Renear's leadership has been critical during a period of rapid growth and transformation. During this time, the School expanded programs and resources while continuing to preserve its core identity and values. This commitment to the importance of both innovation and tradition was confirmed in March 2017 when the iSchool was once again named the top graduate school for library and information studies by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking held since 1996.
"I want to thank Dean Renear for his passion as an advocate for the School, its faculty, staff, and students. During his tenure as dean, the School initiated new degrees, changed its name to reflect the full scope of its curriculum and research activities, developed a new robust financial foundation, reorganized its administration, made critical hires in strategic areas, and articulated an important vision of the role of the information sciences at the University and beyond," said John Wilkin, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost for the Urbana campus.
Renear joined the iSchool as a faculty member in 2001. From 2008 to 2011, he served as associate dean for research. He was named interim dean in February 2012, and then later dean of the School.
"The time seems to have gone by quickly, but I am already past the median tenure for college deans, and I am looking forward to returning to my students and my research," said Renear.
"It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as dean, but this is a perfect time for a transition. We are a top-ranked School with new exciting programs and terrific faculty and staff, and we have an emerging leadership role here at the University and beyond. Our next dean will have the opportunity to contribute to our School's continued evolution and excellence, advancing our mission and supporting the communities we serve."
The University will soon initiate a national search for a new dean, with the goal of filling the position before Renear steps down in August.
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