Wheatly will announce a new Search Committee chair in the coming weeks. Additionally, Wheatly says she expects many of the current Search Committee members will continue serving on the committee. The search firm of Russell Reynolds Associates will also continue to support the new Search Committee in its future work.

One of Syracuse University’s most prestigious colleges, the iSchool is nationally recognized for innovative programs in information policy, information behavior, information management, information systems, information technology, information services, data analytics and enterprise data systems. Reporting to the Syracuse University Provost, the iSchool Dean collaborates with the 12 Deans of the other schools and colleges and oversees 50 tenure-track faculty members, professors of practice and teaching faculty along with about 50 staff. 

“The iSchool is at the forefront of transformative change in the digital age,” says Seaman.  “The next Dean must be the kind of leader who can shepherd the school during a time when its disciplines are in increasingly high demand by undergraduate, professional and graduate students. I am honored to serve in an interim capacity while the search for the right leader continues and to work with deans and faculty across the campus to advance the research agenda and ensure academic excellence at the iSchool.”

Seaman was appointed University Librarian and Dean of the Syracuse University Libraries in June 2015, after nearly a decade at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. He was also previously executive director of the Digital Library Federation in Washington, D.C., a consortium of 40 major academic libraries and organizations dedicated to using digital standards and technologies to extend their collections and services. 

Wheatly noted that Seaman’s leadership of the libraries has involved building collaborative relationships and strong academic and scholarly connections between the University’s libraries and its schools and colleges.  “Our libraries and the iSchool are tremendous resources for the entire Syracuse University community. David has led a skilled library staff in delivering the services necessary to drive 21st century research, teaching, and learning, and to provide innovative spaces for study, collaboration, and innovation.”

Consistently ranked among the top five programs of its kind in the country by U.S. News and World Report, the Syracuse iSchool offers degree programs at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels; master’s programs are available both on campus and online.