Gary Marchionini reappointed dean of SILS

April 2, 2021

Gary Marchionini, Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), has been reappointed to serve as dean of the School for another five-year term. Marchionini, who has served in the deanship since 2010, is in his 23rd year at Carolina.

Gary Marchionini in front of Manning Hall
SILS Dean Gary Marchionini

Robert A. Blouin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, formally announced the reappointment on April 1, with the following message:

“The review committee submitted a glowing recommendation of Dean Marchionini and cited his many accomplishments at one of the University’s most rapidly growing schools. Notably, under Gary’s leadership, SILS has seen record growth in grants submitted and received, with faculty winning significant research support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS), among others.

During Gary’s tenure, the school has received several grants that embody the spirit of the University’s strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good, and opened new doors for campus collaboration. Among them was a $5 million gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as well as additional support from Luminate and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, to establish the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) in 2019. This new research hub brings together Carolina’s world-renowned experts in information science, media and journalism, communication and law to help answer defining questions about the changing nature of society and politics in the digital age. We are already seeing that model inspire other campus leaders to follow suit.

SILS has also expanded its faculty in both numbers and areas of expertise, as Gary has welcomed five new tenure-track and two teaching assistant professors since 2016. Among them are National Book Award finalist and 2020 MacArthur “genius grant” winner Tressie McMillan Cottom. In addition, SILS has negotiated joint faculty appointments with the School of Medicine, Health Sciences Library, and Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

SILS has seen increased enrollment in its Bachelor of Science in Information Science program and developed a new a Certificate in Applied Data Science in partnership with the College of Arts & Sciences. All of these successes have helped SILS maintain its long-standing reputation for excellence, keeping it at or near the top of competitive rankings from organizations like U.S. News & World Report, which recently named it the #2 school in the nation.

One tangible example of how Gary and SILS have impacted our daily lives is from 2007 when then-Professor Marchionini used a Google Research Award to develop the Information in Life Video Series. The series established what would become the UNC-Chapel Hill YouTube channel, which now has over 3.6 million views.

Prior to coming to UNC-Chapel Hill, Gary was previously a professor in the College of Library and Information Services at the University of Maryland and a member of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory. A recognized expert in human-information interaction, interface design and testing, and digital libraries, he has published over 200 articles, chapters and reports in a variety of books and journals.

I would like to thank the search committee, chaired by Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Michael Barker, and the members listed below for their time and diligent attention on this review.

  • Jay Aikat, Chief Operating Officer, RENCI
  • David S. Ardia, Reef C. Ivey II Excellence Fund Term Professor of Law, UNC School of Law
  • Deen Freelon, Associate Professor, Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • Javed Mostafa, Professor, Information Science and Biomedical Research Imaging Center
  • Arcot Rajasekar, Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science; Director of Research & Technology, Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) Center; Chief Scientist, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)
  • Fred Stutzman, Alumni Leader and Donor, Founder and CEO of Freedom
  • Helen Tibbo, Alumni Distinguished Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science
  • Kelsey Urgo, Doctoral Student and Research Assistant of Information Science, UNC School of Information and Library Science
  • Anne Webb, Associate Dean of Development, UNC School of Information and Library Science
  • Elaine Westbrooks, Vice Provost of University Libraries and University Librarian

Under Gary’s leadership, SILS remains poised to continue its trajectory of growth and success, and I’m delighted he will continue in this role."