Indiana University

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Last modified: Friday, April 20, 2007

IU Informatics Dean named Sagamore of the Wabash by Gov. Daniels

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April 20, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- J. Michael Dunn, founding dean of the Indiana University School of Informatics, is one of the newest Sagamores of the Wabash.

The designation, considered the highest honor an Indiana governor bestows, was made on April 19. The award was presented by IU President-elect Michael A. McRobbie on behalf of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

"J. Michael Dunn has distinguished himself by his humanity in living, his loyalty in friendship, his wisdom in council and his inspiration in leadership," McRobbie said in reading from the award. The Sagamore presentation capped a series of events honoring Dunn's career as an academician and researcher at IU. Dunn will retire June 30 as university dean of the IU School of Informatics.

Dunn came to IU in 1969 to teach philosophy, rising through the ranks of the College of Arts and Sciences to become its executive associate dean. He 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.

Dunn is professor of informatics and computer science and is the Oscar Ewing Professor of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a founding member of the college's Cognitive Science Program. An early advocate of the role of personal computers on campus, Dunn wrote a computer plan for the Department of Philosophy that was among the first four such plans approved for the Bloomington campus.

Active in the Bloomington community, Dunn and his wife Sally -- who serves as dean of IU's University Division -- live in a historic house near campus. Their hobbies include historic restoration and gardening. They have two grown children. Dunn earned a doctorate in philosophy (logic) at the University of Pittsburgh and received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College. He taught at Wayne State University and at Yale University before coming to IU Bloomington. He is listed in "Who's Who in America," and is listed in the Indiana Business Journal's "Who's Who in Technology." In 2002 he accepted the CyberStar Award for the School of Informatics' Outstanding Educational Contribution to IT.

The Sagamore of the Wabash award was created during the term of Gov. Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor. The term "sagamore" was used by the American Indian tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice.

For more information, contact Joe Stuteville, 317-946-9930 (cell), 812-856-3141, or

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