By: Erin Martin Kane
Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina today named K. Matthew Dames interim dean-designate of the Syracuse University Libraries. Dames will assume the interim deanship on July 1, following Suzanne E. Thorin, who announced she would step down from her role as dean and University Librarian on June 30.
Dames, who was appointed interim associate dean for research, collections and scholarly communication (RCSC) in January, was the University’s first Copyright and Information Policy Adviser and has been on the senior leadership team of the library since August 2008. In December, Thorin named him director of the library’s Copyright and Information Policy Office. In that role, Dames was responsible for educating the University community about copyright, licensing and policy issues that affect teaching, scholarship and research.
“Dr. Dames is widely respected within the library and has contributed significantly to the University,” says Spina. “With his diverse educational background and professional experience, Kevin is well-positioned to lead the library as it enters a period of transition. I look forward to his productive engagement with faculty, staff and students across the University, and am confident that he and the leadership team at the library will serve the evolving needs of our students and faculty in teaching/learning and scholarship.”
“I am honored Provost Spina has selected me to lead the library during this important transitional period, and I thank him for the opportunity,” says Dames. “I also thank Dean Thorin and the library staff for the collegiality and support they have provided me in the past. The library faces immediate challenges in various areas, and I look forward to resolving those for the benefit of the entire University community.
Dames has been involved in the media, information and copyright industries as a creator, distributor and performer for more than three decades. His prior professional experience includes being a staff writer and columnist at two newspapers; producing and hosting radio programs in New York, Boston and Syracuse; and completing a residency at Georgetown University’s law library. He is an inveterate music collector in all media.
In addition to his duties at Syracuse, Dames is a research fellow at Michigan State University’s Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law, a columnist for Information Today, and the executive editor of Copycense. His scholarly research focuses on copyright law, information policy and legislation, political language and framing, and the history of U.S. media industries.
Dames is a graduate of Syracuse University, Northeastern University School of Law, the City University of New York and the Hackley School. In 2011, Dames became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from Syracuse’s School of Information Studies, where the faculty awarded him its Doctoral Prize for his research The Piracy Paradigm: Framing U.S. Copyright Law.