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Last modified: Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Robert B. Schnabel selected dean of IU School of Informatics

Robert Schnabel

Robert Schnabel

Print-Quality Photo

April 3, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert announced today (April 3) that Robert B. Schnabel, an acclaimed computer scientist and researcher, will become the next dean of the IU School of Informatics pending approval by IU trustees.

Schnabel is vice provost/associate vice chancellor for Academic and Campus Technology and professor of computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. As vice provost, he serves as chief information officer of CU-Boulder, and as the director of the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) Institute.

"Professor Schnabel has built a national reputation as an academic leader and scientist. He is a strong advocate for the multidisciplinary collaborations that are absolutely vital to the fulfillment of the school's mission. He also has a strong commitment to diversity and has championed programs promoting diversity in IT at all levels. We are both delighted and proud to welcome Professor Schnabel into the IU family," Herbert said.

Schnabel succeeds J. Michael Dunn, who will retire June 30. Dunn, who came to IU in 1969 to teach philosophy and rose through the ranks at the College of Arts and Sciences to become its executive associate dean, is credited with building the School of Informatics -- the first of its kind in the nation -- into an internationally recognized education and research center in information technology.

"Professor Michael Dunn, the founding dean of the IU School of Informatics, led the establishment of the first school of its kind in the nation. He also directed its rise to national prominence. We have faced a significant challenge in selecting a new dean who has is capable of leading the School of Informatics into the next era of its development. I believe we have made an excellent choice in Dr. Bobby Schnabel," Herbert said.

Schnabel's appointment follows a search that began last May with the appointment of a 15-member search committee led by Brad Wheeler, chief information officer and dean of Information Technology at IU Bloomington.

"Our informatics school is a nationally recognized pioneer in its discipline and IU owes a great debt of gratitude to its founding dean, Professor Michael Dunn. Bobby Schnabel is one of the few people capable of carrying on Mike's legacy," said IU President-elect Michael A. McRobbie.

"Professor Schnabel not only brings to IU an outstanding record of research and academic accomplishment in the field of informatics, but also a penetrating vision of how new technologies can accelerate the expansion of knowledge in virtually every discipline. He is ideally suited to provide the leadership we need in this vital arena. I am also personally pleased to welcome someone to IU with such a demonstrated commitment to diversity," McRobbie said.

When Schnabel becomes dean, he will assume leadership of the university's newest school, which offers academic programs at IU campuses at Bloomington, Indianapolis, South Bend, Southeast (New Albany) and Kokomo. The informatics program also has been approved for IU campuses at Northwest (Gary) and East (Richmond).

Established in 2000, the School of Informatics, which includes the Department of Computer Science (Bloomington) and the New Media Program (IUPUI), has 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students, and more than 1,100 alumni.

"The School of Informatics is uniquely positioned to provide national leadership in the broad area of informatics and computer science education, research and service," said Schnabel. "This is a critically important area to the state of Indiana, the nation and world. I look forward to working with the excellent multi-campus faculty, staff and students of the School, in strong partnership with the IU and Indiana communities."

Schnabel has held a number of positions at the University of Colorado prior to his current roles. He was the associate dean for academic affairs, College of Engineering and Applied Science, and chair of the Department of Computer Science. His research and teaching interests include numerical computation, parallel computation, applications to molecular chemistry, and diversifying participation in computing and information technology, both in the areas of education and workforce development.

A recipient of numerous teaching and professional awards, Schnabel has led three major campus-wide information technology strategic planning initiatives at the University of Colorado since 1998, leading to many significant administrative and academic innovations on the Boulder campus. As founding director of the ATLAS Institute, he has led the development of a campus-wide program providing multidisciplinary curriculum, research, and outreach programs that integrate information technology with a wide variety of disciplines and people, both inside and outside the university, including the recently opened $31 million ATLAS Building. Through ATLAS, he has been particularly active in programs aimed at broadening the participation of women and under-represented minorities in computing.

Schnabel has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research projects representing more than $30 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and other organizations.

He has served as associate editor or co-editor of five journals and on many professional committees and boards. Currently he serves as editor-in-chief of SIAM Review, the flagship journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Schnabel is on the board of directors of the Computing Research Association and serves as chair of the Information Technology Deans group of CRA and of the Education Policy Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery. He is co-founder and a member of the executive team of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and is active in a number of committees and alliances involving minority-serving institutions.

Schnabel earned his doctorate and master's degrees in computer science from Cornell University and his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College.