Interim Director Appointed to School of Library and Information Science

Stanley T. Wearden, Ph.D., dean of the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University, has announced the appointment of Jeffrey W. Fruit, professor of journalism and mass communication, as interim director of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS).

In his announcement, Wearden said, “Jeff has extensive administrative experience after 10 years of excellent service as the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I am confident he will serve the school very well as we search for a continuing director.” Wearden said the university will post the search for a new SLIS director later this month.
Fruit, of East Palestine, Ohio, served as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2002-2012, during which undergraduate and graduate enrollment increased significantly; two innovative online master’s programs were launched (public relations and scholastic journalism); the school moved into a state-of-the-art 80,000-square-foot facility following a $21.5 million renovation; and the school’s funds in the University Foundation quadrupled.
Fruit’s research interests focus on the historic and current impact of technology on journalism, journalists and the broader media marketplace, and he is a co-author of The Training and Hiring of Journalists (Ablex, 1985) with Lee B. Becker and Susan L. Caudill. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, where he also has passed General Examinations toward an interdisciplinary Ph.D. He earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in journalism and history from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Fruit replaces Tomas A. Lipinski, J.D., LLM, Ph.D., who will join the SLIS faculty to explore options for new curricular programs and continue his research and teaching in copyright, information law, intellectual property and other areas in which he has established an international reputation.
The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University has the only American Library Association-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) degree program in Ohio, offering courses in Kent, Columbus (State Library of Ohio) and through a fully online option. SLIS also offers a Master of Science in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management and participates in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the College of Communication and Information. The school is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top 20 LIS graduate programs, with a youth librarianship program that is ranked 10th. It is one of the largest programs in the country, with more than 600 students enrolled.  For more information, visit