SLIS begins search for director; interim named

Journalism professor Jeff Fruit is the current interim director for School of Library and Information Science. The school is currently searching for a new director, after the former director resigned last year.

Nicholas Sewell

The School of Library and Information Science is currently searching for a new director.

The position was vacated last year when the school’s former director, Tomas Lipinski, resigned. Lipinski, who served as the SLIS director for 18 months, has since moved to a faculty position in the college and is working on developing a minor in intellectual property.

Luett Hanson, an associate dean from the College of Communication and Information, is the chair of the nine-person search committee to find the School of Library and Information Science’s next director. She said the search is just in the beginning stages at this time.

“We are in what I would call the recruitment phase,” Hanson said. “That’s where we are encouraging people to apply for the job.”

Kent State professor Jeff Fruit is the current interim director for SLIS. He was selected to fulfill the position earlier in the month. Fruit said his position as a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication has slightly changed since taking on the SLIS director role.

“I’m not teaching as much as I was before,” Fruit said. “However, I kept my big Media, Power and Culture class because I love teaching that.”

Hanson said that Kent State has sent administrators to the Association for Library and Information Science Educators which currently is hosting its annual conference in Philadelphia, Pa., where most of the recruiting for the new director will take place. Kent State has sent administrators to the ALISE conference to talk with potential candidates.

David Robins, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science, is on the search committee for the new director. He said, the committee has identified approximately 30 people as potential candidates for the position.

“Not all of those people are at the ALISE conference,” Robins said. “They [the Kent State representatives] will get to do some preliminary, informal interviews to try to gauge interest in the position.”

Robins also said the representatives will talk to as many people as they can at the ALISE conference, even those who have not yet applied for the director position.

After the search committee narrows down the applicants, they will complete a rating system, based on the applications that were sent in and the people they talked to.

“We have a pretty formal rubric that we go through with all of the criteria that we are looking for,” Robins said.  “We rate each candidate on the basis of what they have presented in their application packets.”

The committee will create a very short list of candidates that will then have on-campus visits and interviews. Finally after this process, the committee will formally select a new director.

Hanson said she expects to have the new director selected a few months before the official start date, anticipated to be Aug. 1.

For more information on the director search, and the search committee members, visit

Contact Nick Sewell at [email protected].