Maryland's iSchool Announces Kurtz Endowed Professorship

Maryland's iSchool Announces Kurtz Endowed Professorship

The University of Maryland's College of Information Studies, Maryland's iSchool, is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Kurtz, visiting professor and long-time adjunct, has committed $500,000 in a bequest to create the College's first endowed professorship. The professorship, which will be named in Dr. Kurtz's honor, will support the recruitment of a distinguished scholar to fill a faculty position in the area of archives and records management.

Prior to joining the iSchool as a full-time faculty member in 2011, Michael Kurtz was assistant archivist for records services at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). During his 37-year career at NARA, Kurtz was known for his advocacy of the timely and transparent release of government information. He currently serves as visiting professor and assistant director of the archives, records and information management in the Master of Library Science program.

"Over the last few years, I've been considering what kind of lasting legacy I could leave to the archival profession," says Kurtz. "I am a strong believer in archival education, and I have been thoroughly impressed with the caliber of faculty and students here at the iSchool. A gift here guarantees the continued stability of the specialization, and providing an enduring impact on the quality of archival education here at the iSchool."

The endowed professorship is expected to raise the pre-eminence of the already-distinguished archives specialization, whose graduates hold prominent positions at NARA, the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, World Bank, as well as numerous academic, public and private institutions across the country. "Michael's gift is a true investment in the long-term quality and excellence of archives education here at Maryland," says Jennifer Preece, dean of the College of Information Studies. "Offering an endowed professorship truly sets us apart from other programs, and demonstrates leadership for our faculty and alumni in the future. We are extraordinarily grateful to Michael for making it possible."

A named professorship is the first of its kind for the iSchool. “This gift will have a transformational impact on the College’s long-term goals and provide a standard of excellence for the future of our archives program. Such generosity from a faculty member demonstrates a genuine commitment to our students and the education they receive.  A named professorship will allow us the opportunity to fulfill an archivist-educator modeled after Michael. Future students will be benefiting from Michael’s kindness, expertise and wisdom throughout the life of this College,” says Lawrence Liff, Director of Development at the iSchool.