Candidate for Member-at-Large
Ken Fleischmann is a Professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the Founding Director of Undergraduate Studies for the UT-Austin iSchool’s new undergraduate major in Informatics. He also serves as Founding Chair of Good Systems, a UT Grand Challenge, one of three eight-year campus-wide research grand challenges at UT-Austin.
Ken’s service to ASIS&T includes serving as chair, co-chair, and member of the ASIS&T Awards and Honors Committee; member of the SIG-SI Awards Committee; juror for the ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award, juror for the Student Design Competition, and mentor for the Doctoral Colloquium. He has reviewed for JASIST 25 times and served as Track Co-Chair for AM 2011.
Ken’s research explores the ethics of AI, including research on algorithmic transparency (dating back to a 2005 Communications of the ACM paper) and trust in digital information (dating back to a 2008 JASIST paper). He has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as JASIST, JMIR, CACM, Computer, The Information Society, and JELIS; more than 60 papers in conference proceedings such as ASIS&T, CSCW, CIKM, ASSETS, and the iConference. His research has been funded by NSF, IARPA, Microsoft Research, Cisco Research, Micron Foundation, and the Public Interest Technology University Network. His research awards include the ASIST SIG-SI Social Informatics Best Paper Award, the ASIS&T SIG-USE Best Information Behavior Conference Paper Award, the iConference Best Paper Award, the Civic Futures Award for Designing for the 100%, and the MetroLab Innovation of the Month.
ASIS&T has been my adoptive academic home since my first AM in 2005 junior faculty member. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity with which I was welcomed into the ASIS&T community. Coming from another field but having had the opportunity to graduate students in the information field, I am acutely aware of the delicate balance between welcoming outsiders and improving the job prospects of our own students. I want ASIS&T to grow and thrive by doing both, continuing to welcome scholars from a wide range of academic backgrounds who partially or, as I did, entirely shift their community to ASIS&T, but also to serve as a first home to undergraduate and master’s students who we then retain in the Association for decades to come, whether they pursue an academic or professional path. I hope we can continue to grow the big tent of ASIS&T which demonstrates the strength that can come from the mixture of members with PhDs within and beyond the information field, as well as both academic and professional members.
I am committed to ensuring the success of the ASIS&T Strategic Plan, particularly fostering interdisciplinary collaborations to “address society’s grand challenges.” My experience leading the development and launch of a campus-wide research grand challenge serves as the perfect preparation to expand such efforts across the information field. I never expected to have the opportunity to expand my own decades-long research on the ethics of AI into a campus-wide research grand challenge spanning over thirty departments, schools, and units across campus. I am keen to help other scholars in the information field scale up their research programs across their respective campuses, and for us to work together to leverage our vast experience in interdisciplinary collaboration and to serving users to allow us to lead convergent research teams that directly address the grand challenges facing society today and tomorrow.
Information is the key to the future, so ASIS&T needs to be at the center of addressing society’s grand challenges. We should play an active role in combatting misinformation and disinformation globally, from geopolitical disinformation to COVID-19 vaccination misinformation. Information is also critical for addressing climate change and achieving environmental justice. I am committed to the vision of ASIS&T as a force for equity and justice globally.
I am committed to increasing the global footprint of ASIS&T. I am keen to assist in expanding our journal offerings to grow our impact in academia. I am also eager to work toward creating high-quality podcasts that expand our outreach to information professionals and the public. ASIS&T must continue to play a vital role in spanning the professional and academic communities, unlike some other professional societies that lean heavily in one direction or the other. We also need to continue to connect the history of ASIS&T with the future of ASIS&T, to ensure that ASIS&T can continue to be a welcoming and inclusive community that recognizes distinguished contributions and welcomes new leaders.