News and Announcements
Dr. Stephen Bajjaly Steps Down as Associate Dean of SIS
After 11 years of service to the School of Information Sciences (SIS), Dr. Stephen Bajjaly has stepped down as Associate Dean. He will be on leave during the 2018-19 academic year and will return to teaching as a SIS faculty member in May 2019. He will remain active in library and information science education during this time as President Elect of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), a global non-profit that promotes innovative and high-quality research, teaching, and service for educators and scholars in library and information science and cognate disciplines.
Under Bajjaly’s leadership, the school expanded and developed in numerous ways. During his tenure as Associate Dean, the school experienced increased enrollment and graduation rates, expanded degree and certificate offerings, and adopted a wider role in educating professionals for the information field. These changes prompted the school to be re-named twice in response to the progress made under Bajjaly’s purview: the first from Library and Information Science Program (LISP) to School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) and finally to the new School of Information Sciences (SIS) in 2017. During this time, the school dramatically grew its online program to become the largest at Wayne State University, with students from 38 states, Washington D.C., Canada, and Armed Forces locations in Europe and the Pacific. The faculty also grew in seniority with four members receiving tenure from the university.
Bajjaly worked to diversify the school’s curriculum and guided the development of a Graduate Certificate in Information Management, which was the basis for the new Master of Science in Information Management program. With his leadership, the school collaborated with the WSU Department of History to create two joint degree programs, the Dual MLIS/MA in History and Dual MLIS/MA in Public History. The school also added graduate certificates in Public Library Services to Children and Youth Adults and Library and Information Science.
Bajjaly was also committed to enhancing student experiences and funding. During his tenure, the school received three Institute of Museum and Library Services grants to train new professionals – these included the Fine and Performing Arts, Project Accessible Libraries for All (ALFA) and Project Increasing Diversity of Librarians (IDOL) grants. He also pushed to re-envision the University Libraries’ graduate student assistantship (GSA) positions which were opened to new students and developed to provide a broader, more holistic experience of academic librarianship. Within the school, he created two GSA positions dedicated to diversity and technology. Bajjaly also increased funding and support for a wider range of placements for the school’s Alternate Spring Break program.
In 2009 and 2016, Bajjaly guided the school through two full re-accreditation visits from the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation. Most recently, he led the school to become an Associate Member of iSchools, an international consortium of schools in the information fields.
SIS appreciates and recognizes the lasting impact of Dr. Bajjaly’s service and leadership and looks forward to his return next year. Dr. Hermina Anghelescu will serve as interim director of the school for the 2018-19 academic year.