2016 ASIS&T President
University of Toronto
Change and renewal characterize ASIS&T with new initiatives, programs and management developments to better serve the membership. The first ASIS&T Regional Meeting, held April 15, 2016, at Rutgers University offered stimulating panels and showed student leaders’ dedication to building the Association. Members’ suggestions have led to featuring short video presentations by doctoral students on the ASIS&T website and explorations into professional concerns and accreditation reforms. The ASIS&T Information Architecture and Research Data Access and Preservation Summits thrive, rallying dynamic and important communities within the profession. ASIS&T management changes include the plan to hire a communications officer to boost the Association’s visibility and responsiveness to members and the pending retirement of executive director Dick Hill after nearly 30 years of service. Preparations for the 2016 Annual Meeting, to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, are in full swing, including opportunities to bid Dick thanks and farewell.
Association for Information Science and Technology
With spring upon us, the air is filled with a renewed sense of possibilities. ASIS&T remains engaged in a similar process of change and renewal in order to meet the demands of our members. In the past few months, the ASIS&T community has been hard at work crafting initiatives and programs to enrich our collective experiences.
On April 15th, we enjoyed the first in an anticipated series of ASIS&T Regional Meetings – this one on the East Coast at Rutgers University. The program put together by Michael Leach, Chirag Shah and their team was a wonderful opportunity to engage in intellectual and social encounters. The panels were all stimulating, but the closing panel led by student leaders of chapters and SIGs was particularly noteworthy. These leaders shared best practices and discussed their strategies for recruitment and retention of members. Their vision, passion and community-building efforts were truly inspiring. ASIS&T is clearly in good hands with these emerging leaders.
ASIS&T is buzzing with a myriad of initiatives thanks to the fresh ideas of our members: all doctoral students are invited to submit five-minute videos about their research to be featured on our website (thanks to the efforts of Dr. Iris Xie). Issues of interest to our professionals are being explored by the Education and Professional Advancement Committee (most notably through the development of a blog exploring accreditation reforms) and by the Information Professionals Task Force, which, among other things, will revamp the Careers portion of our website. These projects are of course, in addition to the vibrant Information Architecture (IA) and RDAP (Research Data Access and Preservation) Summits that Dick Hill and his staff manage. More than 500 attendees met in Atlanta this year for the IA Summit, and the city resonated with their collective excitement. ASIS&T would be well advised to pay better attention to these IA professionals. ASIS&T runs the Summit, but stronger bonds could be built with this vibrant community of information professionals. Be sure to check out the Bulletin’s annual Special Section on Information Architecture, which is in this (June/July 2016) issue. Edited by Bulletin associate editor for information architecture Laura Creekmore, it includes articles by Dan Klyn, Victor Yocco & Ashley Pulli, and Kate Garklavs.
On the management front, some important developments are occurring, and I would like to share two with you. First, we are in the process of hiring a communications officer to develop and sustain a robust and comprehensive communication strategy. It has become necessary for our organization to invest in such a position, and our members will benefit from the added visibility it will bring to ASIS&T as well as the increased responsiveness to our members’ needs and wants.
The other news, which is more bittersweet in nature, is that Dick Hill, our loyal and longstanding executive director, has announced his decision to retire. After almost three decades devoted to our Association, Dick certainly deserves a break. He will be sorely missed by his staff, the Board and officers, as well as our members. A constant presence at the Annual Meetings and a fervent advocate for the field and our organization, Dick has served under countless presidents, has mentored and nurtured an impressive number of officers and has been an incredible leader for his team at the ASIS&T headquarters. On a recent visit to the ASIS&T headquarters in Silver Spring (just outside Washington, DC), president-elect Lynn Connaway and I were touched by the high esteem that Dick’s team holds for him. Vanessa, Jan, Carline and Stephan all spoke with great affection and respect about their boss, and it is clear that his shoes will be hard to fill.
We are all so very grateful to Dick for his hard work, dedication and passion toward making ASIS&T what it is today. I know you will join me in thanking him and wishing him the best for the next chapter of his life. After almost three decades dedicated to furthering the position and stature of ASIS&T, Dick is ready to pass the baton. Dick’s retirement date is yet to be finalized, and he was kind enough to give us assurance of his commitment to ASIS&T until the position is filled. The Board will be hard at work on this matter, and we will keep you updated regularly. The Board is grateful to Dick and his staff for their flexibility and cooperation as we turn a new page in the history of our organization.
Before I close, I would like to invite you all to start making your arrangements to join us at the Annual Meeting in Copenhagen. The co-chairs have reported a record number of panel and session submissions this year. There will be ample opportunities at the Annual Meeting to celebrate Dick’s tenure with ASIS&T. Bring your best stories or photos, and use this chance to say “thank you” to Dick and his staff. As for Dick, despite his best efforts, he could not keep the smile off his face at the idea of the new chapter that awaits him. We even have the picture to prove it!