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Dal SIM Appoints Two New Professors Emeriti

Posted by SIM on February 9, 2023 in News

For immediate release: Dalhousie SIM Appoints Two New Professors Emeriti

Thursday, February 9th, 2023 (Halifax, NS) – SIM is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Fiona Black and Dr. Bertrum MacDonald as Professors Emeriti with the School.

Dr. Fiona Black joined Dalhousie in 2001 as an Assistant Professor in what was then called the School of Library and Information Studies. She was Director of the School from 2003 until 2010. During her tenure, Dr. Black championed the development of a mid-career blended learning graduate degree, the Master of Information Management (MIM), which has been a significant factor in SIM’s increased national profile. Dr. Black also served as Associate Dean (External Programs) as well as Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Management before joining the Office of the Provost in 2012 and being appointed Associate Vice-President Academic in 2013. Dr. Black was awarded the Faculty of Management’s (FOM) Senior Administrator Exceptional Service Award, in 2010, and the Dean’s Award for Academic Leadership, in 2007. In 2018, she received the School of Information Management Alumni Association (SIMAA) Outstanding Alumni Award. Many of her nominators and supporters spoke of Dr. Black’s “generosity with time and advice, even when busy with her administrative duties for the university,” and remembered how she inspired them with her trademark statement, “information managers are going to take over the world.” Dr. Black is recognized as a leading innovator in research methods relating to digital humanities. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in the United Kingdom’s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and is one of only a few Canadians to win this award since it was established in 1896. She also received, along with Dr MacDonald and others, the Bibliographical Society of Canada’s Institutional Award in 2010, for the major SSHRC-funded, bilingual project for a History of the Book in Canada/L’histoire du livre et de l’imprimé au Canada.

Dr. Bertrum MacDonald joined SIM in 1987. He served as SIM Director from 1995 to 2002, Associate Dean (Research) within the Faculty of Management from 2002-2007, and Interim Dean, for the Faculty of Management in 2015-2016. Dr. MacDonald has also continuously held research funding from SSHRC since the mid-1990s and Ocean Frontier Institute funding since 2017. He is the recipient of the 2021 Faculty of Management Research Impact Award, the Marie Tremaine Medal (the highest honour awarded by the Canadian Bibliographical Society), a Dibner Resident Scholar Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute, and SSHRC and CFREF research grants totaling nearly $1 million. His leadership of the interdisciplinary EIUI: Environmental Information: Use and Influence research group (EIUI – www.eiui.ca) over the past two decades is one of the most significant accomplishments. Along with teaching the timely course, “Information in Public Policy and Decision Making,” Bertrum is known for his analytical rigor and attention to detail, and also for his incredible curiosity and joy in the research process. Dr. MacDonald served three terms on Dalhousie Senate, chaired the Senate Review Committee for the Faculty of Agriculture in 2018, chaired the Research Development Fund Committee in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and chaired the Dalhousie Research Ethics Board and the Research Ethics Appeal Board. He served on several accreditation reviews of programs in Canada and the United States, as the Canadian member of the ALA accrediting unit from 2000 to 2004, as Executive Member at Large and Program Officer of the international Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, from 2009 to 2015; President of the Royal NS Historical Society from 2011 to 2014, President of the Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association from 2008 to 2011, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Archives of NS in 2010 and Chair of the Board from 2014 to 2017,  as well as a member of the Board of Governors at Crandall University from 2008 to 2015. He has been a member of the award-winning chamber choir, the Halifax Camerata Singers, since 1991.

From Dr. Sandra Toze (Director, School of Information Management): “Drs. Black and MacDonald have both made significant contributions to the School, the Faculty, the University, and the profession as a whole. Through her many leadership positions, Dr. Black was responsible for creating change, and for supporting the University’s initiatives related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. Dr. MacDonald has been instrumental in creating and sustaining an enriching, supportive, and productive research culture in SIM. I can’t think of any two people more deserving of this honour.”

When asked about their new appointments, Drs. Black and MacDonald said the following:

Dr. Fiona Black: “I am humbled by this wonderful honour and thank Dr Toze and Dean Brooks for their work to submit my name. I am thankful for all of the opportunities afforded me by faculty and staff of SLIS/SIM, and Dalhousie more generally, from 1991 onward. I would note especially the early impact of Dr Bertrum MacDonald’s counsel and persistent encouragement regarding research and doctoral study. Coaching from wonderful colleagues and students at the University of South Florida, Dalhousie, Edinburgh and elsewhere informed many aspects of my career and my memories are heart-warming, hilarious and humbling! Years of reference service at Regina Public Library lit the spark that first led me to study at Dalhousie and filled me with a joy that served me well throughout my academic career. I am a professor emeritus only because of other people, and I thank them all!”

Dr. Bertrum MacDonald: “It is definitely a privilege to be appointed as Professor Emeritus and I am very grateful to the School for this recognition. For a person who receives inspiration from the successes of students, graduates, and faculty colleagues, the School of Information Management has been a wonderful location for an academic career. For a person who often sees and facilitates connections between people and who benefits from interdisciplinary approaches to research and real-world problems, the School, the Faculty of Management, and wider Dalhousie University have provided an immensely productive setting for research initiatives and for encouraging advancements of professional fields. As Professor Emeritus, I hope to continue to contribute to successes of students, faculty, and graduates, and to seek solutions to professional and societal issues. Maybe, too, I will find increasing opportunities to spend time at my family farm, growing trees, and, yes, even picking stones!”

Media contact:
Dr. Sandra Toze
Director, School of Information Management
Dalhousie University