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Dr. R. David Lankes Named Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Dr. R. David Lankes

Dr. Soo Young Rieh, who was appointed interim Dean of the School of Information last month, has recommended Dr. R. David Lankes to serve as the iSchool’s interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs starting July 15th. Dr. Lankes joined the iSchool in 2021 as the Virginia and Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship and formerly served as the interim Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Affairs in 2022-2023. As interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Lankes will lead the school’s academic affairs team and provide administrative support for the 2024-2025 academic year.

“My primary goal as interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is ensuring our students get the best education,” Dr. Lankes said. “To achieve that in the information domain that is rapidly changing, we need to ensure that everyone doing instruction, from our tenure-track faculty, to clinical faculty, to adjuncts, feel valued and connected.” He elaborates that communication and building mutual respect for the instructional side of the school is essential to ensuring that the iSchool’s programs—among them a nationally ranked graduate program, a rapidly growing undergraduate major, industry specific credentials, and a strong doctoral program—all receive the attention and resources they need.

“Through our research collaborations over the years, I always have appreciated Dr. Lankes' insights on the role of information professionals and the pressing educational issues our field is facing,” Interim Dean Rieh said. “We share similar perspectives and priorities regarding the future direction of the iSchool and how to achieve our common goals. He brings a wealth of administrative knowledge and expertise accumulated during his tenure as the Director of the School of Information Science and Associate Dean for the College of Information and Communications at the University of South Carolina. I am thrilled that he has accepted this important position and look forward to working closely with him.”

Dr. Lankes said, “I have had the great fortune to work with really smart people across three universities. They taught me about the basics of scheduling and the need for clear and strong advising support. But mostly they taught me that good ideas come from all over and are never confined to a job title or rank. Good leadership is not about leaders and followers, nor is it really about functions, it’s about facilitating a creative environment and common goals. Roles like associate dean are all about removing obstacles.”

July 9, 2024