Burnett named Director of School of Information

Dr. Kathleen Burnett
Dr. Kathleen Burnett

Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information (CCI) has named Dr. Kathleen Burnett as the Director of the School of Information and F. William Summers Professor. She has served as interim director since September 2012 and was selected from an excellent slate of candidates in a national search.

Kathy Burnett is an outstanding researcher and has clearly demonstrated great leadership as the School’s interim director,” Dean Larry Dennis said.  “I look forward to working with her as we build a stronger program.”

“I greatly appreciate the confidence and support the faculty, staff, and Dean Larry Dennis have demonstrated in appointing me,” Burnett said.  “I am excited to be in the position of contributing to the extension of the School’s long and proud tradition of excellence and innovation in information education.”

Dr. Burnett joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1996 and served as associate dean from 1998 to 2004.  In 2001, in recognition of her leadership in pioneering one of the first entirely online learning programs in the field, she received the FSU President’s Technology Award for Exemplary Uses of Technology for Instruction. She was promoted to professor in 2009.  She is the second William F. Summers Professor, following Wayne F. Wiegand, who retired in 2011. William F. Summers was Dean of the School from 1985-1994.

“She’s been an outstanding faculty member and there is no question she will make an outstanding director,” Summers said.

In addition, Dr. Burnett managed Project Athena, a multi-institutional initiative funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) from 2002-06.  Project Athena developed and demonstrated a student-centered recruitment model. Doctoral students funded through this initiative currently hold faculty positions at the University of Illinois, Syracuse University, Simmons University, University of South Carolina, St. Catherine’s University, Iowa State University and Florida State.

Dr. Burnett’s record of funded research is strong and includes grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as the IMLS. Her areas of research are library and information studies (LIS) education, the development of disciplinary identity in LIS, and the incorporation of human and social information behavior research in the development of socio-technical systems.

Prior to FSU, Dr. Burnett was an assistant professor at Rutgers University (1989-1996). She earned her Ph.D. (1989) in Library & Information Studies and Master’s of Library Studies (1979) from the University of California, Berkeley.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in German Literature from the University of California, San Diego in 1978.

The School of Information, Florida’s iSchool, has received national acknowledgement for its interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to research and offers two majors within the bachelor’s of science in information technology (BSIT); a master’s of science in information technology (MSIT); master’s of arts and master’s of science in library and information studies (MLIS); specialist in library and information studies (Sp. LIS); and Ph.D. in information studies.  US News & World Report recently ranked the MLIS program #13 overall, #1 in school library media, and #11 in digital libraries.