Sears Named Dean of RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

Human-centered computing expert from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, begins Aug. 1

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Andrew Sears

Andrew Sears has been named dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

Currently the Constellation Professor of Information Technology and Engineering, professor and chair of information systems, and director of the Interactive Systems Research Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Sears will succeed Jorge Díaz-Herrera, who is leaving Rochester Institute of Technology to become president of Keuka College in July.

Sears, also a professor of research with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is an expert in human-centered computing and information technology, with applications in universal accessibility, mobile computing, health information technologies, interface design and speech recognition.

“Andrew Sears brings with him an international reputation in human-centered computing research, a rich history for problem-solving, a commitment to empowering people to succeed and a passion to advocate for faculty, staff and, especially, students,” says Jeremy Haefner, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join RIT as the dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences,” Sears says. “I am impressed by both the accomplishments to date and the tremendous potential within the college.”

A native of Newton, Mass., Sears earned a B.S. in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in computer science, with an emphasis on human-computer interaction, from the University of Maryland, College Park. He joined University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as an associate professor of information systems in 1999.

Sears is a founding editor-in-chief of Transactions on Accessible Computing, a quarterly journal of the Association for Computing Machinery, which named him a distinguished scientist in 2010. He serves on the editorial boards of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, European Journal of Information Systems, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and Universal Access in the Information Society. He has co-edited six books on human-computer interaction, contributed chapters to 15 volumes, and written and presented numerous articles and papers.

In 2002, Díaz-Herrera succeeded Walter Wolf, interim dean of the Golisano College since its creation in 2001. The college, RIT’s second largest in total enrollment, marked its 10th anniversary last month.

Díaz-Herrera assumes the presidency of Keuka College on July 1.

“Jorge will undoubtedly lead Keuka with the same energy, passion and commitment to excellence that he has exhibited during his tenure as dean of the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences,” RIT President Bill Destler said when Díaz-Herrera’s appointment as Keuka College president was announced in February.

Note: RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, one of the largest and most comprehensive computing colleges in the nation, offers 16 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels—including a Ph.D. in computing and information sciences—along with 10 minors. The college was created with a $14 million gift, one of the largest in the university’s history, from Tom Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc. and a member of the RIT Board of Trustees.

Founded in 1829, RIT is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, sustainability, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. RIT enrolls 17,000 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative-education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.