Following a nationwide search, Tom Walker, Ph.D., was recently selected as the associate dean of the Wayne State University School of Information Sciences, effective Aug. 1.
Walker joins the School of Information Sciences after serving most recently at Long Island University, where he was the interim dean of the libraries and associate dean and director of the Palmer School of Library and Information Science.
“Dr. Walker brings more than 20 years of experience in higher ed and program development to Wayne State,” said Jon E. Cawthorne, dean of the Wayne State University Library System. “I expect his great expertise will help position the school as we develop a long-range plan to strengthen our growth as a global center for information studies.”
Walker spent a large part of his career at the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM). After gaining tenure and promotion, he left for an opportunity to direct the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi, but returned to UWM four years later to serve as the interim dean of the School of Information Studies before moving on to Long Island University. At UWM, Walker participated in campuswide governance groups and projects related to assessment, curriculum, tenure and promotion, and marketing. Between 2013 and 2016, he was the executive director of the Wisconsin Center for the Book, an affiliate program of the Library of Congress.
Walker received his doctorate in information studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a bachelor's in music from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master of arts in library science from the University of Chicago. He also holds a master’s in music history, literature and theory from Northwestern University.
The author of over 100 publications that have ranged from short journal articles about aspects of the history of libraries to longer treatments of topics in knowledge organization, scholarly communication and historical bibliography, Walker has presented at conferences and workshops in England, Scotland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, China, Kuwait, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Canada.
“The school has a wonderful reputation and I plan to build on the work of the previous directors to broaden the school’s program array, collaborate with other academic programs, and establish a heightened and broadened research profile,” said Walker. “I’m especially looking forward to being a part of a large research institution that emphasizes research, access and diversity, and building relationships with the campus.”
The Wayne State University Library System consists of the university's five libraries: The David Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Purdy/Kresge Library, the Shiffman Medical Library, the Arthur Neef Law Library and the Reuther Library as well as the School of Information Sciences.
Wayne State University is a premier institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.